Feeling drained after a long workout? Are those aches and pains from muscle soreness, injury, a sprained ligament or tendon preventing your best performance? Injuries are common with sports and exercise, especially if you are not supporting your body nutritionally with the right fitness supplements. But, what if there was a way to replenish your energy while supporting your body’s natural repair process at the same time?
Benefits of Dietary Supplements
Even though exercise is incredibly healthy for your heart, body and mood, there are a few negative side effects. Intense exercise can suppress the immune system, leaving you at risk for respiratory or viral illnesses.
Another issue that many athletes face is an increase in GI upset due to the added stress of intense exercise. A study from the Journal of American Physiology looked at the effect of heavy exercise (running) and gut permeability in athletes. What they found was that exercise increased gut permeability by 2.5 times. This puts athletes at risk for digestive problems long-term as well as autoimmune disease, which is linked to gut permeability.
Although it is impossible to counter all the effects of exercise-induced immunosuppression, it has been shown to be possible to minimize many factors by using nutrition. Athletes can help themselves by eating a well-balanced diet with adequate amounts of high quality protein, such as whey protein, as well as plenty of whole-food carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Not giving your body nutritional support during long bouts of exercise can be detrimental to your health and well-being. A recent study found that athletes exercising in a carbohydrate-depleted state experienced an increase in circulating stress hormones and immune deficiencies. It can also put you at risk for injuries.
In addition to good nutrition, the right supplements can also help some of these negative aspects of exercise. There are many benefits of dietary supplements for athletes that can help fill the gaps in the diet. Taking the right fitness supplements can help you reach your physical goals with less pain, improved immunity and fewer injuries. Including a glutamine and a colostrum supplement can also help support the immune system and ease GI issues that are common with many athletes.
Glutamine Supplement Benefits
Glutamine is one of the most common amino acids in the muscles. Amino acids are building blocks of muscle tissue or protein. More than 61% of the skeletal muscles in your body is composed of glutamine. It is a nitrogen-rich amino acid, meaning it helps infuse your muscle cells with nitrogen, an extremely important building block for strength.
What’s interesting about glutamine is that it is depleted with physical activity. The more intense the training, the more glutamine is used up. It can take nearly a week for the levels of glutamine in your muscles to restore themselves. This means you may struggle with soreness or pain for longer than you would like.
To help replenish this important amino acid faster, you can take a glutamine supplement. Here are just a few glutamine supplement benefits:
- Promotes muscle synthesis.
- Speeds up healing and cellular repair.
- Used to manage symptoms of cancer treatment.
- Helps maintain a healthy weight.
- Supports immune system function.
- Protects against and heals intestinal permeability.
Glutamine is found in high protein foods, like meat, eggs and cottage cheese. However, if your goal is to build muscle mass, you may want to add a bit more to your diet via a supplement — but try not to exceed 40 grams a day. Glutamine powders are recommended for bodybuilders and athletes looking for the best fitness supplements, as they can be mixed into any number of drinks. They make it that much easier to get all of the amino acids your body needs!
Colostrum Supplement Benefits
Colostrum is the first milk that mammals produce after giving birth. It is a nutritionally-rich liquid full of immune boosting antibodies called immunoglobulins. It is also a great source of protein, fat and vitamin A.
It is nature’s first nutritional support for the immune system, but it can also be used to help athletes. A few colostrum supplement benefits include:
- Helps reduce intestinal permeability
- Supports normal immune function
- Aids in healing and repair of body tissues
- Supports a healthy body weight.
- Boosts muscle growth and repair.
- May enhance athletic performance.
Bovine colostrum is another beneficial fitness supplement option for athletes struggling with gut problems or immune suppression.
Choosing the Best Fitness Supplements
Before choosing any fitness supplement, you want to be sure to identify your goals and struggles. Glutamine and colostrum are for athletes who tend to get sick or injured often. That’s not to say a perfectly healthy athlete can’t benefit from them, as they can also be used for prevention.
Other factors to consider include how you want to use the supplement — do you want to mix it into a shake or would you prefer capsules? Also, always ask your doctor before starting any dietary supplements to make sure it is right for you, especially if you have medical conditions or are taking any medication.
Taking glutamine and colostrum are both great ways to support your immune system, digestive health and reduce your risk of exercise-induced soreness and injury.
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