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Functional Sports Nutrition magazine is the UK’s leading magazine for sports nutritionists, personal trainers and sports coaches.

Functional Sports Nutrition magazine sample issue

Ergogenic Aids

In our conventional thinking, an ergogenic aid is anything that is consistently shown by research to induce a performance increment – we tend to think of the likes of creatine, caffeine, sports drinks, and perhaps a bit of beetroot juice too. But, if we look at this subject through a lens of personalised and integrative nutrition, a whole host of other candidates emerge. Lifestyle factors such as sleep may spring to mind, along with suitable stress management strategies, and even positive social interaction. From a nutrient perspective, scientists are looking for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, but a certain nutrient may have no effect on one person’s performance, but positively induce change in another due to a functional deficiency, caused by certain lifestyle, dietary or genetic factors that are too complex to study in double-blind placebo-controlled trials.

With this integrative ergogenic thinking in mind, the feature article by Paul Ehren is a real cracker – it pretty much pulls all aspects of functional sports nutrition together in a single article, and even manages to incorporate some music therapy!
Another example of a ‘conditional’ ergogenic aid might be the lowly sulphur atom and its associated sulphation pathways – Henrietta Paxton eloquently creates a link with injuries and other physiological functions important to athletes.

Additionally, Craig Pickering views the well-researched caffeine aid, but finds that in a habitual-use setting, the research observations are much less clear.

Finally, the power of the mind is a fundamental ergogenic aid and we welcome some really talented sports psychologists to the magazine: Andy Lane, Dan Robinson and Ross Cloak talk about how beliefs drive our behaviours.

Enjoy this issue.

Ian Craig, Editor

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