There are many sports that require high levels of physical fitness, but even among this group, soccer stands out. Although hockey players or basketball players arguably run more consistently than a soccer player, the fact that substitutions are limited and that games run 90 minutes mean that players can find themselves on the move for an hour and a half with hardly any break at all. Naturally, this long-term exertion takes its toll, which is why many soccer players turn to supplements for the nutritional support their bodies need to stay healthy and get stronger after exercise. Of course, there are tons of different kinds of supplements out there, from the traditional protein powders to more modern amino acid supplements, but what supplements should soccer players take? To find out, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® – makers of BCAA supplements for soccer players – take a diving header into this topic.
Popular Supplements for Soccer Players
For soccer players, as with any athlete, choosing the ideal supplement will first require identifying the particular need of the individual – in other words, what the supplement will be used for. The characteristics and benefits of a mid-workout supplement can differ greatly from those of post-workout recovery supplements, and those meant for use after a trip to the gym may not be the same as those used during or after a soccer game. Below, we’ll look at some of the common uses of supplements for soccer players and cover a few of the best options out there.
Using Supplements Before or During Soccer Games
As you’re probably aware, the priorities for nutritional support during a soccer game are different than those after a workout. Those in the middle of a game need energy to help them keep up with their opponents and protection to keep from damaging their muscles under the intense physical and chemical stressors imposed by soccer. To keep from being slowed down, heavier supplements that take more time to digest, such as protein powders, should be avoided, especially if they contain sugar.
Products made with caffeine may be a good choice right before or during a game, as they can provide a spike in energy, but caffeine won’t protect the muscles, and it can come with some unpleasant side effects. Depending on your needs, amino acid supplements like aminoVITAL®’s Action mid-workout mix may be the best option, since the BCAAs in these supplements can be oxidized in the muscles for use as energy and will shield them from damage, but it’s worth noting that the energy boost isn’t as intense as what you’d get with caffeine; it is, however, smoother and without the side effects of caffeine.
One additional benefit of amino acids – in particular, the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs – that will appeal to soccer players is the ability to fight fatigue. By limiting the amount of tryptophan (another amino acid) that gets into the brain, BCAAs can stop the buildup of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of tiredness and exercise-related fatigue1. In effect, this means that amino acids can help you stay energized, even well into the second half of the game.
Supplements for After a Soccer Game or Workout
Once their game has ended or their workout has finished, a soccer player’s body will need a little help to get back to its peak level of performance and repair the damage caused during the game. At this point, the ideal qualities for a supplement include an ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis – the process by which the body repairs and reinforces the muscles – and reduce soreness; additionally, your post-soccer supplement should be able to restore the body’s fuel reserves.
It’s here that some soccer players choose to use protein powder, an option that has proven effective at building new strength and muscle mass over time. If you’re trying to bulk up, this may be the supplement for you, since many protein supplements contain well over a hundred calories per scoop and are often high in sugar – two factors that can help with gaining mass. Those looking to stay lean, however, may want to consider amino acid supplements like aminoVITAL®’s Rapid Recovery post-workout mix. These products offer many of the same benefits as traditional protein-based supplements, including the ability to boost gains and repair damaged tissues, but they offer some other advantages as well.
For instance, post-workout amino acid supplements tend to be much lower in calories than a scoop of protein, which can help soccer players stay lean while still building muscle, and they take effect much more quickly, since the free-form amino acids they contain require next to no digestion before entering the bloodstream. The amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL® also help the body replenish its stores of glycogen – the main source of fuel during exercise – by providing a few grams of carbs, and the inclusion of glutamine helps to reduce soreness. Ultimately, the decision of what supplement a soccer player should take will depend on their individual circumstances and fitness goals, but amino acid-based products offer some significant benefits that are definitely worth considering.
Try an Amino Acid Supplement for Soccer Players from aminoVITAL®
Whether you’re a speedy forward or stout defender, any soccer player can benefit from the inclusion of amino acid supplements in their exercise routine. To learn more about how the BCAA supplements from aminoVITAL® can help you improve your performance on the field, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.