Apart from being physically demanding, motorsports are regarded as one of the most mentally draining sporting events on the planet.
Just imagine driving the world’s fastest cars at incredibly high speeds, knowing very well that one simple mistake could end your life and possibly that of your competitors!
Now combine that with leg strength and upper body endurance needed to control these powerful vehicles. With that said, this is certainly a sport that calls for a lot of fitness and endurance.
It is therefore important for motorsport athletes to ensure that their bodies and minds are in the best shape. That is where supplements come in.
Motorsport athletes often use supplements to energize their bodies through the extended racing hours. They, for instance, use maltodextrin and creatine to replenish their energy systems in order to ensure that they are maintaining maximum muscular strength and endurance where needed.
Additionally, for the purpose of recovery, they take BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) and WPC (whey protein concentrate) all through their days.
So, what are the pros and cons of using these supplements?
Supplements allow you to provide the necessary nutrients to your body without overeating. These particular products have been specially formulated to cater for the nutritional needs of motorsports athletes.
Apart from offering you the strength and endurance needed to win, they also assist your body to recover after a race.
Some supplements even go as far as offering you the extra advantage of alertness, focus and mental awareness needed during the race. This could significantly improve your reaction time on top of providing that elusive added edge.
Significant levels of stamina and endurance are needed to complete a race.
Maintaining your body in one position for extended durations of time is tough on the back, hips, and knees, particularly when the racing track or trail is rugged.
Supplements work to boost your endurance levels and stamina as well. And apart from emerging at the top, building racer endurance is vital for another important reason on the track; avoiding injury.
As an added bonus, supplements also help racers in keeping their bodies fit. Remember, fitness is key for all sorts of athletes; not just racers. They achieve this by providing a fat-burning, cholesterol-lowering, and metabolism-boosting benefit to the body of the racer.
There are some supplements that contain artificial and harmful ingredients. As a racer, you should especially watch out for artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors.
You should also watch out for more dangerous stimulating ingredients such as synephrine, dimethylamylamine (DMAA) and Yohimbe that are usually added to popular supplements.
The use of DMAA in dietary supplements was banned back in 2013 after several reports of illness and even death emerged. Unfortunately, some supplements still contain these harmful substances.
Another disadvantage of using supplements is insomnia. Some of these supplements lower your levels of serotonin, which in turn has a negative impact on sleep.
Branched-chain amino acids, which are commonly used by motorsports athletes for the sole purpose of recovery, might obstruct protein metabolism if taken in excess.
The building block of proteins are amino acids and BCAAs are a type of amino acids that are involved in homeostasis and protein folding. However, consuming too much of these amino acids per day might interfere with protein metabolism which could eventually result in other issues.
Last but not least, enjoying these supplements comes at a cost. Most of these supplements tend to be expensive. And the worst part is that they might not even work for you.
Supplements are one great way of improving your performance on the racing track. They have been found to have several benefits to the user, which had made them quite popular among motorsport athletes.
Apart from boosting your stamina and endurance levels, they also improve alertness and mental awareness. They are also useful when it comes to recovery after a race.
Nonetheless, that is not to say that they do not have a few negatives associated with them. Some are manufactured using dangerous ingredients and others can even lead to insomnia.
All in all, the benefits of using supplements as a motorsport athlete outweigh the negatives. Just ensure that you are using high-quality products from well-known manufacturers.