For many athletes, supplements are a central part of their workout regimens. Supplements can provide additional nutrients, increase oxygen flow, and foster muscle growth. Bodybuilders typically use supplements to help build muscle and strength quickly.
Running is an excellent exercise for overall fitness but can also be challenging for the body. The right supplements can help runners achieve their fitness goals and improve their running experience. Here are seven of the best supplements for runners.
Though running is aerobic rather than muscle-building, runners can benefit from the right supplements. Supplements for runners increase oxygen transport from lungs to muscles, improve endurance, reduce muscle soreness, and shorten recovery time.
Typically, runners and joggers want to increase cardiovascular fitness and improve running speed and time. To some extent, disciplined training and correct techniques, combined with a healthy diet, can achieve these aims.
However, the right supplements can help. Supplements can boost an already healthy diet with additional nutrients. Some runners find supplements can help with certain conditions or deficiencies. It can be confusing to find the best supplements among the many. Read on for seven of the best supplements for runners.
Running, prolonged or vigorous, causes the body to use more oxygen. Increased oxygen requirements can cause “oxidative stress,” where free radicals form in the cells and muscles.
Antioxidant supplements can help reduce the creation of free radicals, inflammation, and cancer risk. One of the most commonly prescribed antioxidants is vitamin C. Consuming vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables and daily supplementation can keep antioxidant levels high.
Glucosamine, which comes from shellfish, is a cartilage builder. Supplements of glucosamine repair damaged joints and cartilage, ease inflammation of the joints and improve flexibility. Glucosamine is beneficial for runners with knee problems.
Bodybuilders use creatine to foster muscle growth and increase strength and power. Creatine can help runners, especially long-distance runners, build strength and power. In interval workouts, creatine boosts performance, which can also benefit distance runners in their training.
One key to being a healthy and happy runner is protein. Taking in enough protein will repair muscles quickly. A protein-rich diet is helpful, as are protein supplements. Most runners use whey protein, a dairy-based, complete protein, and a good source of essential amino acids.
Soy protein is a good choice for vegetarian and vegan runners. You can also find rice and other plant-based protein powders, though you may need to mix several to get a complete protein.
Iron helps facilitate oxygen circulation. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which usually appears as fatigue and weakness. Anemia is common among runners, endurance athletes, and women athletes.
Iron is lost through sweating, prolonged effort, and menstruation. Iron-rich foods, such as beef, tuna, and leafy greens, can help. So can iron supplements. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking iron pills, as too much iron can be toxic.
Like glucosamine, chondroitin is another substance found naturally in joint cartilage. The two supplements are commonly taken together to keep cartilage from deteriorating and prevent pain in the knees and other joints.
Choline is a B vitamin that helps reduce fat in the liver. It has antioxidant properties as well. Runners with a choline deficiency are more likely to suffer muscle damage, decreased performance, and fatigue.
Choline occurs naturally in many foods, but supplements are recommended for marathon runners or anyone who trains for more than three hours.
Running is a great way to stay in shape, but it’s essential to supplement your diet with the proper nutrients to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout. These seven supplements are crucial for runners and can help improve performance, reduce inflammation, and speed up recovery. So if you want to take your running game to the next level, add these supplements to your diet!