The 5 key nutrients in sports supplements for performance

Athletes use to consume sports nutrition products to enhance exercise, increase performance or even manage their weight. Sports supplements can have various forms, including tablets, capsules, bars, powders and beverages. In the thriving sports nutrition market, the sports supplements sales in the United States reached $5.7 billion in 20161. Athletes are looking for high-quality products with natural ingredients. Hence, choosing the right ingredients that tackle specific needs for athletes is key to build a successful sports supplement and gain market share.


Arginine: a brick in sports nutrition to build muscle mass

Arginine-based sports supplements support exercise and athletic performance by stimulating muscle growth. Studies found that arginine may increase the secretion of HGH (human growth hormon), which in turn increases IGF-1 levels (insulin-like growth factor-1)2. This process results in the stimulation of muscle-protein synthesis3. Building muscle mass is essential for athletes to further improve their sports performance and endurance.


Performing longer and harder with caffeine and creatine

Consuming caffeine before an endurance-type activity might enhance performance. It stimulates the central nervous system and various organs of the body by binding to adenosine receptors on cells, blocking the sedative activity of adenosine4. Caffeine can be under different forms like pure powder or pills, and is commonly used in energy drinks and `shots´ designed to boost athletes during their performance and support endurance.

Creatine is one of the most widely used nutrients in sports supplements to increase performance during a high-intensity effort. Such a supplementation acts in numerous ways for a short-term effort5:

  • it increases the storage of phosphocreatine used to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) at the beginning of an intense effort;
  • it also accelerates the re-synthesis of phosphocreatine after the effort;
  • creatine helps reduce the degradation of adenine nucleotides and the accumulation of lactate;
  • creatine optimizes glycogen storage in muscle for energy release.


Recovering with proteins after sports performance

Proteins are the most important nutrients an athlete needs to boost his performance. They are necessary to repair, maintain, and build muscle mass. During exercise, intramuscular protein oxidation and breakdown increase. The muscle-protein is synthetised for two days after the workout, it is therefore crucial to consume high-quality proteins during this recovery period6.


Bio-Arct: an asset for energy release

To meet athletes’ needs for high-quality, natural and effective sports supplements, Iontec created Bio-Arct . It is a natural botanical ingredient, made from the best polar red algae Chrondus crispus with extreme living conditions that confer strength and great properties.

Bio-Arct is a highly concentrated form of energy. The Chondrus crispus algae accumulates L-citrullyl-L-arginine, a natural and stable dipeptide rich in nitrogen and essential for energy production, and other valuable metabolites like L-Citrulline, L-Gigartinine, taurine, glutamate, etc7, that are therefore found in our Bio-Arct.

By increasing the production of ATP, Bio-Arct is essential for energy delivery for any sports performance8.



Bibliographical references

1. Nutrition Business Journal, Supplement Business Report 2016, 2017.
2. Zajac A, Poprzecki S, Zebrowska A, Chalimoniuk M, Langfort J., Arginine and ornithine supplementation increases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 serum levels after heavy-resistance exercise in strength-trained athletes, J Strength Cond Res, 2010.
3. P. J. Reeds, K. A. Munday, and M. R. Turner, Action of insulin and growth hormone on protein synthesis in muscle from non-hypophysectomized rabbits, Biochem J. 1971.
4. Spaeth AM, Goel N, Dinges DF., Cumulative neurobehavioral and physiological effects of chronic caffeine intake: individual differences and implications for the use of caffeinated energy products, Nutr Rev 2014
5. Salomons GS, Jakobs C, Wyss M., Creatine, Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements, 2nd ed. New York, 2010.
6. Burd NA, Phillips SM, Protein and exercise, 2012.
7. Laycock MV, Craigie JS,The occurrence and seasonal variation of gigartinine and L-citrullinyl-L-arginine in Chondrus crispus Stackh.,Can J Biochem,1977.
8. EXSYMOL SAM, DO_0100GB2001.