In the competitive world of sports, the smallest advantage can make an enormous difference in the outcome of a contest. A substance that improves an athlete's strength, speed, or endurance is called an ergogenic aid. These are discussed in the article Sports and Fitness Support: Enhancing Performance.
Supplements could conceivably play another helpful role for athletes as well: aiding recovery from the “side effects” of intense exercise. While exercise of moderate intensity is almost undoubtedly a purely positive activity, high intensity endurance exercise can lead to respiratory infections. In addition, all forms of high intensity exercise can cause muscle soreness, which may get in the way of training. Herbs and supplements advocated for these problems are the subject of the article titled Sports and Fitness Support: Enhancing Recovery.
For information on natural treatments intended to aid recovery from injuries caused by sports, see the Sports Injury article.
Last reviewed September 2014 by EBSCO CAM Review Board