Supplements for Skiing.
One of the most common question i get asked at the beginning of every season and/or when i hand out training programs in the Autumn is: what should i take?
My opinion on supplements is based on my studies in sport nutrition as well as the experiences i gained working (and cultivating friendships) with sport nutritionists, biologists, farmacists and histology researchers.
I found out that there are very few substances that can be interesting to take and only in some particular moments of a sport life.
Before going into details, i need to share a few thoughts!
1. The Need
In my opinion a subject that follows a good diet and it’s healthy (i.e. doesn’t carry illnesses or injuries) does not need any supplementation. To a large extend, if you are in this category, your read could stop here.
You do not need supplementation.
2. The Facts
The issue with supplements comes from two main points:
1. When we read about something that could help the performace we automatically start evaluating the possibility of taking it (specially if, like all supplements,it’s advertised to be risk free).
2. The results are “guaranteed”, as in proved by “reseraches”.
Reality is, there are very few objective scientific tests that actually prove the real benefit of sport supplements in healthy human beings. A very large part of the products are results of marketing operations and don’t have a real supporting background from real clincal researches.
3. Risk vs Performance
If we want to reach the highest performance we need to be prepared to take risks. Some risks are necessary to the result, others can be avoided. It’s a personal choice in the end.
In my opinion, if i don’t have scientific material to identify the risk of some supplements, i don’t see point of taking the risk. Specially when i don’t have any more proof to prove the benefits of it.
At last, don’t let supplementation distract you from the basics of good training:
eat well, sleep well, train well, drink a lot (water).
Supplementation does not, and should not, substitute any of the above.
Not even “real drugs” such as steroids, EPO etc can substitute those 4 points.
Eat, sleep, train and hydrate well. That’s the recipe of success in sport.
(For a few more info on hydration have a look here).
Supplements for Skiing – End of part 1!