What are the Best Supplements for Cycling?

Patti Kate

Some of the best nutritional supplements for cycling include B complex and complex carbohydrates. Many can be found in powered form. Joint support supplements are also recommended for cyclists. A good choice would be chondroitin and glucosamine. Nutritional supplements that support the immune system are beneficial for cycling as well.

Various supplements for cycling.
Various supplements for cycling.

Amino acids support the immune system and boost energy, both of which are essential for cycling. An amino acid known as glutamine is one of the best supplements for cycling. This supplement, generally found in powered form or caplets, may help athletes build muscle. These supplements are generally found in health and nutrition stores.

Supplements that benefit the immune system are good for cycling.
Supplements that benefit the immune system are good for cycling.

Experts recommend carbohydrates as one of the beneficial supplements for cyclists. Carbohydrate supplements may be in powered form and mixed into milk for a high-energy boost. Additionally, electrolyte supplements may be combined with carbohydrates. Electrolyte supplements help replenish lost minerals from exercise such as cycling.

Creatine powder is popular among athletes looking to boost endurance.
Creatine powder is popular among athletes looking to boost endurance.

Another one of the recommended supplements for cycling is creatine monohydrate. This supplement will help boost endurance. Though it can be dangerous if misused, generally creatine monohydrate is believed to be safe if used as directed. Some fitness experts also claim that creatine helps boost mental abilities and concentration.

Some cyclists take sodium citrate to increase their endurance.
Some cyclists take sodium citrate to increase their endurance.

Other beneficial supplements for cyclists include antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Beta carotene may helpful for cyclists as well. To achieve maximum results, however, experts believe a course of these supplements should be taken for at least six months.

Taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen before a race or bike ride, may be considered a supplement for cyclists. These drugs may reduce inflammation and pain after exercise. Athletes are advised to use these medications in moderation and as directed.

Calcium is often recommend as a supplement for people who cycle, particularly for women who participate in this sport. Taking calcium supplements for cycling may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women. Experts also believe that calcium may counteract bone loss that can occur in cyclists. Vitamin D may also be a good supplement for cyclists.

There are other miscellaneous supplements for cycling. Sodium citrate is sometimes taken to increase endurance. Clenbuterol is another supplement that may help cyclists reduce body fat. Coenzyme Q10 may work similarly.

Some supplements taken by cyclists may produce side effects such as nervousness or sleeplessness. Others may raise blood pressure in certain individuals. Before taking any supplements, it is best to seek the advise of a physician.

Some competitive cyclists take glutamine supplements in order to help build lean muscle.
Some competitive cyclists take glutamine supplements in order to help build lean muscle.

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Discussion Comments


@sinbad - You would first have to look at what type of cycling nutrition plan you are looking for. Are you looking for a cycling nutrition plan that helps you build muscle that will in effect help your endurance because you have more muscle or do you want a plan that helps increase endurance or maybe overall health?

If you look are looking at muscle building supplements, I would look into bodybuilding supplements. They really look into the ins and outs of supplements and their interaction with muscle building.

If you are looking for endurance supplements as described in this article, I have not looked in depth at all of the supplements they listed but it seems for the most part supplements are not cheap (unless we are talking the anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen).

For example the price for things such as the amino acid capsules can be almost two dollars a capsule. So I would not consider them cheap.


Has anyone found cheap supplements that are still good supplements? I have looked into whey protein to help me build muscle for cycling. I have looked into simply stocking energy drinks, but even these seem to be almost two dollars a pop!


@geekish - From what I have read, the illegal supplements that you are wondering about that have been alleged to be quite a part of cycling culture are much more than simple dietary supplements.

One interview I watched with an Olympic cyclist, the cyclist admitted to receiving a small blood transfusion while racing.

So I think that explains the reason why there is probably some illegal supplement usage, the illegal supplements are quite drastic therefore in tight races can really help your performance.


There seems to be so many legal energy supplements and endurance supplements it really makes you wonder about what it is that cyclists have been taking that has been such a cause for controversy.

An interesting story I found about cycling when I lived in downtown Greensboro and lived next door to an energy drink company, was that energy drinks really seemed to come out of cycling culture.

My friend that ran this company had created energy drinks because cycling calls for such endurance but no one was making a super caffeinated endurance drink so cyclists were drinking flat soda while they were cycling.

So my friend started to make his energy drink just as the other drinks started coming to market. Needless to say, the other drinks ended up having the most market share, but I thought his drink tasted less chalky and more delicious.

In the end, sadly, his business did not make it!


@Monika - That sounds like a sensible supplement routine. However, I get a little nervous about some "exercise" supplements!

For example, I know clenbuterol can have some pretty unpleasant side effects. Also, if you play professional sports it can get you totally disqualified. I don't think the risks are worth it at all!


My step father is really into cycling. However, until he met my mom he wasn't taking any supplements. None! Not even a multivitamin.

My mom is like the queen of natural health care, so she immediately got my step father on a supplement regimen. I know he takes B complex as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. He grudgingly admits he feels much better since he started taking them!

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