Updated: Oct 20, 2021
There are some throwers that boast that they don’t take supplements but still throw far. It is like a badge of honor that they are “clean” and getting success by only sweat and blood while others are cutting corners. Deciding to not take supplements so as to not cut any corners is no different than saying that you are going to try and throw far while not lifting, or without wearing throwing shoes. Don’t cut yourself short! Supplements are an integral and legal part of the training system, and while it is possible to take too much of some kind or some unnecessary supplements, there are many that are extremely valuable. However, you must remember that supplements will not make you stronger or thrower further on their own, they will only help you train harder and at a higher level.
Following are the three best supplements throwers can take have research to support them. I’ll start with the best by far...
Caffeine. This one is the best. It doesn’t matter if you are a thrower, jumper, football player, wrestler, or distance runner. There is no legal supplement out there with a more powerful effect than caffeine. There is a reason 83% of Americans drink at least a cup of coffee in the morning. Caffeine gives you a strong burst of energy that lasts 45 min to an hour. It will get you pumped up to hit a huge PR, give you more pop in your throw, and focus your mind to execute better technique. I absolutely believe that taking caffeine can add 2 feet to your throw if you are a shot putter.
Most scientifically proven ergogenic aid that is legal
Very cheap and easy to take anywhere
Quick onset time ~15 minutes
Can give inexperienced athletes more jitters
May cause you to rush or tighten up in your technique
The maximum legal dose is the equivalent of 7 cups of coffee
How to take
Consume by either drinking coffee, pre-workout, or caffeine pills. There is an approximate 15 minute time period for the caffeine to be absorbed. During competitions I like to take it just before I step in the circle for my first warm up throw. Note that caffeine is absorbed more quickly through the salivary glands in your mouth, so swishing it in your mouth or chewing caffeine gum will increase the absorption time.