Fitness · Just my Thoughts

Supplements

Supplements.  As I get more and more into the fitness world and that of endurance running, I find more and more information about supplements is available.  But do I want to take these items?

While you may not think of it as a supplement, I even was hesitant on drinking Gatorade or a sports drink.  I would, for years, run with just water as a replenishing drink.  This is great when I am running four or five miles or back when I was walking as much as I was running during a workout.  I could get enough potassium in the fruits and vegetables I was eating to help with muscle cramping.  Then, I upped the distance and the pace and the cramps.  I had to look at a new way to provide my body with nutrients and electrolytes I was depleting.  I started with G2 – a low calorie Gatorade.  I did not go for the low calorie because I was worried about how many calories there are in regular Gatorade.  I did it because the sugar in Gatorade made it too sweet for me.  I will admit – not that I drink soda very often – that I haven’t drank regular soda in decades.

Then came my first half marathon.  On top of G2, I had my first GU.  My youngest still sticks up his nose when I say the word GU.  Usually, that is followed by an “eww gross.”  The first I ever had was chocolate but it was cold out and the GU was not gel consistency.  I swore I wasn’t going to try another one.  I did.  I have gotten to the point where I love the berry flavors.  I haven’t tried other forms of energy gels but will as I train for the October marathon.

I have been trying various electrolyte items throughout the spring and summer.  There are so many it is hard to say what is good and what isn’t.  I do have to say that I seldom follow the “directions” on the package.  Even on GU, the package says one 45 minutes before beginning and one every 40-60 minutes of exercise.  I usually just take one about half way on a long race.  As I up my mileage on my long runs, I may have more than one but I have yet to reach that point.

Another item I have tried are Sports Beans.  These are from the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans and are that size.  They have electrolytes in them.  While the ease of a gel is that you do not have to chew it, I like eating as I run – at least something small like a jelly bean.  I have been known to stick dates in a zippie bag and take those with me as I run.  Sports Beans are a yes for me but not for everyone.

Probably the most common supplement would be a daily multi-vitamin.  We all know it is nearly impossible to eat all the daily requirements of every vitamin every day.  I have taken the daily one pill version.  I have taken a packet version formulated just for women.  I am considering finding a new one for women of a “certain age,” as my mother always calls it.

Today I started a new supplement.  I am going to try it for two weeks as I have a two weeks supply here.  It is called FRS and was heavily promoted during the Tour de France.  I am not sure how I will like it but I guess I will find out.

Do you take a multi-vitamin?  What about other supplements?

16 thoughts on “Supplements

  1. I’m very bad at remembering to take my vitamins. Luckily, my husband who is almost a health freak, is in charge of doling them out for every member of the family everyday. He tried to get me into those protein shakes but yuck, my tastebuds widly said no.

    I wouldn’t mind trying those sport beans, though. I love me some jelly bellies!

  2. I take a whole food supplement called Juice Plus. I think it really helped me keep my energy up and helped me stay healthy when I was training throughout the winter.

  3. I have a goal of doing the Ironman when I turn 50 so I have begun to pay closer attention to supplements and what I am eating.

    Truthfully I have a long time before I have to worry about that- but in the interim I am working on building up to it.

    I have been pushing harder on the workouts for a while now and have noticed that the Gatorade has been relatively helpful- more so than the just water.

    1. I did notice the Gatorade – even the G2 – helped on the longer runs. I also have gotten so I like GU. I am trying a couple other things on my long runs the next week or two so will let you know what I think.

  4. I know what you mean about considering anything other than natural/organic intake as a “supplement.” (Does excessive chocolate count as natural and organic?)

    I do take vitamin supplements – specific ones, as recommended by physicians. Typically needed for women “of a certain age.” I’m not exercising these days. (Can’t.) When I am, I drink tons of water. I can’t imagine the stamina or fitness to do the running that you do! Amazing.

    1. I have noticed that dehydration is a huge issue, even when not exercising. Not only for me but for others. I drink tons of water throughout a given day and then still have at least one glass before bed.

  5. I take fish oil tablets for omega 3s. On longer runs, I take clif shot blocks, which are mostly organic. After reading born to run, I’m debating whether trying some of the fuel methods used by the runners in the book (small pita with hummus, for instance). We’ll see!

  6. I don’t take any specific vitamins or supplements but I’m with you on not knowing what to do during long runs. I’ve tried the sports beans too and still have a couple more things to try. So far the Shot Bloks have been my favorite.

  7. I with Wolfie! Chocolate and caffeine. My supplements of choice.

    In all seriousness, since I’m still in baby making-nursing mode (or just out out of it) I do take a daily pre-natal vitamin. Outside of that I really try to just stick with a healthy, well-rounded diet. Usually!

    1. I remember those days, Christine. I wouldn’t even take allergy meds during the childbearing/nursing years.

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