Supplements for runners

Running is a tough sport; it calls for agility, endurance, competitiveness, motivation, and continuous improvement. That’s quite the list and it takes quite the nutrition to get one through it. When it comes to running in competitions, taking it up to the next notch is not only strived for, but required to make it to the top. Supplements, also known as ergogenic aids for sports, are often advertised to give athletes that edge that they’re looking for; there are different forms of sports supplements available in carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, food drugs, and herbal products. Before reading on, understand that, while these tips can get you started, talking with a trainer, physician, or registered dietitian, is the safest and best option.

Variety of Supplements
There is an endless amount of sports supplements. Sorting through the mess is confusing, frustrating, and takes loads of time. Chances are, you’re looking for a quick fix, but at the same time you want accurate and truthful information. First, there are supplements enhancing different parts of the body, and then there are supplements for before and after a run. It can be a nightmare deciding what is right for you. Let’s break the most common supplements down into categories to make it a little easier.

Carbohydrate Supplements. These can come in an easily digested and accessible gel package or even by consuming a small carbohydrate snack before an exercise event of running. Carbohydrate supplementation is most effective on endurance events (lasting 60-90 minutes), such as marathon running. If you take it before exercise: 4 hours before, 2 grams/pound body weight. During exercise: every 15-20 minutes, 30-60 grams per hour. After exercise: usually only necessary if there is another event a few hours after the first ended. The most commonly used carbohydrate supplements are: fructose, glucose, galactose, sucrose, maltose, glucose polymers, and maltodextrins.

Protein Supplements. These should be taken to promote muscle growth, known as muscle synthesis. After working your muscles, which you very well do in running, they need adequate nutrition to be replenished, and protein is the building block for them. After a running event, within 1-3 hours, consume about 2 gram of protein.

Phosphate Salts. Phosphate increases exercise capacity and performance, so this would be a beneficial ergogenic aid for runners.

Creatine Supplementation. Creatine plays an important role in energy metabolism and it improves overall performance in running and other exercise activities.

Multi-Vitamin. Being a runner, you burn hundreds of calories any given day. With those calories is a loss of some vitamins and minerals. Taking a multi-vitamin once a day will solve this problem for you.

Antioxidant Supplements. Certain vitamins can help increase the health of your body by fighting off free radicals. Free radicals can do serious damage to cells in the body, leading to cancer and other diseases. Vitamin E, C, or A supplements will keep your immune system functioning optimally.

Supplements for the Joints. Running marathons, or even running every day, puts a lot of wear and tear on the joints and ligaments. This type of supplement can help prevent and repair damage to both of these. The most common ingredients are: Glucosamine (reduces inflammation) and/or Chondroitin (keeps cartilage strong and elastic).

Fatty Acids. Fatty acids are essential for everyone, but if you’re a marathon runner, supplementation with them can benefit you in other ways. The joints will be lubricated and protected and inflammation will be reduced.

Vasodilators. These type of supplements open up the blood vessels so the body can get a more adequate flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients.

Glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid present in the plasma of blood and the muscles; it is beneficial to the immune system and skeletal system.

Last updated on Mar 2nd, 2011 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed