Sports and nutritional supplements are sold in sports supplement stores, health food stores, drugstores, through online web stores and nowadays also in grocery store are increasing in popularity. The products are loaded with promising claims about the efficacy of the product. The supplements are often obtained from natural products, such as plants, fruits and vegetables, but synthetic nutrients are also added that you don't find nature and are made in a laboratory.
In the Netherlands the food advice of 5 sectors was updated in 2016 to 7. The number 6 are supplements and supplements seem essential in our daily diet.
The literal meaning according the dictionary:
supplement (the; o; plural: supplements)
1 addendum, addition to
You use a supplement to add to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. That is the basis! Supplements can never be a substitute for nutrition and are certainly never intended to cure!
Yet many, if not all, supplement manufacturers make claims in terms of health or your performance depending on the main or secondary ingredient added to the product, (from plants) as well as synthetic (artificially prepared from chemical compounds) often found in the ingredient lists of many sports supplements. I'll highlight the most seen ingredients with the most used claims for you:
Protein / Whey: both vegetable from, for example, yellow peas and that derived from a by-product that arises during the production of cheese from cow's milk.
Fit & strong, fitter and healthier, improved muscle growth & recovery, muscle building, helps with weight loss,
Direct energy, extra strength, more stamina, more focus, faster reaction, improves memory, faster calorie burn, more explosive and longer focus and your brain works faster.
Calming effect, higher sleep quality, better performance, better recovery.
Minerals: such as Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Chlorine, Zinc, Copper:
Muscle recovery, more strength, greater explosiveness, increase training intensity, prevents or against muscle pain, increased resistance to tension and stress, strengthening of memory and concentration.
BCAAs / Glutamine / Amino Acids:
Reduces muscle soreness and accelerates muscle recovery, can stimulate fat burning, helps lower blood sugar, promotes muscle growth, reduce complications related to liver diseases, reduces fatigue, good for the joints, good for cartilage building.
Combats fatigue and acidification, more muscle mass, lifting with heavier weights, you become stronger.
Vitamins: (source: voedingscentrum)
Vitamin A: Good functioning of the eyes and the immune system, keeps the skin healthy.
Vitamin D: Maintaining strong bones and teeth, proper functioning of the muscles and the immune system, absorption of calcium food intake.
Vitamin E: antioxidant
Vitamin K: Against blood clotting, maintenance of strong bones.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Releases energy from food, proper functioning of the heart muscle, nervous system and brain.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Releases energy from food, keeps the skin healthy.
Niacin (Vitamin B3): Releases energy from food, keeps the skin healthy, proper functioning of the nervous system and brain.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): Releases energy from food.
Vitamin B6: build-up and breakdown of amino acids, regulates the functioning of certain hormones, necessary for growth, proper functioning of the immune and nervous systems.
Biotin (Vitamin B8): Releases energy from food, maintains normal skin and hair, normal functioning of the nervous system.
Folate (Vitamin B11): Growth and proper functioning of the body, contributes to the production of white and red blood cells, reduces the risk of birth defects.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Production of red blood cells, proper functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin C: Antioxidant, maintenance of the immune system.
Omega 3: EPA & DHA is good for the heart, contributes to the maintenance of normal blood pressure, good for the maintenance of healthy triglyceride levels in the blood.
Turmeric / Curcumin: Powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against free radicals.
Boswellia Serrata: Contributes to a good gastrointestinal function, contributes to flexible joints and healthy airways, contributes to a good mental balance, good for the heart and contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels, for a normal menstruation and good for the male fertility.
Those are quite a few claims that are made on these ingredients. Not all claims mentioned are legal and have not been approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). The approved claims, claims still under investigation and unapproved claims still make you believe that they are all ingredients that are good for your health, body and / or brain. It is also often thought that the ingredients are safe and without side effects. That is an incorrect assumption. Excess intake does harm and are therefore not harmless substances and they often interact with prescription medicines. Caffeine, Valerian and Boswellia Serrata are examples of substances that interact. Grapefruit, Garlic, Green Tea, Turmeric and Ginseng cannot be used just like that if you are taking medication. Consultation with your doctor is always necessary if you are taking medication and want to use supplements containing these ingredients. Working out means that you have to take good care of your body. You do this by eating a healthy and varied diet (sector 5) and rest enough to recover properly. Rest means not only rest for your body, but also mental rest to avoid stress. This makes you fit, strong and flexible and you build up a higher resistance to diseases and infections.
The aforementioned selection of ingredients that you often encounter in sports supplements now fall in the updated sector of seven in sector 6. The update was done in 2016 because we do not sufficiently consume all these substances within our modern eating habit.
I hope that by reading this you understand the importance and proper use of supplements. That you can estimate the correct value of the claims and that you always study the different natural and synthetic ingredients in sports supplements and know what you are taking. Your mindset should now be on supplements that are used in sports and that are necessary to add to your daily diet.
Now it's time to take you to the relatively new ingredient that you will encounter more and more in sports related supplements. A natural ingredient derived from the cannabis plant family. Just like the aforementioned ingredients with associated claims, it is an ingredient that is added in a dietary supplement or in an external body care product (topicals), such as ointment or cream.
However, there is one big difference with many of the previously mentioned ingredients derived from plants. The cannabis plant family contains several molecules, such as the well-known CBD, but also CBN, CBG and many more cannabinoids. In only three of the four species that are part of this family of plants (Hemp, Sativa, Indica and Ruralis) you will find a higher concentration of the THC.. That molecule causes the stigma on the entire plant family. If you now know that the ingredient in sports related supplements come from the hemp plant that has a negligible content of THC in it and therefore has absolutely no psychoactive property, you can let go of that stigma.
The effect on your body of the CBD molecule is, compared to the previously mentioned ingredients, perhaps much more interesting due to the presence of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body. Although all claims for products containing cannabinoids have not yet been sufficiently scientifically researched, not approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), they may be better able to deliver on the promises made, simply by the fact that your body has an ECS. How your ECS works and what it can do for you check the blogs at www.cbdsports.nl