Training and nutrition are different for everyone. There’s nothing to say that you’re doing it right or wrong, and everyone trains and prepares differently. Whether you’re getting ready for your first parkrun or training for an 8 hour Ironman, when you hit that goal it feels amazing! Training through winter can be essential to make sure that you’re in the best shape possible to hit your goals, so I’ve compiled a list of my favourite SiS products to help get you through the depths of winter. After all, summer is just around the corner!
Month on month my shopping list looks fairly similar. I can be training up to 3 times a day, and while that’s not for everyone it means I certainly go through a lot of nutrition. Though I like to eat “real food” where I can, the supplements can help make sure I’m getting the best out of my body and performing at the highest level I can. Here are my favourites!
REGO Rapid Recovery or Protein Bars.
After training it can be hard to get yourself straight to a meal. My squad swim 20-30 minutes from my house, so by the time I’ve finished faffing it can be 40 minutes to an hour before I get food after a session. If we’ve swam for 2 hours, then I can be left feeling quite drained. I often take a bottle of REGO in my swimming bag to make sure that I can be recovering straight after the session. Protein bars are also great for this and really tasty, though personally I’m a huge fan of REGO. It buys me a bit of extra time before I can get to my breakfast of a bowl of porridge or some eggs!
I struggle to fuel with solid foods, especially when I’m racing, so the majority of the time I use gels or Beta Fuel. The gels are great to give you an extra boost if you’re dropping a bit low in a long session, or to make sure you’re staying on top of your intervals. I love the selection boxes so that I can get a mix of flavours, because my favourite changes month to month. If you’re training a lot indoors the electrolyte gels can really help to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Though I usually pick a tasty flavour and have a bottle of Hydro mix at the ready.
REGO Cherry Juice.
The antioxidant cherry juice is one of my favourite SiS products. I have one every night before bed and find it really helps me sleep. It also takes the edge off the fatigue if you’re in a particularly heavy training block. I can definitely tell when I don’t have it because my legs feel a bit more munched!
If you’re training a lot indoors over the winter, Hydro tabs should be an essential on your list. I sweat a LOT when I’m training indoors and it’s always really high in salt. Hydro tabs in my bottle taste better than water and help to make sure I’m not cramping at the end of a particularly nasty turbo. You don’t necessarily have to drink them during the session either, they can be great either side to help with recovery and performance. Staying hydrated is key to performance regardless of whether you’re hot weather training or not!
Though it won’t necessarily keep you healthy, if you’re doing everything right outside of training to keep illnesses away, (washing hands regularly, not sharing bottles or food eating healthily, etc…) then vitamin C should help to keep your immune system strong enough to keep you fit and healthy. It’s not a coincidence that elite athletes get ill a lot less than the busy working population. When the stress and training build up and the sleep takes a hit, doing everything you can to boost the immune system can certainly help. I usually use the effervescent tablets.
If you follow me on social media you’ll know that generally if I post a picture of a coffee, it’s not for me. I’m usually the one in the background drinking hot chocolate or a lemonade. Though recently I’ve been introducing more caffeine into my routine as a training tool. I’m quite sensitive to caffeine so get a real kick out of the shots or tablets that Science in Sport make, but I find through the session it really helps me to focus on sustaining the effort. Especially towards the end of a chunky session I find it much easier to stay at a higher output and it certainly hurts a lot less. Though I’m not using it regularly yet, I’ve found a huge performance increase through my sessions the times I do!
Photo credit: Stuart Cripps – Nero Creative Ltd