Sports Supplements for Swimmers: Are Vitamin Supplements Good For You?

To supplement or not to supplement? You don’t need a Shakespearean soliloquy to answer this question, but it is helpful to know when to take sports supplements as a part of your athletic training and nutritional program. In general having a well-balanced diet is recommended. However, for many aspiring and elite level athletes, a balanced diet does not always provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to compete at that level of training.


 
 

Imagine your body is a car.

 
An easy way to understand this is to think of yourself as a car which, like your body, is made up of many different parts. If you want to drive your car a short distance, you are going to need a little bit of fuel, or in your case, calories. The types of fuel, as well as the amount, are important.
 
Putting diesel into a regular car would hurt its performance, and putting in too little fuel might not get you where you need to go. Furthermore, a car requires oil, brake fluid, and a number of other factors for it to work effectively. Not having all of these in the right quantities means the car's performance will suffer - it can even damage the machine. Your body is no different. 
 
 
Athletes however are not "driving" short distances. So naturally they will need more fuel as well as nutrients to work properly. Our philosophy is, "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it." After all, would you rather drive home hoping you have enough gas, or knowing that you do?
 
Below we've included a small list of those who should consider taking some form of supplements.

 

Athletes who train a lot.

The more you train, the more fuel and nutrients your body needs to carry on performing those actions. The right nutrients are critical to ensuring that your body is repairing itself correctly. If you are lack certain minerals, you have a much higher chance of of going to practice not fully recovered, which, at best, will give you a less effective workout, and at worst can lead to injuries. As mentioned, a healthy diet is a great start, however for intense level athletes it usually is not enough, and this is where supplementation is recommended.

If you are looking for a supplement in the form of liquid, the Nutriboost Shake is a great choice. You can also read about whether to take the protein shake with milk or water.

 


 

For the vegetarians and vegans out there

There are a ton of benefits associated with being a vegetarian and vegan, however this dietary choice means you'll need to take extra care in making sure you provide your body with the nutrients that could be missing from your diet, or are harder to acquire. Taking sports supplements is a great way to make sure you are not left with any potential "gaps" in your diet.

Take special care in making sure you get these nutrients:

  • Proteins
  • Vitamin D3
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B12

P2Life's Nutriboost Shake is a perfect choice for any vegetarians (especially vegetarian athletes) who want to make sure they are not missing out on any nutrients that they need on a daily basis.


 

Those who aren't eating as healthily as they should

If you fall into this category this will not only have a negative short term impact on your athletic performance and health, but a long term one too. You can improve your diet by focusing on quality rather than quantity, and keeping in mind that the more colorful (meaning vegetables and fruits) your plate is, the healthier it is likely to be.

Supplements can be a great help, especially if you feel a healthy diet is hard to maintain given your demanding lifestyle. However if you are serious about improving your athletic performance, changing to a healthier diet is a must.  


 

Our P2Life supplements can help fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet. 

We are very serious about the quality and safety of our products. We subject every single batch we make to be tested by a 3rd party independent testing company to make sure our products are 100% free of banned or illegal substances. In addition, each batch is tested, which means that every time we make a new batch or amount of a product, a sample of that is actually taken and tested.

This is one of the reasons why over 40% of the USA Men's Olympic swim team were taking our products prior to and during the London Olympics.

July 16, 2015 — Michael Shead

Nutriboost vs. Chocolate Milk: A Side by Side Comparison

 If you've been reading our blog, or any of the nutritional news out there for swimmers, you are probably aware of just how important it is to have something nutritious immediately after exercise, and before bedtime. Swimmers need to get the right nutrition during those two critical windows for refueling and repairing their muscles. Fueling your body within 30 minutes to one hour after exercise helps you perform better at your next session and avoid injuries. But what is the best thing to refuel your body with; low fat chocolate milk or Nutriboost? Here we take a look at Horizon Organic Lowfat chocolate milk and P2Life's Nutriboost and do a side by side comparison for you to be the judge of what's best for your swim performance.

 

Let's start by just taking a look at the nutrition labels from both products. Below we'll do a comparison and see which option is better for recovery after a swim session.

Horizon Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk P2Life Nutriboost

See Product here

See Label here

*Labels were taken from their respective websites 1 March 2016. *Please note that labels and nutritional profiles might have changed since then. For more up to date information please review the respective websites.

 

Nutriboost vs Horizons Low Fat Chocolate Milk Comparison

Ingredients comparison

Protein:

If you're not sold on the idea of eating protein after an intense workout after reading some of our posts on protein for swimmers, the basic idea is that your body needs high quality proteins to maximize strength and conditioning gains, as well as to greatly speed up recovery. Two ideal proteins for swimmers are both whey and casein. The reason these are the best is that the amino acid profile of these proteins is very similar to exactly what the human body needs. Whey is great, but both is better. Typically in most protein drinks you will just see flavored whey. For swimmers, the ideal, especially for before bedtime consumption, is  a mix of whey and casein. This is what makes the Nutriboost and chocolate milk excellent choices. The benefit with the Nutriboost shake is that you get 50% more of the highest quality proteins.

Carbs:

Carbs are super important when it comes to restoring muscle glycogen (this is important as it gives the muscles energy while training), for brain function (awareness, focus and concentration), and they also protect muscle. Both low fat chocolate milk and Nutriboost contain a good amount of carbohydrates, to promote recovery, however low fat chocolate milk has a much higher sugar content.

  • low fat chocolate milk: There are 23g of carbs in the low fat chocolate milk, of which 22g are sugar. 
  • Nutriboost: Has 15g of carbohydrates, and of that 14g are sugars.


Fats:

Fat is vital for body processes such as digestion, transport, conversion, and energy extraction. Saturated fat is the less popular type of fat because it has shown to increase blood-cholesterol levels.  

  • Low fat chocolate milk: has roughly 2.5g of fat per serving. Roughly 1.5g of that are saturated fats.
  • Nutriboost: has roughly 1.6g of fat per serving. Of that roughly 0.5g are saturated fats. Further Nutriboost uses Lecithin as its fat source. Lecithin is a preferred fat choice because it provides vital brain nutrients. Lecithin is also commonly referred to as the “detergent fat”, owing to research which shows it may help increase cardiovascular health by decreasing fat buildup on artery walls while increasing healthy HDL levels.

Vitamins:

The body needs around 13 vitamins to function properly. These vitamins are important for a variety of reasons and usually require other vitamins and minerals to maximize benefitsThese vitamins are important for a variety of reasons. They help convert your food into energy, assist in building your immune system (important for athletes who train hard), help with your VO2 Max, and are instrumental in helping the body metabolize fats and proteins.

Horizon's Low Fat chocolate milk provides 3 of the 13 needed vitamins - Vitamins A, C, and D.

P2Life's Nutriboost provides almost the full range - 12 of the 13 vitamins needed by the body.

Minerals:

The body needs 15 macro and trace minerals to function correctly. These are things like calcium, potassium and copper. As with vitamins, all need other nutrients present at the same time to maximize their benefits. Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, including building bones, making hormones, and regulating your heartbeat.

low fat chocolate milk provides 2 of the 15 minerals the body needs.

Nutriboost provides 14 of the 15 needed minerals to help your body recover, either after a workout, or while you sleep.


Convenience 

Both the low fat chocolate milk and the Nutriboost shake are easy to drink after your workout. Some low fat chocolate milk brands may need to be refrigerated, which could be inconvenient if you're at a swim meet or on the run with a busy schedule. Nutriboost is convenient because you can carry a couple servings in your gym bag and mix with water when you're ready for your shake. You won't have to worry about keeping it cold, but you have to mix it.

Nutriboost contains absolutely no preservatives or other unhealthy additives. This is why you cannot find Nutirboost premixed (in liquid form). In fact Nutriboost has every batch of product tested by world renowned BSCG, the company formed by the anti-doping experts on the International Olympic Committee on anti-doping. This a consumer health benefit to test and certify that Nutriboost is free of stimulants and other banned or harmful ingredients.

Cost

Horizon Lowfat chocolate milk  = Around $1.12 per serving from Walmart

Nutriboost Shake = $1.66 per serving from P2Life

Both have extremely high value and low cost per serving, while providing very important, health-giving nutrients. A Starbucks cafe latte costs $2.85.

Verdict

We think Nutriboost is the clear winner. Low fat chocolate milk is an excellent choice for after a workout, but the Nutriboost provides 50% more protein as well as a lot of extra vitamins and minerals. It really boils down to what your day is going to be like and how you are feeling. If you had a tough workout and are worried you might be missing out and not getting enough vitamins and minerals, then the Nutriboost might be a better bet. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper alternative, then the low fat chocolate milk would be a great option too. Either way, both are extremely low in cost and offer superb nutritional value, as well as taste fantastic.

View Nutriboost Shake Here


Sources:

http://www.indiana.edu/~rcapub/v29n1/milk.shtml

https://www.horizondairy.com/products/milk/lowfat-chocolate-milk-box

http://www.livestrong.com/article/283477-chocolate-milk-vs-protein-shake/

 

March 07, 2015 — Michael Shead