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Skating Supplements

skatey-mark's picture

So...  I had a doctor's appointment today for an ongoing anemia issue.  (More on that in the next post...)  She knows I do a lot of endurance skating and has asked me before if I take any supplements...  We talked about it again today, and I told her again that I don't take anything.  We also talked about diet in general, and what I eat during events as well...  (She asked if I ate the sport gels, which I said yes, and then asked what was in them...  Yadda yadda yadda...)

Actually, I do take a supplement now that I think of it...  But it's just a basic multivitamin.  And now I'm taking a separate iron supplement to try to get my iron stores back to the normal range...

Anyway, it got me thinking...  I know that people are taking supplements, so I'm curious about the following:

  • what supplements are you taking?
  • what are the alleged benefits of each supplement?
  • have you ever discussed the use of the supplements with a doctor?

My doctor said that some supplements can definitely affect iron absorption, so she wanted to make sure I wasn't taking anything that would explain the low iron counts...  I'm sure other supplements have their own unintended side effects too...

- SM - 


eebee's picture


In response to Mark's question:  I haven't done extensive research on this, but this is what I take as a result of either being told to, or by trying different things out over the past 11 years...


No matter what, I have to take synthetic thyroid medication each day.


Vit B6 (don't have the bottle with me for dosage info) - I heard that it was supposed to help memory, but not from a medical professional. I do not believe it is doing me any good on that front. I will probably not (remember to) buy any more after all these are gone.


Vit B12 - Supposed to make me happy :-). I hear the sublingual kind is more effective. I DID notice it having an effect after I started taking it, and so did others. I believe this brings my moods up to 'normal', and I can handle fatigue and stress better. I get the same effect from eating lots of green leafy veg. I take the biggest dose I can find. 1000 mcg. This one's a keeper! I have not asked a doctor about it.


I tried St. John's Wort many years ago and didn't notice a blind bit of difference in my outlook or general wellbeing. Never talked to a doctor about that.


Iron - I have to make sure to take this at a different time of day than the thyroid med. If taken at the same time, the iron somehow negates the thyroid medication. Consequently I often remember to take one but not the other. Doctor recommended me taking iron as I've been 'borderline' anemic in the past and it's always low.


Vit C - The chewy kind. I have not had any cold or flu in at least 2 years. I mentioned this to my sneery, arrogant doctor, who snorted at my comments and announced that vitamin C pills do absolutely nothing to avoid colds because it just goes straight through the body. Whatever. I'm just happy not having colds so I'm gonna keep takin' 'em, using superstitious rationalization, perhaps.


I used to take a teaspoonful of Natrena's L. Acidophilus daily (get it from healthfood stores in the fridge). It's supposed to keep your intestinal flora and bacteria from misbehaving. I stopped buying it because I kept forgetting to take it (because you have to keep it in the fridge). I never talked to a doctor about that either.


Calcium - I chew the occasional calcium tablets when I think about it (not every day). The Doctor mentioned these after I turned 35.

skatey-mark's picture

my supplements

I guess I should list mine here... Not that there are many...


Multivitamin -- I take the Nature Made Multi for Him... I have no idea if it's doing anything for me. I started taking it when I started having to take iron on a daily basis, figuring if I have to remember to take the iron, I can just add in the vitamins. I've read some things over the past couple years suggesting that a daily multivitamin has no measurable benefit, but that it doesn't hurt anything either. Getting vitamins and minerals from food is much better, but I figure even at a low absorption from pill form, there is probably a little benefit if I happen to be deficient in one of more nutrients. My hematologist seemed to think the multivitamin was a good idea when I told her. Note that a deficiency is some nutrients can affect iron absorption. We did check for that before I started taking the multivitamin, and that came back normal too...


Iron -- CVS Iron tablets, 65 mg twice a day. This is hopefully a temporary thing until the cause of my iron deficiency is discovered. Worst case scenario is that I may need to take a much smaller dose as 'maintenance' once my iron levels are back up if we can't figure out why I'm deficient. Too much iron is very bad, so it's definitely not something to take unless you're truly iron deficient. Obviously, I'm taking this as directed by my hematologist.


That's it, aside from the occasional aspirin or ibuprofen. I sometimes take a "preemptive dose" of ibuprofen before skating, as taking it before you're sore supposedly is more effective. For something like A2A, I take 400 mg about an hour before the start, then another 400 mg halfway through. (And maybe 400 mg when I'm done, to hopefully keep me from getting as sore.) One year when I pulled a hamstring, I took 800 mg (dosage for prescription Advil) to deal with that, which was fairly effective. I've been reading alot lately that aspirin is supposed to be just as effective as ibuprofen (and tylenol) for most things. Habits are hard to break, but I'm trying to substitute aspirin more and more. Although my "emergency dose" of ibuprofen will probably stay in my Camelbak, just in case.


Oh - and I guess I add electrolytes to the water I drink when skating, so that's a supplement too... I use Elete Water, which is just pure electrolytes. No sugar, no flavor, etc... It does give the water a somewhat "mineral" taste, kind of like well water. I mix it about 2/3 of what the instructions say to, so that change in taste is a little more subtle. I think does does make a big difference, and there may be something to Elete's claims of needing electrolytes to turn food into energy. I take it more to fend off hyponatremia, which I had never heard of before A2A 2002, but now I'm paranoid about...


- SM -

skatey-mark's picture

dihydrogen monoxide

Just realized the most obvious of my performance-enhancing substances...


Dihydrogen Monoxide


 (I've seen this before...  Stumbled on it today...)


- SM - 

Supplements or lack of . . .

   As a 48 year old female, there are probably many vitamins that various sources would tell me to take.  Calcium, of course, would be at the top of the list.  I have a problem taking supplements, which I'm not going to get into right now, but I have decided for me that I will put nothing in my mouth that is not in liquid form or in a capsule.  I will not take anything that is in a hard pressed form with a lot of bonding agents.  I don't believe, especially in my case, that I can count on my body to break all of that stuff down so that it actually benefits me.

   Because of this, I rely very heavily on my diet.  The only vitamin I am taking is B-5 for my skin, hair, and nails.  I have been taking it for years, and I have found that it reduces pore size.  My skin is much clearer as a result.  My hair is as thin and fine as ever, but with B-5 and "Rogaine for Women," my hair loss has stabilized.  I don't know which has helped more.

   Anyway, I take nothing else.  I have researched calcium somewhat, and I have found that many non-diary foods contain calcium.  Diary foods are absolutely loaded with hormones, and I have chosen to avoid diary for that reason.  A hard look at any chart listing calcium content shows that if an individual is willing, it is possible to get enough calcium without supplements and diary products.  I am getting more calcium now than ever.

   Everyone's body reacts differently to what we take in, and we all have family history, and other predispositions to deal with, but unless we are a little proactive about what we consume and take note of how our bodies react, in the long run, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we don't at least try to take the proper supplements that we each uniquely need and eat with the same idea in mind.

skart's picture

Hi! My name is skart and I am a suppliment user

Hi! My name is skart and I am supplements user. :-)

 I do take supplements and if you ask me I take a lot of them :-) But every one I take has a purpose and I just hope that they don't interfere with each other ;-)

So, I take:

1. Multivitamin - GNC Men's Sport brand (more vitamin B and BCAA (branch chained amino acids) than in a regular GNC Men's

2. CLA (Conjulated Linolic Acid) - Omega-6 supplement. Is precursor for testosterone production - more testosterone = easier muscle recovery and building. Since I am working on getting stronger I need more muscles :-)

3. Glucosamine/Chondroitin - since i do some running also this helps to keep my knees pain free... Helps with joints in general.

4. Vitamin C - general immune system strength. Also, reduces stress hormone production and makes your body age faster. 2 positives and 1 negative effects.. could be worse :)

5. Fish Oil - Omega-3 supplement - cardiovascular health.

6. Green Tea extract - it was shown in lab test that it improves endurance by as much as 20%.

7. Ginko Biloba - was shown to increase VO2max (also helps with memory).

8. Coenzime Q10 - the same as 7.

9. BCAA and Glutamine for muscle recovery and restoration as part of a protein shake (GNC Whey Pro)

 I also take ibuprofen when I am injured for inflamation control....

I hope this helps.

skatey-mark's picture

Green tea & iron absorption

I actually started drinking green tea last year, and then when I started doing some research on my anemia issue, I stumbled onto some research that said a side effect of green tea was decreased iron absorption.  So I immediately stopped drinking it.  Not a huge loss, since it was a bit of a struggle for me to drink it anyway -- I was trying to make myself like it, because I heard all the great benefits it allegedly had.  (I ended up adding honey & cinnamon to it to make it more palatable...)


Anyway, it was definitely not the cause of the anemia, since it was diagnosed long before I started drinking green tea.  But I figured I didn't want to do anything to hinder the treatment.  I don't know how reliable the research was, but I do think I saw it mentioned in at least a couple places...  So for whatever that's worth...  I would expect that green tea extract would have an even bigger effect (assuming there is one) since it's probably the equivalent of drinking multiple cups of tea.


- SM - 

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