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Overall Information

Every athlete requires good nutrition in order to achieve optimal performance. Performance can be affected by nutritional practice which includes composition, amount and timing of food intake. Sometimes an intake of dietary supplements is required in order to prevent a deficiency in a specific nutrient.

A healthy and balanced diet should provide the needed amount of vitamins and minerals. Supplements should be taken only if necessary since they may sometimes be harmful and cause certain medical conditions. Supplements may also affect the results of different drugs tests, because they sometimes may be contaminated with some of the banned substances.

Supplement manufacture is not subjected to the same strict labeling and manufacturing requirements as is the medicine manufacture. It is a good idea to always consult the doctor before taking any herbal or nutritional supplements.

Herbal and Nutritional Supplements

It is not advised to use minerals and vitamins because they may be contaminated with certain prohibited substances. Those who still want to purchase some of these supplements should only buy supplements produced by reputable brands. Ginseng is another popular supplement and it can be purchased in numerous different varieties and forms.

It is beneficial in reducing fatigue, improving the immune functions, improving concentration and slowing down the process of aging. Some products may also be contaminated with certain types of prohibited substances. Ma huang is another supplement that originates from China. It is efficient in improving weight loss and increasing the energy. But it also contains some banned substances and it can also be harmful because it causes certain side effects in some cases.

Those include insomnia, stroke, high blood pressure, nervousness, seizures, tachycardia, stroke, cardiac arrest and in some cases it may even be fatal. Creatine may come in handy for those in need of short bursts of energy boost. It can be a safe substance if consumed in moderate doses. Once again, some creatine monohydrate products may contain certain types of banned substances. Amino acids are among the most common supplements and they are usually associated with bodybuilding.

They pose the same risks of getting contaminated with banned substances as any other type of supplements. Caffeine is a supplement known for the benefits of improving endurance. It is also efficient in improving reaction time, alertness and attention span. The effect of caffeine differs from person to person, so there is a possibility of experiencing certain side effects.

These may include headache, increased heart rate, nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, irritability, trembling, insomnia, delirious seizures, peptic ulceration, arrhythmia, and coma. Another popular supplement is called pseudoephedrine. It may be contaminated with some of the banned sometimes and can sometimes cause certain side effects as well.

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