Ergogenic aid :: a supplement that enhances physical performance while training or competing.
These products may improve athletic performance in a couple of different ways. They have often been studied in the context of immediate performance enhancement, and many use them for that purpose. Furthermore, chronic use of certain ergogenic aids may influence long term adaptations to endurance training, meaning the accumulated changes that result from exercise sessions.
Sounds great, right? But bear in mind that different ergogenic aids work in different ways. And it’s important to note that the effects are not always beneficial. In fact, some substances that are purported to function as ergogenic aids may lessen the training stimulus, so you get less benefit for the effort you’re putting out. What you consume, and when you choose to take it, matters. This guide reviews some of the most well researched supplements purported to enhance performance, and includes information on dosing and other important factors.
Adaptive changes from exercise, such as gains in strength and endurance, arise as follows:
Dietary intake of certain substances can, in theory, affect training adaptations by altering any of these points in the stimulus-to-adaptation process.
For instance, they may make harder exercise feel easier thereby enabling an athlete to train longer or harder. As a result, the athlete can increase the exercise stimulus more easily than without the supplement. In fact, the primary mechanism through which many ergogenics work their magic is by allowing greater training intensity or duration.
Another way some ergogenic aids work is by altering cellular responses to exercise-induced stress. These changes in cell signaling could either increase or inhibit endurance training adaptations.