By Karin Krisher
Last week, it was 80 plus degrees here in not-so-wintry Vermont. That heat wave prompted in the masses a renewed love for the outdoor run, and got us thinking about what supplements can do to help every runner experience a smooth road ahead.
We know that supplements for runners aren’t wildly popular. Many runners don’t advocate supplementation at all. One reason is that many athletes focus intently on their diets, meaning they feel that supplementation is unnecessary. Still, even the most diligent eaters and planners can miss out on certain nutrients, or just have an off day and require some energy support.
Another reason that some enthusiasts shy away from supplementation is that a lot of products that flood the fitness category get a bad rap due to the extreme lengths to which some manufacturers and users go to build muscle or stay stimulated. Using cheap or under-researched ingredients can lead to effects nobody likes, and those are the stories that make the news.
But you don’t hear about the guy who tried Superior Fuel for the first time and couldn’t get over the fact that he had enough oomph to pump out that 10th mile yesterday.* That’s why we’re here—to bring to light the many positive attributes of supplementats for runners and fitness, especially, in this case, for a task that requires high levels of stamina and energy, demands endurance and takes your all.
While many of the supplements we think are the best for runners might be obvious choices, some might surprise you.
EFA Supplements for Runners
Omegas, for example, seem like nutrients that most runners would get from regular diet, but that isn’t the case. According to Runner’s World, 65 percent of runners rarely or never eat seafood, meaning their intake of fish oils probably isn’t what they’d like it to be. Omega 3s EPA and DHA support cognition, cardiovascular function and joint health, and can support proper muscle recovery, thereby reducing soreness and making them great running buddies.*
Calcium is one of the more obvious choices. Dairy is a great source of calcium, but when three or four servings aren’t available at your 9 to 5 and you’ve got to hit the road right after work, supplementation can step in. Calcium supports bone health and density, and because running is so high impact, maintaining bone strength is incredibly important to your success.* On that note, vitamin D will also be an obvious choice, as the body needs it to absorb calcium. It’s also a cardiovascular supporter. Nice.*
Don’t Forget Joint Supplements for Runners
Joint health and comfort supplements are, of course, the most obvious choices. As we mentioned, running is high impact, and over-exertion (as well as daily wear and tear) can definitely affect your joints. (So can hydration—keep chugging that water!)
Our joint support supplements range from basic (MSM alone) to comprehensive (Sea Mussel Plus, which includes green-lipped mussel, glucosamine, DMG, MSM and manganese), but all are designed to support joint comfort, mobility and flexibility, all of which are necessary to keep you on your feet.* While many people might not experience joint problems, no one ever stood up against the opportunity to maintain optimal health.
Another not-so-obvious category of supplementation comes in the form of energy support and support for general recovery. Sometimes, you’ve got a bundle of extra juice and don’t need even the slightest help, but other times, well, you knoooooooow. Things drag.
For those times, FoodScience is an advocate of Superior Fuel, Superior Oranges and DMG. Each of these supplements offers something unique, but all support energy output and stamina, as well as recovery.* DMG is included in all three formulas, and supports oxygen utilization, circulation and a reduction of lactic acid build-up, meaning you could pull an Energizer bunny any day of the week. (Take note, marathoners.)*
Supplementation for runners should be approached just like any other topic in supplementation—with your biochemical individuality leading the way, followed by serious research and education. We’ve got more teaching material up our sleeves (like the multivitamin/mineral formulas important to supporting electrolyte replenishment and general health), but we’ll cut you a break for today.*
As long as you’re lacing those shoes in 3, 2, 1…..