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Introduction to Athlete Health

At any level, time lost through injury or illness can have a negative impact on performance. Missing training days, not being able to meet the physiological demands of training sessions and ill health come race-day all reduce an individual’s chances of being at their best.

 

In elite environments, taking care of athlete health is part of the day-to-day routine and this should be the same at all levels, independent of competitive level. The Science in Sport Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements range has been formulated in partnership with Team Sky, to deliver the highest quality, Informed Sport tested VMS range. Discover the full range below:

 



Omega 3

 

Science in Sport Super Strength Omega 3 contains 2g fish oil per serving, providing 1000mg EPA and 500mg DHA. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, some seeds and nuts. Of these fatty acids, two are important when supplementing with fish oil: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both EPA and DHA are building blocks of immune cells and act as inflammatory mediators (1, 2). It is well known that there is an inflammatory response to exercise and prolonged, heavy training can cause immunosuppression (1, 2, 3). Including a daily dose of omega 3 can support in normal immune function both post-exercise (1) and in athlete populations (2). Additionally, omega 3 supplementation may reduce muscle soreness following exercise (4) and support cardiovascular health (5, 6, 7).

 

Omega 3 + Astaxanthin

 

Science in Sport Omega 3 + Astaxanthin is formulated with 1800mg total omega 3, providing 900mg EPA and 600mg DHA, 3.6mg of astaxanthin and vitamins A, D, E and K. Astaxanthin displays anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Dietary astaxanthin has shown an enhanced immune response, a reduction of an oxidative biomarker and decreased inflammation (8, 9). Alongside the health benefits, astaxanthin has also been investigated in relation to exercise performance. In a trained cycling group, astaxanthin supplementation resulted in a significant improvement in 20km time trial performance and power output following a 2-hour steady state ride (10). Reductions in muscle damage have been measured in athlete groups supplementing with astaxanthin (9, 11).

 

Multivitamin

 

The Science in Sport Performance Multivitamin is formulated to meet 100% of the recommended daily allowance for 19 vitamins and minerals. Including a multivitamin, alongside a varied diet, could be a useful tool when addressing the nutritional needs of active individuals. Exercise places stress on the body, resulting in damage and inflammation. One of the primary goals of sport nutrition is to facilitate training adaptations, through adequate nutritional intake and the provision of nutrients to the body at these times of increased need.

 

Additionally, those undertaking exercise are often looking to drive changes in body composition, through increased exercise and reduced calorie intake. This puts the individual at an increased risk of not meeting the recommended daily allowance for vitamins and minerals, as food intake is simply lower than normal. For all those undertaking exercise, including a daily multivitamin could be an effective method to guard against deficiencies, support athlete health and enable optimal performance outputs.

 

Glucosamine + Chondroitin

 

The Science in Sport Glucosamine + Chondroitin complex has been formulated with 500mg glucosamine, 200mg chondroitin, 85mg curcumin and 20mg black pepper extract. Glucosamine is found in high concentrations within joints and connective tissues in the body, whereas chondroitin is a building block of cartilage. Supplementing with glucosamine has been shown to reduce the rate of collagen, joint tissue and bone tissue breakdown (12, 13). Glucosamine has also shown benefit on injury rehabilitation (14).

 

The innovative inclusion of curcumin and black pepper extract is of particular interest with the formulation. Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric and displays anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. However, curcumin has poor bioavailability, pairing this with black pepper extract can enhance the absorption and consequently increase bioavailability (15). Supplementation with curcumin has also been shown to inhibit collagenase, maintaining joint health (16).

 

Vitamin C Chewables

 

The Science in Sport Vitamin C Chewables delivers 1000mg of vitamin C and 20mg of citrus bioflavonoids, nutrients found in plants that help to maximise the benefits of vitamin C by inhibiting its breakdown in the body. Daily supplementation with vitamin C, as a preventative measure, may reduce the risk of getting a cold and shorten the duration of colds. In relation to exercise performance, reductions in muscle soreness and markets of muscle damage have been noted with daily (17) and pre-exercise (18) vitamin C supplementation. While vitamin C has also been shown to reduce exercise-induced protein metabolism (19). Finally, a reduction in post-exercise circulating cortisol has been observed alongside vitamin C ingestion, reducing post-exercise immunosuppression (20).

 

Zinc Chewables

 

The Science in Sport Zinc Chewables deliver 10mg of zinc per serve, in line with the standard recommendations for zinc ingestion as a daily preventative measure, where higher dosages are often used to correct deficiencies. Zinc is an essential mineral in enzyme regulation and shows both anti-oxidant and immune boosting properties. Zinc deficiency is known to lead to a reduced T-cell count (21). T-cells are a kind of white blood cell that support the immune system; therefore, a reduction in t-cell count can have negative outcomes on health. As zinc shows positive effects on immune function support and deficiency can result in supressed immune function, it is recommended to include a daily zinc supplementation to ensure you meet your recommended daily allowance.

 

Quercetin & Green Tea

 

The Science in Sport Quercetin & Green Tea is formulated with 1000mg of quercetin and 120mg of green tea extract. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, a class of nutrients found in plants, with anti-oxidant properties; it also appears to display the same effects as caffeine, just at a lower level. In relation to exercise performance, research on quercetin has linked daily supplementation of 600-1000mg to improvements in VO2 max, endurance capacity and time trial performance during cycling protocols (22, 23). Additionally, a significant reduction in c-reactive protein, a protein in the blood plasma which rises in response to inflammation, post-exercise and 14-hours post exercise and a reduction in IL-6, a stimulant of the immune response, post-exercise has been measured with the co-ingestion of quercetin and green tea (24).

 

Tonalin CLA

 

The Science in Sport Tonalin CLA is formulated with 2000mg of Tonalin, 80% CLA. Tonalin CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in the diet, proposed as an ergogenic aid. The ergogenic, or performance-enhancing, benefits of CLA are reported in relation to body composition; reductions in body fat (25) and increases in lean mass (26).

 

Vitamin D3

 

The Science in Sport Vitamin D3 is formulated with 5000iu vitamin D3 per serving. Vitamin D3 is one of the most popular daily supplements and it is associated with a number of health and performance benefits: increased cognition, immune health, bone health, muscle repair, recovery and muscle function. Vitamin D3 deficiency is common in both the general public and athletic populations (27). This may be due, in part, to: living at far northern or southern latitudes, training indoors, protective clothing, sun-screen or consciously avoiding sun exposure. All of these factors reduce the specific sun exposure required for the body to synthesize vitamin D3.

 

Studies reporting positive effects of vitamin D3 supplementation often measure performance and health benefits from correcting deficiencies (28). More specifically, vitamin D3 supplementation has been shown to prevent decreases in IL-5 compared to a placebo trial (29). Given that IL-5 is a cell of the immune system which protects against viruses and bacterial infections, this finding supports the notion that vitamin D3 may play a role in immune function support.

 

During exercise, stress is placed on the working muscle, resulting in muscle tissue breakdown. The adaptive process of repairing the muscle promotes muscle remodelling and drives performance improvements. Supplementing with vitamin D3 may have a beneficial role in skeletal muscle repair and remodelling (27, 30). Additionally, vitamin D3 can optimise the immediate adaptive response to muscle damaging exercise (27).

 

Calcium

 

The Science in Sport Calcium is formulated with 500mg of calcium and 200iu vitamin D3. Vitamin D is included in the formulation as this aids in calcium absorption. Calcium is the major building block in human bone tissue and is one of the minerals central to skeletal muscle contraction. The main food sources of calcium come from dairy products, with certain vegetables providing calcium at lower levels. As some dietary trends are moving away from dairy intake, calcium deficiency can manifest themselves in general populations. In addition, none-weight bearing exercise, such as cycling, can result in lower bone mineral densities being reported in those groups. Supplementing with calcium, alongside vitamin D, is beneficial in correcting deficiencies and promoting optimal bone health.

 

Magnesium

 

The Science in Sport Magnesium is formulated with 375mg of magnesium. Magnesium is the second most prevalent electrolyte in the body and it is possible that athletic populations may develop magnesium deficiencies, due to the increased physical stress of exercise resulting in elevated sweat and urine magnesium loss (31). With the consequences of deficiencies being increased blood pressure and reduced glycogen tolerance, both of which would have negative outcomes on exercise performance. Additionally, magnesium plays a role in bone formation and maintaining normal levels of magnesium in the body, through diet or supplementation, can increase bone mineral density. In relation to exercise performance, one of the important functions of magnesium is its involvement in energy metabolism. With measured increases in aerobic exercise and muscle oxygenation being reported in a triathlete group supplementing with magnesium (31).

 

HMB

 

The Science in Sport HMB is formulated with 1000mg of HMB. HMB, or beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid in full, is an active metabolite of leucine. There is increased interest around HMB supplementation and its role in preventing muscle catabolism. During exercise, muscle protein breakdown occurs, and a small amount muscle tissue is metabolised for energy production. Both of these processes can result in negative outcomes on exercise performance. When supplementing with HMB, compared to a placebo trial, reductions in muscle protein breakdown have been reported (32, 33).

 


References:
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  2. Andrade, P. M., Ribeiro, B. G., Bozza, M. T., Rosa, L. F. B. C., & do Carmo, M. G. T. (2007). Effects of the fish-oil supplementation on the immune and inflammatory responses in elite swimmers. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids77(3), 139-145.
  3. Gleeson, M. (2007). Immune function in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 103(2), .693-699.
  4. Tartibian, B., Maleki, B. H., & Abbasi, A. (2009). The effects of ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids on perceived pain and external symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness in untrained men. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine19(2), 115-119.
  5. Wei, M. Y., & Jacobson, T. A. (2011). Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid versus docosahexaenoic acid on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Current atherosclerosis reports13(6), 474-483.
  6. Bernstein, A. M., Ding, E. L., Willett, W. C., & Rimm, E. B. (2011). A Meta-Analysis Shows That Docosahexaenoic Acid from Algal Oil Reduces Serum Triglycerides and Increases HDL-Cholesterol and LDL-Cholesterol in Persons without Coronary Heart Disease–3. The Journal of nutrition142(1), 99-104.
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  8. Park, J. S., Chyun, J. H., Kim, Y. K., Line, L. L., & Chew, B. P. (2010). Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans. Nutrition & metabolism7(1), 18.
  9. Baralic, I., Andjelkovic, M., Djordjevic, B., Dikic, N., Radivojevic, N., Suzin-Zivkovic, V., … & Pejic, S. (2015). Effect of astaxanthin supplementation on salivary IgA, oxidative stress, and inflammation in young soccer players. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2015.
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  13. Momomura, R., Naito, K., Igarashi, M., Watari, T., Terakado, A., Oike, S., … & Kaneko, K. (2013). Evaluation of the effect of glucosamine administration on biomarkers of cartilage and bone metabolism in bicycle racers. Molecular medicine reports7(3), 742-746.
  14. Ostojic, S. M., Arsic, M., Prodanovic, S., Vukovic, J., & Zlatanovic, M. (2007). Glucosamine administration in athletes: effects on recovery of acute knee injury. Research in Sports Medicine15(2), 113-124.
  15. Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. S. S. R. (1998). Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta medica64(04), 353-356.
  16. Jackson, J. K., Higo, T., Hunter, W. L., & Burt, H. M. (2006). The antioxidants curcumin and quercetin inhibit inflammatory processes associated with arthritis. Inflammation Research55(4), 168-175.
  17. Bryer, S. C., & Goldfarb, A. H. (2006). Effect of high dose vitamin C supplementation on muscle soreness, damage, function, and oxidative stress to eccentric exercise. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism16(3), 270-280.
  18. Nakhostin-Roohi, B., Babaei, P., Rahmani-Nia, F., & Bohlooli, S. (2008). Effect of vitamin C supplementation on lipid peroxidation, muscle damage and inflammation after 30-min exercise at 75% VO^ sub 2max^. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness48(2), 217.
  19. Goldfarb, A. H., Patrick, S. W., Bryer, S., & You, T. (2005). Vitamin C supplementation affects oxidative-stress blood markers in response to a 30-minute run at 75% VO2max. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism15(3), 279-290.
  20. Carrillo, A. E., Murphy, R. J., & Cheung, S. S. (2008). Vitamin C supplementation and salivary immune function following exercise-heat stress. International journal of sports physiology and performance3(4), 516-530.
  21. Fraker, P. J., King, L. E., Laakko, T., & Vollmer, T. L. (2000). The dynamic link between the integrity of the immune system and zinc status. The Journal of nutrition130(5), 1399S-1406S.
  22. Davis, J. M., Carlstedt, C. J., Chen, S., Carmichael, M. D., & Murphy, E. A. (2010). The dietary flavonoid quercetin increases VO2max and endurance capacity. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism20(1), 56-62.
  23. MacRae, H. S., & Mefferd, K. M. (2006). Dietary antioxidant supplementation combined with quercetin improves cycling time trial performance. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism16(4), 405-419.
  24. Nieman, D. C., Henson, D. A., Maxwell, K. R., Williams, A. S., Mcanulty, S. R., Jin, F., … & Lines, T. C. (2009). Effects of quercetin and EGCG on mitochondrial biogenesis and immunity. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise41(7), 1467-1475.
  25. Wadstein, I., & Gudmundsen, O. (2001). Conjugated Linoleic Acid Reduces Body Fat in Healthy Exercising Humans. Journal of International Medical Research, 29, 392-396.
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  27. Close, G. L., Leckey, J., Patterson, M., Bradley, W., Owens, D. J., Fraser, W. D., & Morton, J. P. (2013). The effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on serum total 25 [OH] D concentration and physical performance: a randomised dose–response study. Br J Sports Med47(11), 692-696.
  28. Cannell, J. J., Hollis, B. W., Sorenson, M. B., Taft, T. N., & Anderson, J. J. (2009). Athletic performance and vitamin D. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise41(5), 1102-1110.
  29. Barker, T., Martins, T. B., Hill, H. R., Kjeldsberg, C. R., Henriksen, V. T., Dixon, B. M., … & Weaver, L. K. (2012). Different doses of supplemental vitamin D maintain interleukin-5 without altering skeletal muscle strength: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in vitamin D sufficient adults. Nutrition & metabolism9(1), 16.
  30. Owens, D. J., Sharples, A. P., Polydorou, I., Alwan, N., Donovan, T., Tang, J., … & Close, G. L. (2015). A systems-based investigation into vitamin D and skeletal muscle repair, regeneration, and hypertrophy. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism309(12), E1019-E1031.
  31. Golf, S. W., Bender, S., & Grüttner, J. (1998). On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy12(2), 197-202.
  32. Hoffman, J. R., Cooper, J., Wendell, M., Im, J., & Kang, J. (2004). Effects of beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate on power performance and indices of muscle damage and stress during high-intensity training. Journal of strength and conditioning research18(4), 747-752.
  33. Gallagher, P. M., Carrithers, J. A., Godard, M. P., Schulze, K. E., & Trappe, S. W. (2000). β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate ingestion, part I: Effects on strength and fat free mass. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise32(12), 2109-2115.
Ben Samuels
Written By

Ben Samuels

Ben is a Performance Nutritionist at Science in Sport