My Fitness Diary 6: Natural Performance Enhancers
|When all's said and done, there's no substitute for a healthy diet!|
- Beetroot Juice: A study has recently shown that drinking beetroot juice can result in increased endurance.
- Peppermint aroma: Sniffing peppermint oil has been shown to reduce perceived physical workload and fatigue, resulting in increased running speed, hand-grip strength and number of pushups.
- Co-enzyme Q10: This natural supplement plays a role in producing energy at a cellular level, converting calories to ATP (the form of energy the body uses to do physical work.)
- Caffeine: There is a legal limit on the amount of caffeine consumption allowed in competitive sports, and caffeine is perhaps not the most innocuous of substances, but nevertheless, it is well-known as an endurance-enhancer which delays the onset of muscle fatigue.
- Antioxidants: The flavonoids found in fresh fruit and vegetables, combat free radical damage (which is why foods high in antioxidants are often called "superfoods"). These antioxidants reduce the pain and inflammation brought on by exertion during strenuous excercise.
- Resveratrol: This is found in the skin of red grapes and other fruits (but before you reach for that glass of wine, be warned that it contains very little of the stuff!) It can also be synthesised chemically and is sold as a supplement, in which form it is mainly derives from Japanese knotweed, that invasive "pest" plant that is being eradicated from English parks and gardens (so it is good for something, after all...) It had been shown to enhance heart function and muscle strength in high doses, and it also helps prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Disclaimer: I have not personally tested out any of these, so I cannot recommend their use. If you want to try them out, be sure you know the correct amounts to take.
Personally, I think that a diet rich in plenty of water, fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and nuts will actually be the best aid to anyone's excercise program. There's just no substitute for a body fuelled on pure and natural health-enhancing foods!