Best Cycling Supplements

Best Cycling Supplements
“When you feel like quitting, remember why you started,” But before you start, having a solid nutritional foundation is a must. Your daily diet is the key to reaching your goals. Eating a diet that supplies the needed calories for your exercise regimen, mixed carbohydrates, protein, fats, and vegetables supplies the energy and nutrients for your body to perform at its max.

Magnesium for Muscle Recovery

Replenishing electrolytes after strenuous exercise is crucial and magnesium has a particular role in muscular health and recovery. With up to 20 percent of the general population found to be magnesium deficient, and as exercise leads to the natural depletion of electrolytes and trace minerals in the body. It’s no wonder that researchers studying marathon runners found magnesium to be the most highly depleted electrolyte in athletes, followed by potassium.

Oral supplements can take up to two weeks to work, and can lead to GI upset, increasingly athletes have made a topical magnesium product part of their exercise regimen. Utilizing it for efficient assimilation into the blood stream, effectively negating the effects of muscle strain and tension after exercise. As with magnesium salt baths, this method immediately replenishes the body, but with the added time-saving convenience and portability of the product.

Magnesium is a vital mineral and ensuring your requirements are met is necessary for optimum health. Boosting your intake of magnesium via nutritional and topical supplements can aid in muscle recovery, negate post-exercise muscle pain, and can potentially assist muscle recovery and boost athletic performance.

Muscle Pain? Remember your Vitamin D

The winter holidays are always a joyful time, but the lack of sunshine can cause a lack of vitamin D in up to 75 percent of the population. This deficiency is even more acute in the northern states. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to increase muscle strength, particularly in people who are vitamin D deficient. Higher serum levels of vitamin D are associated with reduced injury rates and improved sports performance.

So, to ward off Vitamin D deficiency the FDA recommends taking 800 units per day, especially in the winter, and in the northern latitudes. If you’re short of breath, you may be short of iron! Iron is a vital mineral that is needed for oxygen transport within the body. Low levels of iron contribute to fatigue, shortness of breath and poor performance.

Those most at risk of iron deficiency are athletes who consistently push their upper limits, vegans/vegetarians, and women who are pre-menopausal. Cyclists should routinely check with their primary care providers to monitor their iron levels. If your iron levels are low, you should consider an iron supplement. The most common iron supplement is ferrous sulfate, but if that is too upsetting to your stomach, a good alternative is ferrous gluconate.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency can sneak up on you.

You need vitamin B-12 to produce and maintain your red blood cells. Getting too little B-12 can lead to anemia. When you don’t absorb enough B-12 from your food to make red blood cells, your body’s oxygen capacity decreases, along with your endurance. The natural, food bound form of the vitamin occurs mostly in animal products, including milk, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.

As a result, vegetarian / vegan athletes are more likely to be deficient in vitamin B-12. Another group at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency includes anyone over the age of 50, because as they age, some people are less able to absorb food bound vitamin B-12. To compensate, vegetarian / vegan athletes and mature athletes should increase their intake of foods that are fortified with B-12, or talk to their primary care provider about obtaining a vitamin B-12 blood level, and starting on a supplement.

Planning to exercise, start drinking!

Exercise performance can be compromised by body water deficit, particularly in hot climates. It’s recommended that people need to be hydrated before they start exercising. You need to drink 12 to 20 ounces of fluids 2 hours before starting exercising. Then drink 5 to 10 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.

What to drink to replace your electrolytes!

Nothing like the old standbys like Gatorade and Powerade, they are the electrolyte-rich powerhouses. Cow’s milk is a bit of an under appreciated superstar when it comes to electrolyte drinks. With a protein boost to boot. Fruit juices are rich in electrolytes, great when you need the fructose pick-me-up. Coconut water is a delicious, electrolyte-filled natural beverage that moderates your blood sugar, helps improve kidney function and keeps you refreshed and hydrated after a workout. Smoothies increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, increase your fiber intake, and can provide a nutritional balance of fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. And they taste so good!

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