The latest figures from Sport England show that over 2 million of us in the UK are heading out for a run at least once a week.
Its popularity is not surprising when you consider that running is an activity which requires only a small financial outlay compared with many other sports and hobbies, can be fitted around a busy work schedule, and can also be enjoyed on your own or with others. Most importantly it is very beneficial to both your physical and mental health and provides you with goals to work towards. Obviously, a balanced diet is the best way to complement any running schedule but if you feel that your meal plans are missing any vital nutrients which may affect your training then supplements can come to the rescue. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, a beginner or someone who is thinking about taking up running, these five supplements are certainly worth considering:
All that stuff when you were younger about calcium being great for your bones actually wasn’t that far off the mark; in fact it was very accurate indeed. Especially after longer or more strenuous runs, calcium can prove significant in the strengthening and reparation of your bones. If you feel that if you are not getting enough calcium-rich food or drinks in your diet then supplements are a great alternative.
Iron is an essential mineral which can be particularly useful for runners wishing to see enhanced performances. We all have red blood cells in our bodies and the function of these is to transport oxygen from your lungs to your muscles. Red blood cells are primarily made up of a protein called hemoglobin and this enables iron atoms to bind to oxygen. When we don’t get enough iron our bodies can therefore not produce enough hemoglobin, meaning our running performance will suffer.
Many of us drink coffee and tea regularly and therefore supplements may not be required. However, if you’re a runner who wants to feel sharper and more alert then caffeine is highly recommended. This natural stimulant will enhance you both physically and mentally prior to a run. It also has the significant ability to convert fat stores in to usable energy and can also boost your coordination and reaction time.
Turmeric is a flowering plant from the ginger family, so how can it help runners you may ask? Turmeric contains a naturally occurring compound called Curcumin which has anti-inflammatory powers. Turmeric is therefore a great supplement to take after a tough run as it promotes recover from muscle strain as a result of exercise.
Probiotics are good bacteria which can help to promote a healthy immune system. This supplement is particularly useful for runners training for a longer race like a marathon. When you are running very long distances you can become more susceptible to illness and infection. Respiratory tract infections, for example, are fairly common among runners who run long distances and probiotics could therefore prevent these from occurring.