One of the basic principles of any kind of performance is that you want to get better. Each day is supposed to be an improvement on the last one. That’s true whether you’re a raw beginner or the top competitor in the world.
We all know that being the best needs practice. You probably know that we need to eat right and generally live a healthy lifestyle if we want our bodies to work at maximum capacity. You probably also experience frustration watching someone else effortlessly achieve something you’ve been struggling with for months.
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Being the best at a certain sport often requires a mix of natural talent and hard work – it’s true that some people are just built for certain events, but it’s also true that no one can reach the very top without practice. Don’t write yourself off until you’ve tried.
Things you can’t control when it comes to your performance level in sport include factors like height, while the things that are absolutely up to you include diet. Then, there are the things where you have a natural level but there may be ways to supplement it, like hormones.
Hormones can be a controversial thing when it comes to sports. Just look at recent debates about what constitutes an acceptable testosterone level for a female athlete. Testosterone gets a lot of attention because it plays such a major role in increasing muscle size and strength while reducing fat.
Testosterone tends to be thought of as the male hormone, but women do normally have some as well. Similarly, estrogen and progesterone are thought of as the female hormones despite also being present in male bodies. They can improve the health of your heart and bones, which can affect your physical performance.
Growth hormone (GH) can make the body stronger and healthier. Even better, you can stimulate its release merely by exercising and sleeping properly. Thyroid hormones such as thyroxine also have a role to play in regulating your metabolism. This means they have a big influence on your energy levels, another essential when trying to perform at your best.
Another key hormone in sports performance is cortisol. This is generally present at higher levels when you wake up in the morning and lower levels when you sleep at night, but it also increases as a response to stress. Too much cortisol can damage the rest of the body’s systems and processes and stop them from working properly.
Many of these hormones can be artificially boosted with different forms of supplements. For example, there are various powders, capsules and injections that claim to increase testosterone. In the professional world, however, there are strict rules about what athletes can and cannot take, so you have to be careful.
There are many experts, from doctors to personal trainers, with expertise in the world of health and fitness who know the safe and legal ways to boost your sports performance and can warn you about the dangers. Talk to them before deciding to take any kind of supplement.