It’s hard to distinguish between the benefits of most sports nutrition supplements – supplements that help improve strength, endurance, hypertrophy, or speed, are often marketed to improve energy or athleticism. However, there is a difference between hitting a higher rep volume, lifting heavier loads, and landing a new PR.
Peak power is the ability to generate high amounts of force over a short period of time. Power is critical to get up and under a heavy lift, sprinting capacity, or improving cycling times. Studies show that certain supplements can help improve peak power output, resulting in better time trials, heavier lifts, and optimal performance output. We’re going to talk about the best supplements for power and speed.
What Does Peak Power Output Mean?
Power is a function of energy output over a specific distance. For bodybuilders and powerlifters that means how much energy they can put into a barbell over the course of each rep. Peak power is a critical metric for strength athletes who perform at 90-100 percent of maximum output for short periods of time. These kinds of activities require a combination of strength, velocity, force, and neuromuscular adaptations
Muscle fatigue results in a loss of power, therefore if you can effectively delay muscle fatigue, then you will inevitably produce greater power. Beta-alanine is one of the best supplements for more peak power, because it does just that. Beta-Alanine is a beta-amino acid, which combines with the amino acid l-histidine to form a di-peptide called carnosine. Studies show that with greater carnosine content in the muscle tissue, you can effectively delay muscle fatigue, by buffering the build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced from anaerobic respiration – the process by which cells produce energy from glucose through a process called glycolysis, without oxygen. When oxygen is limited, lactate builds, resulting in a burning sensation and a loss of power.
CarnoSyn® Beta-alanine has demonstrated statistically significant delays in muscle fatigue and increases in peak power, endurance and exercise capacity across a wide range of sports such as sprinting, rowing, HIIT, powerlifting, and cycling [R].
RELATED ARTICLE Beta-Alanine Benefits For Athletes
Cyclists saw an average increase of 11.4% in increased peak power output after 8 weeks of Carnosyn beta-alanine supplementation [R], while a group of highly trained rowers improved their speed by 4.3 seconds over 2000m in a 7-week study [R] If you can row harder and sprint faster, you will increase overall athletic ability and competitiveness.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Beta-Alanine (100 Servings, Unflavored)
Creatine is one of the best supplements to increase power, strength, and peak performance for athletes at any level.
Numerous studies have shown that creatine can improve peak power output up to 12-28% [R, R]. Creatine increases the body's immediate energy supply, by facilitating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which increases peak power output and strength.
Kre-Alklayn is a patented pH corrected form of creatine monohydrate. Head-to-head studies suggest that Kre-Alkalyn can improve strength and power output more than traditional creatine monohydrate. With the addition of creatine into your skeletal muscle tissue, your body produces more ATP and exerts a maximum physical effort before it depends on glucose from breaking down carbohydrates for energy [R, R].
High-intensity training programs require the body to endure strenuous aerobic and anaerobic conditions. By supplementing with creatine, you will induce a greater improvement in exercise endurance and athletic performance, resulting in improved speed, more peak power, and stronger lifts.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Kre-Alkalyn (100 Servings, Unflavored)
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CoQ10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like molecule, which serves as a potent antioxidant and that facilitates the biological process of generating adenosine triphosphate [ATP] or energy metabolism. ATP powers every single human cellular action that your body performs. Studies have shown that CoQ10 is one of the best vitamins or endurance, since it has a direct effect on muscle ergogenics.
The heart is the biggest producer and consumer of energy, therefore CoQ10 can greatly benefit heart health, through a more efficient use of cellular energy. If your heart can consume and operate more efficiently, you will see an equal improvement in peak power and exercise performance.
CoQ10 is an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and an antioxidant in plasma membranes and lipoproteins [R]. Since CoQ10 works to increase cellular efficiency, it, therefore, enables your body to convert more ATP, helping you produce more power, enhancing your athletic performance.
RELATED ARTICLE The Ultimate Guide to CoQ10
A study published in the Journal Of the International Society Of Sports Nutrition investigated the effects of Ubiquinol [CoQ10] supplementation on physical performance measured as maximum power output in young and healthy elite trained athletes [R].
100 young elite-trained athletes (53 male, 47 females, between 17 and 21 years of age) received either 300 mg Ubiquinol [CoQ10] or a placebo for 6 weeks. The athletes had to perform a maximum power output test on performance. Watts per kilogram of body weight was measured at the 4 mmol lactate threshold on a cycling ergometer before the supplementation treatment (T1), after 3 weeks (T2) and after 6 weeks (T3) of treatment. In these 6 weeks, all athletes trained individually in preparation for the Olympic Games in London 2012. The maximum power output was measured in watts per kilogram of body weight (W/kg bw).
The CoQ10 group significantly increased performance levels from 3.70 W/kg bw (±0.56) to 4.08 W/kg bw (±0.48) from time point T1 to T3 which is an increase of +0.38 ± 0.22 W/kg bw or +11.0% (±8.2). Therefore, the study demonstrates that daily supplementation of 300 mg CoQ10 for 6 weeks significantly enhanced physical performance measured as maximum power output by 11% in trained athletes [R].
Now remember when I said lactic acid build is a byproduct of anerobic respiration – you know the process by which cells generate energy without oxygen?
In another randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in the same journal, the Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition. at Baylor University, 41 individuals, (22 aerobically trained, and 19 untrained) between the ages of 26-33 were administered either 100mg of CoQ10 twice per day (200mg) for 14 days, or a dextrose placebo. The results showed that CoQ10 supplementation increased maximum oxygen consumption, thus increasing time to exhaustion and delaying muscle fatigue, since it inhibited lactic acid buildup, with better oxygen metabolism.
These findings demonstrate that CoQ10 supplementation can greatly benefit endurance athletes, to help prolong exercise capacity, peak power, and increase time to exhaustion. That means running, lifting, swimming, and cycling further, which will greatly enhance your competitiveness [R].
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT CoQ10 (30 Servings)
Protein is comprised of twenty essential amino acids, which have been proven to help in the muscle building and repair process, otherwise known as muscle protein synthesis. Studies have shown that three specific amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine collectively referred to as the branched chain amino acids or BCAAs stimulate muscle protein synthesis more so than the remaining seventeen amino acids.
RELATED ARTICLE The Ultimate Guide To BCAAs
The school of Kinesiology at Auburn University performed a ten-week randomized double-blind controlled study to examine the effects of BCAA supplementation with trained cyclists on select body composition, peak performance, and immune health over a 10-week training season.
18 trained cyclists were administered either 12g of BCAAs per day or a maltodextrin placebo. The results showed a 19% increase in peak power performance and average power.
Power is the rate at which adenosine triphosphate (ATP), or energy is used over a single or multiple maximal effort against a submaximal load
More peak power is linearly related to a direct increase in athletic performance. If you can produce more power during a max effort, you’ll be able to improve time trials, sprint performance, load, and outperform the competition.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT BCAA (50 Servings, Lemon Lime)
When it comes to cumulative performance measures, citrulline malate checks all the boxes. Citrulline Malate is a powerful combination of two ingredients, L-Citrulline a nonessential amino acid and malic acid. Through this unique amalgam, Citrulline Malate has been proven to elicit positive performance outcomes in power, strength, and recovery through several mechanisms.
Citrulline Malate enhances peak power through creating more ATP, nitric oxide, and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Told you – it checks all the boxes.
RELATED ARTICLE The Ultimate Guide To Citrulline Malate
A study published in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine examined the effects of Citrulline Malate on energy production.
The study found that 6g of Citrulline Malate taken daily for two weeks, found a significant reduction in muscle fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production. [R]
If you’re looking to gain more peak power grab some Citrulline Malate. When you’re competing at an elite level, generating more power can provide a sustainable impact on your athletic performance [R].
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Citrulline Malate (100 Servings, Unflavored)
Best Supplements For More Power And Speed: Takeaway
Peak power is the greatest output or production of work over a given amount of time. If you can increase power output through an improved maximal effort, you will increase your times, total workload, lift heavier loads, and generate higher amounts of force, to hit your one-rep max. Evidence suggests that these specific supplements may help you set those new PRs and improve your athletic performance.
Izquierdo M, Ibañez J, González-Badillo JJ, Gorostiaga EM. Effects of creatine supplementation on muscle power, endurance, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Feb;34(2):332-43. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200202000-00023. PMID: 11828245.
Cramer JT, Stout JR, Culbertson JY, Egan AD. Effects of creatine supplementation and three days of resistance training on muscle strength, power output, and neuromuscular function. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):668-77. doi: 10.1519/R-20005.1. PMID: 17685691.
Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J. Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug;16(4):430-46. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.16.4.430. PMID: 17136944.
Glenn JM, Gray M, Jensen A, Stone MS, Vincenzo JL. Acute citrulline-malate supplementation improves maximal strength and anaerobic power in female, masters athletes tennis players. Eur J Sport Sci. 2016 Nov;16(8):1095-103. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2016.1158321. Epub 2016 Mar 28. PMID: 27017895.
Bendahan D, Mattei JP, Ghattas B, et al Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle British Journal of Sports Medicine 2002;36:282-289.