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Tales in Triathlon

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GEORGE PAPADAKOS - TRIATHLON

I grew up taking multivitamins as a kid, and on one occasion I even choked down a whole bottle of Flinstones vitamins, which prompted a very speedy trip to the hospital.

My mom said that you should always take your vitamins as they help to keep you healthy, she just didn't say how many.

Things haven't changed much (except for the amount that I eat at one time) and I make them a part of my daily regimen. Now you don't have to be an athlete to take vitamins, but I would suggest that you go about making them part of your daily routine as well.

As a very active person I need that little edge that will help aid in recovery not only on the outside, but on the inside as well. In a typical week I can easily hit 15-20 hours of training spread across swimming, biking and running, and although I eat a well balanced diet, vitamin supplementation replaces anything I've missed.

Vitamins and minerals are key factors in metabolizing energy, repairing and building body tissues, and carrying oxygen within the body. They also help to reduce the amount of oxidative stress, and free-radical damage caused by intense aerobic exercise.

Now you don't have to use every vitamin under the sun, especially if you have a balanced diet. But to start I like to use a multivitamin that has 100 per cent of your daily needs, and I make sure that I pair it with my meals to ensure optimal absorption.

I also like to use a fish oil as it contains a high dose of omega-3 fatty acid which helps to reduce the amount of inflammation and the minor aches and pains that come with being a triathlete or athlete for that matter. It also boosts your metabolic rate, and can reduce your overall body fat which is a bonus to me. In the long term they help to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer and cardio vascular disease.

Probably one of the most important parts of my diet is whey protein as I use it to build, repair and maintain muscle. The thing I like about supplementing with whey protein is the ease of use. Most can be mixed with water or into a smoothie to make a delicious drink, and it is also rapidly absorbed and digested. Sometimes our busy schedules don't allow us to sit down and eat, so a protein shake on the run is my go to meal.

The above vitamins are meant to be as a guide to good health and nutrition, and are by no means a substitute for a well balanced diet. If you are concerned, talk to a physician or pharmacist before taking any new supplements to make sure they are a perfect fit for your lifestyle.

Until I meet you at the start line, train safe and have fun!

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