In 2017, over 4 million people participated in triathlons in the U.S.
Triathletes are some of the most well-rounded athletes in the world. The race consists of swimming, cycling, and running.
The lengths of each portion vary based on the event, the most famous being the Ironman. This race consists of a 3.9km swim, 180km bike, and a 42.2km run.
Triathlons aren’t for the faint of heart, they require serious endurance, both physically and mentally.
Therefore, if you’re training for a triathlon, it’s important to keep your body strong and healthy.
Check out these 7 triathlon supplements to keep you training hard!
1. B6 and B12
Vitamins B6 and B12 are well known for being the “energy” vitamins, making them a common triathlon supplement. However, vitamins by themselves don’t give you energy because they don’t have calories. What B6 and B12 do is important for energy, though.
B6 helps break down the food you eat, making it easier for your body to absorb. This works to level out your blood sugar and boosts the amount of energy you get from food.
B6 also works to boost your immune and nervous systems by helping your blood carry oxygen throughout the body.
B12 is a very important vitamin. It aids in the creation of DNA and RNA which are the catalysts in the continuous growth and function of your cells.
While it doesn’t provide energy, consuming an adequate amount of B12 will help prevent you from feeling fatigued.
Lack of B6 and B12 have been strongly linked to depression and chronic fatigue.
2. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is the famous sunlight vitamin. Our bodies naturally produce it in reaction to being in the sun.
Unfortunately, during winter months, most of us don’t get outside too often, even if we’re training for a triathlon. In fact, 42% of Americans are shown to be deficient in Vitamin D3.
However, this can create a serious risk. Vitamin D3 deficiencies have been linked to many debilitating health issues including many forms of cancer, depression, and heart disease.
Vitamin D3 also promotes strong, healthy bones in children and adults, as it is vital for your body to absorb calcium, making them a must for triathlon supplements.
Learn more about the amazing benefits of taking a Vitamin D3 supplement!
Probiotics are important to have in your body because they are what regulate the health of your gut flora, or bacteria. We have good and bad gut flora and probiotics are what keeps everything in line.
However, when we have an infection or illness and consume antibiotics, this can all get disheveled. While antibiotics take away your infection by wiping out the bad bacteria, it also wipes out the good bacteria, which can lead to other problems.
Probiotics don’t just keep your digestive system healthy. They also lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure, maintaining heart health as well. Additionally, probiotics can improve your immune system by boosting antibody production in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found commonly in fish oils. However, a lot of people don’t enjoy eating fish and are better off taking omega-3 supplements.
Omega-3 aids in preventing depression and anxiety, which can be prevalent in some athletes leading up to a race. They are also important for athletes because they help fight inflammation in the body. Omega-3s helps prevent overly-sore joints and muscles, making them one of the best supplements for triathletes.
Omega-3s have also been proven in fostering healthy bones and joints. They also aid in getting a good night’s sleep, which is especially valuable when putting in long days of training. Your body heals while at rest, after all.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is well known for its immune system bolstering properties. There are countless companies that have exploited this fact to make millions of dollars on cold prevention and remedy products.
However, vitamin C is not just a cold remedy. It can help you fight off all kinds of diseases and infections as it naturally aids in increasing your white blood cell count. White blood cells are the body’s main line of defense against disease.
Vitamin C can also help reduce blood pressure, which in athletes, can prevent some very serious problems. Additionally, it can aid in lowering your risk of heart disease by decreasing your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
Vitamin C can also assist your body’s ability to absorb iron, lowing your risk of anemia.
We have just mentioned how an iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Anemia can have negative side effects such as fatigue, the inability to concentrate, and weakness. Sad, nearly 5 million Americans have an iron deficiency.
Iron deficiencies are especially prevalent in people who don’t consume meat. While there are sources of iron in many plant-based foods, our bodies don’t absorb them as well.
Iron also helps your body’s production of red blood cells. As an athlete, the more red blood cells you have carrying oxygen to your muscles and throughout the body, the better you will perform.
Iron is one of the best triathlon supplements to take, however, this became the premise behind blood-doping, an illegal performance-enhancing method some athletes use to help them in competitions.
Whenever someone is exercising and starts to cramp, the go-to is always “eat a banana.”
Why? Because bananas are chock-full of potassium, a vitamin that helps prevent those awful muscle cramps.
However, potassium also helps lower the risk of countless diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and more.
Additionally, potassium can increase bone density and help maintain muscle mass, especially in older adults. Potassium can also help those who suffer from arthritis pain, which can be particularly rough while training for a triathlon.
Listen to Your Body, It Will Tell You What Triathlon Supplements You Need
Obviously, as a triathlete, you know that our bodies are incredible machines. They can adapt to almost anything we put it through.
They are also very smart and intuitive. If you know how to listen, your body will tell you what triathlon supplements you should be taking.
Being an athlete of any kind takes dedication and determination, but it also requires healthy habits. Treat your body with respect and give it the fuel it needs.
For more triathlon related tips and advice, check out our training blog!