Pro-energy supplements are among the best sellers within the category of supplements. If taken correctly and of excellent quality, some of their ingredients can be a valid support for athletes (and not only). Otherwise, they risk creating serious damage to our health.
There are numerous supplements on the market with ingredients that improve sports performance. More and more people are using this particular class of supplements, even those who do not practice enough activity to justify its use. When taken disproportionately, these gels and mixes of powders loaded with concentrated sugars, maltodextrins, caffeine and other stimulants or dried proteins can even cause health damage.
To be avoided are excesses of:
- High-protein mixes. The recommended RDA (reference intake levels of nutrients and energy) are equal to 0.90 g / kg; the requirement increases to 1.2g / kg – 2g / kg in athletes. In general, the amount of protein needed to replace those lost during exercise is low and fully satisfied by a balanced diet. The excess is transformed into nitrogen waste, which overloads the kidneys and liver, and into fats, since our body does not have a deposit for proteins;
- Supplements with high caffeine content. They are increasingly used by athletes for their ability to improve athletic performance, decrease the perception of fatigue and enhance concentration. However, caffeine is an excitatory substance with psychotropic activity of which it is difficult to define a safe dose for each individual, which varies between 3mg / kg and 6mg / kg. It can create adverse effects such as agitation, irritability, tremor, migraine, tachycardia and sleep disturbance;
- Supplements high in sugar and maltodextrin. If taken in excess, they can alter blood sugar control and create metabolic imbalances. Furthermore, they cause a reduction in the production of protective mucus with consequent intestinal inflammation and, due to their fermentation, at high doses they cause abdominal swelling and cramps.
The above list is not exhaustive and rather focuses on the harmful overuse of some supplements. However, there are many that can be useful to improve the psycho-physical profile in periods of stress, in a healthy way and without causing side effects. The substance most used for these purposes is Creatine, which increases physical performance in case of repetitive, high-intensity and short-duration activities and can strengthen the effect of resistance training on muscle strength in adults over the age of 55. years. Attention: it is important to take certified quality creatine, concentrated, free of contamination and impurities and with high bioavailability so as not to create side effects in the intestine (such as Creapure®). In addition, dosages should be checked. Scientific studies have shown that dosages of 4-6 grams per day can be taken for a period not exceeding 30 days while the dose for an average sportsman should not exceed 3g / day. Since creatine phosphate (a highly energetic molecule that is formed from creatine and ATP in muscle) can bind free Magnesium and therefore lead to a mineral deficiency, it is important that the supplement also contains Magnesium. As we have often written, this salt is often not well absorbed by our body. It is therefore necessary to take a highly bioavailable form to avoid intestinal side effects and ensure that it reaches the muscles. The best forms of magnesium are organic ones and those developed with biotechnologies that allow the entry of salt into the cells (such as Sucrosomal Magnesium).