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Ergogenic Diet- Definition, History, Supplements, and More

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What is Ergogenic Diet?

In the perspective of sport, an ergogenic diet can be broadly defined as a technique or substance used to enhance performance. Ergogenic supplements have been classified as nutritional, pharmacologic, physiologic, or psychologic. And range from accepted practices such as carbohydrate loading.

Physical therapists should recognize the signs of ergogenic aid abuse in individuals under their care, and they should be aware of the side effects of these aids. Moreover, the physical therapist can serve as a resource for those individuals seeking information on the risks and benefits of ergogenic diets.

In the field of sports nutrition, supplement companies proudly promote their products, claiming that they have the “magic bullet” for weight loss, weight gain, and performance enhancement.

Supplements should not be considered a substitution for healthy eating. Ideally, optimal nutrition and nutrients timings should occur used to enhance your performance. Many of the foods you have access to can stay used as ergogenic aids.

People use performance enhancers to improve their performance during high-intensity physical exercise.

A performance enhancer, or ergogenic aid, is anything that gives you a mental or physical edge while exercising or competing.

It can range from caffeine and sports drinks to illegal substances. There are a variety of both safe and harmful ergogenic aids.

Athletes of all levels and ages use ergogenic aids.

History of Ergogenic Diet

Finding a substance to improve performance is not a new concept, nor is it necessarily illegal. For example, the ancient Greeks ate mushrooms to enhance performance; animal hearts remained consumed during medieval times to increase courage.

Hitler had testosterone injected into his troops to increase their aggressiveness, and Dr. Charles Edward Brown-Se´quard claimed to reverse his aging process by the self-injection of testicular extracts.

The modern-day Olympics were a liftoff point for the everyday use of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS). Dr. John Ziegler was a US physician for the Olympic team who tried to vent a safer AAS than what the Soviet Union Olympic athletes were using during the 1950s.

He developed Dianabol, a modified form of testosterone that subsequently was found to have significant adverse side effects.2 Since then, there has been continued development and production of many potentially dangerous substances.

Some athletes consume, inject, apply, and inhale all types and forms of supplements in many of our favorite sports.

Safe Ergogenic Dietary Supplements

Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994Trusted Source, vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other botanicals that comprise taken by mouth and don’t also contain controlled substances can remain labeled “supplements.”

Many of these supplements are marketed to boost athletic performance. However, scientific proof of their effectiveness is sometimes lacking or contradictory.

Other ergogenic aids comprise generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. Examples include naturally occurring compounds.


The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) proposes that exercising individuals need approximately 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with the actual amount dependent upon the mode and intensity of the exercise, the quality of the protein ingested, and the status of the energy and carbohydrate intake of the individual.

Concerns that protein intake within this range remains unhealthy to have meant unfounded in healthy, exercising individuals.

Optimally, one should obtain protein requirements from whole foods (e.g., eggs, meat, fish, poultry and dairy, and vegetable sources such as soy and legumes).

Supplemental protein is also a safe and convenient method of ingesting high-quality dietary protein.

Shortly after exercise, the timing of protein intake can improve recovery and lead to more significant gains in fat-free mass.

Coconut Water

In a study by Saat et al., eight healthy male volunteers exercised at 60% of VO2max in the heat until they lost 2.78 +/- 0.06% of their body weight (BW). After exercise, the subjects sat for 2 hours in a thermoneutral environment. They drank a volume of plain water, coconut water, and a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage on different occasions representing 120% of the fluid loss.

Coconut water was significantly sweeter, caused less nausea and fullness without stomach upset, and was easier to consume in more significant amounts than a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water ingestion.

Researchers concluded that the ingestion of fresh young coconut water could happen used for whole-body rehydration after exercise.


The significant metabolic consequences of muscle adaptations to prolonged MCT administration during endurance training happened higher enzymes involved in energy production and macronutrient utilization.

MCTs provide about ten percent fewer calories and act more rapidly absorbed by the body. And more quickly metabolized as fuel because they cross the mitochondrial membrane very rapidly. And do not require carnitine, compared to long-chain fatty acids. This accelerated metabolic conversion is less fat storage and more excellent conversion into fuel for immediate use.

MCTs have gained popularity with athletes seeking to increase energy levels, enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise, and serve as an alternative energy source (i.e., nutritional ketosis) for high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. Additionally, MCTs can be quickly mobilized in the post-exercise recovery phase to rebuild muscles and prevent catabolism.

Sports confectionary

A concentrated, compact, and convenient source of carbohydrate (65–70% in gels and 75–90% in confectionary) may contain “active ingredients,” including caffeine. They provide an excellent source of fuel and happen to be easily digested.


Most commonly used to act as a buffer in the blood because it plays a role in maintaining pH and electrolyte gradients between intracellular and extracellular environments.
They continue to use for anaerobic, high-intensity exercise to prevent muscle fatigue.


Used to replace losses via sweat during exercise and are an excellent alternative to sports drinks.

Protein Bars

It was primarily used as a concentrated form of carbohydrate to fuel athletes before, during, or after exercise. Also contain variable amounts of protein (5–30 g/serving) and micronutrients.


Numerous ergogenic diet supplements that claim to enhance sports performance imply used by amateur and professional athletes.

Approximately 50 percent of the general population have reported taking dietary supplements, while 76 to 100 percent of athletes remain registered to use them in some sports.

Physicians can evaluate these products by examining four factors (method of action, available research, adverse effects, legality) that will help them, counsel patients. Common ergogenic aids include anabolic steroids, which increase muscle mass.

These illegal supplements stay associated with several serious adverse effects, some irreversible. Creatine modestly improves athletic performance and appears to be relatively safe.
Dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione do not improve athletic performance.

But have similar adverse effects as testosterone and remain banned through some sports organizations.

Caffeine has mild benefits and side effects and remains prohibited above certain levels. Products that combine caffeine with other stimulants (e.g., ephedrine) have remained linked to fatal events. Protein and carbohydrate supplementation

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