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  1. #1
    Senior Member bakes1's Avatar
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    What's up with vitamins & supplements?

    I am new to the sport and new to the forums and have seen a lot of discussion about vitamins and supplements.
    Are they a cycling thing in general or mainly just for us over 50 cycling peeps?
    Is there anything conclusive that says I should be using them?
    I want to do the right thing but wonder if maybe I am just helping to feed the disgusting pharma industry?
    I hope not

  2. #2
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    Are they a cycling thing in general or mainly just for us over 50 cycling peeps?
    No. The target audience is anyone who flunked high school biology

    Is there anything conclusive that says I should be using them?
    No

    I want to do the right thing but wonder if maybe I am just helping to feed the disgusting pharma industry?
    The medicine show hucksters who make and sell them make Big Pharma look like Mother Teresa

  3. #3
    RR3
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    I had Biology in Jr. High and I take lots of supplements.

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Ask Dr. Weil for advice on supplements. He's 50+.
    DrWeil.com - Official Website of Andrew Weil, M.D.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale SuperSix EVO carbon

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  5. #5
    Senior Member bakes1's Avatar
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    Huh?
    Who is Dr Weil and how does he relate to cycling?
    No offense but I checked his site and you basically seem to have done nothing but help him advertise

  6. #6
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I have taken vitamin supp's for over 50yrs. Currently I take a multi-vite/min, chromium picolinate and a good shot of B-12 in the morning. I keep it simple.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Supplements;


    They make con artists rich and,

    your pee really expensive!

    Eat good food!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Eating good food is not a guarantee that all the nutrients will be processed adequately by the body to do what is required for good health.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jmiked's Avatar
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    Vitamins and supplements are a waste of money unless you have a specific deficiency. You have to have a qualified person determine this (not a TV or diet fad quack).

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Grouchy old guys. It happens.

    The health service in Belgium just completed a cost effectiveness study for older folks taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. They concluded that the health service would save money by simply giving everyone over a certain age these two items rather than have the health service pay the costs associated with fractures, up to about the age of 80, past which you're going to die so quickly that it won't matter to them financially one way or the other. This was a long term observational study, so don't tell them that supplements have no effect. Note that they're not taking into account lost wages or quality of life.

    What use one might make of supplements will depend on how much and how hard one rides, age, and one's goals. It's a big subject. It being a free market and all, it's up to the buyer to determine what they want to buy, not the manufacturer. I don't get it when people complain about manufacturers pushing products as though people had no free will. I use supplements that work. Somebody tell you supplements don't do anything, give them 2 cups of strong coffee.

    Vitamins are a trickier thing because a minor deficiency might go unnoticed. Even though there might be a performance decrement, it's hard to put a cause on it. So most folks just take a multiple. They're cheap enough and good insurance.

    I have age related macular degeneration and take several supplements for that, which work.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Gyrine's Avatar
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    Another shill for the supplement business? Sorry CFBoy, but the Belgium Health Service did no such thing. Calcium and vitamin D were determined to be cost effective for older persons with osteoporosis - not "everyone over a certain age." And no policy has yet been implemented. Consistent with what others stated, these people have an actual deficiency and therefore supplements might help.

  12. #12
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    The main reason to purchase a supplement is to gaurantee the correct balance of micro nutrients are available. In this age of restaurants and processed food, that cannot be taken for granted from "normal" foods. If a company claims any other benefit, I would say they qualify as charlatans and their product as good as snake oil. I use several to ensure I have a well balanced diet.

    Marc
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  13. #13
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    So.....which chain lube do y'all use?
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Grouchy old guys.

    I have age related macular degeneration and take several supplements for that, which work.
    I know a 62yo gal that went from 20/70 to 20/30 in 5 months after taking the inflammatories of simple carbs and sugar out of her diet, then juicing green veggies as if she were OCD.

    BTW, I take cold pressed fish oil everyday.

    Dr. Merritt was a cyclist for many years, now practices sports medicine on vitamins.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlWbJ0rrUh8
    (watch her other 4 videos on sugars)

  15. #15
    USMC Veteran, 1975-1977 qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    So.....which chain lube do y'all use?


    Or maybe some good, peaceful conversations about helmets....

    Bill
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  16. #16
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post


    Or maybe some good, peaceful conversations about helmets....

    Bill
    Helmet? Why would anyone wear a helmet?

  17. #17
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post


    Or maybe some good, peaceful conversations about helmets....

    Bill
    Prob be just as helpful as all them pills ----- gosh, I hate pills!

    p.s. I like the oil strings, too!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  18. #18
    Duo
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    thanks. good vid from doc Merritt

  19. #19
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    As someone who has been diagnosed (at different times) with clinical B-12 deficiency and vitamin D deficiency, I can say with great certainty that you do not want to be deficient in crucial vitamins - the adverse effects on health are unequivocal.

    When faced with clinical deficiencies, supplementation is necessary - in the case of vitamin B-12, this is normally done with an injection, for vitamin D, this can be done with an injection but is usually done with massive supplementation (e.g., I was taking 50,000 iu/week for 8 weeks, whereas the FDA recommends no more than 2000 iu/day under normal circumstances).

    BUT here is the kicker- dietary supplements such as vitamin pills and the like are sometimes helpful in avoiding deficiencies, but they are not always effective, because the absorption from pills is in many cases poor. Absorption is not always predictable - it varies quite a bit from individual to individual and varies depending on the form of the vitamin or supplement. It also varies depending on what time of day you take the supplement, whether you take it with a meal, etc.

    It is far better to eat a balanced diet than to depend on pills. Doing so is not always so easy.

    I personally take a multivitamin and, based on the advice of my orthopedist, vitamin D and calcium supplements. I take the latter because I am still recovering from a fractured hand that took overly long to heal owing to the aforementioned vitamin D deficiency. I am not certain that the supplements are effective. I also have returned to drinking milk, which I stopped drinking as a teenager because I don't particularly like it without the cookies.

  20. #20
    Senior Member tg16's Avatar
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    Being this is a 50+ forum. My unqualified and neutral advice would be to ask your primary care during a physical exam such as your annual. After viewing your lab work, your doctor should advise you. If you do decide to take supplements/vitamins, do some research and buy from a reputable company that is selling a quality product. I believe there was something in the news not long ago about some supplements didn't actually contain the supplement.

    Take a look at this link and remember that anything I tell you follows the YMMV rule.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/0...etailers/?_r=0
    Once I got the straight jacket off, my imaginary friends and I escaped.

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I take a few supplements, based on my understanding of health risks:

    1. kelp or other Iodine source, since my thyroid function is on the low side of normal;
    2. vitamin D, since I need to limit sun exposure on my freckled Celtic skin to avoid melanoma;
    3. saw palmetto or beta sitosterol, which has almost completely eliminated my BPH symptoms;
    4. turmeric (which I also include in the diet), a known anti-inflammatory;
    5. zinc, particularly when I feel a cold or flu coming on or when I have canker sores;
    6. daily sublingual B12, as a dietary hedge;
    7. lutein or lutein-containing "vision supplements," which my ophthalmologist strongly recommends for everyone.

    For what it's worth, my ophthalmologist has observed a steady decline in the rates of both forms of macular degeneration over the four decades he has been practicing medicine, and he attributes this to the use of general vitamin supplements.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    There is a lot of hype out there associated with all kinds of things that are supposed to make you a better athlete and assist your performance.
    I had a problem with cramping and muscle twitches that I simply had a hard time getting past. The cramps were not because of hydration or over exercise... someone suggested branch chain amino acids....I take them and it works for me... why? I do not have a clue... I just know it works, so be it placebo or not, I will continue to take them.

  23. #23
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
    There is a lot of hype out there associated with all kinds of things that are supposed to make you a better athlete and assist your performance.
    I had a problem with cramping and muscle twitches that I simply had a hard time getting past. The cramps were not because of hydration or over exercise... someone suggested branch chain amino acids....I take them and it works for me... why? I do not have a clue... I just know it works, so be it placebo or not, I will continue to take them.
    Hey, whatever works for you, but out of curiosity, what does supplementation in BCAA get you that you can't get by eating, say, meat? BCAA are a major constituent of muscle, and so I wouldn't be surprised that a deficiency in BCAA could be associated with muscle cramps. But for the same reason, you get plenty of BCAA by eating meat. We don't generally think this way, but lean meat is simply animal muscle.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    Hey, whatever works for you, but out of curiosity, what does supplementation in BCAA get you that you can't get by eating, say, meat? BCAA are a major constituent of muscle, and so I wouldn't be surprised that a deficiency in BCAA could be associated with muscle cramps. But for the same reason, you get plenty of BCAA by eating meat. We don't generally think this way, but lean meat is simply animal muscle.
    I eat some kind of "meat" daily. I alternate between fish, chicken, pork and beef. The amount of red meat I can consume is limited by other health issues.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
    I eat some kind of "meat" daily. I alternate between fish, chicken, pork and beef. The amount of red meat I can consume is limited by other health issues.
    Yeah, so you get some of what you need from your diet, but maybe not enough, and hence the BCAA supplementation.

    This raises a related question about how much protein (and the sources of protein) endurance cyclists need. The general population supposedly needs on the order of 50 grams/day and many consume more protein than they need, but endurance athlete need more, and the additional amount needed is, to my knowledge, poorly quantified. Well, of course it depends on how hard you exercise, among other things.

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