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Should I as a cyclist take supplements to enhance my training adaptation?

No. Looking at the science and elite cycling practice there is no strong evidence that taking supplements significantly enhance training adaptation for cyclists.

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Written by: The Athlete’s FoodCoach, on 23-04-2024
8 wooden spoons with different powdered supplements on it

Why should I as cyclist not take supplements to enhance training adaptation?

  1. Lack of strong evidence: While some supplements theoretically offer benefits such as by increasing your ability to train harder (creatine, caffeine, bicarbonate, beta-alanine and nitrate) and stimulating protein synthesis (bicarbonate, polyphenols, antioxidants, EEA, Omega 3 fatty acids, Leucine, BCCAs), strong scientific and elite cycling evidence supporting their effectiveness on training adaptation is lacking.
  2. Prioritize fundamentals: Focus on fundamentals to enhance training adaptation like training volume and intensity, along with optimizing daily nutrition, rather than investing in supplementation plans. There are no short cuts and no easy options.
  3. Expensive: Achieving significant training adaptation demands consistent effort over extended periods, typically around ten weeks. Supplementation must be consistently applied throughout this duration to have any effect at all. However, it is certain that it will significantly impact your wallet.
  4. Risks of supplement use: It's crucial to be mindful of the potential risks associated with supplement misuse. High doses of antioxidants, for instance, may inadvertently hinder training adaptation rather than support it.

Which supplements are often being related with enhanced training adaptation?

Supplements associated with enhanced training adaptation can be categorized into three main groups: those that enable athletes to train harder over time, those that improve cell signaling to stimulate protein synthesis, and those that directly enhance protein synthesis. Despite their potential benefits, evidence of their effectiveness is often lacking. Additionally, certain supplements may even inhibit training adaptation. It is crucial to be critical and consult with a professional before incorporating supplements into your training routine. Prioritize ensuring that your nutritional intake aligns with established guidelines to maximize training adaptation.

Supplements associated with training harder to enhance training adaptation

Supplements associated with cell signaling to promote protein synthesis for training adaptation

Supplements associated with promoting protein synthesis to enhance training adaptation

Supplements which potentially impair training adaptation

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