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Vitamins & Minerals
Creatine Products

Vitamins and minerals are organic compounds found in high concentrations in

fruit and vegetables. Though they are all needed for proper bodily function,
there are a few that are important for performance.

The important vitamins are: B vitamins, vitamin D, C, E and beta-carotene.

B vitamins are a group of vitamins that optimise energy production as well

as the building and repair of muscle tissue. B vitamins are also vital in red
blood cell production.
Vitamin D is needed for adequate calcium absorption and promotes bone
health. It also helps regulate the homeostasis of the nervous system and
skeletal muscle.
The antioxidants (Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene) help protect cell
membranes from oxidative damage. More antioxidants are needed because
exercise increases oxygen consumption, which increases oxidative damage.
The minerals vital to performance are: Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium,
Chloride, and Calcium.

Iron is the most important as it gives haemoglobin and myoglobin their shape allowing
transportation of oxygen around the body and in the muscle. Without enough Iron, there will not
be enough oxygen to maintain the higher intensities that would normally use the aerobic energy
system. The lack of oxygen will also negatively affect the recovery times of the anaerobic
systems and delay recovery after performance.

Calcium is required for bone repair, growth and development, but is also a vital nutrient for
muscle contraction and nerve conduction (transmission of message). Calcium and Iron are
particularly important for female athletes, as they are more likely to be deficient in both.

Zinc is required for the growth and repair of muscle tissue.

Magnesium is required for muscular contraction and plays a role in glycolysis. A deficiency in
magnesium causes an increased requirement for oxygen for submaximal output.

Sodium, Chloride and Potassium all play an important role in neural transmission. Sodium is
critical, especially as it is lost during exercise through sweat. Sports drinks often help replace
Sodium and Potassium.
Supplementation of these micronutrients is only needed when adequate amounts are not gained
through a regular diet.

Protein is achain of amino acids and provides the building blocks for all the cells in the body. Itis
particularly important for muscular growth and repair, and can be used as a fuel source.

It is recommended that people eat 0.8g of protein per Kg of body weight. This is enough to maintain
current body mass and is sufficient in providing for any possible energy needs. However, when
resistance training is undertaken for muscular hypertrophy, protein consumption should increase to
1.2-1.8g per Kg of body weight, in order to grow muscle size. It should be noted though, that this
upper limit for an athlete weighing 100Kg is still only 180g, which would easily be consumed in a
normal western diet, because meat, dairy and eggs are high in amino acids.

Supplementation is not required for most western athletes. If the athlete is a vegetarian or vegan,
amino acids areusually consumed through beans, nuts and legumes and would need to be
monitored in order to ensure adequate amounts are being eaten. If not, then supplementation may
be beneficial.

Supplementation may also be beneficial because it canimprove the timing of protein consumption.
Protein consumed within 1hr of resistance training may help recovery and increase hypertrophy.
However, excessive consumption can have a detrimental affect on health, particularly kidney

Caffeine was recently removed from the WADA banned substance list as large amounts of caffeine
do not provide a greater benefit than the smaller amounts that would be present in most athletes
diets. This is because caffeine is found in coffee, chocolate, tea and many other commonly
consumed products.

Caffeine is an ergogenic aid, which increases fat mobility converting fats to free fatty acids used for
energy production. The increase in free fatty acids increases the production of ATP from fat sparing
glycogen stores to be used later in the competition. This process is called glycogen sparing, and
occurs in the first 15 min of exercise. This is particularly beneficial for events of a long duration
where glycogen stores would normal be depleted and affect performance.

Caffeine consumption delays the onset of fatigue during submaximal exercise and allows for a sprint
to the finish line using the lactic acid system.

Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it speeds up the nervous system. This stimulation increases an
athletes heart rate and enhances concentration. This can be useful in quick decision-making
needed in many sports. The stimulation of caffeine also has side effects and large amounts of
caffeine can cause an athlete to shake or have symptoms of anxiety. These side effects would be
detrimental to sports such as shooting or darts where a steady hand is vital.
Caffeine is also a diuretic, which means it removes water from the body. During competition,
especially long competition this could become fatal. If used, the athlete must ensure they consume
greater amounts of fluids throughout the competition and afterwards in order to aid recovery.
Creatine products are easily sourced for supplementation to help improve performance. Creatine is
an organic acid and is not an essential nutrient for humans. That is, our bodies will create creatine
using amino acids and other compounds. Itthen has a phosphorus attached to it to make
phosphocreatine (PC), used to store energy in skeletal muscle.
Theoretically creatine products used for supplementationcould increase PC stores and enable the
alactacid energy system to be utilised for longer and recover faster. This allows maximal power and
energy production to be maintained for longer. This would benefit sports such as, 100m sprint, but
also rugby league and soccer as recovery of this system would speed up allowing for greater
repetition of sprints required in these sports. (youtube clip)

An increase in PC would also allow for higher output levels in resistance and strength training,
which would cause greater adaptations, such as hypertrophy and increased power outputs.
However, studies to date have been inconclusive in supporting this theory. Studies have shown that
hypertrophy increases with creatine supplementation andweight training. Creatine has also been
shown to increase body mass, though this is due to fluid retention needed to store the extra
It should be noted that the quality of creatine products used in supplementation varies from
product to product and that practitioner only products will provide better results than over the
counter supplements.
Creatinedoes provideperformance benefits, however it is easily sourced in a diet by eating meat,
the body will create itas needed. Creatine products and supplementation will benefit those who
need it, but it can cause short-term nausea, hypertension and cramps.