Continue prep. for our cross country tour this summer (TransAm Route) and was wondering what sort of supplements/vitamins are recommended while on the tour?
Thanks in advance.
A variety of food:
Make sure you eat something out of each group every day.
For example, you might have granola with milk for breakast. Then you might stop at a grocery store and get the fixings for a cheese, meat, lettuce, cucumber, and tomato sandwich on whole grain buns. Later you might have pasta with a meat and vegetable based sauce and topped with cheese. And you might snack on various fruits and nuts in between meals.
This guide might help ... http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-gu.../index-eng.php
If you really feel you must take a supplement of some sort ... go with your usual multi-vitamin. The one you are used to.
So how's the training going? What distance are you up to now? Have you done your overnight or long-weekend tour yet?
Don't go light on protein.
V-8 daily to balance the diet and add some vital minerals, especially if you're eating mostly out of your kitchen and/or you're sweating a lot.
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me
I don't do anything different with supplementation than I normally do. I use a multi, E, C and mineral complex every day normally and take along "daily packs" for the road when I'm traveling. Eating small amounts frequently is more important than any other changes I make on the road.
Water. Food. and Salt.
Follow Michael Pollan's advice (Eat food. Mostly plants. And not too much.) or machka's more detailed advice.
Halfway across the country I started referring to meals as "salt delivery mechanisms" because I was sweating so hard. Cyclebum's V-8 advice is good, but IME you might want to have salt pills, Endurolytes, or Nuun (my favorite) in reserve. Salt tastes so much better when it's in a cool, fizzy drink.
A couple of years ago I was touring with a friend, and I was trying to purchase some electrolyte tablets (a popular brand). We compared the ingredients/nutrition label to another product we had on hand.
Turns out, you can get the same salt & potassium from eating 4 1/2 wheat thins as from an electrolyte tablet, and at about 3% of the cost per serving.
I like Pollan's advice.
FWIW I took some mutli-vitamins along on my last trip... cost per pill was 16 cents. I still eat lots of fresh nutritious food and oddly enough didn't really notice the neon-pee effect I normally get from multivitamins so I don't think it was doing me any harm. I'm not a doctor and this isn't medical advice. I'm also a belt and suspenders kind of guy, but again, 16 cents a day is a minuscule portion of the overall cost of food and the entire tour. Even if it's only for peace of mind I'd say it's worth paying for whatever. I also take the same vitamins when I'm working heavy construction and tend to feel "better" when I do...
I take some.... My diet makes getting B12 and Calcium a challenge at times.. So I take them just for peace of mind if nothing else. Balanced diet is always the best way to get what we need but not always possible.
re: fruits and veggies etc. One added bonus of eating healthy foods while working hard every day touring (on top of the obvious of taking care of your body) is fruit/veggies also help with "being regular" shall we say. Not drinking enough water can be a detriment in this area too, but for whatever reasons, being plugged up or having a sore youknowwhat is never fun, especially when sitting on a bike seat for a good part of a day.
Not a fun or party type topic, but can happen when biking everyday, and eating a well balanced diet certainly helps.
From the standpoint of just how you feel in general, eating well really does make a difference when you are being so physically active day after day. As always, eating a good variety of foods is good for your resistance to colds and all that, so its a win win when on a long bike trip.
Gotta take care of the engine.
I used effervescent multi-vitiman tablets to down a large cup of water around mid day. It is especially good if the water tastes a bit chemical and chlorinated.