Vitamin C and Antioxidants
Our body doesn’t produce these, so it is essential to include them into our daily diet and take some daily vitamin C and E. Vitamin C helps to maintain cartilage and bone tissues, it also builds proteins for scar tissue, blood vessels, collagen, skin, and tendons. Vitamin C helps prevent damage to amino acids and glucose, which are important for athletic performance and help produce norepinephrine, it is also essential for the nervous system. Vitamin C and E are both antioxidants which helps protect the body from free radical damage that can be caused by high-intensity training. It also supports the heart and cardiovascular system.
Food Sources: Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries), cherries, lemons, oranges, sprouts, spinach, peppers and broccoli.
Vitamin C and E Supplements: You can take them individually or in multivitamins.
This is an important vitamin to help the body produce white blood cells, and maintain a healthy immune system, keeping the body balanced and functioning at its best.
Food Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, squash
Vitamin A Supplements: Take it through a multivitamin
Calcium is crucial to support the bone health and density, it is also an electrolyte that contributes to muscle functioning and hydration.
Food Sources: Leafy greens, raw dairy, cheese, eggs.
Calcium Supplements: It is also important to take daily calcium supplements during a racing season combined with vitamin D3, zinc and magnesium.
Zinc helps maintain the immune system as well as break down fats and proteins for the body’s absorption. Zinc deficiency has been linked to increased injury rate.
Food Sources: Red meats, shellfish, nuts and seeds
Zinc Supplements: Taking Zinc vitamin supplements daily combined with calcium and magnesium is more beneficial.
Vitamin D3 supports our immune system, energy levels but also enhances bone health. Vitamin D3 has been proven to significantly assist in preventing fractures and other bone complications. It works through maintaining the calcium in the body, which is also necessary for maintaining bone density and bone growth. Furthermore, vitamin D3 ensures the effective calcium utilization in the body.
Food Sources: Salmon, canned tuna, sardines, oysters, shrimp, mushrooms, egg yolks, fortified foods.
Vitamin D3 Supplements: Taking daily D3 supplements with calcium will protect our bone health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Our body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats or raw materials. But Omega-3 are essential fats that the body can’t produce, so we need to make sure we eat Omega-3 rich foods or take supplements. Omega-3 helps producing hormones that regulate inflammation, so important for runners. Inflammation leads to the breakdown of the body’s immune system and the destruction of the building blocks of athletic performance.
Food Sources: Salmon, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds. We also have to make sure we consume enough protein-rich foods to help with reducing the inflammation.
Omega-3 Supplements: If some people can’t eat Omega-3 rich foods, taking a daily Omega-3 supplement will be essential.
Magnesium is a very important mineral supplement for runner. It assists with energy and muscle contraction, it promotes strong bones and muscles and supports our cardiovascular health and nerve function. Magnesium also improves our sleep pattern.
Food Sources: Dark Chocolate, avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, salmon, whole-grains, leafy greens, bananas, dried apricots.
Magnesium Supplements: Taking daily magnesium supplements, combined with calcium will protect a runner’s bones and muscles and improve the sleep pattern.
Our gut health can affect our immune system, nervous system, and hormones. Poor levels of healthy gut bacteria can also increase inflammation in our body. For long-distance runners, taking daily probiotic supplements will help with digestion, absorption of nutrients and fighting off bad bacteria, which is essential during long-distance races.
Probiotic Supplements: Taking daily probiotic supplements between 1 billion-10 billion CFU will support a healthy gut.