Supplements & Antidotes
Boosts & Balms
61“Caffeine is a non-banned supplement proven to have a measurable physiological improvement to performance.” Katharine Beals, nutritional counsel to cyclists
We pop out of the pot of how to define good nutrition and into the fire of dietary supplements. These include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, botanicals, herbs, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues and glandulars, metabolites etc. Some would buy snake oil if it would help performance; 62others say supplementation doesn’t enhance performance unless an individual has a specific nutrient deficiency, and some herbals may even harm.
From the supplement industry itself come repeated claims that today’s processed, inorganic, pesticidal, hormone-injected foodstuffs lack enough nutritional value. To some extent, we have to work through this ourselves searching, testing, adding, subtracting. Most importantly, we cannot rely on any regulatory agency to ensure that any supplementation is proven or free of banned ingredients. It’s a free-for-all out there whose snake oil vendors aren’t pedaling wares from a little wagon, but warehouses of information and products, and all of it claims to be the elixir of life and the thing you most need. 63A specific product may not be banned but it may contain other things that are not on the label.
Lower the risk by checking product endorsements, third party testing, purity guarantees, and history of clean use. Research the manufacturer, its track record of claims and other products. Ensure no danger if mixed with any medications or other supplements.
Often endurance athletes do become deficient in certain nutrients. There are times when an effective herbal mix or balm tops off an unfulfilling diet, addresses a particular ailment, or boosts immunity during tough training blocks. There are some good potions available, but none of them are magical quick fixes. Again, we’re back to smart and steady work, this time in ingesting nutrients.
Prayer for Clean Supplementation & Medications
“…they exchanged in your market…because of the abundance of supplies.” 64Ezekiel 27:18
We are thankful for an expanding influence on traditional western concepts of medicine. We confess we are confused and bombarded by all the available remedies. We ask for light to shine in the darkness of the pantry so we can be informed.
Ponder What is my perceived panacea? Affirm I can improve my nutritional values by diet first, alchemy second. Watch what you ingest very, very carefully.
61Caffeine is the only exception of a non-banned substance for use as a performance-enhancement supplement that works, but with limitations for its use as reported by Katharine Beals in “Fueling Performance: Nutritional Strategies to Enhance Cycling Performance,” by Katharine Beals, PhD, RD, FACSM, Division of Nutrition & Department of Family & Preventative Medicine, University of Utah presentation at conference, “Women In Cycling Leadership,” presented by USA Cycling on January 27, 2008 in Colorado Springs. See banned list for allowable limits.
62“USADA’s Dietary Intake Recommendations for Sport, for Life,” by Jacqueline R. Berning, PhD, RD on www.usantidoping.org
63“Anti-doping Procedures,” presented by Betsy Weeks, USADA, Education Dept. 10/17/2007 as a USA Cycling webinar.