Ergogenic Aids, which is basically another word for supplements, simply means "work producing". It is natural for people to do their own research prior to exercising, and for them to believe in all they read when it comes to supplements and more. In reality, this does not stand true and money can be wasted quite easily.
Our bodies react to two specific "True Ergogenic Aids". The reason I used the word "true" is because chemically and scientifically, these are the supplements that our body can process and actually use.
Creatine: Creatine tends to carry a bad reputation to many people in their belief that they'll gain massive amounts of water weight and become bloated. The water weight gained is at the cellular level which is where ATP (Adenosine-Tri-Phosphate) is created; ATP is the body's source of energy. Creatine rapidly increases the body's ability to increase its production of ATP, along with the ability to hold water in cells. The increase of water into the cells allows the muscle to grow.
- Creatine works directly with immediate energy system.
- The immediate energy system contains fast twitch muscle fibers, which results in short bursts of energy. In other words, creatine's major function is strength increase.
- Improves repetitive performance in muscular strength and short term power activities.
- Augments short bursts of muscular endurance.
- Provides greater muscular overload to enhance training effectiveness.
The chemical reaction in the body is:
ADP--> PC ---> ATP + C
Creatine Kinase allows the change from ADP-ATP.
The loading phase of creatine involves ingesting 20-30g of creatine daily for 5-7 days. (This can be done in smaller increments - this is just the fastest and most effective way to load)
Following the loading phase comes the maintenance phase. During the maintenance phase, you need to maintain with 2-5g of creatine per day.
Creatine is safe. Many people believe it is connected with compartment syndrome, which has not been proven true.
Creatine is also used in concussion patients to renew their brain creatine that has been lost from a concussion.
Caffeine: The other True Ergogenic Aid is caffeine. Habitual caffeine users will see fewer benefits from caffeine use and their improved workouts.
- Caffeine has many benefits when used for working out.
- Caffeine may act directly on adipose or peripheral vascular tissues. (This means it allows your body to use fat as an energy source, reserving your bodies energy.)
- Indirectly by stimulating epinephrine release by the Adrenal Medulla.
- Directing by inhibiting adenosine receptors in muscle, which normally inhibit fatty acid oxidation.
- Increased calcium release into the muscle cells, causing increased cell excitability. (Muscle contraction)
Caffeine works in your nervous system to keep you stimulated, alert and focused on your workout. Soon, I'll write about supplements and how the body reacts and utilizes to them.