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What supplements do you take, why and can you feel their effect?

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What supplements do you take, why and can you feel their effect?

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Old 01-11-18, 01:24 PM
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TimothyH
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What supplements do you take, why and can you feel their effect?

I'm interested in hearing which supplements you might take, for what benefit and whether you are able to feel their effect.

Some supplements are preventative and no one would take something they thought didn't have an effect. For those which are supposed to provide some benefit however, are you able to feel it? How profoundly?

Please try to keep comments positive. I'm not interested in debate but learning what everyone takes, why and how well the benefit is perceived.


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Old 01-11-18, 01:34 PM
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I take a multivitamin. I'm a vegetarian, and feel it may help to make up for deficiencies which may be in my diet. I can't point to any obvious effect.

I also take 5g per day of creatine, since Dec 15 of 2017. Its beneficial effect has become obvious lately:
  • On the bike I have a larger matchbook,
  • I recover more quickly after burning a match,
  • In the gym, I'm lifting increasingly heavy weights. Often I'll finish a set, and feel like I have nothing left. Then I'll wait two minutes and do another set with good form.
  • Slightly increased rate of muscle growth,
  • Appearance of larger muscles due to water retention.
At this point I won't give it up. But, again, I'm a vegetarian; you get creatine naturally from red meat, fish, and poultry, so if you eat these things the effects are likely to be less profound for you.
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Old 01-11-18, 04:58 PM
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I use PureClean Performance Fundaminos and their Beetums. Whereas I feel the Fundaminos-- which provides amino acids and protein, among other things-- helps extend my endurance both on a per ride basis and during periods of tightly packed workouts, the Beetums I take on faith based on my coach's recommendation.

https://purecleanperformance.com
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Old 01-11-18, 05:08 PM
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The only supplements I use is whey protein and only because it makes it cheaper for me to get my daily protein needs. I am thinking of starting creatine...Those two have been proven to be beneficial...Other than whey and creatine, I believe that majority of supplements out there don't work and are a waste of money and may even be dangerous and can disrupt the balance in the human body....Human body is an amazing machine and as long as you eat a good balanced diet there is no need for supplements.
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Old 01-11-18, 05:18 PM
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Caffeine and beta alanine. Both allow me to dig deeper on hard workouts.
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Old 01-11-18, 06:06 PM
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Caffeine supplement? I hope you mean delicious coffee!

(This post brought to you by the city of Seattle.)
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Old 01-11-18, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Caffeine supplement? I hope you mean delicious coffee!

(This post brought to you by the city of Seattle.)
I do indeed.

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Old 01-11-18, 07:53 PM
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Caffeine is the most effective, legal supplement available. An actual ergogenic aid with multitudes of research to back it up.

Everything else, when it comes to actually improving performance, is far, far behind. The actual legal stuff, anyway.

100mg pill 45 mins before a workout or race can give a nice boost, especially if you're already fatigued (more noticeable then).
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Old 01-11-18, 08:01 PM
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Vitamin I
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Old 01-11-18, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I do indeed.

that makes some great coffee, we use ours from my wifes grandmother. Its been in the family for over 60 years and is unbeatable.


i take whey protein isolate, which i buy in bulk for cheap. its unflavored so can be mixed with different things, has zero or 2gr of carbs, but does not contain the usual amino package that comes with blended whey products. if its post ride or workout i do add a scoop of critical aminos to help my body utilize the protein for muscle building.
I also take fish oil with meals. Cant say that I can "feel" them during workouts but I know why i take them and what I get because of them.

If you are looking to feel something I would say N.O Xplode, from BNS. i used to suck it down pre race before tri's. its got many stimulants in it, the label is kinda scary if you read it. I have read that products that contain citrulline malate have enhanced training performance in some people.
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Old 01-11-18, 09:19 PM
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Megafol 5 ... so that I can do things like live. Or have a greater chance of living. I kinda like that feature.
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Old 01-11-18, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Caffeine and beta alanine. Both allow me to dig deeper on hard workouts.
Beta Alanine is interesting stuff.
https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/you...a-alanine.html
The article recommends Taurine with it.


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Old 01-11-18, 10:35 PM
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Bud Light and Coors Light then before the ride The next day a NOS energy drink with a Cliff Bar gets me energized but I don’t race or ride very fast but that combination makes me ready to go. A daily multivitamin helps as well.
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Old 01-12-18, 01:28 AM
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The problem is most of us would need controlled methodology to know whether supplements help. We'd need a sort of adult boot camp, with tight control of everything: schedule, meals, exercise, freedom from outside distractions, etc.

Even then, we'd need a control period training camp without supplements to establish our baselines. Then repeat with supplements, preferably only one (or adjunct supplements) at a time. Check for differences that might be attributable to the only variable.

And attitude is a big part of it. There's a lot of psychology involved in enhancing athletic performance. For example I was an amateur boxer. Trainers had all kinds of rules that made no sense or difference at a purely physical level. For example, no sex in training. No cheating on the diet when training for a major competition -- no alcohol, no sweets, etc. No drinking water between rounds, just rinsing and spitting.

In reality, none of those made much difference physically. Studies have shown sex doesn't weaken athletes. A beer or small slice of cake or pie during training won't harm an athlete, even when trying to make weight with minimum body fat. A swallow of water won't magically cause stomach cramps.

Those restrictions are mostly psychological. Deprivation makes athletes edgy, cranky and mean. Then the trainer gives that athlete a target for their anger -- the opponent. "He's the guy who's to blame for all your miseries right now." It's all about focusing that negative energy.

When you have two otherwise equally matched opponents -- in top physical condition, adequate rest, psychologically prepared with all the tricks to focus that energy -- then, maybe then, supplements and, in extreme cases, PEDs, might give them an edge.

(A bit of a digression: The younger George Foreman was lean and mean but lacked stamina. Later he blamed feeling starved. He blamed everyone and everything. Then he took time off in a spiritual retreat. I think along the way he discovered those were all excuses. He found a way to concentrate that immense reserve of determination and latent anger constructively without depriving himself. He realized he didn't need to be angry or behave like a bully, or have low body fat, to be psychologically indomitable in the ring.)

Same physical and psychological preparations I experienced in boot camp later. The way we folded our socks and underwear didn't make a bit of difference in how they fit in the drawer. The idea was to get recruits accustomed to following orders and doing everything by the book. Because it does make a difference when standing watch, in fire control and response to emergencies when everyone knows their jobs and performs as expected. In that highly controlled environment, a cup of coffee, drink of alcohol, good or poor diet or sleep or physical fitness, all might make the difference between saving a ship or losing it and the crew.

But most of us don't live that way outside of the comparative luxury of such a disciplined training environment.

So, semi-serious answer...
  • Caffeine and Vitamin I. Can't get moving in the morning without that combo.
  • Sudafed. Some days I can't breathe without Sudafed or the asthma meds with ephedrine and guaifenesin.

Those deliver the most immediate and noticeable effect. I can understand why pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are controlled in some competitive sports. Besides enhancing breathing they're like a jolt of strong coffee. Unfortunately they're also bad for the thyroid and blood pressure. I try to take them only when necessary, usually no sooner than an hour after coffee and ibuprofen because some mornings just being upright and drinking hot coffee clears the sinuses and bronchial passages enough to breathe without pain and wheezing.

Reportedly ibuprofen and NSAIDs interfere with prostaglandins but I've tried doing without ibuprofen for almost a month recently. I felt no difference at all in recovery from hard exertion, and felt a lot more chronic pain, especially mornings. There may be some benefits to younger athletes at a higher level of fitness who aren't dealing with chronic pain from injuries, but for me ibuprofen relieves the pain enough that I'm able to get on the bike or do my other exercises.

With other supplements...
Hard to say for sure. The effects are gradual. I've recently added veggie based protein supplements and creatine tablets.

So far I can't be certain whether I'm seeing the effects of the supplement, or just enjoying a period of balanced diet, rest and relative freedom from stress.

The past couple of months have been extremely stressful. My energy, strength and speed on the bike are way down. I was calorie and protein deficient. Then I got the flu in late December and it seemed to hang on for weeks, even this week when I'll feel well enough one day to ride or exercise, then feel miserable the next day.

I suspect it'll be months, springtime at least, before I can say for certain whether supplements are helping. Without that tightly disciplined 6-10 week training period (usually the sweet spot in training before we're overtrained, bored and lose concentration), it takes longer to establish whether we're seeing differences attributable to supplements.

Another complication -- I'm about to switch from platform pedals to foot retention on the road bike, after 6 months with platforms. So will any benefits I see be from supplements, rest, diet, or new pedals and shoes?

I can only say that, come spring, if I break that 16 mph average on some favorite training routes of 10-30 miles, then I'll know *something* is helping. That was my peak during the summer. Since then I've lapsed back to around 14 mph on the same routes, while feeling like I'm struggling to produce the same effort.

Assuming I switch to the new pedals and shoes next week or so, while I'm still far from peak condition, that'll give me a baseline for that variable.

After that, it's reasonable to suppose that any additional gains might be attributable to supplements.

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Old 01-12-18, 05:14 AM
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First, I do agree with canklecat regarding the testing. Without controlled tests, how do you know? A lot of different things can affect how we feel.

Second ...

The last several times I've gone for bloodwork (about every 8 or 9 months or so), they've done a full panel including all my vitamins and minerals. I'm all good! Right in the middle of the "good" range for everything. And I requested the bloodwork I got in May simply because I wanted to check my electrolyte levels.

However, that said, I take a lot of vitamins and minerals. Sometimes I wonder if I take too much, but when my tests come back like that, I guess it's OK. I do know I need some of them because of a genetic disorder.


And speaking of electrolytes, I started all this running but hadn't been taking electrolyte supplements. I take them before and during long, hot bicycle rides but hadn't thought about taking them before or after running. Then just lately my anklebones have been disappearing in the evenings and I've been feeling bloated. It took a couple days before it finally hit me ... take an electrolyte already! I did, and much better.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
100mg pill 45 mins before a workout or race can give a nice boost, especially if you're already fatigued (more noticeable then).
I don’t race much anymore but I used to always have trouble getting to sleep after evening crits just from adrenaline. You don’t have a problem with that much caffeine before a late race?
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Old 01-12-18, 07:01 AM
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Coffee is not a supplement, it is an essential!
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Old 01-12-18, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
T



  • Sudafed. Some days I can't breathe without Sudafed or the asthma meds with ephedrine and guaifenesin.

Those deliver the most immediate and noticeable effect. I can understand why pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are controlled in some competitive sports. Besides enhancing breathing they're like a jolt of strong coffee.
With other supplements...
I don't have asthma, but take ephedrine to clear my sinuses and stop a runny nose. I ride for fun and don't track performance closely enough to say that it makes a clear difference. But I sure feel stronger when I take it.

The also take a red yeast rice supplement to control cholesterol. Works for that purpose but has no discernible impact otherwise.
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Old 01-12-18, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I don’t race much anymore but I used to always have trouble getting to sleep after evening crits just from adrenaline. You don’t have a problem with that much caffeine before a late race?
Yeah, same. I don't do it for evening crits. Just early crits or workouts.
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Old 01-12-18, 11:51 AM
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NRG (in the orange container iirc) It's a mushroom complex, and it's nothing short of amazing. There are other companies who try and make a product like NRG but none are close imo. Take it about an hour before you run or ride, and getting tired just doesn't happen. I've used it on my PT test (1.5 miles) upwards of double centuries, and have had nothing but success with it. It's one of the, maybe, 5 products which I know for a fact work.
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Old 01-12-18, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by EricT80 View Post
NRG (in the orange container iirc) It's a mushroom complex, and it's nothing short of amazing. There are other companies who try and make a product like NRG but none are close imo. Take it about an hour before you run or ride, and getting tired just doesn't happen. I've used it on my PT test (1.5 miles) upwards of double centuries, and have had nothing but success with it. It's one of the, maybe, 5 products which I know for a fact work.
I tried to find out who makes this stuff and what's in it. No luck on either count. One seller said it contains 7 medicinal mushrooms, but they sounded pretty ordinary.
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Old 01-12-18, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by EricT80 View Post
NRG (in the orange container iirc) It's a mushroom complex, and it's nothing short of amazing. There are other companies who try and make a product like NRG but none are close imo. Take it about an hour before you run or ride, and getting tired just doesn't happen. I've used it on my PT test (1.5 miles) upwards of double centuries, and have had nothing but success with it. It's one of the, maybe, 5 products which I know for a fact work.
Sounds like every other placebo.
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Old 01-12-18, 02:01 PM
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If one is interested in the possibility of improving performance by using legal supplements, it's really pretty simple. Have a thorough look around examine.com. Links to studies are included.

Me, in no particular order:
Whey protein
Creatine
CoQ10
Vitamin D3
Vitamin B12
Citrulline malate
Nitrate
Caffeine
Beta-alanine
Sport Legs

Over the years, I've tried many supposedly helpful supplements and found that most of them didn't do anything. The ones above are maybe just the ones I haven't quit using yet. But I do think they work.
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Old 01-12-18, 02:20 PM
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Most supplements that deliver quick energy -- and don't contain testosterone, EPO, cocaine or amphetamine -- use caffeine and sugar for that boost. Often it's guarana because it's a more concentrated form of caffeine and has a certain cachet that's often described as "natural" (as if coffee beans ain't natural?).

A quick Googling of various products named NRG, N-R-G, etc., indicates they all contain caffeine, which would account for the almost immediate and noticeable energy boost. A couple of cups of coffee or strong tea would have the same effect. But guarana has the advantage of not needing a pint or so of liquid to deliver that effect. And some folks just don't like the taste of coffee, black or green tea.

I couldn't find an NRG product that emphasized mushroom content, but only Googled for a few minutes. I love mushrooms and cook with them a lot. But they aren't superfoods. Most are pretty low on nutrients. Much as we mushroom fans love to tout their magical antioxidant and other properties, unless we're talking psilocybin mushrooms they're just funky looking chewable water with earthy flavors.

(BTW, there's a theory that the Viking "berserkers" were juiced up on amanita, that seems unlikely -- they'd be too sick to fight effectively. Ditto alcohol and other stuff. The most potent berserker potion for males since we climbed out of trees has been natural testosterone and tribal rituals to form bonds against a common foe.)

Chocolate is another popular ingredient for supplements that claim to boost energy. That's usually the caffeine content.

One of the NRG products also contains B vitamins, which can produce some noticeable effect in a few days for folks who were deficient in B vitamins. That may also account for some positive testimonials.

Even some popular gels touted for cyclists contain common ingredients for quick energy boosts -- caffeine and sugar, among other stuff. I tried gels for awhile to stave off bonks, but switched to cheaper glucose tablets made for diabetics. Helped on some 50 mile and longer rides, especially this summer when I couldn't stop to eat, or didn't want to feel sluggish from digesting a proper meal. During my most recent 50+ mile ride, Wednesday, I stopped to eat a huge BBQ lunch at the 30 mile mark and could hardly breathe for burping the next 23 miles. Sure tasted better than glucose tablets, though.
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Old 01-12-18, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for all the responses and great conversation!

I take the following:

New Chapter Every Man Once Daily 40+ multivitamin. It is whole food, probiotic, organic, made by hippies who sing Kumbaya, etc. I've always taken a multivitamin and am recently on a calorie restricted diet in an effort to loose weight. Vitamins help ensure that I'm not deficient in any given nutrient. I'm pretty sure they are efficacious but can't say I feel anything other than not being sick or diseased.

200 mg CoQ-10 as Ubiquinol. I was on a statin which can deplete CoQ-10. It is also supposed to be a powerful antioxidant and good for the heart. I do believe I feel better when taking CoQ-10 during periods of high intensity training as opposed to not taking it. No data can be cited and maybe it is a placebo effect but I have taken it for long periods of time and do believe it is noticeable when taken over a period of weeks or months.

I'm also taking a Casein based protein powder to make sure I get enough protein while calorie restricted and loosing weight.


Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Chocolate is another popular ingredient for supplements that claim to boost energy. That's usually the caffeine content.
This is interesting. I've been snacking on Taza 85% cacao chocolate.
https://www.tazachocolate.com/collec...cts/super-dark
One quarter of a disk (about 1.25 oz) has only 58 calories and lots of flavonoids which are supposed to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Super dark chocolate high in cacao has been shown to lower cholesterol as well. Anyway, I like it, and just a bit satisfies any cravings for sweets. It has a smoky, intense flavor, definitely different from ordinary dark chocolates.


-Tim-

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