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Anyone use nutritional supplements?

Old 08-01-17, 08:05 AM
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Anyone use nutritional supplements?

I see things advertised like whey protein, creatine...various supplements that are promoted as helping to build muscle mass, athletic endurance, energy, etc. Typically I'm skeptical of this stuff but wondering if anyone has tried it, why (what were you trying to achieve), and what were/are the results?
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Old 08-01-17, 08:09 AM
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What do you want to accomplish?
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Old 08-01-17, 11:38 AM
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Not necessarily trying to accomplish anything. Just curious if building muscle mass or endurance is realistic according to the claims of these products or bunk. Also wondering if anyone has had a positive experience. The "why" was likewise asked in my original post.
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Old 08-01-17, 12:33 PM
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I'm curious about a couple of supplements that seem legit. But honestly it wouldn't help much right now. My main hindrances are asthma and a pesky thyroid problem. If I can get those taken care of I might benefit from nutritional supplements.

I have been using electrolyte supplements this summer after experiencing some painful stomach cramps during rides back in June, and subsequent leg cramps at home later. NUUN and DripDrop help -- and I don't feel as exhausted after a ride. DripDrop appears to be a better value -- more bang for the buck, and the little single serving mylar packets tuck into any tiny niche in a saddle bag or pocket.
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Old 08-01-17, 01:01 PM
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I use several nutritional supplements, but not specific to cycling. For example, I take glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM tablets daily for my knees and general joint health. I take a multivitamin, grape seed extract and CoQ10, but those for general health.

The only cycling specific supplement I use is GU Chews.
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Old 08-01-17, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'm curious about a couple of supplements that seem legit. But honestly it wouldn't help much right now. My main hindrances are asthma and a pesky thyroid problem. If I can get those taken care of I might benefit from nutritional supplements.

I have been using electrolyte supplements this summer after experiencing some painful stomach cramps during rides back in June, and subsequent leg cramps at home later. NUUN and DripDrop help -- and I don't feel as exhausted after a ride. DripDrop appears to be a better value -- more bang for the buck, and the little single serving mylar packets tuck into any tiny niche in a saddle bag or pocket.

Oh I use NUUN tablets and on longer rides, a GU gel. I believe those and perhaps a number of products help, if just as "fuel", during an actual ride.
But I'm specifically wondering about a daily regimen of some type of nutritional supplement. Are they helpful for cyclists? Do they actually help build muscle mass? Do they help with endurance?

Other than those electrolyte things listed above, unlike in some other sports activities, I don't believe I've heard much in cycling circles about using daily nutritional supplements to "boost performance" in some way. I don't have any goal here, just wondering if any cyclists use these and has had any positive experiences.
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Old 08-01-17, 01:08 PM
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Beta alanine for hard workouts and magnesium to prevent cramping. Otherwise, just a balanced diet.
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Old 08-01-17, 02:43 PM
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Run every supplement before your GP in case you have conflicts with current meds or if he/she just feels they aren't necessary.

And don't listen to supplement salespeople that claim M.D.s are biased. That's BS. Their job is to keep you healthy and if you need supplement xyzzy, they'll be happy to approve it.

I had a supplement pusher swear that everyone needs more magnesium. When I asked this person what her magnesium levels are, she didn't know but still swore that everyone needs them. I have a semi-rare condition known as hypermagnesemia and I assured her that I know what my levels are because I'm tested regularly. Didn't matter to her, the internet told her that everyone needs more magnesium.
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Old 08-01-17, 03:08 PM
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I wouldn't bother. All the good stuff that actually worked is now illegal.

Just eat food.
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Old 08-01-17, 03:18 PM
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There are literally hundreds of supplements. And even more books on the subject. My suggestion is called doing your due diligence and this is a good place to start:

https://www.amazon.com/Prescription-.../dp/1583334009
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Old 08-01-17, 06:17 PM
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The answer is NO. The reason is that unlike pharmaceuticals (which often are not all that good for you either), nutritional supplements do not have to be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects. Years ago a Utah senator got a bill through Congress that prevents the Food and Drug Administration from regulating the claims made for these supplements and treating them as a food, not a drug. It is not until users start dying that they are able to take dangerous ones like weight loss supplements containing ephedrine off the market. The reverse should be the case. Prove to me that your supplement works as you say and will not kill me and then put it on the market. To often I have read about an organization like Consumer's Reports analyzing the contents of a supplement and finding it had little of the "active ingredient" in it. They may reduce your weight by lightening your wallet though.
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Old 08-01-17, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
Not necessarily trying to accomplish anything. Just curious if building muscle mass or endurance is realistic according to the claims of these products or bunk. Also wondering if anyone has had a positive experience. The "why" was likewise asked in my original post.
If you're trying to build muscle mass ... weight training.

If you're trying to build endurance ... get on the bicycle and start doing ever-increasing distances.
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Old 08-01-17, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
I wouldn't bother. All the good stuff that actually worked is now illegal.

Just eat food.
I don't know much about the illegals, but I agree with brianmcg123 about eating food. Eat what you crave. Bananas are high in potassium, which I find helpful in preventing muscle cramps. However, bananas get mushy and I don't like mushy bananas. I buy and consume capsules of potassium, and drink tasty sports drinks with added electrolytes. Electrolytes are what plants crave, and we need them too. When I ride a lot I crave vegetables, which are made from plants. Aside from electrolytes, I have taken ibuprofen to alleviate knee tenderness until I dialed in my saddle position. Now I seldom have knee issues.
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Old 08-02-17, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
........ Bananas are high in potassium, which I find helpful in preventing muscle cramps. However, bananas get mushy and I don't like mushy bananas..........
Medjool dates have almost 2X the potassium level of equivalent quantity of banana. Open the date, remove the pit, a bit of peanut or almond butter in half and some chocolate chips in the other half, fold over and place in a Ziplok bag or foil package and ENJOY on the ride.

Very moist, high carbs and potassium, a bit of protein and CHOCOLATE What's not to like??
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Old 08-02-17, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
What's not to like??
CHOCOLATE, that's what.
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Old 08-02-17, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
CHOCOLATE, that's what.
There's probably a supplement that would fix your chocolate aversion syndrome.
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Old 08-02-17, 09:31 AM
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I had my orthopedic doctor tell me, "Glucosamine-Condroitin is a bunch of bunk in my opinion." My GP doctor told me, "Take Glucosamine w/Condroitin capsules daily, they'll help with joint pain & arthritis."
I take it, my ankles don't hurt. Placebo perhaps, perhaps not.
Marathon runners eat the obligatory pasta the night before. I've tried it before a century. Does it help? I'd say a hearty "Heck yeah it helps". Others will say it's the worse thing you can do. Some swear by Gatorade, others will sy you're poisoning yourself. Some things work for some, not for others.

It is just difficult to know what to believe these days.

My curiosity is aroused when I see all the "sports supplements" advertised offering all kind of "WOW" results but I have no recollection of ever hearing or reading a conversation of cyclists using these things. That's why I asked.

While I agree diet and getting out there and just doing it, and as often as you can, is the best medicine to build that endurance and muscle, at the same time, the older I get the more I see difficulties arising to accomplish those goals. So I'm all about investigating anything that will help me with the aches and pains of aging as it relates to cycling.
As I stated at the start, I am very skeptical of the claims of these nutritional supplement products, and really do not believe there is some "magical elixir". But I'm all about hearing successes of others who have found anything, if it even exists, that is helpful to make our aging bodies keep going.
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Old 08-02-17, 09:32 AM
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I take a couple shots of pure beet juice every morning to reduce blood pressure. Works well. And, I am told that some pro cyclists take beet juice because it increases blood flow. Have no idea if that's fact.
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Old 08-02-17, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Medjool dates have almost 2X the potassium level of equivalent quantity of banana. Open the date, remove the pit, a bit of peanut or almond butter in half and some chocolate chips in the other half, fold over and place in a Ziplok bag or foil package and ENJOY on the ride.

Very moist, high carbs and potassium, a bit of protein and CHOCOLATE What's not to like??
I carried some prunes once on a ride for a snack. Excuse me, call them dried plums and they take on a new persona, they're just dried fruit then. (Prunes have never had THAT effect on me anyway.) Around 50 miles I grabbed one, it really hit the spot. So I ate all the rest I had with me. Around 60 miles the gut bomb hit! OMGoodness, I thought I'd die, thinking of where in the world I was going to pull over to take care of things. No convenient hidden spot, no public restroom. Not having anywhere I could "go" I struggled along until the feeling passed. The psychological relief (not to mention relief to my gut) was overwhelming, and I realized I was at over 70 miles and feeling good and decided to make it a Century. Completed 103 miles that day.

Don't know if the prunes did it or just took my mind off of pedaling for 20 miles or so enabling me to keep going! I've never had the nerve to carry prunes again on a ride to test them further.

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Old 08-02-17, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I take a couple shots of pure beet juice every morning to reduce blood pressure. Works well. And, I am told that some pro cyclists take beet juice because it increases blood flow. Have no idea if that's fact.
Okay that's what I'm talking about. I've heard some snipits here and there of the benefits of beet juice and, you can get it in a powdered mix if I'm not mistaken. And so, the question is, if pro cyclists use it, are there legitimate performance benefits of doing so?
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Old 08-02-17, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
Okay that's what I'm talking about. I've heard some snipits here and there of the benefits of beet juice and, you can get it in a powdered mix if I'm not mistaken. And so, the question is, if pro cyclists use it, are there legitimate performance benefits of doing so?
You can get it in 100% organic liquid form or powder. I have it in both but I use the juice. The advantage of powder is that you can sprinkle it on a variety of food. Beet juice is really sweet so it may be too much for you straight up You can cut it with lemon juice or a tart cherry juice. You can also buy it mixed with lemon juice. The brands I use are Biottta and R.W. Knudson for the juice.
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Old 08-02-17, 10:24 AM
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Yes. Some supplements work very well. Some do nothing. Reference: https://examine.com/
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Old 08-02-17, 10:47 AM
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A fellow cyclist who is also a runner mentioned to me that she used whey protein that is available at big box stores. As she follows the advice of a nutritionist, I thought I'd give it a try.

I use it occasionally as I've heard that your muscles are craving protein after a ride. I mix it with 1% fat milk with a hand blender.

It does appear to help me recover. For example, on Mondays I ride solo in the morning and with our bike club in the evening. After the morning ride, I have a glass of whey protein/milk. Following this regimen, I'm usually good-to-go for the evening ride. Typically, the evening ride with the group is faster than my morning ride. I tend to use it after long and/or hard rides as well.
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Old 08-02-17, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
A fellow cyclist who is also a runner mentioned to me that she used whey protein that is available at big box stores. As she follows the advice of a nutritionist, I thought I'd give it a try.

I use it occasionally as I've heard that your muscles are craving protein after a ride. I mix it with 1% fat milk with a hand blender.

It does appear to help me recover. For example, on Mondays I ride solo in the morning and with our bike club in the evening. After the morning ride, I have a glass of whey protein/milk. Following this regimen, I'm usually good-to-go for the evening ride. Typically, the evening ride with the group is faster than my morning ride. I tend to use it after long and/or hard rides as well.
Always interesting what people use for recovery. Have you ever used this in preparation for a ride or only as recovery?
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Old 08-02-17, 12:48 PM
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My current list of nutritional supplements is:
Rainbow Light Men's One multivitamin caplet
Rainbow Light B Complex caplet
Now Foods Calcium Citrate (with magnesium and zinc)
Now Foods C500
Now Foods Citrus Bioflavinoids
Now Foods Candida Support (my favorite)
Turmeric Capsules 800mg
Black Pepper capsules 800g
Himalayan Herbs Ashwagandha caplet

I also commonly use:
Renew Life (30 billion) probiotics
Now Foods Digest Platinum
Now Foods Amino Complete

This is not even getting into my colon and liver cleanses that I do twice a year.

I am not crazy about consuming this much hydroxypropylmethylcellose
(man made derivative of cellulose to make capsules), but until I find a supplement company that uses something more natural and safer, I'll have to punt.

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