Sunday, November 15, 2009


Here’s a random topic that’s piqued my curiosity recently:  the issue of supplements, dietary and otherwise, in sports.  I’ve always found the search for those extra little (legal) advantages interesting.  In college, I had a coach who gave us Vitamin C tablets to chew all winter.  I’m pretty sure all that did was wear down people’s tooth enamel and enrich the sanitary sewer system with citric acid.  And there was a scary period when this same coach (who eventually got fired) gave a few of our teammates something called DMSO.  It was actually a lotion that was supposed to facilitate workout recovery but we also heard it was made from petroleum by-products and it gave those who used it garlic breath for no apparent reason.

Holy crap.  I just Googled DMSO and it’s short for “dimethylsulfoxide.” It’s a by-product of paper manufacturing and is now used as an agent for administering chemotherapy drugs and other “substances.”  And one of its side effects is a garlic odor.  Suddenly I feel a lot better about never having been a favorite of that coach.

Anyway, Mr. Coach hasn’t pushed it much with supplements.  He’s had enough of an uphill battle teaching his student-athletes how to eat right, period.  All the creatine in the world isn’t going to make a dang bit of difference if Trevor’s idea of dinner is four family-sized cans of Spaghettios, two boxes of Ring-Dings, and a liter of Diet Coke.  Or if Buffy’s idea of dinner is a side salad without dressing, a carton of Eskimo Pies, and a liter of Diet Pepsi. 

But I’ve always been a fan of the quick calorie after a workout.  I’m all about the banana, granola bar or bottle of Ensure Plus – though not in the shower, I hasten to add (seriously:  there is not one single woman I know who read that blog and could believe that guys eat in the shower.  Not one.). 

Anyway, lately I’ve been using this newish PureSport stuff (disclaimer:  I’m not getting freebies here, nor am I looking to.  Now Cheese Jax?  That’s another story.  I would give away naming rights to my children for some free Cheese Jax.).  You’ll like my reasons for trying PureSport.  See, last winter when Mr. Coach and the team were in Ft. Lauderdale for winter training, they did the city’s Ocean Mile competition.  Reps for PureSport were giving away samples of the stuff – in the most adorable little pop-up plastic bottles, by the way.  Mr. Coach brought me back the bottle but he was less than enthusiastic about the sample he had consumed. 

“It went down OK,” he said, “but there was something wrong with the aftertaste.”

I was incredulous. 

“No one is going to sell a product that has something wrong with the aftertaste,” I said.  “That’s just insane.”

So you can imagine my excitement when the product popped up in our local grocery store (remember, I’m the woman who voluntarily sniffed my husband’s sneakers when he brought them home, reeking of his English Channel adventure). 

I bought one in every flavor, determined to find out if the aftertaste on any of them was “wrong.”  They were NOT.  All I can figure is that the batch Mr. Coach got must have been sitting out in the sun too long at the beach that day.  Maybe I’ll try leaving mine out in the sun sometime, just to see what happens.

But I’ve kept using these powder mixes because, even though they make me pee like a racehorse, they do seem to have an analgesic quality.  Better yet, they don’t make me smell like garlic nor, as far as I know, are they a by-product of any industrial manufacturing process.

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