[CQ-Contest] Contesting Supplements

Robert L. Shohet kq2m at earthlink.net
Thu May 21 17:43:15 PDT 2009

Hi Jeff,

I am just wondering what your definition of "safe" is, with respect
to the supplements and other things that you have taken.

I ask this since quite a few so-called "safe" supplements, nutriceuticals, 
have been discovered to be quite harmful long after they were considered

As you probably know, the FDA does NOT test the safety of nutriceuticals,
herbs and other supplements so there is no "official" word on many of the 
that are sold over the counter for use by the public.

In addition, quite often, herbs, supplements and neutriceuticals can affect 
absorption and metabolism of prescription meds with quite unpredictable
and potentially disasterous consequences, not even considering the added 
from a weakened body and mind as a result of sleep deprivation PLUS
the stress of contesting!

As a veteran of more than 150 48 hour SOABHP All band contests with less
than 2 hours of sleep, and who has (unfortunately) experienced 
cardiac arrhythmia and other scary effects WITHOUT  using anything stronger
than caffeine or No-Doz, the last thing that anyone should consider is 
an unknown to the equation when they are most vulnerable medically.

Less risky alternatives would be a good multi-vitamin plus B-Vitamin 
combined with some extra Vitamin C.  But even this is not necessarily safe 
for everyone.
Safer, and far more effective, is a natural low-fat and low sodium diet with 
a variety
of low-carb and protein rich foods, with plenty of Cranberry juice, fruits 
green leafy vegetables.  Easy to digest, and with plenty of energy.

What you eat and drink during a contest has a far greater effect on 
and the ability to stay alert than most people realize; and there is NO risk 
for this
kind of natural performance enhancement.  Of course, dropping 20-30 lbs
before contest season starts can be just as effective.  :-)

If someone is already taking prescription meds for high blood pressure,
cholesterol reduction, diuretics, diabetes, etc., then they should refrain 
using anything without consulting a knowledgeable pharmacist and their 

Bob KQ2M
B.S. Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell Univ.

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