I have ~30 years, I do sport almost every day.

My sessions are divided between:

  • climbing (1* per week)
  • running to prepare for a half marathon (3/4* per week)
  • muscle building via a crossfit session (it's a training like what we do in the army, not exactly like crossfit. But I don't know the term ^^ functional training maybe?) or other type of trainning like strongman (realy fun trainning ^^) or just "bodybuilding" 1/2* per week
  • yoga (1/2* per week)

I eat balanced and healthy (I believe I have 15% fat) and I always try to eat something 1 hour before doing sports.

My concern is that, already several times, I found myself lacking energy (and potentially sugar?) at the middle/end of a session (especially for "crossfit" or "strongman" or HIIT training,... Never for running or yoga.).

Feeling like I want to vomit (I never vomited it's just an impression), I never vomited it's just an impression,... Then I eat a piece and everything goes back to normal pretty quickly.

I don't know much about the dietary supplements that most influencers on the networks talk about and advertise.

But since many people talk about it I would like to know if I should take some of these supplements to avoid my problem and prepare myself as well as possible.

I do some research for understand the difference between each of this "supplement" (here).

  1. In order to improve my trainning gain/recovery what supplements should I take?
  2. Same question for the problem I expose above.
  3. Why are there so many? There is a real interest in each of these products or the commercial side participates in creating "non-essential" complements

For the moment my conclusion would be to take Energy Gels (or powder like here or here) for before/during training. Maybe creatine on certain types of training?

Thank you in advance for your answers, I hope not to be off topic I do not know where to find this kind of answer ^^'

  • When was the last time you took a week off?
    – Thomas Markov
    Mar 30, 2022 at 12:54
  • Good question haha, last week I took 3 days off. In general, I don't train on Sundays. I don't particularly feel tired though. After a day of work I still have a bit of fatigue / laziness but with a little kick in the butt I do my training ^^
    – Hadock
    Mar 30, 2022 at 14:03

1 Answer 1

  1. In order to improve my trainning gain/recovery what supplements should I take?

  2. Same question for the problem I expose above.

Creatine Monohydrate is a defacto supplement that probably everybody with serious training should take. It's super cheap. Just take 3-5g a day (don't worry about loading. You can if you want, but it's not necessary). It helps boost power output, so it'll help performance for the Crossfit, Strongman, BB workouts, and HITT workouts. However, it causes water retention and hence weight gain, so it could hinder endurance workouts a bit. It's not a supplement you take before a workout. You take it every day and it passively works.

Caffeine naturally has a lot of benefits for energy and mood. Found in pretty much everything these days that isn't labeled "non-stim".

Fish Oil has been shown to have a somewhat moderate effect on reducing inflammation as well as other health benefits.

Electrolytes and sugar supplements such as gels or sports drinks can be useful for very prolonged workouts (> 1 hour). I don't think they'll help much for Crossfit or any intense workout that is less than 1 hour. In the case of something like Crossfit, they're naturally designed to be maximum effort. You don't lack the energy, you just exhaust all the energy you have because that's what they're designed to do.

There's no supplement that will fix the feeling of vomiting. That's due to extreme lactic acid build up and is a sign that you may be pushing too hard (or maximally).

  1. Why are there so many? There is a real interest in each of these products or the commercial side participates in creating "non-essential" complements

There's a lot of money to be made in supplements. Everyone is trying to convince you that their product is the one true supplement that is missing from your diet that will boost your performance to elite status. The truth is that the ones you buy in the store are usually very under-dosed. The ones that are properly dosed are usually just small boosts. Most of the benefit you get are from placebo effect.

Taking #3 in to account:

If you feel you're suffering in performance, then it may be that you're simply just doing way too much and not giving yourself enough time to recover. None of these supplements are going to fix that.

What you outlined is a lot of work. There's only so much energy you have to give, so the amount of effort you put in to one thing is going to take away from another. From what I gather, your half marathon training is taking up the bulk of your training. If you run at a fast pace and long distance that'll exhaust you out which means you probably can't perform at Crossfit the following day. That may in fact be what you want right now. Since the half marathon is an actual competition, it's probably in your best interest to go lighter on Crossfit and put all your effort in running. Once the race is over, you can shift gears and reduce the running and focus on Crossfit and/or Strongman. It's a balance.

Other things that can affect performance and recovery is calories and sleep. If you're not eating enough then you're inhibiting your ability to recover. You especially need protein and carbs to handle such intensity. And of course if you're not sleeping fully then you're inhibiting your recovery as well as just sucking the energy you need for the day.

  • 1
    @Hadock I would say yeah. Focus on one thing to put all your effort in to it, but I wouldn't say you need to remove Crossfit/Strongman/BB if you enjoy it. Crossfit especially has some carryover, and it's generally good to have some resistance training when working on endurance. You can reduce the intensity on those and you'll most likely recover enough for the running. Although if your running starts suffering, then you may need to consider skipping a workout or two.
    – DeeV
    Mar 30, 2022 at 14:19
  • 1
    Or if you just want to finish the race and don't care about time, then you can run at a slower pace which should give you enough energy for the other activities. You have to decide your priorities.
    – DeeV
    Mar 30, 2022 at 14:20
  • 3
    As a clarification - Creatine works for short burst, high intensity activities (Weightlifting, sprints, and similar). It is not an endurance aid, and may hinder endurance because of the related water retention.
    – JohnP
    Mar 30, 2022 at 14:52
  • 1
    @Hadock - That's really hard to determine, and is really up to what you want to emphasize. If you want the extra boost in the weight room/crossfit, then yes, take it. If you want to emphasize the endurance, it won't necessarily cause any harm other than a couple extra pounds. From my own personal experience as a x-country runner, 1 lb extra bodyweight is about 5-7 seconds extra time per mile for the same effort. You have to make the decision. There are no "withdrawal" effects, so you can quit it at any time.
    – JohnP
    Mar 30, 2022 at 18:46
  • 1
    @Hadock Creatine needs to build up in the body which takes about a week if you take it every day. After words, you can skip days, but the water retention will take a couple days to flush out so it's not really worth it. The amount of weight you gain can vary. I think it has to do with your size. When I first started taking it, I was around 180 lbs. and gained around two to three pounds. Now I'm 220 and gain about 7-10 pounds.
    – DeeV
    Mar 31, 2022 at 11:40

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