My doping program arrived today, so I thought I'd go over the supplements I'm taking. Right now the list is pretty long. Definitely the most I've ever taken at one time. Here's what I'm on....and why...
Glutamine: My favorite supplement. It's good for recovery, and supposedly helps your immune system. I can't really say because I take something else for that. But I do believe in its ability to help you recover from tough workouts.
BCAA's + Glutamine: This is the first time I've tried Branched Chain Amino Acids. I've read good things about L-Leucine, so we'll see. I went with the one with a little glutamine so I get a little more glutamine for recovery. This one I'm hoping will help with strength and endurance.
ZMA: I love this one. It's supposed to help elevate testosterone levels and all that jazz, but I mainly take it because it helps me sleep (recovery) and I'm an insomniac. You take this one before bed and then it's lights out.
Multi-Vitamin: I take Centrum because it has more iron than the others.
Echinacea: I think this one is a must have for everyone. I haven't gotten sick since I started taking it a year ago. You don't take it everyday. You only take it when you feel a cold coming on and then it works it's magic. This stuff is great.
Nitric Oxide: To help increase blood flow to my knee. This one is temporary...only until the tendon heals.
Vitamin E: Also for my knee. I read that vitamin E helps speed up tendon regeneration. Again, temporary.
Glucasamine/Chondroitin: I think this one is temporary as well. I'm giving it a try to see if it gets rid of the crackling noise I'm getting behind my kneecap. So far...nothing. It's been about 4 weeks.
Whew...that's quite a list. A lot more supplements than I'd like to be taking, that's for sure. I can't wait until my knee heals so I can narrow it down to a multi-vitamin, BCAA's, ZMA and Glutamine. I may add a whey protein to the mix, but we'll see. You can get protein in your diet and that's a better way to go. I also like Endurox for a recovery drink after hard workouts, partly because it has glutamine. Oh yeah, I forgot about the hornet juice. I'll talk about that one in a later post. I haven't tried it yet, but the curiosity is killing me. Cheri thinks the hornet juice is pretty ridiculous, and I have to admit I agree. But if it works....
If you noticed, most of my supplements center around recovery rather than muscle building. I'm big on recovery and I believe most of the muscle building supplements are either bogus or filled with side-effects (pro hormones and, of course, all of the illegal ones). I tried creatine when I was lifting weights a lot a few years ago and it works great, but it makes you retain water, gain weight and there's no evidence it helps endurance athletes. But if you want to lift more iron than ever, start taking creatine. Here's a tip (this works for glutamine as well): use hot water. You can get it to dissolve in hot water, but not cold water. If you don't get it dissolved it goes right through you and then you're just wasting your money, and you might get a nasty case of the runs. It's no fun drinking hot water, but when I was taking creatine I was doing sets with what used to be my max.
If you can't tell, I'm kind of a sucker for supplements.
Swimming at the high school was great when I started going this summer. Most times, I went with Cheri and we practically had the pool to ourselves. Now...well, times they are a changing. The kids are out in full force, and kids are disgusting. Last week one of them was sucking on the mirror. This week, one of them took a shit on the floor in the bathroom. Maybe the same kid. I don't know. I'm getting so used to their disgusting ways, it didn't even faze me. For some strange reason, I find the pretzels in the shower room more disgusting than the crap on the bathroom floor. I have no idea which kid is eating pretzels in the shower, but it's really gross the way they soak up water.
After training at the high school, I don't think there's anything that can happen at the Ironman that will bother me. I heard someone threw up during the swim last year. I say, bring it on. I swam with the kid who craps on the floor, eats pretzels in the shower and sucks on the mirror. A little puke in the water... who cares?