Back in the early 90s I was racing and training at the highest level - top 3 nationally ranked over the ½ Ironman distance in triathlon, I was doing well by everyone's standards. However, something was wrong.
I was continually run down and always felt something was missing.Up to this point, I had enjoyed great coaches and training plans that were individualized and well thought out, along with a healthy eating plan. Some might just put my fatigue state down to training hard. I knew deep down it was more than that. I was not prepared to settle to live in a fog of fatigue everyday in pursuit of my goals.
I went on my own personal crusade to understand more about the body's needs when pushing the limits, and how to give it extra support for the demands of living above a sedentary lifestyle. There is only so much sleep one can get and calories taken in before questions are asked if your body can meet the demands of your expectations.
My very first product I went on to build my foundation of wellness was a high quality multi-vitamin-mineral. Within 7 days I experienced what I felt was a sense of coping better overall both mentally and physically. In my own words …I could now hold an intelligent conversation.
My first lesson here was understanding that regardless of if you are an elite athlete or just getting off the couch working into your new exercise regimen, you want to give it everything it needs so it can push back. Using a multi vitamin-mineral was my start to pushing back.
Not everyone is aware of the blessings of using sports supplements and how they should be used and viewed. Along with a balanced food regimen, using the right supplements at the right times can bring big advantages both short and long term. In many cases they can help directly improve athletic performance.
Taking aholistic view by covering all aspects of your needs for exercise nutritionally through supplements to fill in the cracks has a flow-on effect. It's not just the benefit it has to support training. One of my clients came back to me and said that he acknowledged the training & recovery support it gave him, but the best thing for him personally was he was not as washed out (drained after sessions). Instead of justing wanting to lie down on a Sunday afternoon after training rather than taking the kids to the park, he now actually looked forward to it. The nutritional demands placed through exercise were now clearly being met for him.
Having the ability to not only cope with, but perform at your job, enjoy your relationships while making time to exercise demand the right support nutritionally for maximal performance, both in the mental (cognitive) and muscular realms. These areas are all vital for the recovery for repeated bouts of exercise.
Elite athletes tend to be more informed and aware of the benefits of sports nutrition than many regular age groupers shooting for glory, or those just making a start which is understandable.
The physically active generally feel good after a workout. In fact, they might feel down if they do not get a workout in. This is often not the case for those starting out or renewing their athletic journey. Lack of conditioning often leads to higher levels of inflammation post workout. They just don’t get that mood lift of the more physically active. This group will often experience the feeling of cognitive fog along with muscle inflammation and in some cases feel depressed about the position they are in.
Knowing just how far sports nutrition has come in the last 10-15 years, all things being equal like training commitment and genetic endowment, nutrition matters. It matters a lot!
Emerging studies are endless on the benefits for performance & recovery with endurance athletes using amino acids, carbohydrates, electrolytes, proteins and other nutritional factors.
One company that has it right in my opinion is First Endurance. They have a complete system of products specifically designed for endurance athletes from a multi-vitamin-mineral right through to their Ultragen recovery formula.
Each of their products has a point of difference. Take for example their Multi V. One of the ingredients in this is carbogen, a patented enzyme blend that’s been clinically proven to increase time to exhaustion by 43%, reduce lactate levels and improve carbohydrate utilization. For individuals seeking out a competitive edge, that is massive.
Like I say nutrition has come a long way in the last 10-15 years and many of these athletes can improve their state of wellness and physical performance to their true level of their talent – whatever level that may be.