When it comes to competitive sports, even the smallest advantage can mean the world to an athlete in deciding the outcome of the contest. Over the last couple of decades, athletes have taken to supplementation to improve their speed, strength, and endurance to put their best performance every time. Even though the legality of many of these supplements is still being disputed, sports stars certainly seem to think that supplements do matter, and they should be allowed to take them.
Natural supplements, however, are not frowned upon by sports authorities, and they have been clinically proven to be effective more than artificial supplements that have side effects.
Studies related to natural treatments
In a double blind trial where placebo effects were also monitored, 92 runners were examined on the effects of taking vitamin C (600 mg) for 21 days before race day. The purpose of this trial was to test if it and see could help prevent lowering of the immunity of runners, who are required to go through intense exercise regularly to prepare the running for a marathon.
The results of this study showed that within two weeks after the race, 68% of participants developed symptoms of common cold due to the placebo effect, versus only 33% of participants who were administered the vitamin C supplement.
On another part of the study, non-athletes of same gender and age were given either vitamin C supplements are placebo. But to everyone’s surprise, this group did not show any signs of upper respiratory infections induced by this compound.
Amino acid glutamine has also been proven to be effective in preventing infections that may occur after intensive exercise. Since this is a vital source of fuel for our immune system cells, there is evidence available that suggests that athletes who train very hard have lower levels of glutamine in their blood.
A double-blind study regarding effects of glutamine, involving 151 athletes, came to the conclusion that only 5 g of glutamine supplementation right after heavy exercise reduced the chances of any infection drastically. 19% athletes who had taken glutamine reported having infections while 51% those in the placebo group had fallen sick.
Vitamin C and glutamine supplementation benefits
As you can understand, these supplements play a great role in aiding muscle recovery and preventing other types of illness that may occur during strenuous exercise. Athletes who take the supplements have the following advantages:
- Their muscles recover faster due to which the feeling of soreness is reduced significantly
- Prevents injury and illness that come from side effects of heavy exercise
- Boosts on the field performance of athletes
- Natural supplements are perfect for long term use due to no adverse side effects
- Vitamin C and glutamine are produced in the body naturally, so taking these supplements are considered legal
Harmful effects of overtraining
No matter what supplement you take, be sure not to train excessively or you may suffer from the overtraining syndrome. The symptoms of the overtraining syndrome include fatigue, depression, lower performance, and general psychological stress. This is where supplements like vitamins C and glutamine cannot help you, so beware.