Training for a marathon is a test of endurance. So, if you’re like me you’re probably always looking for the best ways to increase performance, endurance and overall physical and mental health. Well you’re in luck, there is any entire supplement market geared specifically toward runners.
With so many supplements out there its best to keep it simple. This will save you time, effort and money. The supplement market is a multi-billion dollar market so there are a lot of supplements out there that you don’t even need.
I’ve done a little research and devised a list of 3 essential supplements that will benefit you the most.
Caffeine enhances mental alertness, helps to increase the body’s ability to convert fat into usable energy, and improves coordination and reaction time. It also helps to makes running feeleasier. A cup of coffee or an energy drink pre-run help give a boost to an early morning training run.
You may have heard concerns about caffeine’s diuretic effects. You’d be surprised to know that exercise actually counteracts those effects. Caffeine is absorbed quickly into the body, and its effects last for hours. So you should take it immediately before or even during a run. Recommended intake per day is about 550 milligrams, which is equal to about five cups of coffee.
Protein is an essential nutrient that we all need for survival. It accounts for roughly 17 % of the average person’s body weight. It also plays an important role in the body’s regulation and maintenance processes like hydration and cellular repair.
Most people easily take in more than enough protein in a given day, but while you are training for a marathon you’ll have more demanding nutritional needs. Since you are working on your endurance and using all the muscles in your body to train, protein can be a great supplement to help give you the boost you need. You can benefit enormously from supplementing with whey protein. Whey is the preferred way to go because it absorbs quickly and easily and doesn’t have a bunch of excess calories.
So, how can whey protein boost your running? It replaces the proteins you break down while running and helps to build lean tissue, which aids in overall recovery. If you lack protein, you could be more susceptible to injury, be more easily fatigued and can even lose muscle mass. For most runners, supplementing with about 40 to 60 grams of whey protein per day is a good rule of thumb.
If you take a protein supplement prior to a run, it can help to jump-start the muscle recovery process. However the best time to take it is after a workout. Blend whey protein powder with fruit and take within 40 minutes is a great way to finish a training run.
Iron supplements are particularly relevant for female runners, who are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency than men. This is due to a loss blood every month. Menstruation increases the odds of becoming anemic, which just means you don’t have enough iron stored in your blood.
Most runners only become aware of iron deficiency when they feel fatigued on an ongoing basis. Fatigue can be detrimental to yourendurance and make even a simple run feel like a long difficult endeavor.
If your iron levels are even a little low, you should consider taking an iron supplement. Try ferrous sulfate. For men 10 grams per day, and women should aim for 15. Due to irons important role in delivering oxygen to the muscles, it is believed to help improve VO2 max, which can boost overall performance. Consult your doctor about dosage and individual needs.
These supplements will be beneficial to your running efforts as you train for a marathon.
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- 5 reasons to run a half marathon this year January 3, 2018
- Should I Make Sprinting a Part of My Marathon Training? September 28, 2017
- Am I Too Old to Run a Marathon? May 10, 2017
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