If you want to be successful at swimming, you need to practice regularly and eat healthy foods. Swimmers, like other athletes, need a balanced diet that increases endurance and promotes fast muscle recovery. This explains why many pros complement their diet with supplements to improve performance.
The following are the three top supplements that a swimmer needs to optimize their performance.
Creatine is a natural component of muscles that drives them when you do short but intense exercises. It works by supplying muscles with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the substance needed for energy production. Several studies indicate that this compound improves in activities that require a massive amount of energy over short periods, such as swimming. Ideally, it would help if you took it 30 minutes before you jump into the pool to allow your body to synthesize it.
On the downside, creatine can potentially cause kidney stones. Another side effect is a disruption on the natural production of creatine. The best way of avoiding such problems is by regulating the intake of the substance. Experts recommend taking between 2 grams and 5 grams daily to get the optimal results.
As mentioned above, you need to practice regularly to become good at swimming. The problem is that the intensity of such training often causes muscle soreness. According to research, a daily intake of Vitamin C can alleviate muscle soreness significantly. The ideal amount is 3grams per day.
Oxidation is a byproduct of the metabolism that occurs during swimming. Accumulation of lactate makes you feel tired and can also damage your muscles. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents such damage and reduces the time needed for recovery. This, in turn, leads to improved performance. The recommended daily intake is 15 international units of Vitamin E.
Caffeine is a readily available supplement that can help if you participate in long-distance swimming. Since swimming requires a lot of energy, you can get tired quickly. The body normally burns glycogen to produce the energy needed for such demanding exercises.
On the other hand, caffeine improves endurance by burning fat tissues instead of glycogen. This ensures that the glycogen gets synthesized later, allowing you to prolong your swimming sessions. Because too much caffeine can give you an unfair advantage, competitors are not allowed to use more than 12mg per litre during races.
Although caffeine has its benefits, it has adverse effects when used in large amounts. For instance, it can cause migraines and increase anxiety and nervousness. In some cases, it can increase the chances of contracting heart complications.
Using supplements is an excellent way of boosting your performance as a swimmer. That said, you also need to take a balanced diet and exercise frequently to get the best results. More importantly, it would be best if you got enough sleep.
Lastly, make sure that you consult a nutritionist before you start taking the supplements. Some ingredients are known to cause complications to people with certain illnesses as well as those using prescribed medications.