All athletes want to be at their best to achieve the highest standards possible in their sport of choice. As you will already know, drugs are banned and give none takers a disadvantage but there are ways that performance can be enhanced naturally. I would like to take a look at sport supplementation in history.
Before supplements became commonplace, it was a while before specialists were aware that nutrition could enhance the way in which an athlete competed. The first attempt at giving extra energy to a runner was to give him an egg before he ran over each steep hill and some brandy. When the race was completed the runner was very poorly and in need of medical attention, but this is where it all began.
The main worry during studies of athletes was the amount of glycogen that they used up while participating. This of course if replaced would mean that the athletes were able to carry on for longer, so they needed to work out how this could happen. The first supplement to be created to help this was a drink that you may already have heard of called Gatorade. It was called this after the football teams the university who created it.
In the early 1970’s another discovery was made and that was to look further into how glycogen could be created in a laboratory. Originally they used carbohydrates to give the athletes extra energy, but that was before they looked further into what was needed.
They did try to look into protein, however at that point science was not as advanced as it is now so carbohydrates seemed like the easier choice. It was first bodybuilders who wanted to find out more about protein as they now knew that it could help in their training. With the lack of information on how an athlete can benefit from protein body builders decided to try different methods to see what worked for them. Even today there is still a lot that nutritional and supplement experts need to learn about how protein can help athletes to improve their performance. There are products available, but the dose can vary as it is still not clear as to how much exactly is effective so research continued.
In the 1980s exercise physiologists and nutritionists began to work together to find out more about the nutritional needs of athletes to try and produce a product that could help performance without being illegal or dangerous. They learned that athletes who had to work for long periods of time such as someone running a marathon or cycling over a long distance would need to consume around 8grams of carbs in relation to each kilogram the athlete weighed. This was a great breakthrough; however they did have to look further into whether such a high amount of carbohydrates could be obtained through diet alone without hindering the bodies other nutritional needs.
It was shortly after that sports nutrition came to be. When studied athletes were split into two groups. One lot were endurance and the other was strength. Endurance athletes were seen to need concentration on the amount of carbohydrate they consumed and strength mainly protein.
Once it was discovered that this could be of benefit studies into supplements were created that could give the nutritional balance without the athletes having to consume extra food to get the intake of protein or carbohydrates they needed to improve their performance. Because of changes to their diet and taking in supplements they were able to train for a lot longer than they could do previously, improving their standards and breaking their top records.
Now you can find all kinds of nutritional support no matter which kind of exercise you embark in. What started as a way to improve athletes has now spanned out worldwide. Even now studies continue so that people can get the best out of their supplements and food. Supplements are just that though, they supplement the diet so eating properly is still important for the body to remain in good health.