Science to super-charge your fitness
It’s time to see if you can dial up your fitness even further, to reach your peak performance level. A great way to do this is to get scientific about it, and look into supplements.
We’ve taken a look at four different supplements, and their ability to offer marginal gains – that’s the 1% margin for improvement in everything you do.
This ability to achieve small but significant improvements goes beyond training and equipment use to include diet, sleep and nutrition. So: how can supplements bring marginal gains to your fitness, and which should you go for? We looked at a study of a male athlete in his mid-thirties, cycling 20km first without supplements, then on four separate occasions with a different supplement each time. These were:
1. Isotonic gel – one SiS GO Isotonic gel packet, taken one hour before trial.
2. Caffeine – 4mg/kg, taken one hour before trial.
3. Nitrate (or, in other words, beetroot juice!) – 400mg, taken one hour before trial.
4. Beta alanine – 1.5g taken between meals, on the two days leading up to the trial. Interestingly, while the nitrate and isotonic gel each allowed the athlete to beat his PB by 1%, caffeine and beta alanine shaved 2% off his time.
How do caffeine and beta alanine help you achieve these results? In short, they keep you energised. Caffeine reduces feelings of exertion during endurance exercise, while beta alanine slowing down feelings of fatigue. This allows for an increase in both power and speed, for an overall performance boost. All the more reason for that pre-workout coffee to get things off to a great start!