3 Foods/Supplements to Enhance Exercise Performance
By Katelyn Castro
Muscle soreness, fatigue, and decreased endurance happen during high-intensity training. We know this all too well at Bird Rock Fit, right? Whether your goal is to improve physical challenges, gain lean body mass and decrease body fat, or to get an intense workout, these three food/supplements can help your performance.
Beetroot juice is high in dietary nitrates that can aid the body during times of low oxygen availability 1. This is accomplished by reducing oxygen cost, which allows better delivery of oxygen to the muscles that are being utilized, and improve exercise tolerance 2. There are alternate nitrate sources, should beetroot juice be something you prefer to skip. Other fruits and vegetables that contain nitrates include strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, carrots, and green beans.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)
BCAA’s are composed of essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and assist with endurance when carbohydrate stores are low 1. In addition to delaying fatigue, muscle protein synthesis occurs allowing better turnover and recovery time 3. Leucine has also been shown to aid in metabolic health by increasing energy output, decreasing food intake via hypothalamus signaling, and regulating insulin sensitivity. Those are just a few reasons why implementing more BCAA’s into your diet can improve your health and workout quality. You can find BCAA’s in chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, milk, quinoa, legumes, and whey or soy protein supplements. When choosing a supplement, think about its safety, effectiveness, the doping status of it, and quality.
Meat eaters generally consume 1g of creatine everyday from meat and fish 1. Supplementation of creatine increases muscle cell volume, which boosts strength and power during resistance training—two focuses within your training at Bird Rock Fit. While you “rest until you can,” your phosphocreatine re-synthesizes and can help you achieve continued, intense training 4. While supplementation of creatine is okay for adults, it is not recommended for individuals under 18 years old.
As I always say, eat to supplement your workouts; don’t work out to supplement what you eat. Begin to fuel yourself for success by implementing just one or two of these strategies and you will start feeling a difference in your performance in no time.
1. Rosenbloom, Christine. “Ergogenic Aids.” Food and Nutrition Magazine May-June 2014: 14-15. Print.
2. Kelly, et al. “Dietary Nitrate Supplementation: Effects on Plasma Nitrite and Pulmonary O2 Uptake Dynamics during Exercise in Hypoxia and Normoxia.” American Journal of Physiology 10.1152 (2014): n. pag. American Physiological Society. 9 July 2014. Web.
3. Guimarães-Ferreira, et al. “Resistance Training and Protein Intake Synergistic Effects: Practical Aspects.” Nutrition 10.1016 (2013): n. pag. Science Direct. Web.
4. Arsac, L.M., et al. “Effect of creatine supplementation on phosphocreatine resynthesis, inorganic phosphate accumulation and pH during intermittent maximal exercise.” Journal of Sports Sciences May 2002: 427+. Academic OneFile. Web.
Do you want to take your nutrient intake up a notch? Email Katelyn at email@example.com for more info.