Supplements for cycling?

All - Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the use of supplements. Traditionally, I have stayed away from them.

That said, my cycling buddy swears by the below:
Creatine monohydrate

This came up as I was watching an IG live stream with Ashton Lambie, and he swore by and highly recommended creatine. Made it sound like a no brainer.

Please let me know what your experience has been.

Full disclosure- I’m a pediatrician. Take my comments with a grain of salt (or not).

Without solid research it’s hard to say whether any supplement will actually make a difference. I’ll use creatine as an example. If the body does not immediately need protein, the nitrogen portion of the base amino acids will be removed in the liver, leaving behind a carbon chain which will then be converted to glucose for immediate use/ storage in a glycogen chain, or converted to fat for long term storage. So, immediately after a workout, it might be fine. Where research is needed is how one can accurately determine how much creatine to consume after a workout. To my knowledge, there isn’t a clear way for one to figure that out.

Herbal supplements, owing to FDA regulatory rules, have very lax research and marketing guidelines; some can even contain more dangerous chemicals such as digoxin.

I do see a fair number of teenagers who play sports and ask about supplements to improve their athletic performance. My typical advice is this: 1. A balanced diet will be much more effective; 2. Extra protein immediately after a workout is probably fine, but don’t overdo it; 3. Avoid herbal supplements.

I hope that helps!


Depending on where you draw the line between nutrition and supplements, I use a protein revovery shake immediately after very hard/long sessions and during the winter months I take vitamin D if there is no sun for a longer time.

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In my experience when I did take Creatine and Beta-alanine I didn’t really note a difference. I mainly did it when doing more strength training.

I do take a single multi vitamin and vitamin D but in low dose just to boost what I get from my food and ensure I’m getting all I need.

Other than that protein shakes post workout or ride if I’m not going to be eating within an hour of finishing otherwise I don’t as I’ll get what I need from the meal. I do have an overnight protein shake just to boost the protein and I find it helps me sleep and hunger in the morning. I will note that I am currently fasting most days form dinner to dinner. With saying I’m not riding more than 50-60 miles on a Sunday morning and can’t do any higher power workouts due to a hip issue. I am however doing a full day at work coming home and doing some S&C workouts, 5-7km runs and then on a Thursday a 16-19km run all fasted before dinner.