There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic changed our routines and habits. While some people settled into even more sedentary lifestyles, thousands of people in different parts of the world opted for a healthier lifestyle and became more physically active.
While workout supplements to enhance exercise and athletic performance have increased in popularity among sportsmen and women over the past few years, they are still a new topic for many new to these activities. Here is a rundown of 5 of the most popular supplements to improve and optimize your athletic performance:
Creatine: It is one of the most extensively researched and widely used dietary supplements for improving exercise and athletic performance.[i] According to studies, short-term creatine supplementation in both men and women often significantly increases strength (e.g., for bench presses), power (e.g., for cycling), compound muscle movement, sprinting and endurance performance. [ii]
Protein: This supplement, from animal and vegetable sources, is quite popular among athletes as it is necessary to build, maintain, and repair muscle. Consumption of dietary protein raises the concentration of amino acids (protein’s building blocks) in the blood, which muscle cells absorb in order to grow. Protein is required primarily to boost the training response and recovery after exercise. [iii]
Caffeine: It is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, cacao pods, and other herbal sources such as guarana, kola nut, and yerba mate. This stimulant has been shown in numerous studies to improve endurance, strength, and power in high-intensity team sports activities when athletes consume 2-6 mg/kg body weight before exercise. [iv]
Sodium Bicarbonate: It is commonly known as baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate consumed as a supplement, temporarily raises blood pH by acting as a buffering agent. Sodium bicarbonate has been studied extensively as an ergogenic booster in athletes such as cyclists, swimmers, boxers, tennis and rugby players. [v]
Quercetin: It is a plant pigment (flavonoid) that is naturally present in a variety of fruits such as apples, vegetables such as onions, and beverages like wine and tea. Several studies have examined quercetin as an ergogenic aid in young adults, particularly men. The endurance performance of participants in aerobic activities such as running or cycling trials who were given quercetin (usually 1,000 mg per day) or a placebo for 1 to 8 weeks was analyzed in said studies, showing an improvement of the former group’s performance.
Choosing the ideal supplement for your workout is not something to be taken lightly, and that is why it is essential that you consult a health specialist before starting to use them. In addition, it is vital to maintain a balanced diet, keep hydrated, and get enough rest in order to go along with your supplementation for your exercise routine; these simple tips will help you reach your goals quicker, stay healthier, and bring you closer to the physical results you’ve been aiming to attain.
Now is your time to push your performance to the limit!
 National Library of Medicine (June,2017), International Society of Sports Nutri- tion position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Retrieved on September 7, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.- gov/pmc/articles/PMC5469049/
 National Library of Medicine (February, 2003), Effects of creatine supplementa- tion on performance and training adaptations. Retrieved on September 7, 2022: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12701815/
 National Library of Medicine (March, 2016), Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medici- ne: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Retrieved on September 7, 2022: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26920240/
 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (January, 2010), Internatio- nal society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. Retrieved on September 7, 2022: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/arti- cles/10.1186/1550-2783-7-5
 Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop Series, Burke LM. Practical considerations for bicarbonate loading and sports performance. Retrieved on September 7, 2022.
 National Library of Medicine (February, 2013), Effects of quercetin supplemen- tation on endurance performance and maximal oxygen consumption: a me- ta-analysis. Retrieved on September 7, 2022.