In light of the recent Sochi Olympics happening, something that happens rarely in the winter games, something that is common in the supplement industry……cross contamination. Athletes fail drug test on account of this! Athletes loose medals on account of this! Athletes loose creditability for themselves, their country and their sport on account of this.
If you decide to not fill in the gaps of your nutrition with supplements, well that’s ok. That’s what I use to think as well, “I eat good. My family eats good”. That was until my oldest daughters gymnastics level of competition moved up a notch or two. She qualified for a National level competition and was looking at the prospects of scholarship to the NCAA.
Regardless of the drama that most like to attach to an athlete failing a drug test, most often the athletes have taken supplements that were poorly manufactured and they were lied to by the manufacturers. Really,they wouldn’t knowingly “dope” and risk all the time and money spent in training just to get to the Olympics to have it ALL lost with one pee in a bottle. I know all that is invested in creating a National Level athlete, let alone Olympic level.
Hands up who lives in a family???? All it takes is one person to get sick and there you go. The rest of the winter is spent handing off the baton of un-wellness. Along with all the information we received for her pending competition was a list of banned substances. That cleared out whatever cold “remedies” even herbs from our home.
WHAT TO DO? With highschool, homework, training….what does she need to STAY healthy? More of the story after Dr.Cumo explains which and why athletes need vitamins:
Contributed by Mark DeCotis
The issue of the value of vitamins and supplements for athletes can be confounding and confusing, to say the least. John Cuomo, Ph.D., the executive director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences addresses the most common questions on the subject.
WHICH VITAMINS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR ATHLETES AND WHY?
A: All vitamins and minerals play specific roles in the body to maintain an athlete’s well-being, energy and metabolism. Since many vitamins and minerals work together in the body, if an athlete is low on one, it affects how the body functions as a whole. Athletes require excellent nutrition in order to meet the challenges they face. For example, intense training increases oxidative stress and weakens the immune system. Antioxidants such as betacarotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, CoQ10 and several others may be particularly important.
IN WHAT DOSAGES SHOULD ATHLETES INGEST VITAMINS?
A: Athletes typically need a higher intake of vitamins and minerals similar to their increased caloric needs. One assumption is that athletes consume additional calories to match their higher energy expenditure and these additional calories will contain enough vitamins to match increased needs. This is likely incorrect, as most athletes do not consume enough nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to meet their increased calorie needs. A balanced approach of a varied diet and a daily high-quality multivitamin regimen is recommended over supplementing with individual vitamins and minerals. Blood tests and other tests can help with creating a more specific supplementation regimen for an athlete.
WHICH VITAMINS IF ANY HAVE NO VALUE TO ATHLETES?
A: All vitamins and minerals potentially have value to athletes. The extent of the benefit of each depends on how much the athlete is getting from his or her diet and supplement regimen and how much the vitamins and minerals are being used by the athlete. So, for example, an athlete who trains outdoors would likely have different vitamin D needs than an athlete who trains indoors.
WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE ARGUMENT THAT ALL SUPPLEMENTS HAVE NO VALUE AND THAT A BALANCED DIET WILL ACHIEVE THE SAME RESULTS?
A: There’s a difference between what we think athletes should be eating and what they are actually eating. And there’s a difference between the minimal nutrition that our bodies need to function and the optimal nutrition that our bodies require to perform at its best.
ARE SPECIFIC VITAMINS SPECIFIC TO SPECIFIC SPORTS, SUCH AS RUNNING, SWIMMING, CYCLING, ETC.?
A: Athletes involved in extreme endurance sports experience a higher level of oxidative stress and would likely benefit more from antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Iron depletion and deficiency are common in female athletes and more so in those involved in weight-dependent and aesthetic sports. Vegetarian athletes also are at increased risk for poor iron status.
WHAT IS THE RISK POSED TO ATHLETES WHO ARE NOT EATING A BALANCED DIET OR NOT TAKING WORTHWHILE SUPPLEMENTS (LEGAL VITAMINS)?
A: During competitive years, the athlete who is not eating and supplementing right has an increased risk of getting sick, becoming injured and not adapting to their training as quickly. Athletes place high demands on their bodies, so the hope is that in keeping up with these demands through proper eating and supplementation habits, they can maintain a high level of performance over their lifespan.
You want to keep toxins and contaminants out of yours and your families supplements? Keep them clean.