How to adjust supplements to your training needs

Making sure you are ready to perform at your best

I’ve been asked by a few readers what supplements I take, and when I considered how to answer this question, it depends on my training and general needs. I start with a food first policy. I make sure my nutrition plan is designed to meet the energy, nutrition, and repair demands the training imposes on my body. When I’m eating enough of the right foods to meet my training loads,  I’m generally getting enough macro nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, to maximise both performance and health. Yet sometimes I may not be getting enough nutrients, and taking supplements often helps. Below is an overview of what I do, based on different situations. It’s based on trial and error over the years and with advice from experts in sports science and nutrition. 


Twice a day I take supplements from doTERRA Lifelong Vitality Pack including Omega Complex, Microplex VMz Food Nutrient Complex and Alpha CRS+ Cellular Vitality Complex. The pack of three, are full of essential nutrients, metabolism benefits, and powerful antioxidants designed to help promote energy, health, and lifelong vitality. I feel better when I take them twice a day, and they are my ‘insurance’ in case I miss out on any essential vitamins and minerals in my normal meals. 

Endurance session <2 hours

For low intensity aerobic sessions less than 2-hours, I drink a 750 ml bottle of water with a salty hydration drink like PH 1500 about 1 hour before. Only water during the session. After the session I normally have breakfast and my daily doTERRA supplements. Please note that I use the salty 1500 mix from PH. This was determined after taking the PH sweat test online.

Endurance session  2-4 hours

For low intensity aerobic sessions more than 2-hours, I drink a 750 ml bottle of water with a hydration supplement like Sponsor Endurance about 1 hour before. 

Water in the first hour and then alternate between a carbohydrate drink and water for the ride or row. I target at least 60-80 grams of carbohydrate each hour, with a gel or bar from Science in Sport or Sponser. 

After the session, and within 30-minutes, I take on a protein carbohydrate recovery drink that has a good mix of carbs, protein and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCCA). I use the Swiss brand, Sponser’s Recovery drink, or equivalent from Science in Sport. I also like to down a glass of water with L-carnitine mixed in. L-carnitine is a vitamin-like nutrient consisting of the two amino acids lysine and methionine.  L-carnitine claims to have an important function in fat metabolism, and I find it helps with regeneration.

High intensity interval training session (HIIT)

For high intensity anaerobic sessions, I eat some toast with a banana and honey, or another snack that has some good carbs to fuel the effort. If it’s a long session, then I take a 750 ml carbohydrate drink to sip between efforts, and potentially a gel if the session is over 1 hour. After a HIIT session, and within 30-minutes, I take on a protein carbohydrate recovery drink (see above). 

Weights training

Nothing special before a weights session. I like to be well hydrated and generally weights are at the end of the day, and after a small snack in the late afternoon. Afterwards I pay attention to getting enough protein. If I’m eating a good protein rich meal soon after the session (within 30-minutes) I don’t need to take any supplements, yet generally I down a protein drink. I’m currently using the Swiss brand, Sponser’s Whey Isolate 94 protein powder mixed with water.

Pain relief

If I have strained a muscle, or have an impact bruise, I use doTERRA Deep Blue Rub on the area for deep muscle relief. The cream is non greasy and feels great. I also use the Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex tablets. The tablets are a combination of polyphenol extracts of frankincense, turmeric, green tea, ginger, pomegranate, and grape seed, and is designed to provide soothing support to aching muscles. The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric are well published, and these tablets provide a similar effect for me as a paracetamol and Ibuprofen. 

Performance Enhancing Supplements

Always a tricky subject this one. There are a handful of performance enhancing supplements, that have a good evidence base as safe, legal to use and effective. I have researched and mapped, the supplements and protocols used by professional sporting teams, and dialled these protocols in for rowing. I often use these supplements to enhance performance and recovery during heavy training blocks, and before major races with great effect. If you’re interested in my guide to the performance supplements I use, you can find out more by becoming a Premium Subscriber. P.S I don’t share this information in my general newsletter, as I feel this information should be reserved for those that want to invest in their performance.