Supplements, also known as food supplements or nutritional supplements, are a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person’s diet. Some countries define dietary supplements as foods, while in others they are defined as drugs or natural health products.
Energy drinks are beverages whose producers advertise that they “boost energy“. They usually do not emphasize energy derived from the sugar and caffeine they contain but rather increased energy release due to a variety of stimulants and vitamins. Energy drinks generally contain methylxanthines (including caffeine), B vitamins, and herbs. Other commonly used ingredients are carbonated water, guarana, yerba mate, acai, and taurine, plus various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine, glucuronolactone, and ginkgo biloba. Some contain high levels of sugar, and many brands offer artificially sweetened ‘diet’ versions. A common ingredient in most energy drinks is caffeine (often in the form of guarana or yerba mate). Caffeine is the stimulant that is found in coffee and tea.
Energy shots are a specialized kind of energy drink. Whereas most energy drinks are generally sold in cans or bottles, energy shots are usually sold in 50ml bottles. Energy shots can contain the same total amount of caffeine, vitamins or other functional ingredients as their larger siblings, and therefore they may be considered concentrated forms of energy drinks. The marketing of energy shots generally focuses on their convenience and availability as a low-calorie “instant” energy drink that can be taken in one swallow (or “shot”), as opposed to energy drinks that encourage users to drink an entire can (which may contain 250 calories or more).
Many people take energy and recovery supplements in order to progress in a physical activity. One may have a big event planned, such as a cycle or a marathon. One may also be a little under the weather on the day of the event, which is when most energy and recovery supplements come into play.
Energy supplements and recovery supplements are designed to aid serious sportsmen in muscle recovery. An energy supplement will keep you sharp and focused, which in turn will allow to perform to the best ability.
However, it is required to always read the packet prior to taking any energy and recovery supplement as too much may be more risky than advantageous.
Many energy and recovery supplements come in the shape of amino vital mixes and protein shakes. Most claim to speed recovery and repair muscles after an intense workout.
In order to speed up a recovery, you will need to eat after a run/workout. However, due to post workout errands or a stomach that isn’t quite ready for food, this is not always possible. This is why some health food brands have released solutions that boast to offer the benefits of a snack in a drink form. Some formulas also come in the shape of a pill, which can easily be taken prior to a workout. Your choice will depend on your preference; it is, however, wise to read up on all of the available forms prior to investing in just one. This way you can guarantee that you get the best one to suit all of your needs.
Other physiological and psychological effects have been attributed to energy drinks and their ingredients. Two studies reported significant improvements in mental and cognitive performances as well as increased subjective alertness. Excess consumption of energy drinks may induce mild to moderate euphoria primarily caused by stimulant properties of caffeine and may also induce agitation, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. During repeated cycling tests in young healthy adults an energy drink significantly increased upper body muscle endurance. It has been suggested that reversal of caffeine withdrawal is a major component of the effects of caffeine on mood and performance.