Supplements For Performance and Recovery

Along with an intense training and proper fueling, a diet rich in organic nutrients can help athletes avoid illness and injury and perform up to their peak come race day.

Here are a few natural supplements that athletes have used to help with training and race day performance. 

Daily Multi-Vitamins and Essential Minerals

Vitamins and Mineral Supplements Can Fill The Gap In An Athletes DietMulti-vitamin/mineral supplements are typically recommended as “insurance” against dietary gaps in the provision of essential nutrients. Believe it or not, your diet may not provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need to help with the bodily processes including helping covert food into energy.  Minerals are dissolved in liquid and quickly excreted from the body during intense exercise.  

Vitamins and Minerals Are Critical For Bodily Functions

Vitamins and minerals (such as vitamins D3, E, and B6) are critical for bodily functions, and without replacement, an athlete's body can break down. For example, vitamin B-12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. B-12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. 

Liquid forms of both multi-vitamins and minerals will absorb into the stomach and bloodstream faster and more effectively.  Also, certain enzymes help your body absorb vitamins and minerals.

Fish Oil Supplements With Omega-3

Omega-3 essential fat deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Only a handful of foods—some types of fish, flaxseeds, walnuts—contain omega-3’s in significant amounts. Consequently, even many healthy eaters don’t get enough of them. Adequate omega-3 intake is needed for healthy cell walls, nervous system function, immune function, and more.

If you regularly eat the few foods that contain large amounts of omega-3’s, you don’t need to take a fish oil supplement. Otherwise, you should. In any case, it can do no harm. 

Essential Amino Acids Help Promote Recovery

Protein And Amino Acid Supplements Help Promote Protein Synthesis 

According to a 2000 article by Robert W. Wolfe published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," active individuals, including triathletes, may consume protein and amino acid supplements to promote muscle strength and function. 

Amino Acids Promote Muscle Protein Synthesis Post-Exercise

Wolfe states that the stimulatory effect of amino acids on muscle protein synthesis is greater immediately after exercise than amino acids consumed while at rest, which suggests that the timing of protein supplementation is equally important as the quality of the protein consumed. Amino supplements such as L-glutamine (the largest amino found in the human body) and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) have been found to help promote protein synthesis.

Rehydrating With Essential Minerals Can Improve Both Brain Function And Performance

Our body and brain depends on proper hydration to function optimally. Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various minerals to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted and your brain cells lose efficiency. Your body can't perform at it's optimal level if the brain isn't functioning properly.

Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Nina Anderson, recommends using an electrolyte replacement product that replenishes sodium, potassium and trace minerals like Boron, Selenium, and Manganese; that are vital for your brain to function properly.  

To get the most from your training be sure you replace the nutrients and minerals that are lost during training.  Proper recovery is crucial to improving performance.

We Know Electrolytes Are Important for Hydration, But Why? 

Your body is a complex and carefully-balanced superhighway of cells, tissues, and fluids that, almost every second, directs an incomprehensible array of electrical impulses. This is only possible because those cells, tissues, and fluids thrive in a homeostatic environment where they conduct electricity well enough to carry the signals to their intended destinations.

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolyte is a “medical/scientific” term for mineral salts, specifically ions. Electrolytes are the spark that keeps our body running. They are necessary for life. They are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across them- selves and to other cells.

Deficiencies Cause Bodily Functions To Slow Down And Eventually Stop

These electro-chemicals influence the body’s pH — a chemical balance that determines how effectively the biological systems run. When there is a deficiency of body electricity, body functions slow down and eventually stop. Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and the protection of body tissues from oxidative damage. They are also required to help build and repair muscle tissue following exercise.

Electrolytes facilitate delivery of oxygen to achieve and maintain peak brain function and proper nervous system response. The constant firing of micro-electric impulses across the synapses of the brain requires a great deal of energy. Only electrolytes can supply this. If, because of electrolyte imbalance, there isn’t enough oxygen available for the nerve cells to fire when needed, the brain functions less effectively. The body uses oxygen to turn nutrients into energy through the process of primary oxygenation. This simply means that electrolytes help the oxygen create a chemical reaction that ultimately allows the body to “burn” the nutrients as fuel.

Electrolytes Help Maintain Balance Of Fluids For Hydration, Nerve Impulses, Muscle Function, and pH Levels During Exercise

There are several common electrolytes found in the body, each serving a specific and important role, but most are in some part responsible for maintaining the balance of fluids between the intracellular (inside the cell) and extracellular (outside the cell) environments. This balance is critically important for things like hydration, nerve impulses, muscle function, and pH level.

Approximately 4% of the human body mass is composed of 21 macro and trace minerals that are essential for life. When mineral levels are insufficient to meet the demands of the body under emotional, physiological, and psychological stresses (such as during physical activity), the result will most likely be a substandard level of performance. For athletes or weekend exercisers, this increases the risk of serious injury and reduces the recovery rate after strenuous work or exercise.

Are More Electrolytes Better Than Less?

Sports drinks and supplement manufacturers who claim their electrolyte-forming minerals facilitate proper rehydration may be only partially correct. Macro and trace minerals work in combination to provide the proper environment for electrolyte formation and maximum absorption. According Dr. Gerald Olarsch, N.D., if there are too few trace-minerals in a drink they will be unable to form the proper electrolyte balance to enter the cell and maximize rehydration. 

To find out which trace minerals are important for proper balance during exercise, read the publication titled: "Analyzing Sports Drinks: Carbohydrate or Electrolyte Replacement", by sports nutritionist, Nina Anderson (SPN) of Safe Goods Publishing. The full version PDF is available here:


The following review was reposted from IRONMAN Foundation - Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team (#TriTeamForGood),Triathlete Ken Chin on his blog

When it comes to almost everything I get into in life, I can be quite obsessive. When it comes to my health, I've become more protective of my body and the items that I put in it. I read labels closely and do a lot of research. The least amount of ingredients typically is my go-to. Make them organic, or at least non-GMO, HUGE BONUS!

Without diving TOO far into the details, I had some blood work and saliva tests last year when I went to a naturopathic physician. I wanted to discuss options that could get me OFF my anxiety medication AND help me wake up feeling refreshed each day. The summary of the series of visits and tests was that my body was not getting enough rest due to poor diet - likely "leaky gut" - which prevents proper absorption of nutrients. This was likely a huge reason for me often not getting restful sleep and suddenly waking up at 2am with my mind racing.

Also, although not fried, my adrenals were taxed out and sitting in an "adapted to stress" state, which if not addressed could lead to diabetes, heart disease, and possibly many other things that I stopped hearing because I was in shock. I was in shock because I was, I thought, doing good things by eating as Paleo possible and staying active with my workouts. To hear diabetes and heart disease calling my name BAFFLED me!

I was experiencing a lot of inflammation from dairy, eggs, gluten and various other foods and, therefore, had to avoid them as much as possible preferably eliminating them altogether. I was told to continue eating as Paleo possible, but I needed to skip the eggs and dairy. THANKS FOR TAKING AWAY MY OMELETS! =( I also had to take away all computers, wifi devices, phones and TV for the last hour before bed to allow my mind to calm and not be stimulated by EMF, blue light etc. Reading a book without a lot of drama was to become my new thing. AND, I had to find ways to de-stress and that led to my discovery of the Calm app.

I was also given a few supplements that could help balance out some deficiencies that were found, but not a ton of different ones that I've heard other similar physicians give you and which add up to mucho $$$!!! What was prescribed was very clean and high quality. That was the point when I realized that I should actually look for clean supplements for my training as well. And, this is where EnduroPacks came into the picture.

EnduroPacks Daily Nutrients For Endurance Training

Just as I started obsessing over reading articles about the best, clean supplements for training, EnduroPacks reached out wanting me to try and review their product. As usual, I was immediately skeptical but my research showed that this company is pretty legit and seemed to be providing a pretty clean product, with organic and non-GMO sources. YUP - I'LL TRY IT!

What comes in their $69/month package is a 30-day supply of liquid EnduroMulti, a liquid electrolyte spray, amino acid patches and EnduroGlutamine capsules. Yes, it seems like a lot of stuff but it definitely covers a LOT of bases for about $2 a day. And, you don't have to worry about forgetting how to use anything because included is a small postcard that tells you when and how much to take of each!

Enduro Multi-Vitamin

Stored in the refrigerator, the EnduroMulti is taken in the morning. It's a thick consistency with a wild berry flavor and tastes YUMMY, making me want more than the one-tablespoon dose! More often than not, I would just add it into my green shakes. It tastes sweet but uses Xylitol instead of sugar.

I've read various articles about the benefits of liquid vs tablet or capsule. And, what I've seen was that the liquid versions provide fast absorption. The EnduroMulti also includes a brown rice protein that's used as a stabilizing agent for maximum bioavailability.

Enduro Concentrated Electrolyte SprayThe electrolyte spray is a concentrated liquid that requires only ten sprays to 16-ounces of water. The idea here is that this will help reduce the need for too many salt tablets and/or scoops of sea salt.

It has essential minerals for energy, muscle contraction and blood flow, organ and tissue health, and mental acuity. It's also suppose to increase stamina and hydrate without the sugar.

There is a slight metal taste but it's not overbearing and is palatable.

Essential Amino Acid PatchesThese Amino patches are NEAT! They're transdermal adhesives that you just put onto your clean skin after a workout, an effective way to provide essential amino acids to the muscles for recovery, increase lung function, and boost immune system performance. Leave them on four to eight hours and you should be set! Gone are the days of popping lots of horse tablets and capsules post-workout!!

EnduroGlutamine is taken just before bed and helps replace the glutamine and nitrogen lost during a workout.  I've been a big user of glutamine for recovery in the past and this is no different. I would say that it's probably the more potent of the ones I've taken and the capsule form is my preference over needing to scoop and put it into a drink.

What was the best way to determine the effectiveness of this whole line-up? I simply monitored how I felt, most especially the next day following a tough workout, whether a HIIT strength session or time in the pool, on the bike, or pounding the pavement.

And, I felt GREAT while using EnduroPacks!

I typically don't look forward to the morning after a hard workout because the soreness makes me feel unable to function normally. Worse is the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) on the second day, and that didn't show its face at ANY extreme when compared to when I wasn't using these supplements.

The products are clearly doing something right if I am feeling more rested and am having little to no soreness or extreme fatigue after tough workouts!

It works and it's pretty clean!  SOLD!