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Sports Nutrition Glossary and Terminology

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is an effective sports nutrition that increases libido by contributing to the increased production of testosterone in male athletes. This leads to accelerated growth of muscle tissue and increased endurance and performance of the body. As for today, there are no contraindications to the use of this supplement.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are structural units that form proteins. They take part in absolutely all metabolism processes of living organisms, are part of the tissues and organs of the human body, play the role of neurotransmitters (conductors of a nerve impulse from one nerve cell to another), which makes them indispensable for the work of the brain. Amino acids are divided into non-essential (synthesized from substances entering the body) and essential ones (obtained only from the outside). In the absence of an influx of essential amino acids from the outside (nutrition, additives), the body eventually withers. For athletes, amino acids in supplements are produced in free form, and the larger the set of amino acids in the supplement, the higher its biological value.

Anabolism (assimilation)

Biochemical reactions, which result in the formation of more complex substances from simple substances, lead to the creation of energy reserves and the formation of new materials for the construction and growth of body cells is called anabolism. It proceeds simultaneously with catabolism – a process that is substantially opposite. The first stage of anabolism is the last stage of catabolism, and vice versa, which together forms the metabolism. New cells form as a result of anabolism, and structural renewal of existing cells occurs.

Antioxidants

These are inhibitors of oxidative processes of natural or synthetic origin. Due to the ability to break the body’s reaction chains, antioxidants can resist aging, remove free radicals from the body, and help improve metabolic processes. They are used to protect the body from the adverse effects of free radicals, to saturate cells with polysaccharides, which serve as powerful prevention of cancer and stimulate immune processes, and also act as a natural antidepressant even in the most advanced cases.

Arginine

One of the essential amino acids, continuous synthesis of which is responsible for the ordinary course of metabolic processes, timely growth of muscle tissue, body’s production of growth hormone, normal functioning of the genitourinary and cardiovascular systems, and also for stabilizing blood pressure and removal of excess fats. It is synthesized in the liver from other amino acids and is considered a universal one, involved in many processes. It is found in such sources as soy, cocoa, chocolate, and peanuts. 

ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate)

ATP is a nucleotide, which is a universal source of energy for all biochemical processes in the body, as well as the central transport unit for the delivery of energy to cells. It provides active contraction of muscle tissue during heavy physical exertion. There is no ATP reserve in the body. One ATP molecule undergoes up to 3,000 normal resynthesis and recovery processes per day (up to 40 kg of ATP in the human body as a whole). Therefore, with a relatively heavy physical activity, normal synthesis processes cannot keep up with the expenditure rate, which inevitably leads to symptoms of muscle fatigue. Breaks between sets are necessary – ​​periods of rest will enable the body to synthesize the required amount of ATP.

Bioperine

It is a substance extracted from black pepper seeds. Its final form is a compound with a 95% concentration of bioperine, which increases the absorption of many nutrients by directly affecting the intestinal epithelium. In combination with other components, it is contained in many additives, increasing their biological value. In combination with beta-carotene, it increases the content of beta-carotene in the blood by two.

BCAA

It is a complex of three amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which make up the intracellular protein structures of human muscles. They belong to the group of essential amino acids that enter the body from the outside. Leucine in BCAA serves as a signal system that triggers protein synthesis. Therefore, the presence of free leucine inside muscle cells is the foundation for muscle growth. A deficiency of the BCAA complex inevitably leads to a deterioration in athletic performance and the inability of the body to recover after intense training. BCAAs block the harmful effects of cortisol on muscles and increase muscle endurance, so BCAA is useful both before and after a workout, as well as during breaks between sets. Administration of BCAA is supposed to be conducted gradually so that intestines could accustom to this.

Gainer

A powdered concentrate characterized by a high content of protein and carbohydrates. Generally speaking, it is a pure protein in combination with complex carbohydrates. It is considered completely harmless and is recommended to be used for children. It provides a high anabolic effect (energy release), which contributes to active muscle growth. It is recommended for use before 1-1.5 hours before training, which will create the necessary energy background in the body and increase the optimal intramuscular supply of free amino acids, which will subsequently be used for active work. The reception of a gainer after training will provide a quick recovery. Gainer must be supplied to the body regularly, regardless of the training schedule. The most effective gainers, in addition to simple carbohydrates (sugar, fructose, and others), cause the growth of subcutaneous fat in parallel with muscle building, including polysaccharides that gradually give energy to the body, which does not lead to an increase in adipose tissue.

Glutamine

Glutamine is the second in importance for athletes (with first being creatine). It belongs to the category of non-essential amino acids synthesized in the liver. As a result of active physical exertion, it is consumed drastically quickly, leading to a decrease in muscle volume and a deterioration in the strength of the body and weakening of immunity, for which glutamine is the fuel. The ability of glutamine to retain water inside the muscle mass plays a crucial role for athletes. Water weakens the processes of catabolism inside the cells, which causes active growth of muscle mass. Glutamine regulates ammonia production in the kidneys, which helps the body cope with overloads, and the ability to inhibit the action of cortisol protects the body from stress and post-workout depressions. Glutamine deficiency in the body will lead to a decrease in immunity and threatens with infections. Eventually, it can make one unable to overcome critical loads in the gym, which will cause a decrease in overall performance.

Guarana

It is an effective natural stimulant of plant origin. Its extract contains caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. There is two times more caffeine in guarana than in coffee beans. Guarana has a mild and slow action, which allows you to use it as a source of energy, which also has anti-inflammatory and fat-burning effects. Guarana has a pronounced positive impact on the central nervous system, improving memory, vitality, and mood in general.

Fat Burners

Dietary complexes that help regulate the level of subcutaneous fat and normalize the fat metabolism processes in the body. In sports nutrition, they are used to build muscle without increasing the fat level. As a rule, they are herbal or synthesized compounds, which mainly include caffeine, guarana, theobromine, octopamine, and other fat-burning substances. They do not have any adverse action on the body if consumed in moderate amounts.

Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a vitamin-like substance synthesized in the body (unlike real vitamins), similar in effect to group B vitamins. It transfers fatty acids to the mitochondria of cells for subsequent utilization. It is a potent corrector of metabolic processes in the body; therefore, it is urgently needed during anaerobic exercises, as it will ensure the timely burning of fats in cells. In the human body, it is present in the tissues of striated muscles and the liver. In addition to anabolic effects, it stimulates tissue regeneration and serves as an appetite enhancer. It has a neuroprotective effect, which improves the functioning of the central nervous system.

Catechin

It is a powerful, water-absorbing polyphenol and an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects. It is found in large quantities in tea, especially in green tea. It lowers blood cholesterol levels, improves vascular blood flow, blocks the action of the sugar-absorbing enzyme, prevents the onset of diabetes mellitus, heart attacks, and strokes, and removes toxins from the body, including heavy metals.

Caffeine

An alkaloid of mainly plant origin, caffeine has a stimulating effect on the nervous system. It improves mood due to the release of dopamine. In combination with pronounced fat burners, for example, theobromine and octopamine, it enhances their effects on the body, working as a catalyst for metabolic processes. Excessive doses can have a negative effect on the body.

Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogen-containing carboxylic acid located in the muscle and nerve cells of living organisms. It is formed in the body from creatine phosphate and serves as a transmitter of energy. From the areas of its accumulation in the form of ATP, it is transported to areas where it’s currently required. Promotes accelerated regeneration of the primary energy source in the body – ATP molecules neutralize acids formed during intense physical exertion. These acids reduce the pH of the blood, which causes the effect of muscle fatigue. Creatine eliminates this phenomenon, simultaneously activating glycolysis. Creatine promotes the synthesis of proteins in the muscles, which causes an increase in muscle mass. Side effects of the use of creatine were not found, and it is not considered doping. Modern studies have revealed that creatine is also one of the central regulators of the strength of contraction of the heart muscle. When it is deficient, there is a threat of myocardial infarction. 

Octopamine

This substance is similar to norepinephrine, which can mobilize fat from adipocytes – fat cells. It is useful in fat-burning complexes. The use of octopamine is recommended in combination with increased physical activity to enhance the effect. Otherwise, the released fatty acids may return to their places of storage. Octopamine is able to protect muscle tissue during anaerobic exercise from decay. Fat is decomposed, and proteins and muscle tissue remain unharmed. The combination of octopamine with stimulants like caffeine, tyramine, synephrine, etc. requires caution.

Proteins

Proteins are organic substances consisting of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Proteins are distinguished from other nutrients by the presence of nitrogen, which the human body does not synthesize and receives only from proteins. Proteins are of paramount importance in the synthesis of structural proteins (muscles, skin, hair), peptide hormones (growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, etc.), in the synthesis of transport proteins (albumin) that are involved in the transport of various substances by the bloodstream. Proteins are composed of amino acids (peptides), divided into essential and non-essential. Nutritional protein supplements are 70-95% composed of proteins of various natural origin (for example, soy or whey) and help gain muscle mass but also reduce fat mass and to maintain a healthy physical condition.

Ribose

It is a natural monosaccharide, which is part of RNA and participates in genetic transcription – hereditary transmission of information. Besides, ribose is a component of ATP and other substances involved in metabolic processes and energy cycles. Ribose increases strength performance, in combination with creatine – enhances its biological activity, improves ATP resynthesis, and significantly increases productivity growth three times, according to some reports (in combination with creatine), which has a beneficial effect on performance in strength training.

STH

Somatotropic hormone (growth hormone, GH) is a powerful anabolic peptide hormone of the pituitary gland. It has a strong effect on protein synthesis in the body. The secretion of growth hormone is enhanced by adequate sleep, exercise, high-protein foods, and arginine amino acid. The presence of insulin is necessary for the manifestation of the anabolic effect of STH.

Whey Protein

It is a kind of protein from whey formed in the manufacturing of cheeses saturated with biologically active substances. Depending on the processing method, it appears in the form of a concentrate (the simplest purification of whey gives a fast-acting protein that is digested within two hours); pure isolates are digested within thirty minutes, and hydrolysates are the easiest proteins to digest, broken down in laboratory conditions to amino acids. The best, most advanced options of protein supplements contain all three types of proteins and provide the body with amino acids for a sufficiently long time.

Theobromine

The substance of alkaloid class, often associated with caffeine. In action, it is close to caffeine and theophylline – it stimulates cardiac activity, dilates blood vessels, including the ones of bronchi, stimulates the respiratory center, improves oxygen supply to the blood, and increases diuresis. It protects the body from spasms of brain vessels caused by vasoconstriction or vigorous physical activity. It has a mild psychostimulant effect. It does not accumulate in the body and does not present any danger in limited doses.

Testosterone Levels Increase

The most important hormone for muscle growth and strength indicators, as well as for good male potency, is testosterone. An increase in testosterone in the human body has a pronounced effect on muscle growth and helps to increase strength and sexual energy.

For rapid muscle growth, testosterone must enter directly into muscle cells. As long as testosterone is in the blood, it can turn into unwanted metabolites such as estrogen. Therefore, drugs and additives containing testosterone should contain particular components that increase this hormone’s effect on the muscles.

Additives for Joints and Ligaments

During training, athletes subject their joints and ligaments to increased strain. It’s no secret that such injuries heal for a long time, and the healing process is quite uncomfortable. Therefore, it is worth paying particular attention to joints and ligaments during intensive training, to be more careful and attentive.

For avoiding such injuries, athletes are advised to take special additives to maintain ligaments and joints in good condition. Such additives can make up for the lack of calcium and other essential substances in the body, and also help prevent microtrauma.

Additives for ligaments and joints will help you prevent the appearance of sprains, periarthritis, bursitis, and other injuries. To reliably protect your body from injuries and pain in the muscles and joints, you should avoid an enhanced training regime and follow all the trainers’ recommendations. Following all the prescribed rules and taking medications for ligaments and joints, you will save yourself from unwanted injuries and forget what muscle pain is.

Energetic Additives

Such additives are indispensable for athletes who are going to have long workouts and who have no other way to replenish energy losses in the body. Most of them contain stimulants like guarana extract and caffeine. These components help make the workout more effective by increasing muscle tone and reducing the feeling of fatigue. Guarana is recommended for a high physical activity requiring concentration and coordination.

The reception of energetic additives during physical exercises or before training stimulates working capacity, improves blood circulation, helps to reduce fatigue, improves readiness for working with heavy weights.

Energetic additives are available in convenient packaging that is ready to use or in the form of dry soluble powders. They are recommended to be taken before or during a workout to replenish the energy quickly.

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