Any runner and fitness enthusiast knows that in order to reach the highest performance, your body needs a good balance of nutrients. If you are serious about your running activities, choosing the right supplements can really help you to boost your performance.
The supplement market is full with all sorts of products and it can become very confusing to choose the right ones for you. If you are looking to boost your performance, these five supplements will definitely do the work.
Proteins are one of the most important nutrients, especially for physically active people. Proteins are essential for growing and renewing muscle cells. Besides this, proteins also take a part in the regulation of hydration, hormonal balance and cell repair. Whey proteins are one of the top choices for runners, since they are low on calories and help to meet your daily need for proteins. Normally a person requires around 0.36 grams of protein per kilogram a day. However, the need of this supplement is higher for runners. On average 60 grams of whey protein before you go for a run will ensure you a faster muscle recovery and help you to build lean and strong muscles. Taking proteins before your run can kickstart the muscle recovery process, but the best time to take them is after your workout.
Creatine has been widely known as a supplement that is meat for bodybuilders, however, as it turns out, it can also be very helpful for runners. Creatine also takes a very important role in completing the muscle growth and recovery process. It is a complementary supplement to proteins, since it reduces the damage of liver cells by keeping the body well hydrated. Creatine also reduces muscle swelling and pain, since it counteracts the inflammation process. Daily use of creatine reduces the VO2 levels, allowing your body to oxygenate better while exercising. Creatine usually requires at least 5 days to build up in optimal levels in your body, requiring around 20 grams per day, and in the maintenance phase you will need to use on average 5 grams per day.
Iron is a very important nutrient, especially for female runners. Runners in general are more susceptible towards iron deficiency and anemia, and women are at an even greater risk, due to monthly iron loss during menstruation. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue and lower your performance. However, Iron supplementation needs to be attended with caution, since excessive amounts of it can actually damage the cells in your body. If your iron levels are low or you have an iron deficiency, you should definitely consider taking this supplement. The usual amount for men is 10 milligrams per day, whereas for women its 15 milligrams per day.
4. Vitamin D and Calcium
It is widely known that low levels of Calcium can lead to low bone density and osteoporosis. This is very important for runners, since early osteoporosis can bring an end to your favorite activity. Most people get enough Calcium from their daily diet, however, you might not have enough of vitamin D. Studies have shown that almost 75% of runners have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of Calcium therefore these two supplements should be taken together.
Caffeine is one of the best known legal performance enhancers in the sports industry. Many Olympic athletes use caffeine before performing, to maximally boost their results. Caffeine induces mental acuity and boosts the body’s ability to convert fat into usable energy. It enhances your coordination and reaction time and helps running feel much easier. Caffeine is also beneficial in post-run recovery. The daily intake recommendation is around 550 milligrams- around 5 cups of coffee.
Most of these supplements are easily found on your local super market shelf. They are easy to use and can greatly increase your performance.