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Coach's Column with Namrita O'Dea

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |March 1, 2012 1:52 PM

This week our question goes to Namrita O'Dea. A licensed dietician and member of the Topeak/Ergon racing team, O'Dea helps riders fine tune their bodies for maximum performance through her business 55 Nine Performance_Nutrition.



Question: What supplement or supplements do you find necessary and or most helpful for performance and how/when should you use it?

Answer:

1) Caffeine: A 2009 review of scientific literature determined a 3.2+4.3% improvement in endurance. 

Usage: 3-6 mg per kg body weight used before and/or during workouts and/or races.

Note: Caffeine combined with carbohydrate also produces a slight but significant performance benefit over intake of carbohydrate alone.

2)  Vitamin D: There is growing evidence that many athletes are vitamin D insufficient (serum vitamin D < 30 ng/mL). Insufficiency or deficiency in vitamin D may contribute to poor recovery and even chronic overuse or inflammatory injury.  A serum vitamin D test will tell you how your value compared to the recommended concentration of at least 40 ng/mL. If you are insufficient or deficient you can start taking 1500-2000 IU Vitamin D2 or D3 per day and possibly more if recommended by your doctor. 

3) Quercetin: A 2011 review of scientific literature determined a small (~3%) but significant improvement in VO2max and endurance performance.  Quercetin is a natural polyphenolic flavonoid found in plant foods (i.e. the skins of grapes, onions, and apples).  It can also be taken in supplement form in products such as FRS. 

Usage: Between 250 and 1000 mg quercetin per day on some days of the week

Disclaimer: I highly recommend a whole foods diet and supplements to be used minimally, when needed.  There is no magic bullet to make you fast but when you're training hard, eating well, and recovering well certain supplements can sometimes provide you that "edge" that you are seeking.

 

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