Note: Only those nutrients that were rated most effective by Nutros' gurus are included in the Performance Level of this table. Other nutrients that also have some potential to enhance energy & endurance are listed in the section below, titled "Additional Supplements".
To learn more about Nutros' rating system and the differences between Level, Category, Nutrient Type, and Nutrient, please see the Introduction page of the NSR.
Ways that Supplements Enhance Energy & Endurance:
Boost short-term energy. Short-term energy is the burst of speed or power you need to cross the finish line first or do one last repetition on the bench press. Specific supplements can help speed up metabolism and help us better use fuel (that is, food) to boost short-term energy levels. Studies show these nutrients may increase energy output by activating the central nervous system and stimulating the adrenoreceptors, producing the fight-or-flight response. That is, they may increase blood pressure and heart rate, make us sweat, and increase blood flow to the heart, brain, and muscles. Our bodies switch into "high gear", an optimal state for coping with physical stress or exercise. These supplements include stimulants such as caffeine, simple carbohydrates that provide easily burned fuel, and other nutrients to help the body burn fat for energy.
Improve oxygen usage. Oxygen is the key to our body's favorite form of energy production called aerobic metabolism. Aerobic metabolism produces much less waste than anaerobic metabolism and allows our bodies to access fat stores, which provide a virtually unlimited source of energy (the average person has enough energy stored in fat to run around the world multiple times.) Many supplements can help our bodies increase oxygen uptake, and some oxygen-boosting products provide oxygen in a form that can be used by the body directly.
Delay fatigue. Hitting that wall or "bonking" occurs when your muscles become totally drained of their own internal energy molecules called glycogen, and fill with waste products like lactic acid. Bonking can be a bummer when you're in the middle of a great workout. Fortunately, there are a number of supplements, such as sports nutrition bars, that help prevent it by buffering acids and immediately replenishing glucose to the bloodstream, so we can keep on going. Adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng are also beneficial since they help the body cope with the mental and physical stress of a long, intense exercise bout.