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Strength and Power

Author:Britt Maughan R.D.
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Strength and Power

Strength and Power

As a CrossFit coach, I’ve come to see firsthand the importance of supplements that can help boost performance by increasing strength and power. There are so many products on the market, and most athletes (no matter what the sport) are always looking for a way to make them stronger and more powerful. This is a major benefit to the cyclist doing a long ride with heavy incline, the CrossFitter trying to beat a personal record in time and weights, or the runner doing an endurance event. No matter what your sport, strength and power can be a strong ally in achieving optimum performance. 

When we talk about strength and power, we are talking about the strength of your muscles and your muscle’s capacity to exert force and/or speed.  We carry products that are designed to increase strength and power by doing a few things including: supporting muscle growth and rebuilding, reducing muscle fatigue, and increasing oxygen delivery - allowing you to go longer, harder, and faster. Below is a list of ingredients often used in these products, and how they work to deliver increased power and strength. Many products contain a combination of these ingredients. 

Muscle Growth & Rebuilding

Creatine: Creatine is one of most researched and most highly documented supplements that is 100% proven to benefit strength, anaerobic performance, and muscle performance (muscle mass and muscle energy). Supplementing with creatine is beneficial during pre-workout, recovery and rest days. Taken as a pre-workout, creatine helps to increase exercise capacity and increases muscle power output. This can be highly beneficial for both strength and endurance athletes. Examples of products that feature creatine include Proven Nutrition’s CREA-HCL, SFH Strong and Klean Athlete Creatine. 

BCAA:  These are branched chain amino acids and are directly related to muscle building and maintenance. BCAAs also help to prevent muscle breakdown during rigorous exercise. BCAAs are referring to the three essential amino acids - leucine, valine, and isoleucine. Read a full article on BCAAs here. Examples of products featuring BCAAs include Klean BCAA + Peak ATP, Propello Life Rejuvenating Aminos, and Recovery Amino Power. 

Testosterone Boosters:
  We carry products that include ingredients (such as D-Aspartic Acid) that act as testosterone boosters that increase your body’s natural production of testosterone - bringing your ‘’T’’ levels to a healthy range. While it’s common to associate testosterone supplementation for men alone, testosterone is a hormone produced by both men and women - and boosting your body’s natural production of this hormone can aid in performance for both men and women. Testosterone signals the body to make new blood cells and helps to support bone and muscle strength. Products that contain natural testosterone boosters include Mdrive Elite, Mdrive Workforce, and Proven Nutrition’s D-AA.

Glutamine: This amino acid helps support the body’s production and regulation of human-growth hormone, which helps accelerate the rate of muscle growth. Other benefits include digestive health, immune health, and antioxidant defense. An example of this would be SFH Strong, Propello Life Rejuvenating Aminos, CARBOPRO Recovery Amino Power, and AMINOPURE Sport L-glutamine Powder. 

Reduced Muscle Fatigue & Increased Oxygen Delivery

Ashwagandha: A root traditionally used in India as a general tonic and ''adaptogen''. It offers antioxidant properties, supports a healthy immune system, and is used by athletes to help improve cardiorespiratory endurance, increase power output and reduce time to fatigue. Research has shown that using this root can help increase VO2 max values. Examples of products that use this root include Mdrive Workforce and Mdrive Elite.

Beta Alanine:  Beta alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that has been shown to improve muscle endurance, reduce lactic acid burn, and increase muscle recovery. Beta alanine is most often used in pre-workout supplements and is the cause of the ‘’tingly sensation’’ (aka paresthesia) you may feel. This is harmless and can be avoided by taking smaller doses (0.8-1g) throughout the day.

Beta alanine is a beneficial supplement to use not only for pre-workout, but during workouts, recovery, and on rest days. This amino acid is a precursor for carnosine which helps buffer acidity (fights the ‘’burn’’) and removes lactic acid from muscles - this allows you to work longer and harder and speeds up recovery. Taking products with beta alanine during recovery and on rest days continues to offer these benefits, and helps you feel recovered faster. An example of a product that features beta alanine is Proven Nutrition’s BETA – which is a great product that can be mixed into your favorite sports drink before, during, and after workouts. Other products that feature beta alanine include Enduro Bites Beta Red, SFH PUSH and Hammer Nutrition's Fully Charged. 

Citrulline Malate: This is a naturally occurring amino acid that is scientifically shown to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Citrulline Malate can be used for pre-workout, during workout, recovery, and rest days. As it works to increase blood flow, it increases nutrient and oxygen delivery to the muscles and allows you to workout longer and harder. It also delays fatigue - and when used during recovery and rest days, helps to improve muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness. Examples of products that feature this amino acid include Proven Nutrition’s CITRULLINE and Propello Life’s Rejuvenating Aminos.

Bottom Line
Increasing your strength and power can give you a competitive advantage and help you achieve optimum performance - no matter what your sport. These products are designed to support muscle growth and recovery, delay muscle fatigue, and increase oxygen delivery – all of which help to increase your overall strength and power. 

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