Do you know how your jogging experience and muscle recovery can be supported by your diet? Consultant registered nutritionist, Shona Wilkinson explains how vitamins could be the secret key to improving your running experience.
The most important thing before undertaking any form of exercise is to fuel your body with a balanced and nutritional diet. If you are symptomatic of tiredness and fatigue post-workout, then a food supplement might also be key to rebalancing your energy levels and supporting muscle recovery.
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Top 5 supplements for runners
Low iron levels in runners is one of the most common reasons for poor results during running.
Recent research indicates that almost 56 percent of joggers and competitive runners suffer from an iron deficiency that severely hampers performance. That’s because runners lose more iron than most athletes due to a number of factors, such as losing iron through a process called foot-strike haemolysis often found in long distance and endurance runners. This can occur due to repetitive foot striking in the soles of the feet. Runners can also loose iron through sweat.
Studies have shown that those who race with an iron deficiency finish significantly slowly than those who have stable iron levels in their system.
It’s important for athletes who suspect they are iron deficient to get professionally examined via a blood test to determine if they need to up their intake of iron. In some cases, store bought supplements may not be enough and medical grade iron tablets may be needed.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important components of any athlete's diet. Current research on vitamin D has concluded that it may be more significant for overall health than many people realise. This essential vitamin is crucial for healthy bones, teeth and muscles, which will reduce your risk of injury, improves overall muscle health and aids recovery. Ordinarily, most people should get enough of this essential vitamin from sunlight, however in the darker months many people may need a supplement. Good sources of vitmain D include oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks.
It is believed that more than three-quarters of adults could be vitamin D deficient. As a result, many nutritionists and doctors have increased their recommendations for daily vitamin D intake, particularly for athletes.
Magnesium plays a key role in over 300 reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, regulating blood sugar levels and helping to regulate the balance of calcium and vitamin D. If you’re training hard for endurance events, you might be at risk of a magnesium deficiency. It’s also great for dealing with muscle cramps. Ensure your diet is filled with plenty of leafy greens, whole grains, seeds and nuts for a magnesium boost.
4. Vitamin B
As you train, you ultimately sweat out electrolytes. Electrolytes interact with each other and the cells in the tissues, nerves and muscles. They are crucial for the body to function and include potassium, sodium and magnesium, over the counter supplements can help to restore these. Look for a vitamin B energy complex including Zinc and Iodine which can yield all the essential nutrients you need post-workout.
An effective post-workout routine will maximise your recovery and boost your performance for the future.
Finally, post-workout supplements are essential to any fitness routine, as it is vital to replenish your body with the right nutrients and vitamins to aid muscle recovery. This is especially important if you’re undertaking resistance or endurance training as when the body doesn’t have sufficient protein, it will start to break down muscle to fuel your runs.
Proteins, found in nuts and seeds, milk and eggs can be amazing foods to build into your diet for muscle repair.