[CQ-Contest] Contesting Supplements

Alfred Frugoli ke1fo at arrl.net
Fri May 22 07:55:17 PDT 2009

Hello everyone,

I want to echo Bob's original comments.  I work in the human services field,
and part of our job is to provide medical oversight for the consumers my
agency serves.  The state regulations we follow dictate that we must have a
doctors' order for any medication/supplement (OTC, herbal, natural or
otherwise) that is to be taken.  We operate under this regulation to reduce
our liability.  If there is liability then that means there is risk.  So,
I'd recommend checking with your MD prior to taking any type of supplements,
OTC medications, etc.

In addition, my mother has been a dietiatian for over 40 years, and in my
conversations on this topic with her, she has always stressed general good
health prior to the event, and then the use of easy to digest, long lasting
high energy foods during the event (i.e. stay away from simple sugars -
there's lots on this topic online, check endurance sports related sites for
marathon runners, triathletes etc.).  She also mentioned that anything that
brings you "up" (like caffene) has an equal but oppositie reaction once it
wears off - i.e. a crash.

>From what I've learned, the best way to survive long stints of contesting is
by simply being in good health.

And as I say to my kids: "do as I say, not as I do".

73 de Al, KE1FO

Visit my amateur radio contesting blog at ke1fo.wordpress.com.

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM, Jeff Kinzli <kinzli at kinzlicoils.com>wrote:

> Bob,
> Completely agreed on all counts, and it cannot be underscored enough
> how what might work great for one person, might cause any number of
> problems in another.
> A great deal of my contest preparation is weeks before the contest at
> the gym - as others have pointed out physical conditioning is key, and
> without that, most supplements will be wasted, whether they are
> effective, safe, or not.
> These days powerful steroidal hormones can be purchased OTC. A
> bodybuilder 10 years ago would have never dreamed of such a day. On
> the other hand, those same steroidal compounds can be purchased by a
> 16 year old who is not fully developed, has little to no weight
> lifting experience, and will likely do more harm to his or her body
> than good with these drugs. The fact that they are available OTC does
> not equal safe. Quite the contrary. Same with other herbals, etc.
> In the article that I'm putting together, it focuses largely on
> nutrition as the foundation, along with common-sense food combining,
> commonly used vitamins and herbs (and some commonly used vitamins and
> herbs to stay away from), and behavior-based conditioning.
> While you have already laid the groundwork for safety, I would agree
> that is a big component as well.
> And since this thread was started talking about Provigil, I would also
> chime in and say that I have used it, also under an MD's supervision,
> and found it less than optimal for its intended purpose.
> Jeff N6GQ
> On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 17:43, Robert L. Shohet <kq2m at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
> > 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,
> > etc.
> > have been discovered to be quite harmful long after they were considered
> > "safe".
> >
> > 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
> > things
> > that are sold over the counter for use by the public.
> >
> > In addition, quite often, herbs, supplements and neutriceuticals can
> affect
> > the
> > absorption and metabolism of prescription meds with quite unpredictable
> > and potentially disasterous consequences, not even considering the added
> > effects
> > 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
> > hallucinations,
> > cardiac arrhythmia and other scary effects WITHOUT  using anything
> stronger
> > than caffeine or No-Doz, the last thing that anyone should consider is
> > adding
> > an unknown to the equation when they are most vulnerable medically.
> >
> > Less risky alternatives would be a good multi-vitamin plus B-Vitamin
> > supplement
> > 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
> > and
> > 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
> > performance
> > 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
> > from
> > using anything without consulting a knowledgeable pharmacist and their
> > doctor.
> >
> > 73
> > Bob KQ2M
> > B.S. Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell Univ.
> >
> >
> >
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