Supplementation for climbers

Posted by Anna Davey in Sports Performance

Estimated reading time: 7mins

Bulk Ambassador Anna Davey's supplementation for climbers

Climbing as a Sport

The Australian Sports Commission officially recognised Sport Climbing as a sport in 2017 and soon after The Olympic Committee invited Sport Climbing to be exhibited at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is a huge milestone for climbing which generally has little financial support for athletes.

In welcoming climbing into the official competitive world, the SIA (formerly ASADA) warnings came thick and fast to all athletes. No supplements were to be used or promoted unless we are 100% sure they are banned substance-free.

Being an avid supplement user all my athletic life and hearing stories of current bans of high profile athletes for simply using their regular pre-workout, signalled alarm bells for me. I researched companies that would be ideal for me and came across the HASTA range at Bulk Nutrients.

With a quick scan of the small HASTA range, I realised the range had all the things I really need, and I saw a potential opportunity to work with Bulk Nutrients to expand the range if there is demand.

Bulk Ambassador Anna Davey is a competitive climber that holds the title for two disciplines of climbing in WA, Lead and Boulder.

The supplements I use to support my climbing

My supplements have always changed slightly depending on my training and if I am in on or offseason.

Here are the regular supplements I use:

  1. Amino Acids (BCAAs, EAAs and non-essential EAAs).
  2. Pre Workout Non-Stimulant. This must contain Citrulline Malate or I add it.
  3. Regular Pre Workout (only if tired). This must contain Beta Alanine or I add it.
  4. Fat Burner (in season).
  5. Joint Support.
  6. Magnesium.

The best Amino Acids for climbers

Amino Acids make up a very broad range of supplements covering Branched-Chain, Non-Essential and Essential strands.

There is one constant in my supplement use which is amino acids! Where would I be without aminos? Sore, tired and probably lacking muscle.

I use aminos for recovery post-training every day. They are the building blocks to protein synthesis and they help me get up in the morning and go train without every muscle in my body aching.

The most common amino acid supplements have a 2:1:1 ratio of the branch chain amino acids: Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine.

For me, a 2:1:1 is not enough. I like added Electrolytes and some EAAs and even non-essential amino acids.

Bulk Nutrients’ HASTA certified BCAA Recovery has some Electrolytes and some Citrulline Malate (a non-essential amino acid) which is another one of my favourite supplements for blood flow! Blood flow = Recovery.

However, I add Bulk Nutrients’ pure EAA Blend and pure L Glutamine (non-essential amino acid) into BCAA Recovery for the perfect concoction of hydration, recovery and strength gains!

Bulk Ambassador shares her six must-have supps for climbers.

Acetyl Carnitine (Alcar)

Alcar is another amino I will use seasonally, generally added into my post-workout mix or my morning fat burner.

It’s great for weight loss if required to be competition ready and also very good for the brain as cognitive functions can be advanced.

Pre Workout Non-Stim

This is another supplement I use constantly during my session for endurance. Non-Stim Pre Workouts are generally a mix of amino acids, so this could technically be in my amino acid section. However, the specific mix I aim for is much different to my recovery drink.

I like a combination of Beta Alanine, Citrulline MalateCreatine and L Arginine. I hit the jackpot with Bulk Nutrients‘ mix! It has all of these ingredients and more!

The added magnesium is also a nice addition to deter those muscle cramps!

Basically, all these ingredients reduce the build-up of lactic acid. Read more about Beta Alanine as a lactic acid buffer here.

Lactic acid is a climber’s worst nightmare, our forearms swell, and our grip weakens as the acid builds up. So, a supplement to combat this kind of fatigue gives us more endurance to hang on to the wall!

Pre Workout 101 for climbing

Generally, a no-no in competition as sometimes the caffeine makes my hands shake a little and I may shake myself off the wall!

However, after a long eight hour day of work, when I know I have a hard three hours training to do, pre-workout definitely has its place to get me to training instead of driving home.

Bulk Nutrients’ HASTA certified Pre Workout 101 makes me feel like a superwoman with strength and energy!

Bulk Ambassador Anna Davey showing off her daily supplement rotation.

Climbing Fat Burners – I use AM Burner

The lighter you are as a climber the easier it will be for you to pull yourself up!

Before big events, I try and drop 1kg and usually need some help as I’m not giving up any of my food.

I sometimes add extra Alcar into my diet or I will use a fat burner instead of a pre-workout as the caffeine content is generally the same, but it also contains burners.

During this time, however, I will also use Bulk Nutrients Pre Workout Non-Stim as the strength benefits aren’t there with just a burner.

The other option for me is a fat burner instead of morning coffee and only a Pre Workout Non-Stim before training. It depends on my energy on the day.

Joint Support for climbers

Climbing is very tough on joints as you are hanging on most of them for hours! Shoulders, elbows, knees and finger joints are generally the worst affected.

A good joint support supplement can keep the joints lubricated, strong and healthy. I’ve always found Glucosamine, MSM and Chondroitin mix to be great along with good fish oil.

Bulk Nutrients does this in a powder or capsule. I personally like powders for bioavailability and as it’s unflavoured (bitter yes) so you can add it to your pre or post-workout concoctions.

For inflammation, Turmeric is amazing and has other benefits for general health other than just joint support.

Magnesium supplements for rock climbers

Muscle cramps… We all get them, some more than others.

I find my recovery is better if I have magnesium before training, however, I also sleep better if I magnesium before bed.

ZMA is perfect for nighttime if you have trouble sleeping as it helps you to wake up pretty refreshed from not cramping in the night.

I love the fact that the Pre Workout Non-Stim by Bulk Nutrients has Magnesium for my pre-workout fix. I will generally have ZMA at night too as some Zinc a day keeps the doctor away. Read more about magnesium and its uses here.

I hope my supplementation plan has helped you out. Happy Climbing!

References:

  1. Frank, K., Patel, K., Lopez, G. and Willis, B., 2021. Branched-Chain Amino Acids Research Analysis. [online] Examine.com. Available at: https://examine.com/supplements/branched-chain-amino-acids/.
  2. Frank, K., Patel, K., Lopez, G. and Willis, B., 2021. Citrulline Research Analysis. [online] Examine.com. Available at: https://examine.com/supplements/citrulline/.
  3. Frank, K., Patel, K., Lopez, G. and Willis, B., 2021. Beta-Alanine Research Analysis. [online] Examine.com. Available at: https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/.
  4. Frank, K., Patel, K., Lopez, G. and Willis, B., 2021. Magnesium Research Analysis. [online] Examine.com. Available at: https://examine.com/supplements/magnesium/.

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