If you are a runner, there’s nothing more disheartening than a slowing pace or being too sore to operate the following day after a long run. If you have noticed a change in your running habits, the root cause could be a deficiency. As running takes up a lot of your energy, some supplements can help you smash your personal bests and reach new heights.
Whether you’re going for a simple run around the track or training for a marathon, here are some of the best supplements that can enhance your running performance.
If you’re a moderate or endurance runner, protein supplements are integral to your athletic and general wellbeing. Even if you follow a strict diet and eat the right foods, if you want to hit the trail hard, protein is vital for your muscles to repair the micro-tears that stem from rigorous exercise. If you aren’t getting plenty of protein, you will be at an increased risk of injury and experience more sore days after a hearty run. Hair loss can even occur too, which is why you should incorporate protein shakes into your diet that will ensure your body is getting everything it needs.
It’s estimated that over 70% of the U.S population is magnesium deficient. And for those who enjoy running, that statistic is likely far higher. Magnesium is needed for your muscles to operate properly and repair. So, if you’re exercising strenuously without plenty of magnesium in your body, your workout may not be as effective and could do more harm than good. For your body to be able to absorb essential minerals and vitamins like calcium, magnesium is a necessity.
If you’re lacking in vitamin B, you may experience a range of neurological issues that can affect your running performance. Vitamin B12 is classified as ‘stress’ vitamin. This is because it works in your body by helping it to healthily respond to stress. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of vitamin B in your body, you may also experience fatigue which can harm your energy levels and make it more difficult to get the most out of your run. It’s estimated that roughly 20% of America’s population is deficient in B12, but for vegans especially, this number could rise to 92%. There is a unique multivitamin that vegans can take to ensure they’re getting enough vitamin B12.
Iron is a crucial element for oxygen-carrying red blood cells. If you’re an older runner, you will be at an increased risk of having iron deficiency because of the demands involved in training. Endurance athletes are at an increased risk of having low iron levels too. This is because their main focus is on carb-loading, rather than high-quality protein. If you are experiencing constant fatigue, supplementing your diet with iron is key. If you aren’t sure whether to use iron supplements, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor first.
Your immune system and gut health can benefit immensely from probiotics. To limit the number of days you’re off the running track because you don’t feel well or are experiencing stomach issues, taking probiotics is a must. Probiotics are full of good bacteria that your gastrointestinal system requires to alleviate symptoms associated with indigestion. Even if you’re following a balanced diet, your gastrointestinal system may not be able to absorb all the foods you eat, which is why taking probiotics can help maintain a balanced system.
No matter what level you’re at, all runners can benefit from supplements that can create the mental focus, stamina, and energy needed to get the most out of your run. Supplementation is critical for maintaining your potential and protecting your body.