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?