Ergogenic supplements are substances that increase performance. These include high-carb supplements, adaptogens of vegetable origins, amino acids and creatine. It is also advised for an athlete who uses nutritional supplements to pay attention to the fact that some herbal additives (in particular – additives made of/containing ginseng and the like) may contain prohibited substances.
Ergogenic supplements help an athlete withstand more intense training, recover faster, avoid possible injuries, and maintain general health. Even though this definition is precise, there is currently a bitter debate about the ergogenic effect of different sports nutrition types.
Some sports nutrition experts consider a specific supplement ergogenic only provided that it significantly improves performance during training (for instance, increase athlete’s speed when running, strength when lifting weights or endurance that allows training longer than usual). On the other hand, other experts believe that if a supplement helps to restore the body after exercise, then it can improve adaptation to training loads – which means it is also ergogenic. Both opinions can be considered correct, each in their way.
Of course, it is worth considering how much a particular supplement affects athletic performance in individual exercises and activity types. At the same time, when we speak about bodybuilding in particular, that the primary goal of training for any athlete in this field is to overcome a heavier load, or increase muscle mass (most often – both, for one contributes to another directly).
It is known that athletes who better adapt to increased loads ultimately progress more in their working weights and other training indicators.
Side effects of doping drugs are indeed severe. Nervous system stimulants that athletes use to achieve the adrenaline-like effects, that reduce fatigue and increase general physical performance and concentration, can cause a lot of adverse side effects. Among those, there can be loss of appetite, insomnia, exhaustion, euphoria, hallucinations, nerve tics, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, disturbances in space orientation, increased body temperature.
More than one death in competitions or training is associated with stimulants. Removing natural protective limits against the background of heavy training or competition can significantly disrupt heat transfer and heart function and cause the death of an athlete.
As medical practice shows, there is no reason justified enough for healthy athletes to use prohibited stimulants. Before using those, it is worth considering the consequences of such a decision. Deaths of athletes recorded with even small doses of amphetamines or cocaine should stop other athletes from being overly enthusiastic about such a way to improve the results of hard work.
There are several supplements in sports nutrition that have (to variable extent) ergogenic properties. Among those, there are:
- Pre-workout complexes;
- Energetic supplements;
Among pharmacological substances with ergogenic properties, there can be noticed such as^
- CNS stimulants;
- Anabolic steroids;
- Certain nootropics.
Bear in mind that using any of the pharmacological groups’ substances requires careful consideration, and (if possible) consultation with a specialist, because many of those, provided they’re used irresponsibly, can have adverse effects in a long-term scenario. Besides, even more consideration is required in case of attempts to use any of such substances during competition. A lot of those substances can be classified as doping, even if they seem relatively harmless. It is recommended to always think twice before resorting to such means of improving performance.