The Best Supplements For Runners
Whether you’re trying to achieve a personal best or race a new distance, running is a sport that can take its toll on your body if you don’t have the appropriate fuel. A healthy, balanced diet is what will support your body, making hitting your goal pace and mileage possible.
However, many runners who eat a healthy and well-rounded diet may still be lacking in a few key nutrients that may support your exercise. Supplements aren’t a substitute for a healthy diet, but they can help in achieving greater performance results.
Do runners need supplements?
The obvious question is: do you need supplements to be the best runner you can be? Absolutely not. Supplements are designed to simply be what their name implies – supplementation to your daily intake, in case you aren’t getting enough nutrients through your diet. It’s entirely possible to get the required daily intake of any nutrient through diet alone.
That being said, runners might not eat the perfect diet all the time. Many factors, like family, stress or work, can lead us to deficiencies in critical vitamins and minerals, all of which can have an impact on our performance.
Tips for taking supplements for runners
- Get your vitamins and nutrients from food. Support your dietary intake with supplements, and don’t rely on them. This will ensure you absorb as much as possible.
- Maximise your sleep. Don’t take supplements to give you energy, look at your sleeping patterns and make sure you’re getting as much as you need. A good night’s sleep should be the bases of every run, and lack of sleep can throw your energy levels out of whack.
- Buy good supplements from a reputable seller – such as Nutri Advanced, trusted by professionals.
What are the best supplements for runners?
There are a variety of different supplements that runners can take to keep their vitamins in balance.
Low iron levels in runners is one of the most common reasons for poor results. Lost both in sweat and the GI tract, runners can find themselves losing more iron than they replace through their everyday diet. Iron is found in most multivitamins, so taking a daily multivitamin should supplement you with all the iron you need. However, if you feel like you may be iron deficient, it’s worth checking this with a doctor – then, you may need to take a separate iron supplement.
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for runners, it’s needed for bone health and muscle function and has a role in the production and normal function of many hormones. Vitamin D also offers support to your immune system, and helps your body to absorb calcium – another great supplement for runners. Vitamin D levels tend to decrease during the winter, due to the reduction in the intensity and duration of sunlight on the skin. As such, particularly during the colder months of the year, you should take a vitamin D supplement.
Calcium is perhaps one of the most important micronutrients for runners. It’s the most abundant mineral in the body, and critical in the structural forming of bones and teeth. Adequate calcium intake is something that should be focussed on by runners, to ensure maximum bone health and minimise the risk of injury.
Probiotics have plenty of benefits, including supporting gut health. And, since much of the immune system is located in the gut, it’s a good idea to support your gut health where possible. A healthy gut is ground zero for overall health, and is especially important for endurance athletes such as runners who need strong guts to go the distance.
Magnesium plays an integral role in many different reactions in the body, helping to transport calcium and potassium across cell membranes. It can help to support muscle relaxation, due to its due to its relationship with calcium. Calcium causes muscles to contract while magnesium helps your muscles relax. Therefore it’s the ideal supplement to aid running performance and recovery.
This is part of the Vitamin B complex, and is required for energy production in cells, brain function and the production of DNA and proteins. It’s produced by beneficial gut bacteria, as well as consumed in the diet. B12 is found naturally only in animal products, but foods such as breakfast cereals, milk, yoghurt and nutritional yeast are fortified with B12. Taking a B12 supplement can help to meet your daily requirements and provide you with enough energy to complete your runs.
Zinc plays a role in the production of more than 300 different enzymes in the body. Enzymes are a class of biological proteins, helping to catalyse a variety of different chemical reactions. Therefore, having sufficient zinc availability ensures that all of the necessary enzymes involved in facilitating key reactions in the body are abundant and available. This can help to support recovery from your runs.