In terms of exercises and activities designed to promote cardiovascular fitness, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beneficial activity than running.
Running is ideal for promoting fat loss, for improving cardiovascular health and conditioning, for boosting stamina and endurance, and a whole lot more on top of that. As well as being great for your physical health, running is also fantastic for mental health too, which is why health experts and officials are now encouraging more people to take it up.
If you are seriously into running, you will no doubt want to perform at your very best, which is where the importance of good nutrition becomes apparent. As well as eating right, you might also wish to use supplements to take your running to the next level.
Here’s a look at 5 of the best supplements for runners.
First on our list today we have whey protein.
Now, a lot of people associate whey protein with bodybuilding and strength training, and while whey protein is indeed ideal for building muscle and increasing strength, it is also vital for recovery.
Running takes its toll on your body and after a run your muscles, especially those in your legs, will have taken quite a beating and they will feel sore and will need to recover.
A post-run whey protein shake will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair your muscles after a run, thereby speeding up the recovery process.
Vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because our bodies produce it naturally when exposed to sunlight, is another supplement that is ideal for runners.
Vitamin D not only helps promote high energy levels needed for running, it also ensures that calcium can be absorbed by the bones. Calcium strengthens the bones and having strong bones as a runner is so important because, overtime, constant footfalls can take their toll and can cause damage to the bones, especially those located in the legs.
Glutamine is an amino acid and it too is very beneficial for runners, and physically active individuals.
Glutamine is abundantly found within our blood plasma and skeletal muscles. It serves as a key source of energy for cells that form the immune system.
During exercise, glutamine levels are naturally depleted in the body, resulting in dips in energy levels and suppression of the immune system. Supplementing with glutamine will help ensure your body is fueled with energy for your runs, and it will help ensure that the immune system is firing on all cylinders.
On the subject of the immune system, zinc is an essential trace mineral that also helps to boos immunity, as well as increase energy levels by boosting the metabolism.
While running, obviously you are constantly using energy and will need fuel to get you through your runs. Zinc helps to replenish these energy levels by ensuring that the metabolism is functioning correctly.
Zinc can also assist with protein synthesis, which means it will speed up post-run recovery after you’ve finished running.
Finally, fish oil is the last supplement we’re looking at today.
Fish oil is ideal for runners because it serves as an energy source, plus it contains essential fatty acids which help to fight inflammation.
Fish oil is also ideal because it buffers lactic acid. Lactic acid is to a runner what Kryptonite is to Superman so the less lactic acid in the muscles, the better.