Supplementation is one of those topics that always gets people worked up. Some people swear by it while others deride it. At Fitness Fahrenheit we do advocate supplementation but always with a massive caveat.
Supplementation is meant to be just that…supplemental. You should never look at a set of pills or powders as giving you superpowers to fuel your workouts.
That said, let’s dive right in and give you the 5 best supplements for the avid runner.
Many people think of whey protein as being solely for the weightlifting rat because it aids in muscle growth. Whey protein is an excellent supplement for the runner too because it aids in muscle recovery. If you’re out there running your butt off you should be aware that your muscles need attention just as much as your lungs do. We have spoken at length here about the importance of strength training for runners.
Taking whey protein after your run also can help with muscle soreness as a positive side effect due to its working effects on muscle recovery.
Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAA’s are often seen as the fraternal twin to whey protein because they tend to go hand in hand as supplemental partners to the weight lifting rat. BCAA’s help prevent muscle loss from a strenuous cardio activity like running while also aiding in recovery.
An additional benefit of BCAA’s is that taking them can aid in combating fatigue. The amino acids that are provided by BCAA’s have been shown to be effective at enhancing endurance.
This one comes as a no brainer. There is no good reason why everyone shouldn’t be taking a daily multivitamin. For you as a runner, the highlights for a multivitamin are Vit C and E, which are antioxidants that help fight free radical damage. And Vit D which enables you to maintain good strong bones.
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that lives in your blood stream. It aids in supporting your immune system and digestive system. Strenuous exercise tends to deplete it so glutamine supplementation is a good idea for the avid runner.
Additional benefits to glutamine supplementation are support of muscle recovery and rehydration.
Carnitine makes its name as a supplement because of its energy producing effects. If you’re looking to maximize your performance as a runner, then a carnitine supplement is an excellent healthy choice for delivering energy. Carnitine also helps your body burn fat more effectively. Everyone knows that if you’re into running then burning fat is one of the things at the top of your to do list.
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