Majority of basketball or volleyball player in Malaysia think that jumping is just about training. Yes it is partly true to a certain extend. But if that is all it takes, then see for yourself why is there so little athlete dunking or jump high in Malaysia compared with other countries which also focus on their diet and nutrition.
When doing anything including studying or playing a sport, I wanted every advantage I could to get. Even a slight advantage that get me even a few millimeter towards the rim will make my day. When you’re after a prized, pristine slam, every millimeter counts. So I Googled “vertical jump training supplements” and I do get some useful tips here and there along with rubbish information. There was one site that recommended fish oil and a multivitamin. Yeeahh…if that is all it takes than my parents or any basketball player would be dunking the rim all day long.
Frustrated, I eventually decided to do my own research and sift through a variety of different medical research articles looking for supplements that have been observed to enhance specific functions. These article is a compile research which is design for “functions” which is an essential building blocks to jumping higher, faster, and better than anyone else.
Below would be the aspect we need to consider on how supplement can improve your vertical would be:
- Neural Potentiators: Neural potentiation is a fancy way of saying, “augmenting the mind-body connection.” That means when you go to jump as high as you can, your brain fires more signals to more muscle fibers, helping you recruit more muscles in your attempt to reach the sky. Supplements in this category increase that connection.
- CNS Activators: a.k.a. stimulants. Stims affect the Central Nervous System, revving it’s mighty engine. Breathing rate, metabolism, and you guessed it, strength output are all positively affected. In a way they are another form of neural potentiators. Different, but similar with respect to their ability to increase focus, control, and total power.
- Fast-Twitch Muscle Fiber Recruiters: Hopefully you are familiar with the importance of fast-twitch muscle fibers and their importance in sports. These muscle fibers are responsible for short, powerful bursts of strength, but fatigue very quickly. Supplements in this category aim to increase the prevalence of fast-twitch muscle fiber use and make-up in muscle tissue.
- Muscle Recovery: This is the most basic requirement. Even if you have all the above supplement to enhance the above mentioned muscle neural connection and power-up. But without proper recovery, your improvement will be impair in which translate to slower recovery and progress. It will be like a car running at top performance but without proper maintenance (which even the best car will break down sooner or later).
Having been involved in health, fitness and sport supplement industry for many years we have tried and tested many different supplements. Here is a list of the ones we consider to be effective and worth considering.
- Whey Protein Powder- The main sources of protein from foods are your various meats(fish, poultry and beef etc), eggs and dairy. Unfortunately these things are becoming more expensive all the time especially in Malaysia where carbs are usually way cheaper compared with proteins. Whey protein powder is a great way to cheaply supplement this important area of your diet. Whey proteins is surely not the most important when it come to improving your vertical jump. However, they are extremely important for your muscle recovery and to stay lean. I (Kevinn.Khoo) suggest you try to hit 2g of protein per KG of bodyweight.
- Creatine - Micronized creatine monohydrates have been shown in multiple studies to impact sport performance be it bodybuilding, strength training nor even endurance workout. Scientific evidence shown that creatine use can increase maximum power and performance in high intensity anaerobic (without oxygen) repetitive work by up to 15%. Although this study was referring to bouts of running/cycling sprints and multiple sets of low intensity weightlifting. Single effort work (single sprints, single high intensity weight lifts) shows an increase of 1 to 5%. As a vertical jump can be deemed a single effort activity, it is safe to assume that using creatine will help increase your vertical jumping ability. A basketballer with a 30″ vertical jump could expect to gain 1.5″ just through supplementing with creatine!
- Collagen - Many people know that Collagen can improve your bones, cartilages, tendons, ligaments, skin, nails, and hair. But do you know that Collagen can also help you in your joints? Because of that, it is great for vertical jumps as the wear and tear if your joint cartilages are extremely high. Rather then just collagen, I (Kevinn.Khoo) would strongly suggest you use Maxler beauty collagen instead. Don't let the name fool you. Yes, Maxler beauty collagen can be used as beauty products, but they are basically mixed with collagen, high antioxidant, and hydration ingredients. All of this basically translates to major joint and free radical protection! Less pain = more jumping!
- L-Glutamine- L-Glutamine plays key roles in protein metabolism, cell volumizing, and anti-catabolism. Glutamine's anti-catabolism ability prevents the breakdown of your muscles which mean bye bye bodyfat and hello muscle defination. Carrying lower bodyweight especially in the form of fat is shown in research to help you jump higher. The researchers concluded, "extra body weight in the form of fat, even in already lean individuals, may interfere with running and jumping performance.". Glutamine also boost your immune system. For bodybuilders and athlete this is important since heavy intense workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels. (Glutamine is a primary energy source for your immune system.).
- DMAE - DMAE is a short form of "Dimethylethanolamine". DMAE is a compound that is known as a mind health compound. DMAE helps elevate mood, reduce fatigue, improve memory, learning things quicker, increases physical energy, and stimulates neural activity in the brain for better vertical jumping performance. It also found that DMAE helped increase motivation and initiative which is extremely important to keep the focus on your vertical improvement goal.
- EFA and Fish Oils- Essential Fatty Acids, Omega-3 and Fish oils (omega fatty acids) are getting a lot more exposure lately. This simple product provides many health related benefits including reduction of joint inflammation (great for a jumping athlete), improved cardiovascular health, improved concentration and mental efficiency. EFA not only important for reducing inflammation, but they are also a must-have item to optimize and balance your hormone production. The hormone is extremely important not only for jumping but also to reduce body fats and grow muscle mass. However, we will not touch this topic too much in this article.
- A Multivitamin - A simple multivitamin is a nice fall back in case your diet is missing something. If you have a great diet made up of a variety of fruits and vegetables already then you probably don't need one. However, how many of us have such a diet.
- Caffeine - Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It produces increased focus and reduces fatigue, boosts the circulation and respiratory system by expanding bronchi and it facilitates breathing. It reduces muscle pain resulting from high-intensity physical effort such as Vertical Jumping. It upgrades the thermal economy of the body and the rate of metabolism, supports fat burning processes, stimulates the use of fat as an energy source, improves body efficiency and endurance, reduces the risk of diabetes and liver diseases, and reduces the blood glucose level.
- Test Booster - Test booster is important for building lean tissue & body mass for the strength of your legs. It also enhances your training performance by helping you to stimulates the body’s production of free testosterone. But one the main ingredients in any test booster would be also the inclusion of ZMA. zinc can improve strength, magnesium can assist in relaxing the nervous system and B6 can help dramatically improve the quality of sleep. When these minerals and vitamins are combined, they provide optimal recovery which is paramount for power output. We forget that sleep is crucial for impressive gains. When athletes are undergoing stressful training, recovery is one of the most important aspects behind performance and ZMA can provide incredible recovery.
- Beta-alanine - Beta-alanine is amino acids that occur naturally in the form of alfa-amino acids. Beta-alanine plays an essential role in the regulation of the amount of the carnosine, a substance that neutralizes the amount of lactic acid produced in muscles during a high-intensity workout. Beta-alanine acts by slowing down the onset of lactic acid building up in muscle cells which will help you edge out those extra reps just a little bit faster. On the court, it translates to a more powerful jump and more of them.
- L-carnitine - The L-Carnitine is an important acid that helps the metabolic process in stimulating weight loss which helps tremendously on vertical jumping due to the L-Carnitine burns away the extra fat. Research has shown L-Carnitine supports athletic performance and endurance. So when it comes to vertical jumping, you will be able to jump higher & longer due to the performance of L-Carnitine. Through a greater reliance on fat for energy.
That is it for now. There are many other supplements available, particularly of the performance enhancing type. However, what I am showing here is the major supplements which would help increase your vertical jump level by counting cost per effect. I hope this article helps you guys out. Stay strong & Cheers.
Also for those whom are beginner and which to tap into my training of vertical jump journey, you may read the training article here.