I’m Training For A Marathon: What Supplements Should I Take?
According to some anthropologists human beings evolved as long-distance, mid-tempo runners across the plains of Africa. Marathon running is therefore in our blood. Nevertheless, running is a high impact sport and requires special attention to diet and supplementation to get the best results and avoid injury.
If you are training for a marathon or half marathon, we recommend the following stack of supplements. You should also ensure you eat the right balance of low fat proteins, wholegrain carbs and fresh fruit and veg.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that provides a short-term burst of energy and mental clarity before your workouts. Taking 100 mg caffeine about 20 minutes before a run will give you increased alertness and stave off boredom and fatigue – especially on long runs. Caffeine does help you train harder and longer but it is not a fuel in itself. You need to make sure you have sufficient calories in your system throughout the workout to avoid exhaustion or a slow recovery.
Glutamine is one of the most important amino acids the body uses to build proteins used in blood plasma and muscle fibres. It also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. As you exercise, the body’s stock of glutamine gradually depletes. Once it gets too low you become fatigued and vulnerable to colds and other illnesses. This can seriously set back your training schedule, so supplement with glutamine once a day to keep your energy levels up while running. Glutamine supplements also promote quicker muscle growth and recovery time, and support a healthy digestive system.
A great supplement for speeding up the metabolism and helping the body burn fat. As a runner you want strong, lean muscle; not necessarily the power and bulk required by a bodybuilder. L-carnitine will help you achieve this, stripping away unnecessary fat and replacing your body mass with productive muscle. As the body metabolises fats and proteins it also releases valuable energy, which gives you a performance boost on long distance runs. Incorporate l-carnitine powder into a pre-workout shake.
Calcium & Magnesium
Healthy bones and joints are essential to a marathon runner, with stress fractures and strained knees being the most common injuries from long distance running. A stress fracture in your metatarsal or shin will put you out of action for eight weeks or more – ruining your marathon preparation. Reinforce your body with the calcium it needs to replenish your bone cells and keep your skeleton strong. Taking calcium in combination with magnesium gives the supplement greater punch. This yields additional nervous system and circulatory benefits, as well as aiding the function of digestive enzymes so that the calcium metabolises more efficiently.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to runners to sustain muscle growth and strength, as well as offset the aches and pains that follow intense workouts. Omega 3 is found in cod liver oil and some plants, but Krill oil is a pure and more intensive source. Milligram for milligram, Krill oil has more Omerga-3 than cod-liver oil and is lower in cholesterol, so places less strain on your heart. Krill oil also contains a valuable antioxidant – astaxanthin – that prevents cell damage and the harmful action of free radicals.
Vitamins C & E + Selenium & Zinc
A high quality multivitamin is strongly recommended for any amateur athlete. Runners in particular benefit from increased doses of vitamin C and vitamin E. These are good for your immune and circulatory systems. Coupling these supplements with the metals selenium and zinc provide your body with added minerals to boost recovery and increase endurance.
The biggest challenge runners face is keeping hydrated. Water is heavy, so any supplement that increases the hydrating properties of fluids is beneficial to marathon runners. We have a range of natural, nutritious hydration formulas that include coconut water, beetroot juice, watermelon juice, maca root and lucuma fruit. They are enjoyable to drink and provide a crucial nutrient boost while hitting the pavement, topping up your sodium and electrolyte levels as well as keeping you hydrated.
Cheap & Effective Health Supplements
Our online store is stocked with natural and effective supplements to benefit any marathon training regime. Visit our diet & fitness section and select a category of supplements based on your fitness goals.