Tip 5: Spring-Clean Your Supplements

Considering the amount of supplements on the market, making all sorts of emotive claims, they can be difficult to resist – however, indiscriminate use of supplements should be avoided. Instead, take a Marie Kondo approach to supplement use and focus on “tidying up” your stash!

Some common supplements that’s have evidence in particular situations for athletes include medical supplements such as vitamin D, calcium and iron; performance supplements such as creatine, sodium  bicarbonate, caffeine, b-alanine, caffeine and beetroot juice; and sports foods such as drinks and gels. All of these may require an individual approach. In some cases you maybe reducing training benefits and wasting money if not taking a strategic approach to use . For example, limited evidence exists to support antioxidant supplement intakes throughout training – they may take away from “natural” training adaptations. A more effective way to get antioxidants is through plenty of colourful vegetables and fruit and a balanced diet, with a more focused approach to use of supplements – so around consecutive sportive events with short recovery times, rather than throughout training.

Therefore, it is always worth getting specific individualised supplement advice for cycling performance and you should always consult your own GP, Registered Dietitian registered  Sports Dietitian or Nutritionist and/or health professional. If you are a high performance athlete and face the possibility of being tested for doping, you should take full responsibility for any substance put into your body and seek advice from a qualified sports medical professional.

To get you on that spring clean mode, sort through your supplements, asking:

  • What is its use?
  • What is its active ingredient?
  • Is it something you need to use this season?
  • Do you know who prescribed it and why?
  • Do you know when you should take and dosage?
  • Has it given you any benefit?
  • Did you have any side effects or know of any?
  • What is the expiration date and storage advice?


If you can’t answer these questions about a supplement, dispose of it and if unsure of proper disposal seek advice from a pharmacy.

 These tips will keep you full of energy and help you perform to your very best. For specific individualised supplement advice for cycling performance always consult a registered Sports Dietitian or Nutritionist and/or health professional.



Catriona Courtney is a Registered Sports and Exercise Nutritionist(SENr Graduate Member) and lives near Kinsale in Cork (but still very proud of her Kerry upbringing😉).  Catriona specializes in nutrition for endurance sports like cycling, running, triathlon and ultra endurance.  For information on her services, contact her through her website www.elev8nutrition.ie or follow her on Facebook @elev8nutrition.ie  and Instagram @elev8nutritionir