PrintThree Supplements Every Athlete Needs

Unity of handball team.

Supplementation with the right nutrients can optimize athletic performance and recovery.

You train right, eat right, and rest right for your athletic endeavors, but what are the right supplements to take your performance to the next level?

While research has revealed that multiple nutrients are beneficial for athletes, there are three that stand out from the crowd—all of which are in Ageless Actives. Vitamin D, resveratrol, and co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are compounds that serve more than one purpose in the body. As the name implies, these three bioactives benefit overall health and wellness to keep you active and at your best physically. Here’s why:

Stronger Muscles with Vitamin D

Athletes of all ages and types should be sure to get an adequate amount of vitamin D, or the “sunshine” vitamin. A recent review established the many roles vitamin D has in an athlete’s body, including assisting with faster recovery after intense workouts. (1). Having poor vitamin D status—which is more than one-third of the world’s population according to the latest findings—actually affects muscle strength and protein synthesis due to the vitamin D receptors in muscle tissue (2). Also, through vitamin D’s well-established role in calcium metabolism, it may help protect against injuries such as stress fractures.

With winter just getting started, this is the time of year that falling behind on vitamin D becomes very easy for many people. Especially for athletes who train indoors, supplementing with vitamin D may be the answer. A study involving elite ballerinas found that when they supplemented daily with 2,000 IU of vitamin D during the winter, their muscle strength increased and injury occurrence decreased (3).

Easier, More Energized Workouts with CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is a vitamin-like nutrient that is very important in athletes. Because CoQ10 is needed for cells to make energy, having an optimal amount is critical for ensuring that athletes are able to meet the energy demands of exercise. In addition to helping fuel performance, CoQ10 has also been shown to enhance muscle function and power (4, 5). Supplementing may be particularly important for those taking cholesterol-lowering statins, which interfere with the body’s own ability to create CoQ10. As a result, CoQ10 levels may become depleted in these individuals. In a study last year on male older athletes taking statins, CoQ10 supplementation for six weeks was shown to increase muscle strength, allowing the men to complete more leg extension repetitions (5).

As if these performance-enhancing functions weren’t enough reason to supplement with CoQ10, this amazing compound can also benefit recovery by acting as an antioxidant. When athletes exercise, they place high demands on their bodies. Continuous running and repeated explosive movements can be hard on muscles, tendons, and joints, and the process of making energy to support these activities creates oxidative stress. A certain amount of oxidative stress and tension on muscles and tissues is necessary to signal the body to adapt to the exercise and to become better and stronger. But too much oxidative stress and damage to muscle without proper recovery can be harmful and counterproductive. CoQ10 supplementation before strenuous exercise has been shown to help athletes by decreasing excessive oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby reducing muscle damage and helping accelerate recovery (6).

Faster Muscle Recovery with Resveratrol

Similar to CoQ10, resveratrol has been shown to be a potent antioxidant that can benefit athlete performance in many ways. Studies show that supplementing with resveratrol may improve energy metabolism in the heart and muscle by acting as an antioxidant and helping blood vessels relax, which  improves oxygen delivery to the heart and muscle (7). Better oxygen and nutrient delivery to the heart and working muscle means greater endurance and less fatigue.

Resveratrol acting as an antioxidant can lessen the amount of muscle damage caused by exhaustive exercise and oxidative stress (7). Because of resveratrol’s potent effects, in fact, there was recently some concern that it may actually prevent oxidative stress to the extent that it impairs the ability of the body to adapt to the demands of exercise. However, after reviewing all the research, scientists have generally concluded that the evidence supports resveratrol having positive effects on exercise training (8).

In summary, supplementing with resveratrol in the right amounts reduces excessive muscle damage without interfering with the body’s ability to adapt to face the challenges of training. This, in turn, leads to faster muscle recovery and more opportunities for training.

Ageless Actives for Better Performance

The combination of ingredients in Ageless Actives supplies your body with the foundation it needs to perform at its best. Containing high-quality vitamin D, CoQ10, and resveratrol in optimal amounts, Ageless Actives ensures that your body has the tools to maximize muscle function while speeding up recovery.

References

  1. Moran DS, McClung JP, Kohen T, Lieberman HR. Vitamin d and physical performance. Sports Med 2013;43:601-11.
  2. Hilger J, Friedel A, Herr R et al. A systematic review of vitamin D status in populations worldwide. Br J Nutr 2013;1-23.
  3. Wyon MA, Koutedakis Y, Wolman R, Nevill AM, Allen N. The influence of winter vitamin D supplementation on muscle function and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers: A controlled study. J Sci Med Sport 2013.
  4. Gökbel H et al. The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on performance during repeated bouts of supramaximal exercise in sedentary men. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):97-102.
  5. Deichmann RE et al. Impact of coenzyme Q-10 on parameters of cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle performance in older athletes taking statins. Phys Sportsmed. 2012 Nov;40(4):88-95. doi: 10.3810/psm.2012.11.1991.
  6. Díaz-Castro J et al. Coenzyme Q(10) supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Oct;51(7):791-9. Epub 2011 Oct 12.
  7. Ventura-Clapier R. Potentiating exercise training with resveratrol. J Physiol. 2012 Jul 15;590(Pt 14):3215-6.
  8. McAnulty LS et al.Effect of resveratrol and quercetin supplementation on redox status and inflammation after exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Jul;38(7):760-5.
  9. Smoliga JM, Blanchard OL. Recent data do not provide evidence that resveratrol causes ‘mainly negative’ or ‘adverse’ effects on exercise training in humans. J Physiol. 2013 Oct 15;591(Pt 20):5251-2.