The Role Supplements Play in Human Performance

As par observation in research, there seem to be two purposes of medical supplements: one is for diet and nutrition while the other is for athletic performance and enhancement. The distinction is necessary to be able to competently assess the supplements’ effects on your body depending on the health goals that you want to achieve. The opening statement of the 2014 Summit on Human Performance and Dietary Supplements sums it all: “The use of dietary supplements to enhance human performance among athletes, the military, and other tactical populations is an increasingly popular topic that often is not well understood.” (Arensberg et al., 2014) In the past years, sports-enhancing drugs have gotten a negative reputation in the competitive domain, particularly at the Sochi Olympics and specific cases of athletes. Like all things, drugs can cause over-performance and can be toxic in excessive quantities. Supplements in moderation improve your body’s stamina and endurance.

Research has given us supplements focusing on weight loss and performance, for both men and women (as the basis for comparison). Fairman and Kendall’s article introduced their Top 7 Endurance Performance Supplements. These supplements could just be the top rated test boosters in 2017, but all of them seem to have been tested by both athletes and non-athletes alike. Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation emerged as the most recommended. It has effects on muscle strength and thus increases endurance in a high-power workout. Other supplements are protein and caffeine and sodium phosphate that could be a substitute for Iron.  (Fairman & Kendall, 2017). The top two rated supplements, Instant Knockout and Transparent Labs Fat Burner (for both men and women) were considered to be the best fat burners of 2017. They have natural extracts such as green tea and cayenne paper and can be used by those who want to lose weight and those who want to increase workout performances. (Top 10 Supplements, 2017)

And at a certain degree, the term supplements is often misinterpreted.  The common use of supplements is for dietary and lifestyle maintenance. Included in that selective mineral ingestion are the “sports-enhancing” vitamins. These supplements have ingredients that are responsible for activating faster metabolism or tissue function in the body. These components are attributed to performance-boosting—often containing steroids. For the most part, supplements should be part of a person’s lifestyle. Common ones that are recommended are food supplements that contain plenty of herbs and those of Vitamin B, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Vitamin C. (Rodriguez, 2010) We cannot discuss the pros of medical supplements without juxtaposing it with the cons. As of the 2000s, health buffs have been on the rise. There have been those who prefer vegan and organic lifestyles while some retreat to a high burning calorie diets to feel great and occasionally combat diseases. The current trend of athleticism has pushed people to go the extra mile when it comes to losing weight and looking good. For the former, there comes the danger of having to go to the extreme of weight loss, and this is because not all people are meant to be athletes. It is recommended that not only do we need to be aware of our dietary, health and lifestyle habits but it ought to be compulsory that individual Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are taken to measure the necessary consumption that our body needs. (Arensberg et al., 2014) The system further recommends profiling people based on their specifics (height, weight, sex, daily physical workout, etc.) to build a summary of one’s daily intake.

While this could be extremely helpful, computing for your daily nutritional needs could take time. However, not a lot of people have that time. The best practical solution could be knowing more of yourself, more of what you eat and how you exercise and see it to the supplement that is the most compatible for you.