Read on to learn more about the supplements you need to take your running to the next level.
As runners, we are constantly pushing our bodies to the limit, striving to improve our performance and endurance. To support our goals and maintain peak physical condition, it’s essential to consider the right supplements for our nutritional needs. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to supplementation, we’ve compiled a list of key supplements that every runner should consider incorporating into their diet to enhance recovery, muscle repair, and overall well-being. *Remember, this is not medical advice but information we’ve gathered personally over years of running. Make sure you consult your dietician, trainer or doctor before making big changes to your supplement regime.
Glutamine – The Recovery Supplement Hero
Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid found in our blood and muscles. During intense exercise and times of stress, our bodies deplete glutamine. Glutamine is best taken after a workout, as it plays a crucial role in aiding recovery, muscle repair, and rehydration. After a demanding run, it can help your body bounce back faster, reducing soreness and fatigue.
Calcium and Magnesium – The Dynamic Duo Of Supplements
Best taken before bed, Magnesium is one of the seven essential macrominerals required for various enzymatic functions in the body. For runners, maintaining a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is vital for muscle function. A magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, making it essential for runners. Additionally, magnesium enhances the absorption of other vitamins and acts as a natural anti-depressant, contributing to overall mental and physical health.
CBD – Natural Relief for Runners
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant, known for its non-psychoactive properties. CBD is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils and offers a range of physical and mental health benefits. For runners, CBD can help alleviate post-run pain and inflammation, aiding in recovery. It’s also been proven to enhance sleep quality, a crucial factor for improved running performance. Importantly, CBD is legal, as it was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances.
Caffeine – The Runner’s Pick-Me-Up
Runners have a special affinity for caffeine, and for good reason. While it was once banned in the Olympics, today, up to three-quarters of elite athletes use it for its benefits. Caffeine can boost endurance performance by reducing fatigue and the perception of effort. It’s known to make exercise feel easier and may even enhance the utilization of fat as a fuel source during workouts. It’s important to note that caffeine has a performance-enhancing sweet spot, typically between 300-400 mg, with no added benefits at higher doses. Find out how ultra-trail ace Matty Healy uses caffeine as part of his race and training-nutrition strategy, here.
A Few Additional Things To Keep In Mind
Supplements in excess can lead to unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects, especially with vitamins like C, iron, ADEK, and B6. Your body doesn’t differentiate between factory-produced or naturally sourced vitamins; what matters is their quality and absorption, which means that ‘natural’ is always better. There’s little evidence to support the effectiveness of time-release supplements. It’s often more cost-effective to take supplements with meals.
As runners, our bodies demand more from us and the right supplements can help us meet these demands. By incorporating glutamine, calcium, magnesium, CBD, and caffeine into your diet wisely, you can improve your running performance, enhance recovery, and maintain overall well-being.