My Supplements and Workout Nutrition, 2018

Supplements can be over-hyped, and are not a very effective method of getting vitamins (which are better absorbed from a balanced diet of whole foods). They are not regulated like food or medicine, which means there isn’t a guarantee that what you’re taking is pure. Aside from the safety risks, there is also a doping violation risk with unregulated supplements. A bit more on that here.

For those reasons, I try to limit what I take to ones that are advised by a doctor, or have some research backing their use. I look for reputable brands that submit themselves to third-party testing. (USP and NSF are two well-regarded third-party regulators. The websites have databases of approved substances, and you can see their stamp on supplements they have certified for quality, purity, and safety). Based on those criteria, this list is what I currently take.

  • Iron*** – Slow FE Iron. USOC recommends Nature Made Iron 65 mg, and USATF recommends a liquid protocol with Ferrous Sulfate Elixir.  But whenever I’m low on ferritin stores, this is the one that has the quickest and most noticeable effect (as seen in a followup blood test). That said, it’s possible I was timing my intake wrong with the others. I will probably test them out again this year.
  • Vitamin C – Nature Made Vitamin C Chewables. I chew this before taking the iron, to aid in absorption (I do this on an empty stomach, in the morning upon waking up, before breakfast).
  • Vitamin D*** – Nature Made, or Thorne
  • Gelatin – Knox Gelatin, Unflavored. I eat this to promote collagen synthesis, and prevent injury to bone, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. I make a jello dessert once every 2-3 days. (Though I’m currently trying out bone broth as a replacement). 
  • Golden Milk –  Gaia Herbs Turmeric and Ashwagandha blend. Turmeric for inflammatory properties, and Ashwagandha. I mix this powder into a smoothie in the morning. (I know I’m linking to WebMD… what’s a good source for lit reviews on this?)
  • Multi vitamin – Nature Made Prental. Prenatal because it has folate and B12, which are both good for blood building.

***Don’t supplement with iron or vitamin D without blood test results and instructions from a medical professional. Both can have negative effects if used when not needed.***

Workout Nutrition

  • Electrolyte Tab – Nuun Vitamins. I haven’t done an excessive amount of research on different brands though any time I try a powder, I find that I prefer the tabs. They are easy to keep and much less messy. Plus, you use half and not have to worry about an opened powder packet spilling in your workout bag. I also like that Nuun has different formulations, this one has a bit less sodium, so I don’t have to overthink if I’ve worked out enough to warrant using one. In the summer when I’m generally sweating more, I’ll put a tab in a water bottle to sip throughout the day.  The electrolyte formula has more sodium and magnesium, for a long run or hard workout day. 
  • Pedialyte – Magic powder! I love Pedialyte for rehydrating after hot summer long runs and workouts.
  • Gatorade – for sipping during interval workouts.
  • Protein powder* – Garden of Life SPORT Organic Plant-Based Protein. I put some of the vanilla powder in a smoothie every morning. Protein powders are one of two categories of supplement most commonly found to be tainted with banned substances, so it’s especially important to get a reputable brand, this one is NSF certified for sport.
  • Picky Bars*

Apps for Runners

I don’t like extra excuses to stare into a screen, and I try to avoid downloading needless apps. These are the training-related apps I have on my phone, because I believe they help me up my game. I would recommend them to any active person.


  • Road ID – For anyone who trains alone, outdoors. It’s a simple safety check. You just set the time of your run, and one or two emergency contacts. They will get a notification when you start, and an alert if you haven’t returned, or if you stop moving for a set amount of time  (I have mine for 6 minutes). They can click the link in the text to see your GPS location. I use this when I’m running in a new place, or on a more isolated trail..
  • World Air Quality Index Project – Quick access to local air quality charts. This one is especially helpful during fire season. It isn’t a true app, just a mobile website. But they have instructions on how to input your location, and then bookmark the website to your home screen, so it functions like an app.


  • Headspace* – I didn’t meditate with any regularity until the stepwise Headspace system. I still don’t know if what I do is meditating, more like guided rest. Regardless, it is a great way to feel rejuvenated in 10-15 minutes. And I like that it teaches you different techniques to use. These are some packs I have found especially helpful: Competition, Acceptance, Recovery, Managing Anxiety.
  • Timeglass – This is the app I’ve wished existed for years. It allows you to make customized, multistep timers. I have one each for my stretching, rolling, and PT routines. Simple, effective.
  • Clue – ¡¡¡Every menstruating person should do some kind of cycle tracking!!! I spent 12 years not tracking my period, and I wish I had started earlier. It’s interesting to learn patterns (PMS symptoms), nice to not be surprised every month, and very helpful to have a reference if anything goes awry. Plus, I just enjoy using this app; it’s well-designed, even fun :)


  • Audible, Spotify, Podcasts – (not much to say, there are probably better podcast apps)

Fledgling Pro Athlete?

  • Quickbooks Self Employed – Yes, you have to pay a bit, but the receipt tracking alone is worth it. I just take a quick picture of any receipts and the program pulls out the important information, and saves a copy of the image. After dealing with all those crumpled up papers for years, this seems so nice and tidy. The mileage tracking function is also handy.