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Supplements for Runners

 Supplements-for-Runners

Please consult with your physician before starting any new supplements!

I finally felt like a “real” runner when I started to think of food as fuel for improving my running, especially instead of using long runs as an excuse to eat junk food for the entire day (although, honestly, that still happens).

It’s important to me to eat real, whole foods as much as possible. While I do my best to eat a well-rounded diet, I know that there’s always room for improvement. I started taking various supplements a few years ago to help with some digestion and energy issues. Since then, I’ve also experimented with a few supplements that are commonly used by runners, and I’ve had great success with them.

“This article contains links to some recommended products. Please note, as an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.”

Iron

Anemia, a condition where you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to your tissues, is slightly more prevalent in endurance athletes and can be caused by iron deficiency. Additionally, female endurance athletes, particularly vegetarians like myself, may suffer from amenorrhea, the absence of menstruation, which can also be brought on by low iron levels.

Low energy and fatigue are two hallmark symptoms of low iron levels. If you think you may have an iron deficiency, try to get more of the mineral naturally through food sources. If that doesn’t do the trick, have your doctor check your levels and discuss taking an iron supplement.

Last update on 2020-07-05 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Food Sources of Iron

  • Lean beef
  • Oysters
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beans and lentils
  • Tofu
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

Magnesium

Know the stereotype of runners eating a banana at the finish line? It’s because it’s an excellent source of magnesium. This mineral is used in more than 300 chemical processes that help sustain life – everything from muscle contraction and relaxation to bone health and energy metabolism. 

Last update on 2020-07-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Food Sources of Magnesium

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Yogurt, kefir
  • Almonds
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado
  • Figs

Protein

Runners tend to be very carb-centric, but many of us fail to get adequate protein in our diets. For those hoping to use running as a way to lose fat, research indicates that you should aim to consume 30% of your daily calories from protein. Many runners prefer whey protein, as it’s typically easiest to digest. Making protein the focus of your diet for a while, combined with weightlifting 2-3 times a week in addition to a normal running schedule, will help ensure that you lose fat, not muscle mass.

Last update on 2020-07-05 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Food Sources of Protein

  • Eggs
  • Almonds 
  • Chicken breast 
  • Lean beef
  • Dairy products
  • Oats
  • Lentils and chickpeas
  • Tuna

Probiotics

During my first year of running, I developed a nasty case of ischemic colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine. Running is really, really hard on your digestive tract. To help keep things moving internally (so you can move better externally), try to take in more probiotics, live bacteria that do great things for your digestive system. You can do this by eating more yogurt or taking a probiotic supplement.

Last update on 2020-07-06 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Food Sources of Probiotics

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir 
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Kombucha
  • Natto

Glucosamine

Known best for its use in conjunction with knee joint pain, glucosamine helps regenerate cartilage and reduce inflammation. While recent studies have questioned the effectiveness of the supplement, there is evidence that glucosamine does help relieve knee discomfort, a common complaint of runners.

Last update on 2020-07-05 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Additional Running Resources

PaceBuilders™ Online Run Coaching - PaceBuilders is a premium online run coaching program for runners of any experience level. With two unique, affordable coaching options to choose from, you can learn to run faster, run farther and run injury free. Inside PaceBuilders, you can work directly with experienced, RRCA/USATF certified running coaches or you can choose to follow our self-coached program and take advantage of unlimited access to all of our training assets including training plans, runner-specific strength training plans, nutrition information, mindset, race strategy, pacing guidance, LIVE monthly Q&A sessions, private client community and more!  

Runner's Toolkit - Get access to 30 days of free coaching tips by email and get your #1 running question personally answered by me, just for signing up. Plus get free access to our private Facebook community where other RunBuzz community members gather for support, camaraderie and general shenanigans.

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Erica House has her Masters in Psychology and has been teaching at the University level since 2007. She is certified as a Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine as well as a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. After quitting smoking and maintaining a 50 pound weight loss she became passionate about helping others on their journey to lifelong happiness and wellness.

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