Nutritional ergogenic aid (NEA)

For thousands of years people have been using substances to improve their physical performance. Substances that are used to improve physical performance are collectively referred to as “ergogenics,” a term derived from a Greek phrase meaning “work production”.

Ergogenic aids are substances, devices, or practices that enhance sports performance. Ergogenic aids may be divided into the following categories: mechanical aids (such as special clothing and equipment), nutritional aids (such as sports drinks), physiological aids (such as blood transfusions), pharmacological aids (such as steroids), and psychological aids (such as meditation).

A nutritional ergogenic aid (NEA) is defined as those nutritional supplements taken orally containing a nutritional ingredient that intends to complement diet. The objective of these supplements is to improve sports performance without exerting harmful effects on the individual.

Types of nutritional ergogenic aid
*Metabolic fuels: carbohydrate, protein, pyruvate, lactate, fat, caffeine, branched chain amino acids, etc.
*Limiting cellular components: creatine, carnitine, vitamins, phosphate, NaHCO3- , etc.
*Anabolic or stimulatory substances: protein, chromium, vanadium, dichloroacetate, ephedrine, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutarate (HMB), Androstenedione, Dehydroepiandrostenedione, caffeine, etc.
*Anti-Catabolic: anti-oxidants, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutarate (HMB), etc.

Creatine is perhaps the most widely used supplement in sport at the moment. Studies have consistently shown that creatine supplementation can increase muscle creatine phosphate levels and, there is much evidence that performance of short-term high-intensity exercise can be improved by supplementation.

Caffeine can also improve performance, in part by a stimulation of fatty acid mobilization and sparing of the body's limited carbohydrate stores, but also via direct effects on muscle and possibly by central nervous system effects on the perception of effort and fatigue.
Nutritional ergogenic aid (NEA)

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