vitamin supplements during training

Curious what brand of vitamins and other supplements some of you take during heavy training? Such as fish oils, etc. I know people doing an above average amount of training need different things besides a multi vitamin but not sure what. I know the best way to get what you need is through proper diet but its tough to get everything everyday. Thanks for the input.

Submitted by jpi92109 on Sat, 06/05/2010 - 10:16pm

Not to hijack but to add to question please ...

What are you guys using for hydration during training and after for recovery ?


Fish oil generic, B-6 generic, Costco "Premium Performance" multi, Sons gummy bears ones and sometimes magnesium generic.
Generic = Spring Valley ( Walmart )

#1 Sat, 06/05/2010 - 10:51pm

cytomax before and during and good ol chocolate milk after.

as far as the generic vitamins go, I thought that the cheap ones mean you just pee most of em out? Not sure as to the truth in that but thats partly why im asking the questions. I know of the guys on here are pretty versed on this stuff.

#2 Sat, 06/05/2010 - 11:20pm

During: Glucose/Fructose mix (High5 have a good one we get in Aus) and if the session is a long one you can use the 4:1 with Protein which is great because it just tastes like fruit juice (
After (in the post 30 min window) any kind of carbo + protein meal replacement (Ensure is a good one if you're in HI).
General daily vits: fish oil, glucosamine-chondritin, and a good broad spectrum anti oxidant.
Follow the normal rules - work out what works for you during the early or pre-season and don't try anything new on race day!

#3 Sat, 06/05/2010 - 11:50pm

First you want natural sources of vitamins from your diet. Eat organic food as much as possible, don't use a microwave, or eat processed foods. Next you need to stay tuned to your body; your needs and what works for you. Not all vitamins are for everyone or work for everyone. I have found that natural solutions almost always work for me vs drugs or western type of "treat the symptom" medicine. Vitamins can help you prevent injury and illness while also improving your recovery or treating a particular weak area (ie: cardiovascular).

It is good to have a strategy in your diet and vitamin intake. You can change it up depending on what you feel is lacking in your system or ability. When I made a big push on technique, I let go of caffeine and recovery drinks and put my budget on fish oil, gingko, walnuts, CoQ10, which support the brain, concentration and memory. After a heavy workout, I'll take l-glutamine and brached-chain-aminos, especially when im feeling sluggish.

I go sections of the year without any vitamins, to help tune my body and also to avoid any dependency or build up etc. I would avoid most multi-vitamins, your body will not absorb most of the vitamins, and you might be taking a vitamin that you do not need or should not be taking. See a nutritionist or homeopath. You can find one in your town here:

Also learn about vitamins and supplements for fitness here:

Take care of your immune system most of all.

#4 Sun, 06/06/2010 - 4:27pm

Multi vitamin, fish oil, glucosimine(sp?). I swear by glutamine for recovery. I like Cytomax during, and Endurox after long or hard sessions.

#5 Mon, 06/07/2010 - 8:06pm

H2O + fruit + coffee

#6 Mon, 06/07/2010 - 10:23pm

Kirkland Premium Performance Multivitamin 1x a day no training, 2x a day when training. Schiff Mega Red Omega-3 Krill Oil 3x a day and Member's Mark Co Q-10 400 mg 1x a day.

Pog, as you should already know, there is nothing better or economical than diluted MG Haleakala POG (25% or 50%) for hydration. I also drop and shake a 325 mg tab of fast acting Bayer aspirin inside the 2 ltr. bladder full of diluted POG or water.

Solid meal is always a squeeze bag of undiluted store bought poi of course.

#7 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 1:20am

I use an amino acid immediately after my workout especially when I am doing some muscle damage. Ideally I would prefer to eat but the reality is by the time I clean and pack up it is now 30 minutes to an hour later if i need to buy something. The other challenge is it is very difficult to get the full chain of amino unless you really know your foods. The one I use in not cheap but is a great quality, ‘Glutamine Select plus BCAAS’.

#8 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 4:06am

Here's a link to common supplements and their potential benefits so you can investigate for yourself which ones might actually benefit you:

I'm not a huge fan of supplements, but I do take fish oil every day (about 10 grams which sounds like a lot but I could easily take more if I wasn't a poor grad student). It is the one supplement that has a fairly clear consensus on its benefits. You can go generic for this (or eat a lot of sardines), but I was recommended Nordic Naturals and have gone with their Ultimate Omega capsules (about $60 for 180 capsules).

If you really want to read up on supplements I recommend Mark's Daily Apple, The Whole 9, or Robb Wolf's site. You don't have to buy into their nutrition advice, but they all tend to do a good job covering the details of each supplement and reviewing the scientific literature. For instance, Mark's Daily Apple just had two or three posts on Vitamin D supplementation covering almost anything you would want to know and providing links to further reading.

#9 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 7:16am

Thanks guys. Thanks Anowara for the webiste info. From what ive read, fish oil is one of the few supplements with "without a doubt" benefits. Ive been taking a multi, fishoil, flaxseed oil, and b complex. Chocolate milk post workout, and cytomax pre workout and during with goo packs for the longer stuff. Tough thing is wether or not to spend the money on a "good" multi vitamin or other supplements or just go the costco route?? Is there really a noticeable difference?

#10 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 7:55am

An incredible resource is According to their website: "PubMed comprises more than 19 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites."

Without subscribing to the database you can get the abstract of all the published research done on your query. For example, search for "fish oil, endurance" and see what comes up. I'm always pretty impressed at the results and can usually determine if it's worth it to try a particular supplement.

#11 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 12:54pm

Wow Luke! I think thats the all time reference.

#12 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 11:46am

I just started adding organic hempseed as a supplement. It has the Omega-3's AND Omega-6's all the essential fatty acids and packed with protein, the only thing on the planet that has it all in one little seed, truly amazing and often overlooked. Good meat substitute, as well. This with some spirulina and coconut juice, rocks.

#13 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 2:03pm

My favorite article title so far from Luke's search at pubmed:

"Effect of Erabu sea snake (Laticauda semifasciata) lipids on the swimming endurance of aged mice"

Just out of curiosity Luke, what are you thoughts on fish oil? Based on the search you suggested I would guess you don't take a fish oil supplement as most of the relevant studies that come up are inconclusive or show no benefit for aerobic endurance.

#14 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 4:30pm

Great info and references guys ... Thank you.

Jp ... I will probably never be able to tell you good ones from cheap. Not from not being able to tell rather, not being able to buy : )

pog "hogger"

#15 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 5:59pm

I recon everything you need grows on the Island or in the Sea need for drug stores.

Hawaii is the most Biologically diverse location in the world.


#16 Tue, 06/08/2010 - 7:53pm

Anowara-- I don't actually have an opinion on FIsh Oil; I've never taken it nor read up on it (except for the top two of the search on pubmed).

I think it's important to know why you're taking a particular supplement, and then cater your search on Pubmed to that. There's a big difference if you're taking it for general health or to boost endurance.

And remember while you're searching that it's showing all of the test results for a particular supplement. So there are always going to be a lot of inconclusive ones. This season I took Optygen HP ( from January- May, even though there is a study on pubmed ( which tested the supplement (without mentioning it by name) and found it to have no positive results on endurance. However, I don't think it's prudent to follow the suggestion of one particular study. The Optygen study on Pubmed only used a two week loading process whereas the directions on Optygen say that you need one month to see any effects. I don't know whether that's true or if they put it on the bottle after the study said it has no effect within two weeks. Anways, I'm just trying to say to be careful-- in that reading particular studies (often on rats) usually won't tell you conclusively whether to take something or not.

I know that these aren't vitamins-- but three of the most conclusive searches that I've seen on pubmed regarding endurance are: "caffeine, endurance," "rhodiola rosea, endurance," and "sodium phosphate, endurance." I do take all three before competition.

Something interesting and completely off topic that I just saw is this article: "Total hemoglobin mass--a new parameter to detect blood doping?" ( Not sure if what it is saying is practical or not, but I thought it interesting.

#17 Wed, 06/09/2010 - 4:43am

Sleep, regular healthy food, and pleanty of water.

#18 Wed, 06/09/2010 - 5:39am

Luke said:

I think it’s important to know why you’re taking a particular supplement, and then cater your search on Pubmed to that. There’s a big difference if you’re taking it for general health or to boost endurance.

I agree completely. I am a big fan of reviewing as much information as I can before deciding to put something that's not food into my body. Anyone looking to increase performance with a supplement really owes it to themselves to do a fair amount of research before deciding to take it, weighing the risks against the benefits.

In this case, fish oil has quite a few positive benefits for overall health. It's the one supplement I take and while I can say it hasn't improved my performance, I generally feel much better than before I was taking it.

While I'm wary of nutrition in a pill and feel getting what you need from food is the best way, that's quite honestly not always possible. That's an entirely different discussion than supplements however.

Something interesting and completely off topic…

That is kind of interesting, but I'm guessing someone will figure out a way to beat it if it's included in a biological passport for elite level athletes.

#19 Wed, 06/09/2010 - 8:06am

Yep on that Rambo,

24/7/365 here ... Except driest its been in 51 years now I heard.

Seems like I only take the stuff when I am feeling a little off ... Don't know if thats right, figure the extra just gets shoved out one way or the other.

Can't say enough about the B-6 for occasional flare ups @ my rattly elbows though. It just goes away ..


#20 Wed, 06/09/2010 - 11:32am

Any paddlers around to remember the good old days when grandma use to make you take spoonfulls of Scotts Emulsion or cod liver oil? Best part about it was the Ho Min Rocky Road ice cream we got as a chaser. And if we were really good all week, swallowing the stuff, it was sundaes all around at Purity Inn

#21 Thu, 06/10/2010 - 11:15am

I'm curious if any of you are taking glutamine after hard workouts and have any comments about it. I started taking a supplement of L-Glutamine from Jarrow (up to 3 tabs of 750mg). I haven't done too much research on it frankly, but it is "supposed to protect muscle tissue and support immune function", at least that is what it says on the label. Glutamine is also a common constituent of protein powders used for post training recovery.

After a good day at the gym, a slogging long distance paddle, or a long hard race, I'll take the glutamine tablets, along with fish oil, a product called zyflammend (which is supposed to help with inflammation), and occasionally ibuprofen.

Probably the best supplementation effect for me has been monitoring my diet to reduce foods that contribute to inflammation and incorperating more of foods that have anti-inflammatory properties in my diet. Refined sugars=bad, a lot of red meat = bad (sux I know!). Tumeric is your friend.

#22 Thu, 06/10/2010 - 11:52am

Up here in Canada we Natives have something called hooligan oil. Its boiled out of the fermented fish. It's canned and or keep it in a freezer. very expensive, great for your training. The smell is got a kick to it. not for week stomach. but can cure all your ailments.

#23 Thu, 06/10/2010 - 12:09pm

Vegemite Guy's ... Americans love it so much they bought the Company.. Then what did they do ??? ... mixed cream cheese with it and called it Cheesybite..........arhhhhh.

Fact 1. ... the real Vegemite was made with yeast left over from Carlton & United brewery who make .... yep beer.

Fact 2. Vegemite is good for you ..... it's a byproduct of beer.

Sing this..

We're happy little Vegemites
As bright as bright can be.
We all enjoy our Vegemite
For breakfast, lunch, and tea.
Our mummies say we're growing stronger
Every single week,
Because we love our Vegemite
We all adore our Vegemite
It puts a rose in every cheek. 

#24 Thu, 06/10/2010 - 1:59pm

here's a link on hempseed:

#25 Thu, 06/10/2010 - 1:58pm

+1 on the glutamine sup. After back to back hard traininhg sessions, my immune system takes a licking. Glutamines helps me to get back to training. I like to take 2 right after dinner so I can sleep on it.

As for racing, I really like VO2 max Endurance

I tried Optygen but my wallet couldn't keep up. Sports Quest products are good stuff.

Results may vary.

#26 Fri, 06/11/2010 - 9:22am


Very interesting. I'm gonna get me some fish oil and cytomax...

I think this article says that if one trains in block periods (shorter segmented sessions) the athlete will get the same or better results as someone doing traditional periods (long paddles all the time)....

hese findings suggest that BP may be more effective than TP for improving the performance of highly trained top-level kayakers. Although both models allowed significant improvements of selected physiological and kayaking performance variables, the BP program achieved similar results with half the endurance training volume used in the TP model. A BP design could be a more useful strategy than TP to maintain the residual training effects as well as to achieve greater improvements in certain variables related to kayaking performance.

I guess this means you can spend less time training with similar results... and then spend less on food and sleep. Thoughts?


#27 Fri, 06/11/2010 - 12:59pm

You still need food and sleep, all the growth happens during recovery. There was a thread where this came up a few months ago as well that's worth checking out. I think it was something about "endurance" in the title.

#28 Fri, 06/11/2010 - 1:07pm

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