Nutritional ergogenic aids can be helpful in supporting athletes looking to get the most out of their game and performance by:increasing energy and staminasupporting recovery after the physical exertion of training, practice, or competitionassisting the body and its muscle-building capacity in order to increase strength and help rebuild and strengthen connective tissue and structurereducing activity and game-related stress which may cause harm and slow recovery
Examples of the most common nutritional ergogenic aids that everyday and pro-athletes use are caffeine and protein:
·Caffeine, in the form of coffee or tea, is a central part of everyday life for many people. Caffeine helps to provide energy and to stimulates us for the day. Caffeine also may have some downsides which is why Naturopathic doctors try to optimize your treatment specifically for you. The pros and cons of caffeine could be a whole book on it's own!
·Protein gives the body raw nutrients it needs to facilitate growth and build muscle. The building blocks of protein, called amino acids, can feed and build muscle, connective tissue, support liver function, become brain chemistry and help create energy. Adding protein and amino acids to a diet, whether it be with whole protein rich foods or with protein supplements encourages growth and strength in many different systems.
Nutritional Ergogenic Aids are for Everyone!Nutritional ergogenic aids aren’t just for athletes. They can be as simple as foundational support for energy and metabolism, or supplements that help aid in sleep and recovery. These are universal aids that people can use to improve our day to day lifestyle.
People on pharmaceutical medication can benefit from ergogenic aids. Prescription drugs alter the body’s chemistry and physiology. Some prescriptions deplete certain nutrients. This is a normal occurrence in the correct use of a pharmaceutical treatment, which may result in suboptimal performance in other areas.
Nutritional ergogenic aids can help fill the gap when your medication has you feeling depleted. One example includes taking a CoQ10 supplement with cholesterol lowering statins to support normal mitochondrial energy. Statins can deplete an enzyme which makes CoQ10. CoQ10 is the last step in energy production. Depleting CoQ10 changes energy production can can cause liver damage, muscle weakness and fatigue. A lack of CoQ10 can also cause an increase in oxidative damage from electrons that would otherwise be used to make our energy reserves.
Additional Categories of Nutritional Ergogenic Aids:Nootropics: Nutritional Ergogenic aids that focus specifically on mental and brain function.Nootropics help with focus, memory, learning, cognition, neuroplasticity, and executive function. Neuroplasticity is a fancy way of saying “the way our brain changes, adapts and learns.”Examples of Nootropics include:· Herbs:Ginkgo bilobabacopa monnieri or BrahmiCentella asiatica or Gotu KolaCelastrus paniculateMucuna pruriensGryffonia simplicifolia
Amino Acids:N-acetyl TyrosineTaurineL-theanineAcetyl-L-CarnitineDL-Phenylalanine
Adaptogens: Herbs that specifically act upon the body’s adaptability to stressors such as: Intense physical exerciseIntense mental and emotional activity (school work anyone?)Thermal stressors like heat and cold. For example a treatment that improves circulation and heat production when exercising on cold days.
In order to be classified as an adaptogen an herb must be able to be taken daily without detriment, are non-habit forming, and are non-toxic.Adaptogenic herbs:Panax ginseng family: Red Ginseng, American ginseng, Korean GinsengEleutherococcus senticosis or Siberian ginsengRhodiola roseaEurycoma longifolia or Tongkat AliPhyllanthus emblica or AmlaCordyceps sinensis: a wonderful mushroom that can grow on the back of caterpillars through the snow at 10,000 feet!
If you are wondering if a nutritional ergogenic aid, nootropic or adaptogen could be helpful for your game or your life, Dr. Erik is more than happy to work with you to help you optimize and your health goals.
“Coach” Dr. Erik O Nelson loves helping athletes achieve their best.