In an ideal world, we might get all of our essential nutrients from food, but due to dietary restrictions, allergies, food preferences, and the everyday stress of life, most of us don’t eat healthily 100% of the time. For runners, this is especially problematic because running is a strenuous exercise that can lead to serious injury when you’re nutrient-deficient.
That’s where the supplements for runners can be a valuable addition to your regime, filling in nutrition gaps so that you remain in tip-top shape and ready to go that extra mile.
Benefits of Supplements for Runners
Running puts pressure on virtually every part of the body, affecting not just the heart and lungs but also the blood, bones, muscle tissue, and more. As a result, runners need to support their bodies with adequate nutrition to avoid injuries and illnesses like bone fractures, anemia, microtears in muscle tissue, and many more.
Supplements help dedicated runners enhance their performance, support their endurance, and avoid ailments that are unfortunately all too common among these athletes.
Types of Supplements for Runners
Iron helps the body form hemoglobin, which is essential for transporting oxygen through the bloodstream. This makes it incredibly important for runners, who are frequent sufferers of anemia, which causes weakness, breathlessness, and fatigue.
Protein forms the building blocks of muscle. While runners often neglect this key nutrient, protein helps your muscles recover between runs, making it an important addition to your regime.
Branched Chain Amino Acids help reduce muscle loss (a frequent problem for runners), boosting energy and stimulating muscle growth between runs.
Vitamin D is crucial to bone health, and according to health experts, most Canadians are vitamin-D deficient due to our long, dark winters where sunlight is minimal. Without strong bones, stress fractures and osteoporosis are common in runners, so it’s vital to keep on top of your bone health.
Zinc forms enzymes, and enzymes are necessary for many chemical reactions in the body related to your immune system. Zinc helps keep your immune system in top shape to ward off illnesses that put you out of commission, plus there is some evidence that it helps sleep, which is valuable for recovery between runs.
Best Supplements for Runners
- Optimum Nutrition Whey Gold Standard - Each serving of this pure, premium protein powder provides 24g of protein, all while remaining low in fat, cholesterol, lactose, and extra chemicals you can do without.
- Mutant BCAA 9.7 - With eight delicious, fruity flavours, this BCAA supplement packs a punch with a heaping serving of BCAA along with 8 electrolytes for hydration and a proven absorption accelerator.
- Progressive Vitamin D3 - Offering immune system support in small, soft gel capsules for fast absorption and easy swallowing, Progressive is an excellent choice for runners everywhere.
- Tested Nutrition ZMA - Replenish vital minerals with this zinc magnesium blend, boosted with vitamin B6 for an extra hit of nutrition.
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