Optimum health and fitness is key to performance in all endurance sports, but cycling offers a unique challenge.
Cycling is unique from other sports, both individual and team, because of the sheer amount of repetitions a cyclist takes. On a 50-mile ride, an average cyclist will complete more than 12,000 repetitions of the “cycle.”
While bicycling is undeniable a great exercise and a green form of transportation, it does tend to wear on your body over time. At Hakalife, we’re fully invested in joint health, and because of this, you can guess where we’re going here — that cyclists need to consider the health of their knees and other joints.
Along with proper training and stretching – like yoga – staying healthy on the bike requires monitoring what you put into your body. Along with a balanced diet, supplements can help to ensure you get the proper vitamins, minerals, and oils to keep yourself pedaling for years to come. Earlier, we looked at the pros and cons of bicycling with arthritis.
Let’s dive into the best supplements for cyclists — for performance, endurance, agility, and joint health.
Coffee for energy and endurance.
You read that correctly. Before heading out on a long ride, a dose of caffeine can actually help to improve your performance because, in some, it can minimize the body’s recognition of pain. That’s not to say you won’t feel anything should you wipe out. We’re talking about slight discomforts that can creep in and cause you to stew over them mentally during a long ride — caffeine has a way of numbing the feeling so that you can focus on the task at hand.
It can also give you that needed energy boost to push through those tough last miles of any ride (or provide the motivation to get out the door in the first place).
Creatine for muscle energy.
Creatine has been beloved by bodybuilders for a long time. This is largely because it pumps energy right into the muscles — something cyclists can appreciate when pushing up a steep hill or sprinting across a straightaway.
Creatine helps your body create energy in a very short period of time, by boosting the level of creatine phosphate stored in your muscles. The muscles, mostly in your legs for cyclists, can use this extra PHP as a quick boost, a sort of Cliff Bar for the muscles, when they feel tired or overwhelmed.
Racers tend to find this most effective, but long-distance endurance cyclists and even mountain bikers can benefit from the added juice because different types of terrain require different levels of energy output. BPI makes a great creatine supplement designed specifically for athletes.
Iron for muscle oxygen and endurance.
As with anyone trying to optimize their body’s performance, cyclists need plenty of iron to progress their endurance. As creatine gives muscles energy, iron gives them oxygen — allowing that energy to be circulated and used when it’s needed most.
Those lacking sufficient iron in their blood cells have trouble circulating oxygen throughout the body. As you push through a long or strenuous ride, you sweat out some of the iron in your body — and unless it is replaced, you could suffer a deficiency over time. Your muscle tissue also needs enough oxygen to prevent cramping — ending or halting a ride due to a muscle cramp is a total bummer and, among other things, can be a sign of iron deficiency.
The easiest way to get iron is to eat a lot of dark leafy greens, along with beans and nuts. We also recommend looking into a versatile, dissolvable athletic supplement that contains iron along with other benefits.
Race Day Boost to optimize your endurance ability.
This one is for the racers. Race Day Boost, when combined with a healthy diet and sufficient omega-3 fatty acids, can help you optimize your endurance ability on a big day. This could be a street race, a downhill competition for mountain bikers, or just an exceptionally long ride — if you’re doing 100 miles (that’s over 24,000 repetitions of the cycle!), endurance and long-lasting strength are the name of the game.
An Omega-3 supplement to maximize your ‘life’ endurance.
Above we noted the tremendous amount of repetitions cyclists make during each ride. All that pressure on the knees and other joints compounds over time. To help offset this, an Omega-3 supplement such as fish oil or green-lipped mussel oil can keep your joints moving properly by minimizing inflammation.
At Hakalife, we’re proud to offer one of the best omega-3 supplements that a cyclist – or anyone for that matter – can take. GLX3 is made of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and New Zealand Olive Oil. It’s pure and all-natural — the “Haka Life” way (for those of you familiar with New Zealand’s native Maori people).
In the short term, reduced inflammation keeps pain at a minimum. Long term, it helps to keep joints functioning properly efficiently and can prevent unnecessary wear and tear on joint tissue. You’ve heard knees crack — whether your own or those of an older family member — and thought, “Ooooh, that one left a mark.”
By reducing joint pain and inflammation, GLX3 keeps those marks to a minimum.
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