Running is as fun and rewarding as it is hard. Whether you run marathons, sprints, hills, or just for fun, it will eventually take a toll on your body. Seriously. Being careless can lead to a multitude of health problems. That’s why we put together this list of supplements for runners; these natural supplements will take care of the most vulnerable parts and make sure you stay healthy and even become a better runner!
Joint Supplements For Runners
It’s no secret: Runners need strong joints. Weak joints lead to increased risk of injury, lower endurance, and more painful recovery time. If you’re a runner, keeping your joints strong should be one of your top priorities. These joint supplements for runners can help you do that.
Amino acids are organic compounds that play a role in almost every system in the human body. Some of these roles are even more important to a runner than the average person.
L-Leucine is a three-branched amino acid. It’s not naturally produced by the body, so it’s considered an essential amino acid. That just means you need to get it from an outside source. Most people get enough from the food they eat, but runners may need a supplement to support their higher level of activity.
Amino acids help your body produce muscles, connective tissue, and skin. They also help maintain muscle tone and keep connective tissues strong. Leucine helps long-term runners combat muscle deterioration because of its anti-inflammatory properties that prevent muscle breakdown during runs.
Unlike leucine, the body produces hyaluronic acid naturally. It’s a thick gooey substance that helps keep your joints lubricated while supporting healthy connective tissues.
Joint pain is common for a runner and is often caused by friction. Hyaluronic acid decreases the friction in joints, so it can decrease pain in your knees and hips. Healthy connective tissue provides more support to joints, keeping them stronger and more stable.
While you may have heard of frankincense being burned as incense, it will probably surprise you to hear that it has several medicinal properties.
Frankincense is the dried sap of the Boswellia sacra tree, and it’s known to reduce inflammation. It can also help lower levels of cartilage-degrading enzymes in the body. By keeping the cartilage healthy and increasing knee flexion, this supplement can effectively strengthen knee joints and decrease knee pain.
Bamboo Stem Extract
Bamboo stem extract contains silica, which is anti-inflammatory. It’s a great supplement for runners because it helps improve joint flexibility, strengthens connective tissues, and promotes a good balance of calcium and magnesium in the body.
This balance is important because it helps maintain healthy blood pressure. It can also decrease muscle cramps, which can put a real damper on race day. The anti-inflammatory properties also make it a great pain reliever.
Endurance Supplements For Runners
Endurance runners need to maintain speed for a long period. To do this, you have to be able to fight fatigue. These supplements for runners can help your body keep fatigue at bay.
Branch chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are great supplements for endurance runners. During long runs, your body can start to break down muscle tissues. BCAAs help slow this breakdown, keeping muscle loss at a minimum. They even promote healthy muscle growth through protein synthesis.
And the benefits of BCAAs don’t stop there. Runners can experience less fatigue while racing. BCAAs continue to help after the run is over, decreasing muscle soreness and speeding up recovery time.
Magnesium is a mineral found in the body that helps transport energy to all of your muscles. For endurance runners, your muscles need to contract and keep contracting for long periods. Magnesium helps with this.
Levels of magnesium drop quickly during long runs, so magnesium supplements for runners are an especially good fit. Low levels of magnesium can result in muscle spasms and cramps. By boosting the body’s magnesium levels, you can reduce fatigue, speed up recovery time, and even reduce the risk of injury.
Iron plays an important role in the production of hemoglobin. That’s the stuff in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, so it’s pretty important.
Long intervals of running can result in low iron, which decreases the amount of oxygen being distributed throughout your body. This lack of oxygen makes it hard to keep moving and can make it difficult to complete long endurance runs.
One of the biggest challenges an endurance runner faces is the build-up of lactic acids that occurs during lengthy runs. This build-up leads to soreness in your muscles and a burning sensation that can make it unpleasant or impossible to keep running.
Krill oil is an omega 3 fatty acid. It helps fight inflammation, reduces the build of lactic acid, and decreases soreness in the muscles. Less lactic acid can lead to the capacity for longer runs.
Supplements For Marathon Runners
Running a marathon is no easy feat. Healthy blood flow, managing fatigue, and burning more fat than muscle stores can help you improve your performance. These supplements for marathon runners will help you do all of these things.
Nitrates are inorganic compounds found in leafy greens and beet juice. Nitrate is converted into nitric oxide by the body, which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow.
This is especially beneficial because it increases the flow of oxygen through the body and speeds up the removal of waste products. Increased blood flow leads to faster running times and increased performance in marathons.
Maybe you’ve heard of runners cutting caffeine, but don’t kick your habit just yet. Caffeine supplements for runners hold some interesting benefits. Caffeine reduces the perception of pain and makes you less likely to notice fatigue, so more likely to keep going.
It also increases the release of fat into the bloodstream and slows glycogen depletion while you’re running. These positive effects kick in about an hour after you’ve taken the supplement and can last the duration of a marathon.
Carnitine is an amino acid that helps fuel the mitochondria of cells. This might sound a little complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward. With enough carnitine, your body burns less muscle glycogen and more fat. Carnitine also decreases lactate build-up, which helps fight fatigue.
These benefits all make it easier to run a marathon, but carnitine doesn’t stop there. It also aids in muscle recovery, leading to less soreness after a tough run.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of supplements for runners and that you found something that fits your needs. Whether it’s for endurance, joints, or overall health, there’s a natural supplement out there that will support your body.
If you’re looking for a healthy after or before workout protein powder that provides antioxidants, vitamins, fibers as well as protein. Check out our article about hemp protein benefits.