Launching across buildings, scaling concrete walls, and jumping over railings can take the same toll on a body as playing a professional sport. Since most athletes rely on supplements to assist their bodies with performance and recovery, it makes sense for traceurs to do the same. Suzanne Girard Eberle, a board-certified sports dietician and author of Endurance Sports Nutrition, and Anthony Paradis, a registered sports dietitian and personal trainer, break down the three essential supplements for those about to vault.
The Speed Agent: Vitamin D
What it does: Essential for healthy bone growth and muscle power. Vitamin D works to improve your explosive speed and vertical jumps.
How it works: It helps the intestines absorb calcium and phosphorus from food, which regulate the amount of mineral content in your bones.
What you take: Vitamin content varies across brands, but be sure to take 400IU–600IU daily, or up to 1,000IU three times a week.
Expert tips: If you have darker skin, you should monitor your vitamin D levels very carefully because your complexion does not convert it from the sun as effectively. Your body does not absorb Vitamin D2 as well as D3, making it a less effective option.
Injury Precaution: Fish oil
What it does: Fish oil helps your muscles recover more quickly, and reduces the inflammation in your joints caused by the repeated friction of running on pavement and dropping from heights. It helps you practice more often without risking injury.
How it works: The active ingredients in fish oil are EPA and DHA, which reduce the production of chemicals that trigger inflammation.
What you take: Three to five grams a day, or roughly three tablets.
Expert tips: Athletes with exercise-induced asthma will benefit the most from taking fish oil tablets. Whatever brand of fish oil you buy, be sure to check for EPA DHA — but don’t exceed 2 grams.
Energy Source: Multivitamin
What it does: Multivitamins help boost energy, keep sickness at bay, and make up for those days when your plate has more fries than green beans.
How it Works: Any multivitamin contains vitamins C, E, and B-12. When taken together, the first two strengthen your immune system and help your body heal. Vitamin B-12 is essential for the proper formation of red blood cells, and increases energy levels.
Recommended daily dosage: Each brand offers different amounts of each vitamin and most suggest one tablet a day, but this has to be assessed on an individual basis.
Expert Tips: Look for a vitamin that contains the most of what you are missing. For example, if you take Vitamin D, choose one that does not contain significant amounts of D in it.