Ergogenic aids are substances used by athletes to enhance athletic performance. So, no surprise these aids are more popular in athletes and bodybuilders.
These are mechanical, nutritional, pharmacological, physiological and psychological tools that athletes use to increase energy, performance and recovery. Commonly used ergogenic aids include dried adrenal glands, amino acids, bee pollen, caffeine, carnitine, chromium, creatine, ginseng, glucosamine and protein powders.
Side effects from high doses may include allergic reactions, affect the central nervous system and gastrointestinal disorders, and kidney damage. This can range from caffeine and sports drinks to illegal substances. There are a variety of both safe and harmful ergogenic aids.
Useful Ergogenic Aids
Research hasn’t proven that HMB will enhance athletic performance but it is an amino acid found naturally in the body, enhancing the strength of the muscle as well as help slow the breakdown of muscle during exercise. However, in large doses, it can be harmful to the kidneys.
It allows them to be burned for energy, which can help boost exercise performance. The body’s liver and kidneys naturally produce lysine and methionine, amino acids that break down into carnitine. But it also hasn’t yet been scientifically proven to enhance athletic performance.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
It is a type of fat that athletes take to help reduce muscle damage and increase lean body mass after exercise. It is also used to enhance recovery during exercise and very popular among bodybuilders.
However, it can cause side effects, including upset stomach, nausea, and fatigue.
Chromium is a trace mineral in the body, but it’s essential to daily body functioning. Taking too much chromium can be harmful because it can damage the DNA and healthy fats.The mineral is said to increase lean muscle mass, burn fat, and enhance energy levels. However, chromium hasn’t been proven to enhance athletic performance.
Misuse of certain aids, supplements, drugs and practices can give athletes an unfair advantage. Training, dedication, hydrating drinks, and proper diet are safer options and better than any ergogenic aids for boosting performance.