How free radical damage can radically change your running ability
Even those who aren’t into health have heard about “free radicals”. Not the type that carries picket signs and always have a cause, free radicals are cells in the body that can wreck havoc. A free radical is a molecule in the body that doesn’t have a matching pair. Molecules are comprised of a positive and negative neutron. If one doesn’t have a match, they bounce around mercilessly trying to find one. As they bounce around, they create damage to the other cells in your body, which is responsible for aging and cellular damage.
As you get older, it is more likely that you have more free radicals running through your body, which only increases the aging process. Free radical damage can lead to premature aging, chronic illnesses and conditions like cancer if not compensated for. Free radicals are also influenced by the amount of stress that your body is put under. If you are training for a marathon or are an endurance runner, the additional stress that you put on your body at a cellular level might be doing you more harm than good if you aren’t taking care to stop free radical damage.
Free radicals not only cause damage to the cells around them, but they can also decrease the amount of oxygen that your body runs on, literally. The less oxygen that your cells receive, the harder it is to run.
So, how do you stop free radical damage?
As you get older, it is important to increase the amount of antioxidants that you consume. Antioxidants are also one of those words that you have likely heard. They work by giving an electron to stabilize free radicals so that they calm down and stop hurting the cells around them. Antioxidants are responsible for stabilizing free radicals and returning them to healthy cells.
Antioxidants are found in the colorful foods that you eat. Nature is a funny thing; it actually made things that are good for you attractive to the eye. All of the antioxidants can be found in the vibrant colors in things like berries and other fruits and vegetables. If you want to increase your intake of antioxidants, the best guide is to get a variety of rainbow colors in your diet daily.
Another excellent way to get the antioxidants you need, especially if you are training or are a diehard runner, is to supplement with “Superfood” supplements. These condensed forms of antioxidant superfoods come in powder form and give you as many as fifteen to twenty servings a day in just one scoop. Pretty amazing, although always being better to get your nutrients from the foods that you eat, superfood supplements are the perfect way to ensure that you are decreasing free radical damage and giving your body all it needs to stay strong and healthy.
If you are going to supplement with superfood products just make sure to read third party analyses to ensure that whatever the company's claims are regarding the potency of their product is real. There really is a difference in the quality of superfood supplements, but unless you are getting your analysis from a third party evaluation, there is no way to trust the advertising.
As you age free radical damage can increase
There was a day when running came naturally, and it was exhilarating. As you age, running becomes more difficult. Even more difficult for hardcore runners is admitting that aging has an effect. If you want to combat the effects of the stress that running has on your body and stay fast, run long, and feel as young as you used to, you have to give your body the additional nutrients that it needs.
Make sure that every meal is filled with rich and vibrant colors and forgo the antioxidant pills and choose the “superfood” antioxidant products instead. You will truly be amazed at how quickly you will find the energy you lost along the way. You have to age; it is just a fact of life. But for runners, aging doesn’t have to take you out of the race if you combat the stress that running can put on your body.