Supplements For Swimmers: Should You Be Taking Them?

June 03, 2015

All right folks, today we are going to talk about supplements.

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Supplements come in all shapes and sizes and contain any number of different chemicals designed to make your body work hard longer and recover faster.
With so many out on the market, it can be hard to know what you need to take, or if you need to take any at all.
So, let’s look at a few popular supplements and see if we can answer some questions for you.

CREATINE

Creatine occurs naturally in the body, and taken as a supplement, creatine can do a lot of things for you.
Creatine supplements will help you gain muscle mass. It can also increase your ability to continue repeated high-intensity movements or strokes for a longer workout.
The downside in using creatine for swimmers is that this may only work when the workouts are extremely high-intensity and they require long rest periods.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people younger than 18 years old be very cautious when using creatine.
The older you are, the more benefit you will see from this type of supplement.

CAFFEIN

Caffeine is everywhere. This is the most common supplement out there. It is in everything from soda to energy bars. Caffeine has been shown to help in long distance swimming.
The reason for this is that normally muscles use glycogen for fuel. When that runs out, you’re done with the race because your muscle will be too tired to go on.
But caffeine can help by getting your body to use fat stores as fuel instead of glycogen. This mean that the glycogen gets burned later in the race, allowing you to exercise longer before getting tired. If you are going to use caffeine this way, be sure to watch how much you take in because anything more then 12 mg/liter during a drug test for a race will get you disqualified.
Caffeine can be helpful but be careful. The side effects of it’s use can be bad news. It can lead to headaches, nervousness and anxiety. Caffeine can also cause heart problems so be careful when choosing this supplement for a boost in your performance. For more on caffeine use in athletics check here.

VITAMINS

The last supplement we'll talk about is vitamins. Vitamins are often the most pushed sports supplement.

There are combinations on top of combinations of vitamins out there that will do everything from making you go faster to becoming the tallest one on the team.
Unless you are deficient in a vitamin or mineral, a multivitamin won’t do you much good. If you are worried about your vitamins or feel you need something more for that edge to win, then start eating for success.
A well balanced meal will carry most of the vitamins you need to perform at your best. Pills are not always the answer.

ONE LAST THOUGHT

The truth is, if you eat well and get enough rest, you can perform at your peak without all the crazy supplements.
If you do need help working longer and harder, you need to pick up a Waterproof iPod Shuffle from Underwater Audio.
Music has been proven to help athletes work longer and harder than they thought they could. So, grab a player and rock out to some great music while you swim!
Until next time, swim fast and have a blast.

Ally Henley
Ally Henley


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