The Five Best Supplements To Enhance Your Running Performance

The Five Best Supplements To Enhance Your Running Performance

Credit: Ivanko_Brnjakovic

There is nothing more discouraging for a runner than a slowing pace, being too fatigued to hit the trials, or being too sore to function the day after a long run. If you are experiencing a change in your running habits, it might be a deficiency to blame. 

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are not only common, they are highly likely for someone who is expending a lot of energy, sweating a lot in the heat, and not keeping up with the nutritional demands that most runners put on your body. 

If you are an endurance or moderate runner, to maintain your athletic health, it is essential that you replenish what you lose. For runners, supplementation with these five vitamins and minerals are essential.

1 Protein

For endurance or moderate runners, protein supplementation is integral to your athletic and overall health. Even if you are eating the right foods, for those who hit the trail hard, nutritionally speaking, it is nearly impossible to get all that your body needs. 

Protein is necessary for the muscles to repair the micro-tears that occur from strenuous exercise. If you aren’t getting enough, you might be more prone to injury, experiencing more sore days after a vigorous run, or even notice hair loss.

Athletes require as much as 1-1.6 grams per kilo of weight per day. If you aren’t eating that much in your diet, then supplementing with protein shakes is an excellent way to make sure that you are getting all that your body requires.

2 Probiotics

Probiotics are not only important for your gut health, they are essential for your immune system. To reduce the number of days that you are benched because you just don’t feel good, or you have stomach issues, probiotics is key. 

Probiotics contain good bacteria that your gastrointestinal system needs to reduce the breakdown of the gut’s barrier. Leaky gut is a condition where the guts barrier is weakened and can lead not just to stomach problems like indigestion, but it can also rob the immune system and disallow the body from absorbing essential nutrients.

After all, even If you are eating the right foods, if your gastrointestinal system can’t absorb them, then you aren’t going to get all that you need. Taking probiotics every day will help you maintain a balanced system all the way around.

3 Electrolytes

As the summer heats up, supplementing with electrolytes is imperative, especially if you are running outside. Electrolytes are the ions that are dissolved in water that create a positive or negative charge. 

In the body, the way that neurons talk to one another is through chemical impulses. If you are lacking in electrolytes, it might become impossible for your neurons to communicate with one another.

Electrolytes balance the intercellular and the extracellular region of the cell. If there isn’t a balance, it can lead to muscle weakness, soreness, or fatigue, in minor instances. If you are deficient enough, it can lead to blood pressure problems, heartbeat issues, and other serious health consequences like increasing your risk of stroke. 

Since electrolytes are found in all bodily fluids, when you lose them through things like sweat and tears, you have to replenish what you lose. For those who sweat excessively, there is a lot of loss that needs to be recouped. 

Make sure if you are losing lots of fluids that you are replenishing with electrolytes to balance the body, instead of just focusing on drinking water to keep you hydrated. Be cautious of sports drinks that advertise electrolytes. 

If they are loaded with sugar they will produce an insulin crash. Also, if they don't contain enough electrolytes, they will do you very little good.

4 Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is known as the “stress” vitamin because it works in the body by helping the body respond healthily to stress. If you are lacking in Vitamin B, you can start to experience neurological issues and other adverse symptoms. 

It is also common for someone who doesn’t have a sufficient supply of vitamin B to experience fatigue because the body isn’t able to make enough red blood cells to supply cells with the necessary oxygen that they need. 

If a vitamin B deficiency is extreme enough, it can make you more prone to falling, disturb your balance, leave you with mouth ulcers, and cause you to be emotionally unstable.

The more you run, the more you put your body under stress, and the more red blood cell production you require. So, if you are an avid runner, it is an excellent idea to supplement with vitamin B to reduce the stress that you are putting on your body.

5 Magnesium

Estimates are that as many as 70% of the population is magnesium deficient. In the running world, that number is probably much higher. For your muscles to function properly and repair, they need the aid the magnesium. 

If you exercise strenuously without having enough magnesium onboard, your workout might actually be doing more harm than good. Magnesium is necessary for the body to be able to absorb other essential vitamins and minerals like calcium. 

Without it, the body will become deficient in many different vitamins and minerals due to an inability to absorb nutrients in the gut. To keep your muscles strong, healthy, and to increase your athletic drive, make sure that you have enough magnesium to keep you up and running and your muscles supplied with rich oxygen. 

Running has a vast number of benefits for athletes, but if you are running your body too low on essential nutrients, you might be doing it more harm than good. Running might be good for your mental health, but that doesn't mean that it can't be punishing on your body. Treat your body right, and it will treat you to a long life of running your cares away.

Now you know how to enhance your running performance with the right nutrients.  Are you ready to look for your next challenge? Find the running event that excites you on World's Marathons, set your goal,  and let's keep on training!