Goindocal: What makes Olympians or simply saying any sportsperson different when it comes to performance. One simple answer would be the rigorous practice, but this rigorous practice requires extra dose of energy and all athletes do consistently try to boost energy level to be successful.
Apart from normal natural dies, which all of us take on daily basis, Olympians do try certain strange-sounding supplements to extrude every last bit of performance from their bodies.
According to sports physiology experts beetroot juice, bicarbonate of soda, and caffeine are some popular natural and perfectly legal supplements that Olympians do take to boost performance.
Fight for that extra micro-second in 100 metre race makes all the difference, whether anyone will rise to the podium or end last in the race. And sportsperson try all possible supplements to gain that extra micro-seconds.
Most of us know about the effectiveness of caffeine in terms of increased alertness, and athletes do take this under restricted regime to boost their performance. Earlier, it was banned under antidoping rules, but it is no longer a regulated substance. Apart from alertness, caffeine also improves a lot of other physiological parameters.
One limiting factor for sportsperson is the formation of lactic acid, which causes burning sensation resulting into impairment of muscle contraction and thus the performance. To control the excessive formation of lactic acid, some Olympians take bicarbonate -- better known as baking soda.
Theoretically, bicarbonate in the blood allows it to buffer the acid's hydrogen ions, slowing down any buildup in the muscles.
However, it does have its own side-effects. When bicarbonate reaches the stomach, it produces carbon dioxide, which can cause flatulence, bloating and other unpleasant, potentially performance-impairing side effects.
Another natural substance that Olympians prefer to take to improve their chances is the beetroot juice. Nitrate rich beet juice provide multiple sources of assistance to athletes, both physiological and psychological. According to studies, beetroot juice alone can improve performance by 2-3%, specially in case of long-lasting events.
It essentially helps improve endurance exercise performance by making the user more efficient in the use of oxygen.
But unfortunately, the extra use of beetroot juice can add unfamiliar color to athletes' waste products.
And the list of such natural supplements are quite long, which varies from region to region and in some case found to have very good effect of performance. However, its effectiveness is very difficult to analyze as the micro level improvement usually gets unnoticed in experiments.