- Running stamina supplements are a dime a dozen, with the most important ones being probiotics, vitamin D, calcium, turmeric, and co-enzyme Q10.
- Apart from staving off injuries, endurance supplements may help fight inflammation and make it easier for one to maintain their overall bone mass.
- The best endurance supplements for runners are those that are optimized to fill gaps in an athlete’s diet and offset any nutritional deficiencies.
- Although the exact nutritional supplements that a runner ought to take depends on a number of factors including their training status, age, sex, fitness goals, and medical conditions, there are a few endurance supplements that are routinely beneficial to almost all subsets of runners.
Advancing age is often accompanied by several things, one of the most common ones being deficiencies in minerals and vitamins associated with endurance. And this explains the unprecedented popularity of running supplements for endurance, especially among performance athletes who wish to maintain their competitive edge even in the midst of the ravages of Father Time. However, unlike conventional dietary supplements, endurance running supplements are a different kettle of fish. They are specifically formulated to keep bones sturdy, boost stamina levels, make recovery easier, and guarantee exceptional on-track performance, in addition, of course, to filling the gaps in one's dietary regimen.
That being said, here is a collection of the best endurance supplements for runners that you can come across today.
|Supplement||Why do you need it?|
|Liquid probiotics||Improved immunity and better sleep|
|Collagen drops||Stronger bones and healthier joints|
|Coq10 with turmeric||Better recovery and stellar stamina levels|
|Vitamin D3 drops||Less risk of suffering stress fractures|
|Calcium (Bone Strength supplement)||Needed for a sturdy musculoskeletal system|
|Magnesium (Bone Strength supplement)||Improved muscle function and better cardiovascular health|
|Antioxidant (Organic Chlorophyll Drops)||Less inflammation|
|Multi-vitamins (Liquid Vitamin D3 with K2)||Better bone strength|
|Vitamin A drops||Neutralizing exercise-induced free radicals|
Related Article: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Bruising?
Collagen for Runners - Why it is Massively Underrated
It is impossible to talk about the best endurance supplements for runners without mentioning collagen at some point in the discourse. You see, collagen is a strong and flexible protein nestled in our bones and connective tissue. It provides the framework or webbing to a lot of the soft tissue in the body, including skin, bones, blood vessels, and connective tissue. So, it is not entirely surprising that taking collagen supplements may help prevent injuries and heal injuries in runners by strengthening tendons, ligaments, and joints, as well as reducing recovery time from injury while supporting muscle repair.
Speaking of which research shows that consuming collagen combined with Vitamin C within an hour of exercise can also support tendons and ligaments, which can stave off running-related injuries.
As you may have noticed already, there are quite a few collagen-containing supplements here at Wellabs that may appeal to different pedigrees of runners. Here's a quick collection of that.
|Supplement||Cost per Serving||Size||Nutritional Value||Active Ingredients|
|Wellabs Biotin and Collagen Drops||$0.4||60 ml||5000 mcg biotin, Bovine Collagen Type I,III||Biotin and Collagen|
|Wellabs Biotin, Keratin and Collagen Capsules||$0.8||60 capsules||1200mcg vitamin A, 2.5 mcg vitamin D, 5000 mcg biotin, 5mg vitamin B6||Biotin|
|Wellabs Multi-collagen Pills||$0.48||150 capsules||1600 mg multi-collagen complex||Collagen|
|Wellabs Glucosamine Chondroitin with Opti MSM Pills||$0.8||120 capsules||1600 mg glucosamine HCI, 800 mg Chondroitin Sulfate Sodium Bovine, 333mg optimism, 67mg collagen peptide bovine powder||Glucosamine and Chondroitin|
Wellabs Biotin and Collagen Drops - An extremely absorbable avenue of accessing collagen fortified with biotin
Wellabs Biotin, Keratin, Collagen Capsules - Combines vitamin B6 in the backdrop of collagen and keratin
Wellabs Multi-Collagen Capsules - Fight fatigue, strengthen your bones and keep your joints healthy with this multi-collagen complex
Wellabs Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM - A non-GMO, soy-free and gluten-free way of supporting healthy joints, stronger joint cartilage and better-lubricated joints.
Probiotics for Runners - Optimizing Your Gut Health
Truth be told, probiotics are not your usual run-of-the-mill endurance supplements. Instead, they are mostly considered to be a collection of healthy gut bacteria that can help improve health and running performance by reducing gastrointestinal problems, improving immunity and sleep, and potentially reducing anxiety and depression.
What's more, probiotics have been known to glue gut cells together, which fortifies the intestinal wall and keeps athletes out of the restroom. Speaking of which, avid runners should look for probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium strains as they have been found to be the most beneficial for athletes' health and performance.
Probiotics can also aid in reducing the risk of getting sick during tough training blocks as they are believed to impart significant anti-inflammatory effects within your gut. In particular, Lactobacillus strains have a stellar reputation for producing lactate, which is usually then converted into butyrate by the bacteria in your gut. And this is imperative for overseeing optimized intestinal homeostasis, purging inflammation, and enhancing gut barrier function, especially in high-performance athletes.
Closer home, Wellabs offers several probiotic-containing endurance running supplements that may be differently suited for different runners. Here's a head-to-head comparison chart.
|Supplement||Cost per Serving||Size||Nutritional Value||Active Ingredients|
|Wellabs Liquid Probiotis with Prebiotic||$0.41||60 ml||5 billion CFU of a probiotic blend, 25 mg FOS (fructooligosaccharides), 10 mg enzyme blend||Lactobacillus strains, Bifidobacterium strains|
|Wellabs Vegan Digestive Enzyme Supplements||$0.49||60 capsules||Betaine HCL 200 mg, 180 mg Enzyme Complex, Proprietary blend 145 mg, Probiotic blend 1.25 billion CFU 10mg||Lactobacillus strains, Bicidobacterium strains|
Wellabs Liquid Probiotics with Prebiotics: A plant-based liquid formulation that makes use of active strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotics. Optimized for gut health, stomach comfort, and overall digestive support.
Wellabs Complete Gut Health Kit: An enzyme blend of helpful probiotics optimized for aiding full nutrient absorption, reducing bloating, and gastrointestinal support.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – Bumping Up One's Endurance
Probably one of the more important endurance pills for running, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a molecule found in nearly every cell in the body that helps generate energy in cells by stimulating the cell's powerhouse, the mitochondria, to produce more energy in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Studies show that supplementing with CoQ10 may reduce exercise-induced fatigue and improve exercise performance, as well as reduce oxidative damage to muscle cells and increase physical performance.
In case you are wondering, 90–200 mg of CoQ10 per day are typically recommended for the average healthy adult, though some conditions may require higher dosages of 300–600 mg. For endurance athletes, for instance, higher dosages of 200–300 mg CoQ10 over a 4–12 week period are needed to increase muscle CoQ10 content. In fact, if you train very heavily, then you could even do with 250mg a day.
Speaking of CoQ10 supplementation for runners, Wellabs COq10 with Turmeric goes a step further and incorporates inflammation fighters such as turmeric and Bioperine in its formulation. In other words, apart from supporting optimized energy production, the supplemen Wellabs Ubiquinol Capsulest goes above and beyond and acts as a dependable input for your cardiovascular health.
Vitamin D - The Overlooked Sunshine Nutrient
Most folks underestimate the sunshine vitamin, but did you know that vitamin D is critical for keeping runners' bones, teeth, and muscles healthy and strong? In fact, a lack of vitamin D can cause bones to weaken, which can lead to bone deformities and put runners at risk of stress fractures.
Vitamin D also helps with muscle power and force in marathon runners. Typically, 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D3 per day is recommended for athletes training at northern latitudes, though some studies have used higher dosages with no apparent ill effects. Vitamin D supplementation may also boost performance in certain activities, such as the 100m dash.
Wondering what vitamin D - based endurance supplements are right for you? Then the following list of Wellabs vitamin D-based inputs should go a long way in helping you decide.
|Supplement||Cost per Serving||Size||Nutritional Value||Active Ingredients|
|Wellabs K2 + D3||$0.89||60 ml||250 mcg vitamin D, 200 mcg vitamin k2||Vitamin D, Vitamin K2|
|Wellabs Vitamin D3 drops||$0.87||60 ml||250 mcg vitamin D||Vitamin D3|
Wellabs Liquid Vitamin D3 with K2: What's a better way to power your morning runs or evening jogs with a perfectly-blended formulation of two of the most essential vitamins for athletes?
Wellabs D3 Drops: Offers an easily absorbable form of the sunshine vitamin to make for shortfalls especially during winter or if you rarely get some outdoor time.
Calcium and Magnesium - The Perfect Match for Sturdy Bones
Most passionate runners know that calcium plays an important role in strengthening and repairing the bones after long or hard runs, especially for active women. But are you aware that calcium is the chief constituent of bones, and a poor calcium intake can drastically increase the risk of suffering bone injuries for avid runners or even joggers?
Not to mention that runners need calcium to aid in proper muscle function, improve cardiovascular function, regulate nerve signaling, lower blood pressure, keep healthy blood vessels, and prevent insulin resistance. And if you have a history of musculoskeletal problems such as stress fractures, it might make a ton of sense to take this bone strength supplement of daily calcium and vitamin D input, which provides 2000mg of calcium and 1000 IU of vitamin D.
Magnesium, on the other side of the divide, is required for energy production, muscle recovery, and bone development. It protects from oxidative damage, supports resistance to mental stress, and acts as a smooth-muscle relaxant. If anything, increasing magnesium intake has the potential to reduce tiredness, maintain normal blood pressure, protect DNA, and reduce the accumulation of lactic acid during hard training sessions.
Beyond that, magnesium supplementation can help runners recover in a myriad of different ways – from injury prevention to enjoying better sleep patterns. It can also reduce muscle soreness post-workout and enhance bone mineral density in those suffering from stress fractures.
Antioxidants - Eliminating Free Radicals
Antioxidants are molecules that act as a form of protection against free radicals in the body. Free radicals, in case you are wondering, are compounds that can cause damage to cells in the body, and for runners, the predominant type of free radical produced in the body is called reactive oxygen species (ROS). Antioxidants protect runners from ROS and oxidative stress, which can potentially hinder performance capabilities.
As such, consuming enough antioxidants can improve the body's ability to prevent oxidative damage and potentially boost performance and recovery. Antioxidant-rich foods such as brightly colored vegetables and fruits like tart cherries typically have the highest concentrations of antioxidants. Nevertheless, one of the most reliable ways of upping your intake of antioxidants is through supplementation with professionally formulated supplements. This collection of Wellabs Detox Supplements comes to mind, as well as the Organic Chlorophyll Liquid Drops that represent a new-age way of neutralizing free radicals and boosting one's immunity.
Vitamin A - A Super Antioxidant
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is no stranger when it comes to the list of supplements for endurance runners. For starters, it is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in bone disorder prevention, especially among long-distance runners. In other words, you may want to up your consumption of this nutrient if you are fond of hitting the track for long stints at a go. Wellabs Vitamin A drops should be your first port of call.
Secondly, It facilitates the storage and utilization of iron, which can help stave off iron deficiency anemia. Don't also forget that retinol belongs to a collection of antioxidant vitamins which, as we have seen earlier, are capable of offsetting the accumulation of free radicals, which are usually produced during extremely intensive training sessions. In other words, a healthy dose of vitamin A (preferably through external supplementation) is required to eliminate ROS (reactive oxygen species) and stop the onset or progression of complications such as muscle damage and heart failure.
Multivitamins - A Combination of Important Minerals and Vitamins
As the name might suggest, multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of essential vitamins and highly relevant minerals. And while nobody really 'needs' a multivitamin, taking a daily multivitamin/multimineral supplement is believed to improve performance for most endurance athletes, particularly if they regularly include processed foods in their dietary regimen. Speaking of which, the standard American diet is notoriously deficient in calcium, vitamin K and folate, something that a multivitamin such as Wellabs Collection of Multivitamins can help plug.
Furthermore, a majority of nutritional experts and fitness doctors will tell you that taking a multivitamin regularly is a form of nutritional 'insurance' against common deficiencies, particularly those involving hard-to-absorb nutrients. It's more or less a way of guaranteeing that your intake of specific minerals does not suffer even on the days you are not disciplined enough or capable of eating a balanced diet. At the end of the day, taking a multivitamin can only help, not hurt, your efforts to eat better.
The only thing as a runner or athlete that you need to be wary of when dealing with multivitamins is 'mega dosing'. This is when you get into a habit of taking a multivitamin that has more than 200% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for one or two nutrients.
Turmeric - Superb Anti-inflammatory Properties
Are you aware that turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is laden with anti-inflammatory properties? Which, of course, is the reason it is known to help with acute inflammation in the joints after a long run and may prevent chronic inflammation. There is even a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that unearthed how athletes who supplemented with Curcuma longa L. extract enjoyed better IL-10 levels coupled with decreased myoglobin. What this means in English is that including a turmeric-based supplement in your wellness regimen as a runner gives you the added advantage of extra antioxidant support and healthy joint function. And these two can really go a long way in extending the longevity of your running career or pastime.
Iron - The Haemoglobin Producer
Iron is an important nutrient for runners, and for a very good reason. For one, it helps red blood cells carry oxygen to muscles and tissues and helps metabolize carbohydrates which are the main energy source for muscles. Furthermore, compared to other athletes, runners need the most iron because red blood cells are usually damaged by repeated foot strikes on the ground (a phenomenon known as foot strike hemolysis), so more iron is needed to form new red blood cells. In fact, there's a 2017 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that triathletes and runners are often at a significant risk for iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia, with male athletes having a higher incidence than female athletes.
So how much iron does a runner need?
All factors held constant; female athletes may need up to 70% more iron than the estimated average requirement for their male counterparts. The average female runner typically needs around 18mg of iron per day compared to recommended daily intake for men, which revolves around 8mg per day. Remember that these needs increase dramatically further during pregnancy, heavy training sessions, and for those with heavy periods.
As an avid runner, one of the tell-tale signs that you aren't getting enough iron is unexplained fatigue, a notable decline in exercise capacity, and a lack of willpower to train, coupled with reduced performance on the track.
Fortunately for you, tackling iron deficiency is often an easy fix - iron tablets are a good place to start. But there's a catch. Up to 70% of runners who take oral iron supplements experience some sort of GI side effect, so it is important to choose a supplement that is specially formulated to increase absorption while curbing those side effects. Additionally, if possible, increasing the dietary intake of iron should be attempted first before considering going the supplement route.
And when choosing an iron supplement, it is best to choose a ferrous form such as ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate, or ferrous gluconate which are best absorbed
Whether you are on the lookout for inflammation fighters, endurance boosters, or muscle builders, one thing remains constant - there's a lot to gain from supplementation. Not only do running supplements offset possible nutritional deficiencies, but they are also a dependable and sustainable way of boosting your athletic performance on track whilst making recovery easier.
What supplements should I take for endurance running?
The best supplements for endurance running include creatine monohydrate, caffeine, beta-alanine, sodium phosphate, vitamin A, turmeric, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium-based supplements, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). The key is to get the right supplement stack based on your activity and level of training.
Do I need supplements for running?
While a well-rounded diet may not require external supplementation, some runners may want to add dietary supplements to their routine to ensure they're giving their body all it needs to perform its best. The best supplements for runners include multivitamins, probiotics, beta-alanine, protein powder, caffeine, creatine, vitamin D, and many more.
Should I take BCAA as a runner?
BCAAs are generally considered safe for almost all types of runners when sourced through natural food sources or high-quality supplements with no additional fillers, chemicals, or stimulants. Actually, they have been shown to reduce fatigue perceptions, tone down muscle soreness, stave off muscle loss, and provide a crucial energy boost during intense workout sessions.
Why should athletes not take creatine?
Creatine use is often discouraged among high-performance athletes as it is believed to cause mild water retention and decreased urinary volume, resulting in bloating and temporary weight gain (about 2 to 5 pounds). Additionally, athletes with high amounts of creatine already in their digestive system barely receive any extra benefits from added creatine intake.
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