Sometimes the difference between the winning athlete and the silver medalist is a few milliseconds long. That is obviously a very small margin by which to miss out on a chance to achieve athletic glory, or even break a world record.
Using outlawed performance enhancing means has been the curse that has ruined many promising sports careers. So, how can athletes improve their performance without violating the law? As it turns out, there are several ways to achieve this goal.
For instance, some athletes have made adjustments to their diet with the goal of improving their physical performance. A good example is beetroot juice, which increases nitric oxide levels in the body, promoting better physical performance.
Getting into an Ice Bath
In cases where athletes have to take part in physically demanding sporting events from one day to another, proper recovery at the end of each day could have quite an impact on their performance. Some athletes have resorted to getting into a bathtub full of ice to facilitate recovery; a treatment called Cryotherapy.
Caffeine has also become one of the ways professional athletes can increase their performance without running into problems with anti-doping agencies. Actually, many top level professional athletes today use caffeine to better their performance. This is the reason why energy drinks which are high in caffeine are so popular amongst athletes. They boost your performance significantly. This is what red bull does.
The consumption of caffeine has been observed to boost performance by as much as 3 percent. Therefore, someone who can clear a 10k race within 40 minutes is in a position to lower the time spent accomplishing the feat by over a minute.
Training in oxygen tents, also called hypoxic training, is also turning into a trend among professional athletes in search of better performance. These tents simulate a high altitude environment, which has been known to compel the circulatory and the respiratory system to do more.
This pays off later in form of better endurance and hence enhanced performance. Some professional athletes have spent several thousand dollars setting up oxygen tents. These tents are a good way to avoid having to visit high altitude training grounds.
But high altitude training is not without its downsides. At very high altitudes, of say more than 5000 meters, weight loss and a weaker immunity can be some of the risk factors to deal with. Altitude sickness is also a concern. Another concern is that this technology is in something of a gray area legally because some countries think that this is a form of doping.
As obvious as it might seem, proper hydration is also a great way to improve physical performance. The hydration is not just necessary during the sporting event, but also before and after the event.
Aerobic training is being used by many athletes as a way to improve endurance. Some of these aerobic workouts include rowing. With these workouts, the heart is made to maintain a heart rate that is between 70 per cent and 85 per cent of peak heart rate for several minutes. Sites like lifetoliveit.com give information on how to use your cardio exercise as a way to boost your endurance and get stronger heart and lungs.
Anyway, some of the ways athletes are getting their performance-enhancing dose of aerobic training is through long-interval training and high intensity interval training (HIIT).
There are athletes who have turned to the use of technology as a means to give their performance a boost. A good example of this is infrared therapy, which is a way of ridding the body of fatigue, muscle spasms, general aches, and join stiffness.
Better Meal Timing
Properly timed meals, it turns out, can also put the body in tiptop state so that it can perform better during athletic events. For instance, eating 3-hours after a workout is a no-no; while eating 3 hours before the event is advisable to ensure that enough energy is available for the physical challenge that lies ahead.
Supplements have also become quite popular among athletes. Examples include Co-enzyme Q10 among others. Some of these enzymes promote faster recovery, while others enhance energy metabolism in the body and directly affect physical performance.
Use of hormonal balancers and antioxidants is also another way of ensuring better health and the possibility of better achievement during the sporting event. Hormones such as testosterone play a role in building muscle, while antioxidants gets rid of free radicals in the body. These free radicals cause oxidative stress that ultimately impairs the capacity for physical achievement.
Other important nutritional compounds to consume include calcium, which has plenty to offer when it comes to helping the muscles contract properly. Muscular health is critical during athletic performances, and so calcium can make quite a difference; a fact many athletes are well aware of and exploiting through more attentive calcium consumption.
Through Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is also essential in athletic performance. A well-rested body is better prepared to handle physical challenges. On its own, this can improve performance quite a bit. So, going to bed late and getting up early is not the conduct of an athlete who is wants their performance to improve.
Winning is all about trying to find an edge over the competition. While natural raw talent, proper training and other factors can give athletes quite a head start, more techniques are needed to ensure better performance.
The techniques discussed here show how athletes can improve their performance. Fortunately, these performance enhancement methods should generally not get any athlete into problems with anti-doping agencies.