Food vs. Dietary Supplements

This is the second article in a multi-part series about athlete nutrition and eating for performance.  These articles are written by Katie Mazzia, Clinical Dietician and Diabetes Educator at the Vail Valley Medical Centre in Colorado.  Katie is part of the Golden Ultra family and a fantastic runner herself.  As a multiple time podium finisher at the TransRockies Run, she knows a thing or two about healthy eating as an athlete!

Proper nutrition is the first line of high level performance and recovery for all athletes. 

Did you know...

1) Drinking tart cherry juice or concentrate before and after activity can help muscle soreness
2) Fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon and Barramundi can decrease inflammation
3) Carbohydrate + protein (3:1 ratio) intake within 30-60 minutes after a race or hard work-out can significantly decrease muscle damage.   

Although benefits may exist for some dietary supplements, poor manufacturing practices, cross-contamination, and illegal drugs disguised as dietary supplements can cause athletes to test positive for banned substances and result in serious consequences.

Dietary supplements and herbal preparations can also cause adverse health effects, especially if you already take prescription medications. Talk with your pharmacist and physician to determine what’s right for you. A sports dietitian can also review your current nutrition plan for optimal performance.

Resources that test, screen and certify dietary supplements for quality and banned substances:

Learn from organizations that provide dietary supplement information specific to athletes: