Supplements For Runners
Diet and training are obviously vitally important for runners who wish to improve their fitness and performance, but those who want to optimise their efforts may wish to look at specific supplements for runners once these fundamentals are in place. Middle and long distance running requires endurance from the cardiovascular system and many large muscle groups during training and events. As such, it is very taxing and requires plenty of energy. The following supplements are recognised as supplements runners may benefit from within their daily routine.
During intense training and events the body loses electrolytes (key minerals such as sodium and potassium) and fluid in the form of sweat as the body tries to maintain its core temperature. Carbohydrate stores are also depleted. Losing 2% of your body weight in sweat can impair your performance and a 5% loss can lead to heat exhaustion, so maintaining hydration is extremely important.
Isotonic drinks replace the fluid lost through sweating, supply the body with carbohydrate in the form of Glucose (the bodies preferred source of energy for rapid replenishment) and contain electrolytes.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
Consisting of the amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, BCAA supplements are vital to humans and help preserve lean body mass, prevent muscle breakdown during training and preserve energy stores. Runners may benefit from supplementing with BCAAs, as well as ensuring they consume plenty of protein within their diets from a variety of sources.
According to research, Glucosamine may help renew cartilage and other important joint tissues, and therefore be important for runners who place a lot demand on their joints. However, if you do experience joint pain, the first thing to do is contact your doctor who will advise you on the best course of action to take. Glucosamine should be more seen as a precautionary supplement to maintain joint health; in the same way you buy properly supportive footwear to avoid injury.
The importance of including a multivitamin within your daily routine really depends on your overall dietary intake. If you include a variety of fruit and vegetables within your diet there would be no need to supplement with a multivitamin. However, if you don’t consume much or any fruit and vegetables, the inclusion of a multivitamin may be wise to cover your bases.