Legal Ergogenic Aids Key Knowledge Legal substances and methods that enhance performance including mechanical devices such as altitude training, and nutritional aids such as specialised sports foods and supplements Key skills Compare and contrast practices designed to enhance performance and/or speed up recovery Analyse and evaluate nutritional and hydration procedures used to enhance individual performance and recovery Participate in and evaluate a range of nutritional, physiological or psychological strategies that potentially enhance performance and aid recovery Ergogenic aids Ergogenic aids are methods, devices or substances that enhance athletic performance. They can be used in competition, training and recovery How do they enhance performance? influencing the physiological capacity of a particular body system (e.g. use of creatine supplementation to increase creatine stores in the muscle for replenishment of ATP) removing physiological constraints that impact on performance (e.g. use of diuretics to reduce body weight so the athlete is lighter or makes a weight category) increasing the speed of recovery (e.g. use of compression garments to increase blood flow and removal of wastes). Catagories of Ergogenic aids mechanical — devices including heart rate monitors, weights, sports clothing and footwear, and equipment nutritional — food sources including caffeine, creatine and sports drinks pharmacological — synthetically produced drugs including anabolic steroids, beta blockers and amphetamines physiological — practices and use of naturally occurring products including blood doping, EPO, human growth hormone psychological — methods including imagery, meditation, music, relaxation Your turn! Define the term ergogenic aid. List the five categories of ergogenic aids and include three examples for each category. . Identify the ways ergogenic aids are thought to improve performance. For each way identified in part (a), suggest types of athletes who may use ergogenic aids to gain these improvements. . Mechanical aids Training methods Aerobic Anaerobic Interval Fartlek Circuit Devices HR monitors Resistance devices e.g weights Computers Altitude tents Compression garments Clothing and footwear Altitude Training Altitude training is training at a level 1500m above sea level to improve the bodies oxygen carrying capacity. It is a legal training method thought to induce changes to the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, increasing the delivery to and use of oxygen by the muscles. It can then improve performance at sea level. How does altitude training help? At altitude, there is a lower level of oxygen present in the air and the body must adapt to this reduced oxygen level. Physiological changes that occur with acclimatisation include: increase in the number of capillaries increase in the production of red blood cells (RBC) increase in buffering capacity (especially waste removal) changes in the microscopic structure and function of muscles, including an increase in the number of mitochondria, the amount of myoglobin and the activity of oxidative enzymes. Disadvantages of altitude training The increase in red blood cells makes blood thicker, reducing the speed of blood flow At very high altitudes (greater than 5000 metres' elevation), weight loss occurs, the immune system can weaken and, due to the lower level of oxygen, the body cannot exercise as intensely as at sea level. Altitude sickness Altitude tents Are specially designed tents that reduce the amount of oxygen inside the tent. They athletes can train or sleep inside these tents. Nutritional aids Dietary supplements are food or prepartions that are taken in excess of normal diet to increase the nutrients available. Athletes however must be careful to adhere to antidoping regulations Types of supplements Specialised sports foods. Address specific nutriotional needs such as sports drinks or gels. They are practical and convenient. Vitamin and mineral supplements. Athletes should not need these if they have a sufficient diet. May be used in special cases such as iron and calcium supplements for female endurance athletes Nutritional ergogenic aids. Benefit competition or recovery such as caffeine, creatine and bicarbonate. Further reading “AIS guide to supplement grouping Your turn Explain the various ways athletes can legally enhance their performance. Define what constitutes a dietary supplement. . Define the term altitude training. Identify the proposed physiological benefits of altitude training for an athlete. Identify and discuss three sports or events where athletes would benefit from altitude training. . Discuss why an athlete might use a mechanical aid in addition to normal training. Provide specific examples. Dietary supplements can be divided into three broad groups. List and outline each of the groups, including examples. Suggest athletes or sports that might use these supplements. . Use the internet to research a mechanical aid or device. Find out the following information and present your findings to the class. Name of the mechanical aid or device Common manufacturers and cost How the aid or device will benefit the athlete Athletes and training methods the aid or device are suited for How to use the aid or device Any other useful information (i.e. training tips) Nutritional aids : Sports drinks Have the most potential to improve performance. Can be taken during or after exercise. Contain 6-8% CHO, sodium and pottasium to refuel. The taste of the sports drinks also boosts fluid consumption. Athletes more closely match sweat losses when ingesting sports drinks. Nutrtional aids : Electrolyte replacement supplements Can replace electrolytes following moderate to large fluid losses during exercise e.g ultramarathon Without sufficient electrolyte replacement, thirst will decrease and urine output will increase, both of which will lead to further dehydration. Can be used at the end of the event if the athlete does not feel like eating Gastrolyte Nutritional aids : Carbohydrate gels and bars These gels and bars are compact, solid source of carbs designed to deliver large boost of fuel. They are easily consumed and digested quickly. More concentrated than sports drinks Carbohydrate gels and bars are most effective when consumed: as a supplement during prolonged training sessions as a supplement for athletes with high energy demands as an effective post-exercise recovery supplement as an effective recovery supplement used during multievent competitions as a replacement snack or meal when making weigh-ins for specific events. Nutrional aids : Liquid-meal supplements Liquid-meal supplements are usually high carb, mod protein, low fat formula you can mix with water or milk. Liquid-meal supplements are a great source of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. This compact form of energy is especially useful for athletes who are aiming to increase their lean body mass, coping with demanding training programs or undergoing growth spurts. Liquid-meal supplements are also useful as a postexercise recovery snack. Supplement Form Composition 5–7 per cent CHO Sports drink Powder Liquid 10–25 mmol/L sodium Sport-related use •Optimum delivery of fluid + CHO during exercise •Post-exercise rehydration •Post-exercise refuelling Supplement Form Composition 60–70 per cent CHO Sports gel (25 g per Gel 30–40 g sachet) sachets or larger tubes Some contain medium-chain triglycerides or caffeine Sport-related use •Supplements high-CHO training diet •CHO loading •Post-exercise recovery — provides CHO •CHO source during exercise, especially when CHO needs exceed fluid requirements Supplement High CHO supplement Form Composition 10–25 per cent CHO Powder Liquid (+ some B vitamins) Sport-related use •Supplements high-CHO training diet •CHO loading •Post-exercise CHO recovery — provides CHO (may be used during exercise when CHO needs exceed fluid requirements) Supplement Form Composition 1–1.5 kcal/mL 15–20 per cent protein Liquid meal supplement Powder (mix with water or milk) Liquid 50–70 per cent CHO Low–moderate fat Vitamins/miner als: 0.5–1 L supplies RDI* Sport-related use •Supplements highenergy/CHO/nu trient diet (especially during heavy training/compet ition or weight gain) •Low-bulk meal replacement (especially preevent meal) •Post-exercise recovery — provides CHO, protein and micronutrients •Portable nutrition for travelling Supplemement Form Composition 40–50 g CHO 5–10 g protein Usually low in fat Sports bar Bar (50–60 g) Vitamins/miner als: can supply 50–100 per cent of RDI May contain creatine, amino acids Sport related use •CHO source during exercise •Post-exercise recovery — provides CHO, protein and micronutrients •Supplements highenergy/CHO/nu trient diet •Portable nutrition for travelling athlete Vitamin and Mineral supplements Vitamins, which assist chemical reactions in the body (and thus help to release energy from food) Minerals, which are important in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, fluid balance and enzyme activity, are a very important part of an athlete's diet. Injection of vitamin supplements to aid performance The injecting of vitamin supplements to aid performance and assist in recovery from exercise bouts would appear to be widespread at almost all levels of professional sport. The practice is neither illegal nor banned. Iron can be supplemented as it helps to carry oxygen around the body. Calcium can be supplemented as it is important for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, enzyme activity and blood clotting. Neither is needed to be supplemented if your diet is sufficient Further reading “Powders, Pills and Potions of the stars” Nutritional ergogenic aids Nutritional ergogenic aids benefit performance and/or recovery from exercise. Research has found that the benefits of very few socalled nutritional ergogenic aids are actually supported by scientific evidence and as such these aids should be used with caution. There is, however, sound evidence that caffeine can enhance endurance and performance of: short-duration, high-intensity events of 1–5 minutes prolonged high-intensity events of 20–60 minutes endurance events of a minimum of 90 minutes prolonged intermittent, high-intensity team or racquet sports. This is most likely due to a reduced feeling of fatigue in the athlete. How much caffeine? Caffeine doses of 1–3 milligrams per kilogram BM or 70–200 milligrams have proven to be beneficial in prolonged exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes. More than this can cause skill impairment and overarousal. Caffeine Food or drink Serve content (mg) *The caffeine content of tea and coffee varies widely, depending on the brand, the way that the individual makes their cup of tea or coffee, and the size of their mug or cup. Instant coffee 250 mL cup 60 (12–169)* Brewed coffee 250 mL cup 80 (40–110)* Tea 250 mL cup 27 (9–51)* Chocolate (milk) 60 g 5–15 Chocolate (dark) 60 g 10–50 Coca Cola 375 mL can 49 Red Bull energy drink 250 mL can 80 V energy drink 250 mL can 50 Mother energy drink 500 mL can 160 PowerBar caffeinated sports gel 40 g sachet 25 1 tablet — Australia 100 1 tablet — USA 200 No Doz Creatine Natural compound in skeletal muscle. Created through intake of fish, poultry and red meats. Also made in kidneys. Creatine monohydrate is the commonly supplemented form of creatine. The use of CP is used to resynthesize ATP in short high intensity events. Supplementing Creatine can increase stores within the muscle. creatine supplementation will enhance performance involving repeated sprints or bouts of high-intensity, short-duration activity separated by short recovery intervals of less than 1 minute. It is also recommended for developed, elite athletes who use resistance training to increase lean body mass, or for team athletes who participate in intermittent sports such as netball, football or racquet sports. Rapid loading protocol — 20 grams daily (4 × 5-gram doses) for a total of five days. This protocol is linked to weight gain, usually in the form of fluid retenti on. Slow loading protocol — smaller doses (3 grams) ingested each day. There have been some side effects on the liver and kidneys if too much creatine is taken. Bicarbonate Bicarbonate increases the body's ability to dispose of excess hydrogen ions that are produced during anaerobic glycolysis. Bicarbonate loading acts as a buffer within the muscle, reducing the fatiguing effect of hydrogen on the functioning of the muscle. It is relevant to highintensity events lasting between 1 and 7 minutes. Acute bicarbonate loading — 300 milligrams per kilogram BM dose ingested 1–2 hours prior to the session. Chronic bicarbonate loading — 500 milligrams per kilogram BM dose ingested per day over five days and split into four doses over the day. Outline why nutritional ergogenic aids should be used with caution. Define the term creatine. List food sources containing creatine. . For each of the ergogenic aids mentioned in this section, describe: how they are thought to enhance performance how much should be consumed any side-effects athletes that would benefit from taking the supplement. Read the article ‘Can caffeine improve sports performance’ and summarise the key elements of the article by answering the following questions. Why is caffeine classified as a drug? Where could an athlete access caffeine? How is caffeine thought to enhance performance? For each of the benefits of caffeine listed in the article, suggest types of athletes for whom the benefit would be particularly relevant. Identify reasons why athletes might choose not to use caffeine prior to an event.