Supplements to Boost Your Run Guide: from helping you get better sleep to giving you energy for the miles to come, these supplements will help give your next run a healthy (and totally legal) boost.
This post is sponsored by iHerb.
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Before I dive into this post, let me first say that there isn’t a supplement in the world that can replace a healthy diet and solid training. If you aren’t training properly or fueling your body with whole, good-for-you foods, your runs won’t be as good as they can be. “Eat well, train well, run well,” I say.
That said, if you’re sticking to your training plan and eating all your veggies, quality supplements can help take your runs to the next level. Of course, there are the supplements you take mid-run (gus, gels, chews, electrolyte mixes, what have you), but this post is all about supplements to boost your run when you’re not actually running.
How do you boost your run when you’re not even running, you ask?
It’s just as important to focus on the time you aren’t hitting the pavement (or the treadmill or the track or the trails) as the time you’re actually logging miles. You have to recover properly in order to make your next run effective. These supplements will help you do just that, so you can get back to it faster and better than ever.
Calcium helps strengthen and repair bones after a tough run. It’s especially important for female runners because after the age of 30, women begin to lose bone density each year (not exactly the kind of density I wanted to lose…). Losing bone density means you’re more susceptible to stress fractures (awesome), so calcium is a must. Calcium can be found in dairy, leafy greens and soy products (to name a few). Since I am a female runner at the 30-year mark who doesn’t consume a lot of dairy or soy, I rely on Nature’s Way Alive! Calcium gummies to help strengthen my running bones. High levels of calcium can be bad, so before taking this supplement check in on your daily calcium consumption.
Beets beets, the magical root, the more you eat the more you… boost your speed and stamina. Beet root is a vet in the running scene because of its high levels of nitrates. These nitrates help improve your VO2 max (how much oxygen you consume during intense exercise) and power output, which mean you can run faster for longer while consuming the same amount of oxygen. I like mixing Nature’s Way Beet Root Powder into water (making a juice) or into smoothies.
Did you ever wonder why most races hand out bananas at the finish line? It’s because they’re high in potassium, a mineral that helps balance electrolyte levels to prevent muscle cramping by regulating heart and muscle contraction. If you’re not a fan of bananas (or simply aren’t hungry) a potassium supplement could be just what you need.
Maca powder is an awesome little super food that creates an energizing effect without being overstimulating, making it perfect for runners. It does this by helping to balance blood sugar levels. The more stable your blood sugar, the less likely you are to have dips in energy. It’s energizing effect can also help improve mental focus, so you can stay focused on running the mile you’re in. This energy blend contains maca and other naturally energizing ingredients that can be mixed into your favorite beverage or, if you’re like me, into a smoothie!
High impact exercises (i.e. running) can cause a lot of inflammation in the body. Treating yourself to some anti-inflammatories can help get the body recover faster (and feel better) after a tough run. Turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory supplements around. Simply mix it into your favorite beverage, tea or make your own golden milk and you’ll be, well, golden.
I’ve been taking magnesium for years because I find it improves my sleep quality, and good sleep is an essential for boosting running performance (and daily human function). Beyond sleep, magnesium helps reduce inflammation and enhances your body’s ability to recover. Magnesium isn’t produced by the body, so it has to be consumed through food (leafy greens, nuts, seeds) or supplements. If you find that you’re susceptible to muscle cramps or muscle twitches, you might be magnesium-deficient.
Speaking of getting quality sleep, taking a melatonin supplement (such as Nature’s Way Melatonin Lozenges) can help you get better sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle and promote a more restful sleep. Better sleep = better recovery = better off for your next run.
How to choose a good supplement
When looking for a good supplement, quality is king. I look for supplement brands that are truly committed to quality, safety, and healthy practices, such as Nature’s Way.
Once you find the brand you like, where should you buy your supplements? I purchased all of the supplements listed above at iHerb.com. They carry over 400 Nature’s Way products and ship to over 160 countries (their customer service team even provides support in 10 languages!). iHerb also makes it easy to filter your shopping experience based on what you’re looking for (supplement category, healthy topic, life stage, diet, and more). You can even search within a search, or should I say supplement your search (ba dum chh). Once you find the supplement you’re looking for, iHerb allows you to see honest product reviews from real customers. But the best part? They offer quality products at 30-50% less than health food stores and natural pharmacies. And BONUS: follow this link to get a discount off any Nature’s Way order. New iHerb customers get an additional $5 OFF any order of $40 or more. Just click here to start shopping.
Got fit tips, healthy recipes or workouts to share? Add them to today’s Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up!
What are your favorite running supplements?