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What is Dietary Supplementation? As stated by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994;
A dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that:
is intended to supplement the diet
contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances) or their constituents
is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid
is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement
Vitamins Vitamins do not produce energy, however they act as a catalyst in the metabolic reaction that produces energy from the fuel stores and assist in the production of red blood cells, the repair of tissues and protein synthesis. There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate).
Minerals Minerals, on the other hand, activate enzymes for energy production through glycolysis and assist in the function of the immune system. Electrolytes found in minerals affect muscle concentration and iron is vital for the formation of haemoglobin, which both can positively affect performance.
Carbohydrate Loading In sports, carbohydrate loading is a strategy employed by endurance athletes such as marathon runners to maximize the storage of glycogen in the muscles. The process that is currently recommended involves increasing complex carbohydrate consumption above normal levels in the days leading up to the competition. The athlete is required to taper exercise for 72 hours prior to competition and during this time eat a diet which is extremely high in carbohydrate percentage. By increasing it by a small amount 3-5 days prior to competition, the body will have even more glycogen available than usual.