Thoughts on supplements, ones that really work…

Supplements…so many out there, so many gimmicks, so many bars filled with ingredients that can’t be pronounced, questionable science, research, results…the supplemental world is dizzying to say the least.

I’m no expert in the field by any means but I can tell you that I’ve found some supplements that really work for me.

First, a couple facts: Athletes, especially endurance athletes, are almost always low on some nutrient, and our bodies absorb nutrients better feom food than they do from typical vitamins. This sounded like a conundrum to me until I discovered

Megafood vitamins, which come in many other formulas. They are made from actual food so that you’ll absorb more of the good stuff. They even claim you can take these on an empty stomach with no risk of sourness occurring. I always take my vitamins with my breakfast so I can’t attest to that claim, but I do stand by these vitamins! My body started to feel “up a notch,” so to speak, when I started taking them.

I have asthma and am a member of the 10% of the asthmatic population that experiences asthma symptoms all of the time (according to my old allergist).  I take multiple daily asthma medications but still struggled with riding/racing and running.  Even with the medications, I struggle to breathe during intense exercise and my heart rate kicks up pretty rapidly considering my fitness level.  While no medication supplement I’ve ever tried has ever solved, I did find one that helped my muscles utilize the decreased oxygen intake/CO2 discharge on which my body routinely runs.

Optygen by 1st Endurance helps my muscles to feel less fatigued/junked up with lactic acid.  I can run faster, breathe with more ease, and just generally feel a lot better during workouts when I use this product.  I’ve gone off it here and there and always end up going back because the benefits are definitely noticeable.  They have a higher potency formula, too, but my need for that went out the window when I quit racing bikes.

When I stopped racing a started lifting, I, of course, kept using the fantastic Osmo products I’d been using for years (use code DOMOREBEMORE15 for 15% off your order!).  However, I noticed that my recovery was still in garbage mode after a few months, and that the weights I could lift weren’t progressing at a normal rate.  After doing some research, I discovered that my [mostly] vegetarian diet was probably to blame because I wasn’t getting any creatine, something essential for muscle function and recovery.  It increases ATP activity, increases blood flow to muscles, and aids in creation of fast-twitch muscle fibers.

I started using NOW Sports’ creatine monohydrate supplement and noticed an almost-immediate difference in the best way.  My weights went up, I noticed an increase in vascularity, and my coordination even started to improve.  This stuff is super pure and came highly recommended.  I second that praise!

On my off/recovery days, I tend to still supplement with a little protein, but I don’t usually use the Osmo since that’s specifically for post-exercise.

Vega makes some really great products.  Their Vega Sport products didn’t work for me, but I really enjoy the their Protein and Greens on off days.  The taste of Vega products is really second to none.  The chocolate is so rich that you get a milkshake effect just mixing it with almond milk, and it still tastes delicious when it’s mixed with water.

Have any questions about supplements?  Have some supplements you really enjoy and think I should try?  Let me know in the comments!

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