Written by: Nicole Stout
If there is anything I do as much as training, it is traveling. I visit, on average, one international country a month. In the next few months, I will fly to Qatar for the World Championships in May, Mongolia for a Grand Slam in June, and Croatia for a Grand Slam in July. Though it sounds exciting, I have to navigate changes in time zone, extremely long flights (the longest I’ve been on was a 26 hour flight from Sydney back to Dallas, TX), and difficulty accessing places to workout. Because I am in a weight class centric sport and often have limited access to food and water, this can make maintaining my supplementation regime along with my regular routine feel impossible. So, I thought I might share some tips here on how I do my best to keep up while on the road and making weight.
As one might guess, a lot of these tips will depend on where and how far you are traveling. For any location, I recommend investing in a makeup bag to store all of your supplement bottles. There are an abundance of cool pill/supplement storage cases that can be used. However, I recommend traveling with your supplements in their bottles because many countries’ airport security become suspicious of unmarked “pills” and powders. I was delayed by two whole hours in the Atlanta International Airport because I had creatine powder in a ziplock coming back into the country.
Another tip depends on how far you are traveling. If the destination is more than a six hour time difference, I like to start pre-adjusting a couple of days before I travel. As an example, I take all of my supplements between 11:00 am to 12:00 pm est. everyday. When I travel to Turkey for the Antalya Grand Slam, I will have to take into account a seven hour (ahead) time difference. So, a couple of days out, I try to go to sleep earlier and start taking my supplements before my 5:00 am work shift. I find that this can help lessen the impact of jet lag.
Water is essential for taking your supplements and yet sometimes it is not an option available to me. Sometimes it is because I am doing a strict weight cut and cannot ingest any liquids. Sometimes it is because the country I am traveling to or through is not safe to come into contact with or drink the running water. In these cases, I opt for taking my supplements with fruit. My go-to choices are bananas and oranges. Any fruit which you have to peel so that you know with certainty it hasn’t come into contact with the local water from being washed will do. The softer the fruit, the easier it will be to take your supplements with. With each small bite of fruit, I take one tablet. It can take some getting used to, but for me, it works like a dream.
It is critical that you continue taking your supplements like SR CarnoSyn® while traveling and not allow travel and competition to derail that routine. Supplements like SR CarnoSyn® require consistent dosing in order to achieve optimal benefits. The entire point for athletes, like me, is to improve recovery after practices for competition and my cardio and performance in competition. It just wouldn’t make sense to sabotage that routine and possibly those advantages leading up to the big day. Keeping my routine and supplementation strategy is how I achieve optimal results at competitions, even when they are on the other side of the world.