I am reading an article on them in the Food and Nutrition magazine that is so interesting that I thought I'd share:
Here are a list of supplements/foods that have -so far- been proven to enhance performance without being detrimental to performance or your health, as long as they've been proven to actually contain what they say they contain.
- It's a precursor to an important lactic acid buffer: carnosine
- Efficient removal or buffering of lactic acid is essential for high endurance performance: because lactic acid (lactate) buildup leads to an acidic condition & it hinders an athlete's ability to perform at high-intensities
- Supplementation of 3-6.5g for 2-12days has been found to be beneficial and to have no positive effect in different studies. Although, high levels of supplementation was found to cause tingling and flushing.
- Include leucine, isoleucine, valine
- BCAAs are helpful to use as energy after late in exercise as carbohydrate stores have been depleted. Limited studies also show that BCAAs also help delay mental fatigue
- Milk is a great source of BCAAs, as it is found in the whey proteins in milk. (Milk is a better source than whey protein powder for example, because whey is quickly absorbed and casein (another protein in milk) is more slowly absorbed. These two together increase amino acid levels for a longer duration than just whey protein powder to stimulate muscle synthesis)
- Promotes energy formation for muscular work specifically in high intensity exercise
- When weight training, (typically during the preseason) creatine-monohydrate supplementation of 20-25g for 5-7 days, then 5-10g daily for up to 2 months increases muscle creatine content by up to 20%.
- Creatine-monohydrate was the only form of creatine supplementation to be tested, the other forms marketed to athletes haven't been studied and therefore may not be safe to use, or even effective.
- its a great source of dietary nitrate.
- Nitrate supplementation (usually about 200 -500 milliliters/day) helps increase oxygen delivery to the muscles, which....raises capacity for high-intensity exercise
- How about some food forms of dietary nitrate: arugula, rhubarb, butterhead lettuce, celery, spinach, and red beetroot
Rosenbloom C (2014). Ergogenic aids. Food and Nutrition magazine. May/June 2014.