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7 Best Supplements for Triathletes

7 Best Supplements for Triathletes

Due to the demanding nature of their sport, triathletes face unique nutritional challenges. Competing in three disciplines swimming, cycling, and running – requires a balanced diet and strategic supplementation to optimize performance, recovery, and overall health. Therefore, this comprehensive blog post will explore the 7 best supplements for triathletes to get a competitive edge.

Why take supplements to practice triathlon?

Whether you're into sports or follow a fitness routine, a balanced diet usually gives your body what it needs. But sticking to a varied and balanced diet can be tough, especially if you have specific dietary needs. That's where supplements come in handy since they help ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

Triathlon training is tough and involves lots of different activities. If you're aiming for new goals or trying to beat your personal record, adding some of the best supplements for triathletes to your diet could be a smart move.

7 Best Supplements for Triathletes

Top Popular Supplements for Avid Triathletes

Sometimes, just trying a supplement once can make your performance better, especially if you respond well to it. If these benefits add up over many training sessions and races, using these supplements could be really worth your time and money.

When used right, sports nutrition can give you a big advantage in performance. It's like the final touch that makes your performance even better. Now, let's check out 7 top sports supplements for triathletes available on the market today!

  1. Creatine
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Beet Juice Shots
  4. Beta-Alanine
  5. L-Carnitine
  6. EPA/DHA
  7. EGCG

1. Creatine supplements for triathletes

Creatine is a natural compound essential for producing energy in the body. It plays a key role in replenishing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which cells need for high-intensity activities. Research indicates that triathletes can benefit from creatine supplements, as they may improve power, sprinting ability, and even endurance, as Forbes et al. (2023) demonstrated in their study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (1). These findings are particularly relevant when considering sports supplements for triathletes.

Supplement recommendations:

  • Daily dose: 3 to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate.
  • When to take it: The ideal time is 30 minutes before or after exercising. However, you can generally take it whenever suits you best.
  • What to take: Myprotein Creatine Monohydrate

2. Vitamin D supplements for triathletes

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that keeps bones strong and supports overall health. Research by Laird et al. (2010) suggests that this “sunshine vitamin” might also benefit triathletes (2). This research also indicates that having enough vitamin D can boost aerobic power and strengthen the immune system, which means fewer missed training sessions due to illness. However, many people have low vitamin D levels because there aren't many foods rich in it, and using sunscreen blocks its natural production by the body.

Vitamin D supplements for triathletes

That's why supplementation is often recommended for triathletes and other endurance athletes. Vitamin D sports supplements for triathletes can help ensure they have enough of this essential nutrient to support their performance and recovery during their sport's demanding training and races.

Supplement recommendations:

  • Daily dose: 1,000-2,000 IU/day
  • When to take: When consumed alongside a meal containing some fat (since vitamin D is fat-soluble).
  • What to take: Thorne Vitamin D Liquid

3. Beet Juice Shots supplements for triathletes

Beet juice is packed with nitrates, which are great for increasing blood flow and delivering oxygen to muscles during workouts. This can help triathletes perform better and feel less tired during long sessions. Adding beet juice shots sports supplements for triathletes to their routine is popular, as it can boost their training and races.

Beet Juice Shots supplements for triathletes

Supplement recommendations:

  • Daily dose:
    • For athletic performance: 70-140 mL of beetroot juice daily, or 200 grams of baked beetroot taken 75 minutes before exercise.
    • For muscle soreness: 125-250 mL of beetroot juice per serving, for a total of 7-8 servings over approximately 2 days following exercise.
  • When to take:
    • For athletic performance: Consume the beetroot juice or baked beetroot a few hours before your CrossFit workout.
    • For muscle soreness: Take the beetroot juice in the days following an intense training session to help with recovery.
  • What to take: Look for high-quality, organic beetroot juice or beetroot concentrate without added sugars or preservatives.

4. Beta-Alanine supplements for triathletes

Beta-alanine is a popular supplement among athletes, especially those who push themselves hard. It helps by increasing a compound called carnosine in muscles. Carnosine protects against hydrogen ions (H+) build-up during intense exercise, delaying muscle fatigue.

Beta-alanine is best used during high-intensity workouts lasting between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. It won't give immediate results; you must take it consistently for a few weeks to boost muscle carnosine.

This can be particularly useful for triathletes during shorter bursts of intense effort within longer aerobic sessions like hill climbs or sprint finishes. So, if you're into the best supplements for triathletes, beta-alanine might be worth considering.

Supplement recommendations:

  • Daily Dose: 3-5 grams per day.
  • How to take: Can be taken at any time, but dividing the dose into 2-3 smaller portions throughout the day may help reduce the tingling sensation that can happen when taking larger doses at once.
  • What to take: Optimum Nutrition Beta-Alanine.

5. L-Carnitine supplements for triathletes

L-carnitine (LC) supplements have been claimed to increase fat-burning and improve endurance for athletes, including triathletes. Carnitine exists naturally in the muscles and is involved in transporting energy into the muscles' aerobic engines, known as mitochondria.

Burrus et al. (2018) demonstrated in their study published in the International Journal of Exercise Science that the muscles' carnitine stores can increase by up to 20% over six months when triathletes take L-carnitine sports supplements alongside carbohydrate intake (3). This can lead to a 55% drop in glycogen use, a 44% drop in lactate, and reduced stress on the body's metabolism. Many athletes have reported great benefits in terms of recovery and long-distance racing ability when using L-carnitine properly.

While using L-carnitine supplements can be expensive, the potential top-end results make it a valuable option for high-performance Ironman athletes or short-course athletes looking to enhance their recovery from long or intense training sessions.

Supplement recommendations:

  • Daily Dose: 1 – 2 grams per day.
  • How to take: Take twice a day with carbohydrates, such as with a high-carb breakfast and lunch.

Alongside these recommendations, STAAR LABS provides ULTRABRN, a natural fat burner supplement tailored to assist in weight loss and improve exercise performance By supporting liver function and detoxification, ULTRABRN sports supplements for triathletes can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle focused on weight management and overall well-being.

L-Carnitine supplements for triathletes
  • Pros: It helps boost metabolism, reduce appetite, increase energy levels, and improve mood. It also supports liver function and detoxification.
  • Key Features: Contains a blend of ingredients like Vitamin B12, Choline, Chromium, L-Methionine, Inositol, 5-HTP, and L-Carnitine to provide a comprehensive weight loss solution.
  • Why We Recommend It: ULTRABRN is a high-quality, science-backed supplement that can be a valuable tool for triathletes and other endurance athletes looking to achieve their weight loss and body composition goals while enhancing their exercise performance.

6. EPA/DHA supplements for triathletes

You probably know Omega-3s are good for your heart and brain. But guess what? They're also great for triathletes! According to the National Library of Medicine, taking extra Omega-3s can boost endurance and help with recovery after workouts (4). These special fats can reduce muscle soreness, keep your muscles flexible, and help your heart recover faster. They make your cell walls work better and calm down inflammation.

You can get some omega-3s from fish like salmon and sardines. In fact, most athletes don not eat enough fish to get all the benefits. That’s where supplements come in handy. Even if you are a plant-based athlete, you can find supplements made from algae that give you the same good stuff. Looking for sports supplements for triathletes? Omega-3s are a top pick!

Supplement recommendations:

In addition to the best supplements for triathletes, STAAR LABS also offers OMEGA. This high-quality fish oil supplement provides a potent blend of essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are crucial in supporting cardiovascular health, brain function, eye health, and inflammation reduction – all of which are important considerations for endurance athletes.

EPA/DHA supplements for triathletes
  • Pros: Supports heart health, brain function, eye health, and reduces inflammation. Can help improve sleep, skin, and memory.
  • Key Features: Each soft gel contains 1000 mg of fish oil, with a balanced ratio of 400 mg of EPA and 300 mg of DHA for optimal potency and efficacy.
  • Why We Recommend It: STAAR Labs OMEGA is a premium, purified fish oil supplement that delivers the recommended daily intake of these vital omega-3 fatty acids to help triathletes and other endurance athletes maintain optimal health and performance.

Incorporating high-quality omega-3 sports supplements for triathletes like STAAR LABS OMEGA can be an excellent addition to a triathlete's supplement regimen. These supplements provide many benefits to support their demanding training and racing schedule.

7. EGCG supplements for triathletes

EGCG is a potent antioxidant in green tea known for its numerous health benefits, including improved fat metabolism, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cardiovascular function. For triathletes, EGCG supplementation can be beneficial for overall health, recovery, and endurance performance.

Supplement recommendations:

  • Daily dose: 300-500 mg of EGCG per day.
  • When to take: EGCG can be taken at any time of day, but some research suggests it may be most effective when taken with meals to enhance absorption.
  • What to take: Natural Green Tea Extract

That’s why STAAR LABS extends its range of the best supplements for triathletes with EG3G – a premium green tea leaf extract supplement. EG3G contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the primary active compound, renowned for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies indicate that EGCG in green tea can help speed up metabolism, manage weight, and improve cognitive abilities.

EGCG supplements for triathletes
  • Pros: It supports weight loss by boosting metabolism, provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and enhances mental focus and cognitive function.
  • Key Features: STAAR LABS EG3G is made with a highly concentrated green tea leaf extract containing a minimum of 45% EGCG, the primary bioactive compound responsible for its health benefits.
  • Why We Recommend It: EG3G is a high-quality, science-backed green tea extract supplement that can be a valuable addition to a triathlete's regimen. It can help support overall health, weight management, and performance-enhancing capabilities.

While green tea extract supplements can be beneficial, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating EG3G or any other supplement into your routine, as excessive use could potentially be harmful.

How to Balance Between Diet and Supplements for Best Performance

Incorporating the best supplements for triathletes is just one piece of the puzzle – it's equally important to understand how to balance supplementation with a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet for optimal performance.

Follow Nutrition & Diet Plan

Before, taking any sports supplements for triathletes, maintaining a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet forms the cornerstone of triathlon performance. Due to their sport's high intensity and endurance focus, triathletes have unique nutritional needs. Proper fueling is essential for providing the energy, recovery, and overall support required to excel in the three disciplines of swimming, cycling, and running.

A comprehensive approach to nutrition is crucial for triathletes to optimize their training, racing, and overall health. This is where the FASST (Fueling, Adaptation, Strength, Skill, and Tactics) Program from STAAR LABS comes into play.

Follow Nutrition & Diet Plan

The FASST Program is designed to provide triathletes and endurance athletes with a personalized, science-backed approach to nutrition and training. By addressing the key pillars of fueling, adaptation, strength, skill, and tactics, the FASST Program helps athletes:

  • Develop a customized nutrition plan that supports their specific energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient needs
  • Implement effective strategies for fueling during training and competition
  • Enhance their body's ability to adapt and recover from the rigors of triathlon training
  • Incorporate strength training and skill-based exercises to improve overall performance
  • Optimize their tactics and training plans for maximum efficiency and results

The FASST Program's comprehensive approach, combined with STAAR LABS' best supplements for triathletes, provides triathletes with the tools and guidance they need to achieve their performance goals and maintain optimal health throughout their training and competition seasons.

Supplement Timing and Integration

Besides a balanced diet, incorporating supplements strategically can better meet the specific needs of triathlon training and racing. It's important to time and integrate supplements into an athlete's routine to get the most out of them. For instance, creatine, beta-alanine, and vitamin D are best taken before or during training sessions, while omega-3s and anti-inflammatory supplements like EGCG benefit recovery afterward. Remember to take this relevant advice when considering sports supplements for triathletes.

Supplement Timing and Integration

How to Choose Quality Supplements

With the top best supplements for triathletes identified, it's crucial to understand how to select high-quality products that effectively support their unique needs.

Quality and Efficiency

When exploring sports supplements for triathletes, it's important to consider where the ingredients come from. Are they from a clean environment? Are they sourced ethically? Ethical sourcing practices can significantly impact the purity and effectiveness of the final supplement. Different types of vitamins and minerals are used in supplements, some of which are:

  • Magnesium can come as magnesium chloride, sulfate, taurate, or citrate, among other forms.
  • Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts, can help with constipation, but be careful – it acts as a laxative. Research suggests magnesium chloride is better absorbed and stays in the body longer than magnesium sulfate.
  • Magnesium chloride is recommended for quick effect. It's easily absorbed through the skin, so it doesn't have to go through your digestive system. Studies show that applying magnesium chloride on the skin can raise magnesium levels in the body relatively fast.
  • Magnesium oxide is commonly found in pharmacies but isn't absorbed as well as other forms.
Quality and Efficiency

Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Many athletes prefer to avoid supplements that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) due to concerns over their potential long-term effects when considering the best supplements for triathletes. GMOs often require lots of harmful chemicals, like glyphosate, which can lead to health issues like cancer and tummy problems. Therefore, opting for non-GMO, organic, and sustainably sourced supplements can give triathletes peace of mind and align with their values.

The Bottom Line

Quality and EfficiencyTo ensure you're getting the benefits you expect from a supplement without any unwanted extras, it's a good idea to choose well-known brands. Look for those that undergo third-party testing, like the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). This way, you can trust the quality of what you're taking when searching for the best supplements for triathletes. To learn more about these and other high-quality supplements tailored for triathletes, visit STAAR LABS.

Forbes, S. C., Candow, D. G., Falk Neto, J. H., Kennedy, M. D., Forbes, J. L., Machado, M., Bustillo, E., Gomez-Lopez, J., Zapata, A., & Antonio, J. (2023). Access date: 2024-04-24.

Laird, E., Ward, M., McSorley, E., Strain, J. J., & Wallace, J. (2010). Access date: 2024-04-24.

Burrus, B. M., Moscicki, B. M., Matthews, T. D., & Paolone, V. J. (2018). Access date: 2024-04-24.

Tomczyk, M., Heileson, J. L., Babiarz, M., & Calder, P. C. (2023). Access date: 2024-04-24.

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