Are you training for an event?
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply running the London Marathon for the first time, you’re likely paying attention to your diet.
You know that it’s important to eat enough macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) to sustain you, but have you thought about how many micronutrients you’re getting?
These vitamins and minerals play an essential role in energy production, strength and muscle repair—and studies suggest that most athletes aren’t getting enough .
Part of the reason is that it’s difficult to reach 100% of your nutrient DRVs from food alone , and that’s just when you’re sedentary. When you’re training, your requirements shoot up because the physical stress of exercise increases the turnover and loss of nutrients.
You might think you’re covering yourself by supplementing, but sadly it’s not as straightforward as that. Oral supplements have to undergo the long and difficult process of digestion, which means that only a fraction of their nutrient value ends up being absorbed by the body.
So what can you do?
IV nutrient therapy for athletes
As you can learn about here, intravenous nutrient therapy (or IV nutrient therapy for short) is the practice of administering nutrients directly into the bloodstream. It bypasses all the stages of digestion, which means that 100% of the nutrients are available for essential bodily functions.
It’s important to acknowledge that there are no high-quality human trials demonstrating the efficacy of IV nutrient therapy in athletes. However, there is a large body of anecdotal evidence. Dr Alan Gaby, a US doctor and an advocate of IV nutrient therapy, has given IV nutrient therapy to thousands of patients and seen it boost athletic performance .
IV nutrient therapy can help athletes and sport enthusiasts in several ways. These include:
- Optimising hydration
- Reducing muscle soreness
- Supporting muscle strength
- Improving endurance
- Contributing to muscle repair
Here at the London Clinic of Nutrition, we’ve created a nutrient blend specifically for athletes. This offers therapeutic doses of the following nutrients:
Vitamin C. This vitamin not only helps to combat the oxidative damage caused by high-intensity exercise, but it also contributes to collagen synthesis and connective tissue repair.
Glutathione This is the ‘master antioxidant’ that helps to reduce oxidative stress. In fact, studies show that providing the body with extra glutathione can help to reduce muscle fatigue .
Taurine, glycine and lysine These amino acids are key for muscle repair. Glycine, in particular, increases levels of growth hormone, which promotes maintenance of lean body mass .
L-carnitine A naturally occurring amino acid derivative, this has been found to support energy metabolism in skeletal muscle. This means it can further delay muscle fatigue during exercise .
L-carnosine This dipeptide (two amino acids joined together) has been found in some studies to increase strength and performance during exercise .
Magnesium This mineral takes parts in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Evidence suggests that athletes don’t consume enough of this essential mineral, which may hinder their sporting performance .
B vitamins This family of vitamins plays a key role in energy metabolism. Exercise increases the need for these vitamins—and, like magnesium, not having enough of them can negatively impact performance .
Who should have IV nutrient therapy?
This particular blend of nutrients is suitable for people who engage in higher levels of physical activity. It could be especially useful for:
- Those recovering after a strength or endurance-based event
- Those training for an event, such as a marathon or important game
- Those who are on a calorie-restricted diet to reach their competition weight
- Those who take supplements to maximise their performance
- Those determined to feel well so they can stick to their training schedule
Receiving IV nutrient therapy at the London Clinic of Nutrition is an experience, providing an opportunity to relax for 45 minutes while a nurse administers the nutrients. It could be the one thing that’s missing from your training schedule.