Because most of your Nutrition / Nutritional Balance is coming from your diet the necessity for supplementation is kept to a minimum. Because of the metabolic load of high volume training we have found these to be very critical for both health and performance.
For a better understanding of Vitamin D and the complex interplay it has with other Vitamins and minerals you can read up on it in the OFM page under Vitamin D.
If you are deficient in Vitamin D and need to supplement the OFM program suggests the following four options.
Though Magnesium has a host of critical roles in the body it is a key mineral for muscle function. Based upon observation and reading, it is our observation that, unless actively supplementing with Magnesium, most athletes are somewhat deficient at best and highly deficient at worst which leads to cramping and other subtle issues which are often mis-diagnosed.
This is because Magnesium is very easily and rapidly depleted yet is very difficult to replenish. Unlike Calcium, Potassium or Sodium an athlete cannot ingest a high dose of Magnesium. This will result in severe diarrhea (think Milk of Magnesia!). So the key is taking the appropriate dose of a highly bio-available form of Magnesium
Based upon their bio-availability there are 3 type of Magnesium we recommend; Magnesium Chloride (MgCl), Magnesium Gluconate, and Magnesium Glyconate. Magnesium Choride is a naturally-occurring source. Taking 100 mg post meal once or twice a day and/or 200 mg before going to bed should correct any deficiency.
Topical application via Epsom Salt Baths and Magnesium Oils can be utilized in addition to oral ingestion. Taking an Epsom Salt bath or applying topical Magnesium Oils are a great practice leading into and after an endurance event like an Ironman, Double Century or 100 Mile Run. Small doses of Magnesium can be included in the electrolyte profile during competition, however, because of individual and environmental variability there is no set guideline for use.
Zinc does not need to be taken as a daily supplement if you are eating animal products particularly oysters, lamb, venison and other grass-fed ruminant meats. Zinc is highly susceptible to mineral binding by phytates and deficiency can also occur when Vitamin A & D are low (OFM Nutrient Balance). Since both phytate minimization and Vitamin A & D optimization are addressed with OFM Nutrition the supplementation of Zinc is not a necessity for the healthy athlete. If you have certain gastrointestinal challenges Zinc supplementation may be advisable.
The proper iodine intake is very crucial to stable Thyroid function and many endurance athletes often wind up with some thyroid issues due to too many carbohydrates in their diet. The problem is supplementing with Iodine is very tricky and the dosing can be very different depending upon the situation and etiology of any Thyroid dysfunction. If there is an issue we recommend seeing a specialist and getting the necessary blood work.
Two indirect methods the athlete can easily and effectively use to maintain proper thyroid function are the following:
If you are healthy and without any Thyroid issues then you should be obtaining enough Iodine from your diet, especially if you occasionally include seaweed, including Nori and regularly eat seafoods. Use of Iodized salt is another source, however, the available quantities of Iodine in Iodized salt can vary greatly depending upon age, storage conditions etc. as the Potassium Iodide can vaporize into free Iodine and evaporate.
Selenium is a trace mineral necessary for Iodine uptake. Like Iodine the amounts necessary are minute so it is just as easy to overdose as under-dose. If the athlete is consuming an OFM diet the foods consumed should have enough bio-available selenium to meet the athletes needs.
Supplementation of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in commonly available forms of fish or krill oil is recommended in modest amounts because these are polyunsaturated oils. Suggested dosing between 1000 mg to 2400mg/day are recommended. If you happen to be a vegetarian or vegan athlete the use of an algae based Omega 3 is critical for obtaining the Omega 3’s DHA & EPA. Other plant based sources only contain ALA Omega 3 fatty acids and not the essential DHA & EPA Omega 3’s your body requires.
A lot of hype currently exists around the human biome and the need for Probiotics. If you are a healthy individual the use of supplemental Probiotics is normally unnecessary for daily life, however, there are times when Probiotic supplementation makes sense:
Use a Probiotic that “colonizes”. It is estimated approximately 95% of the probiotics sold in the consumer market today do not colonize. This means the probiotic should be in a capsule form that allows the capsule to make it to the colon prior to dissolving.
If you are interested in learning more read the pieces under the OFM Menu on Stomach & Gut Health.