Many of my MelRad teammates have blogged about nutrition and how important good nutritional habits are vitally important to your sport of choice, especially triathlons. Well, I’m jumping on the bandwagon with this post and catching the proverbial piggy-back ride of my teammates.
Leading into a race weekend, we all think about every aspect of our training. Did I put in enough quality miles? Did I swim enough? Did yesterday’s run really feel that bad? Did I eat the right foods?
As you can see, like my teammates, nutrition ranks right up there with every other aspect of training and race preparation. However, I’m not here to drone on about lean proteins, quality carbohydrates and healthy fats. You’ve already done your research on all of that, right? Don’t look at your computer monitor with that strange look. You know what you need to do there. Put down the sweets, quit eating those refined carbos, and stay away from that deep fried, chocolate-covered bacon on a stick.
Instead, I want to talk about vitamin supplements. We, as triathletes burn lots and lots of calories during our training regimens. This results in us eating lots of food to restore those burnt cals. Even though you may be eating well (as mentioned previously), you may still be missing some key nutrients in your diet. This is especially true for those of you that are using your triathlon “kick” as a ride on the weight-loss train. If you’re training to also lose weight, then you are probably cutting calories in an effort to burn more than you consume. You, my friend, are in DIRE need of nutritional supplementation.
Digging through my stash of magazines in my bath… uh… reading room, I came across an excellent article in Bicycle Magazine. It mentioned “15 Proven Ways to Get Faster.” In that article, number 9 was:
“Recent research suggests that active people who are low in B vitamins such as B6, B12, folate and riboflavin don’t perform their best and may have trouble building muscle and producing oxygen—carrying red blood cells. During hard training, load up on B nutrients, which are essential for converting protein and carbs to energy and for repairing cells, by eating plenty of whole grains, dark-green veggies and low-fat dairy. Pop a daily multivitamin or start the day with a fortified cereal for extra insurance.”
Yet another article in another issue also mentions Vitamin D and Antioxidants. These are only but a few of the very important things that should also be part of your diet. Even though I only mention these two articles, there are plenty of reliable sources of information that will back it up.
So how and what should you be looking for in a good supplementation to your diet? My personal recommendation is USANA’s HealthPak. Here’s a couple of reasons why:
First, it’s easy. The HealthPak comes presorted with the right nutrients in individual packets. The packets also come with an AM and PM packet neatly attached. For someone on the go like me, it makes it pretty easy to toss a packet in my pocket on my way to work or a bunch when heading out of town (like this weekend). No fuss, no muss.
Second, it’s easy. Yep, I said it again. No guesswork about which multi-viatamins, antioxidant, or other supplement to buy. Ever been to one of those vitamin shops with walls and walls of vitamins? Which do you choose? With the HealthPak, they’re chosen, presorted, and pre-packed for me.
Lastly, it’s the right nutrition. Each packet comes with the following supplements:
- 2 Mega Antioxidants
- 2 Chelated Minerals
- 1 Active Calcium
- 1 AO Booster
Each pack contains the following vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D , Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folate, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, & Manganese. (see this detailed list of vitamins and quantities).
Although vitamins are no substitute for healthy eating habits, they can take your nutrition (and your racing) to the next level. So even if you already have healthy eating habits, you should try USANA. If you don’t already have healthy eating habits, get with the program, chump. (grin)
Just a note of caution: You know your own dietary needs. Even though I’m not a dietician, I am a triathlete like you with a goal of being the best that I can. So in the process of doing so, I have researched nutrition quite a bit myself, including recommendations from a licensed dietician. I implore you to do you’re own research to find out what nutrition is right for you and/or speak to a registered dietician.
Be a Warrior!