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Are supplements absolutely necessary to perform well in climbing or other power activities?
In order to perform well, many athletes will make sure they have a good diet. Some will use dietary supplements. With the arrival of rock climbing at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, there has been an increase in nutritional supplements for rock climbers. Is this necessary?
It is necessary to know the physical and nutritional needs related to our sport in order to know if such and such a product is suitable for us. Climbing is a sport that requires strength, muscular power and endurance. To help them recover, climbers can consume protein and carbohydrates after training. But is diet alone enough? On the other hand, over-consumption of a product can have undesirable effects. For example, if an athlete has difficulty sleeping, caffeine before exercise will be discouraged, even though it can improve performance. In addition, the product chosen must be accepted by the athlete’s sports federation. Some products are banned.
To get a clearer picture, here is an overview of the four most popular dietary supplements of the moment.
Why caffeine? For its various effects on the sympathetic nervous system. It decreases the perception of fatigue during exercise and improves mental alertness. These effects occur when you consume between 1 to 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. On the other hand, consumption of more than 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight increases blood lactate levels, which has a negative effect on high-intensity exercise, such as boulder climbing.
Caffeine can cause tremors, headaches, heart palpitations, insomnia, etc. Caffeine also stays in the body for a long time and can interfere with sleep quality and recovery.
In order to improve performance, studies therefore suggest consuming between 1 to 3 mg of caffeine per kilo of body weight, 60 minutes before the start of the competition. It is not recommended for people under 18 years of age. It is better to try caffeine during training, which will help to avoid any undesirable effects during a sporting event or a long outing.
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Many athletes turn to protein supplements to help build muscle mass and repair damaged muscle tissue. However, too much protein can lead to an increase in body fat. It is recommended to consume between 1.4 and 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. These targets are fairly easy to achieve without supplements.
If, after analysing your diet, you decide to take protein powder, choose whey protein. It contains a higher level of leucine, an amino acid that promotes muscle development and strength. Whey is found in all dairy products. After training, an amount of 20 g is suggested to stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins.
The researchers observed that the nitrate in beet juice enhances maximum power, speed of muscle contraction and recovery. When nitrate (NO3) is consumed by ingesting a food such as beets, it is converted to nitrite (NO2), then to nitric oxide (NO), and directed into the bloodstream. Nitric oxide is involved in several physiological mechanisms such as muscle contraction, vasodilation, blood pressure regulation, glucose absorption and mitochondrial respiration. Viasil Avis, an increase in NO will allow the muscles to consume less oxygen during exercise, which will improve physical performance.
Beet juice is a food to try. The recommended amount of nitrate for a sport such as rock climbing is 400 mg per day for five days prior to the competition. An amount of 400 mg of nitrate is equivalent to 500 ml of beet juice or 70 to 140 ml of concentrate. It is important to mention that beet juice dyes the urine and stool a red colour.
Creatine is a non-essential dietary amino acid found in meat, poultry and fish. It is also produced by the human body. Creatine supplements are used to provide rapid energy to muscle cells.
Creatine supplements are used to increase strength, power, and muscle mass, and to aid in recovery. Consumption of creatine monohydrate can increase muscle creatine levels by 20-50% if taken with carbohydrates.
This product is not recommended for people under 18 years of age. In adults, creatine monohydrate supplementation for five days is recommended to maximize muscle creatine stores. Thereafter, a decrease in the dose for four weeks will help maintain these reserves. Water retention and weight gain are side effects of creatine intake. Talk to a nutritionist to make sure this product is good for you.