Read the summaries on this page to help guide you through the various articles listed. Sometimes researchers do not have the most clear way of describing things and it is easy to get lost. Look at the tables and graphs. Look up words you don't understand. And be sure to click on the links of other articles that they reference. You could go on and on for hours reading all this cool literature about the human body in sports!

The Metabolic Demands of Kayaking: A Review.

Click This Study to see a review of a bunch of different studies about sprint canoe and kayak. Their goal is to provide more data for coaches so that we can train athletes more specifically for the race distances. One of their points is about how much of the aerobic energy system(uses oxygen) is used over the anaerobic(non-oxygen) in the 500m and 1,000m. 

Their next point is about the Anthropometrics(body shape/characteristics) of successful paddlers. They point out that even though there is data showing that there is  similar body shapes of successfully athletes, that there is no single trait that distinguishes an elite kayak paddler. In the past 25 years, the average body mass of Olympic athletes has increased while their times are dropping which means that you can be a successful paddler and have a heavy mass as long as you can move the boat well. There needs to be more research to determine the best way to find that medium. 

The researcher then talks about all the many ways to test paddlers for their peak VO2 during 500m and 1000m races. The easiest way I can explain VO2 is that it is the measurement of how much of your maximum oxygen consumption is used. It is about efficiency. The better the athlete, the higher the number. For reference, the highest VO2 peak(different than max units: ml/kg/min) is 7.39L/min found in cross country skiers. They think that the best way to measure a paddler's VO2 peak is on the water and not on some sort of erg. There is a useful table comparing VO2 measurements with other sports.

The other component of testing someone's peak ability is the lactate threshold. What they do is measure how much lactate is in blood compared to oxygen. It all goes back to how well your body cycles through using lactate to turn into helpful energy to keep your muscles going at their peak performance. There are two studies mentioned that indicate around 83% of VO2peak is where blood lactate threshold is. This is very helpful for us coaches to know for when we are writing our training programs for you. 


A survey was done to see what the top 6 supplements are that Olympians commonly take. It was done in 2018 and can be found at this website.

Here is the summary!

1) Creatine

Creatine supplementation has been known to increase storage of creatine in your muscles and helps ATP replenishment quicken between high intensity exercises. This means that you are able to recover better even in hard workouts! A suggested amount to take is .1g-.3g per kg of body weight daily. combined with heavy resistance training. According to this review, creatine may be found to help overall physical performance, helps anaerobic and aerobic performance, resistance training, mobility, heightened glycogen stores in muscles, and recovery from injury. There is not much literature for how creatine affects under 18 year olds but has been recommended for use in post-pubescent athletes. Creatine overall is helpful for performance when paired with heavy resistance workouts, proper age and amount, and with a well-balanced diet. 

2) Electrolytes

Electrolytes help the body maintain hydration. They are little particles that carry electrical charges that regulate muscles abilities to function properly. We lost them through sweat and urine. Our bodies naturally replace them but through proper supplementation we can help our body to keep balanced hydration and muscular function. Check this study out on how Nuun tablets were found to help!

3) Carb Powders

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that our body uses to move and function. As we go through hard exercise our body uses carbs up pretty fast so if you drink a carb drink/powder mixed with a fluid then you can quickly replenish those stores that just got used up. A classic example is gatorade. 

4) Beta-Alanine

Our muscles need carnosine to help buffer the pH levels that occur from the anaerobic glycolysis in energy production. Beta-alanine has been known to increase the level of carnosine in our bodies thus increasing the muscles' abilities to produce energy. This article has a section about beta-alanine studies and how male athletes 18-25yr. old specifically have had benefits from taking beta-alanine supplements 4.8g/day for 5-6 weeks in performance of high intensity bouts 60 seconds to 4 minutes(sounds like sprint paddling to me!)

5) Protein

In order to repair, maintain, and build our muscles we need protein. The quality and quantity is important to actually experience benefits. Some recent data has suggested that athletes require a daily protein intake of 1.2 to 2.0 g/kg to support metabolic adaptations, muscle repair and remodeling, and protein turnover. The type of protein is important too- it has to have at least 10g of essential amino acids(EAA). Whey protein contains the EAA from milk casein. Some plant proteins contain a few but usually the powders have a combination of sorts in order to bring together the needed amount. 

6) Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids/Fish Oil

Yes, the name may throw you off but "Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as DHA and EPA, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to be beneficial for the nervous and cardiovascular systems, with anti-inflammatory effects that fight against exercise-induced muscle damage." This article written by University of Western States clearly explains the benefits of using this supplementation. I want to highlight how helpful it is when paired with strength training. It has been found to help with vasodilation(expands blood vessels so more oxygen gets moved around), decrease inflammation, helps with nerve conductibility, decreases soreness after strength training, and somehow it helps with range of motion in athletes! Recommended amounts are no more than 3,000mg/day