Recently I came across a business called Supplicity which delivers supplements via the post. Meeting the founder - Jonny Taylor - a personal fitness coach, I heard about the idea behind the business and was impressed by his energy and drive. A young guy, with a big idea which he's worked hard to manifest.
As we all become busier, convenience is a major factor to creating new habits. When something is to hand, it's often a key factor in creating the repetition needed to become the norm. As a regular cyclist I was curious to understand what benefit it would have to me but also the wider benefits in terms of general wellbeing, so asked Jonny to pen a guest post which you can read below.
Having now used the Mojo box for a month, it's been no hassle atall just to grab a strip of a morning before I leave for work, it's second nature now. As a person with a busy schedule, sustaining energy levels is key and that's the job of the supplements in this box. Each box contains enough for 30 days and each strip is labelled with a day of the week - nothing to think about.
Cost wise, it works out at £4.50 a week, which is a little more than a daily Cappuccino at Starbucks, delivered to your front door once a month. Think that's a very reasonable investment if it gives the body a boost. Anyhow, over to Jonny. You can find more about them at www.supplicity.co.uk.
DO CYCLISTS NEED SUPPLEMENTS?
Jonny Taylor, health and wellness professional and founder of Supplicity, says not necessarily – but they can make a difference.
Cyclists, just like any athletes and indeed most of the general public, don’t necessarily “need” dietary supplements. The optimal way to get enough nutrients is through a balanced and varied diet, and while supplements are a sensible way of ensuring you get all the vitamins, minerals and micro nutrients you require to support a healthy lifestyle, we would never sell them as a replacement for good diet, nor as a life-or-death essential.
So why might supplements be a good idea for a rider? Because unlike the most disciplined pros, the rest of us don’t live in the ideal world. Most of us don’t have time for the perfect training and diet programmes because we have so much else going on in our lives.
There is no doubt that better diet equates to better performance on the bike. Most of us have felt the immediate effects of sport-specific dietary aids such as energy gels, bars and recovery drinks. But what about those micro nutrients that, if neglected, could be detrimental to performance?
Here are some suggestions to think about:
· Iron. This sport is all about the red blood cells: the better shape they’re in, the more oxygen gets to your muscles. This mineral plays a vital role in the hemoglobin molecule and thus oxygen carrying capacity.
· Vitamin D. One of the best things about cycling is it’s a lifelong sport, you can enjoy it – and even compete – well into your old age. So healthy bones are essential, and vitamin D plays an important part in this.
· B vitamins and magnesium. It’s not just about getting energy sources into your body, it’s also important to think about how you metabolise them – and these two nutrients are crucial for this.
· Zinc and Vitamin C. These both play a role in immune system support – which is important for so many cyclists as they tend to “bury themselves” on hard rides, training sessions and races.
· Ginseng. By no means a daily essential, but on dark winter mornings or in periods when you need a bit of a prod to get you out and riding, this is a great natural booster to put a bit of zing into you.
In summary, all of the basic essentials can, and should, be found in a proper diet. But we’ve found that getting into the habit of taking a daily supplement actually forms part of a wider set of healthy habits. When we take small steps such as taking good quality food supplements, we tend also to get into the mind-set of making small changes (marginal gains!) elsewhere too. So supplements end up being part of, rather than a replacement for, a better way of eating.