Our vegetables, fruits and grains have lost most of their nutrients because of soil depletion. The alarming fact is that foods like fruits, vegetables and grains being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed nutrients, are starving us, no matter how much we eat of them, we have not enough access to vitamins and minerals in fresh foods.
Plants can’t make minerals, and without minerals vitamins don’t work. Any depletion in the minerals and nutrient content of soils reflects an increase in nutritionally related diseases in both animal and human populations.
Researches released 20 years ago, confirm that mineral depletion of our global topsoil reserve is out of control. At the time, U.S. and Canadian agricultural soils had lost 85% of their mineral content. Asian and South American soils were down 76%, while throughout Africa, Europe and Australia, soils were depleted by 74%, 72% and 55% respectively. Now 20 years later, our vegetables and fruits are even more depleted.
So even eating a healthy diet with lots of fresh foods, we still need to consume some basic supplements to support our whole health, immune system, prevent diseases, our energy levels, strength, muscle and bone health.
Why Runners Need to Take Basic Supplements
The reason they’re named supplements, is because that’s what they are, designed to supplement our healthy choices and support our body’s supplement requirements from running, exercising and training. Even to focus on the basic supplements, vitamins and minerals is essential and beneficial. We need to first focus on energy, anti-inflammatory, muscle and bone health and digestion. And now with the worldwide Covid-19, we need to support our immune system daily, to make sure we stay healthy. Recent research has shown that people who were diagnosed with the Covid-19, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals in their body, their virus level was much milder.
Why We Need Supplements
- Our food sources are depleted of nutrients.
- They help us digest food and absorb nutrients.
- If we push our body hard, we need help to recover.
- They can improve our sleep pattern for better recovery.
- They help reduce inflammation from our training.
- A perfect diet can be challenging, supplements can help provide the main vitamins and minerals, and support our immune system.
- They are super effective in increasing our energy and speeding recovery.
Basic Supplements for Runners
Probiotics: Healthy bacteria that promotes a healthy digestive tract, healthy immune system, and prevents some illnesses and diseases. With a healthy digestive system, our body absorbs nutrients more easily.
Daily dose: 10- 30 billions CFU/day is enough.
Vitamin C: Antioxidant which speeds up healing of micro-tears, boosts the immune system. When doing endurance and long distance training, the body gets depleted of vitamin C
Daily dose: 500-1,000mg/day
B12 Supplement: Is essential for the support of the immune system, healthy mood, memory management. Again, endurance athletes tend to get depleted of B12.
Daily dose: 1,000 mcg/day
Magnesium: Low levels of magnesium can contribute to fatigue, nausea, muscle cramps, impaired performance. The benefits of magnesium include the support of heart health, neurotransmission function, muscle recovery. It regulates stress system, helps with sleep and the absorption of calcium.
Daily dose: 250-500mg/day in capsule form, not liquid as it might affect the bowel movement.
Vitamin D3: With today’s lifestyle 80% of people are low on vitamin D3, which is also essential to support the immune system, helps to get muscles stronger and is also essential to help absorb calcium.
Daily dose: 1,000-2,000IU/day (min)
Calcium: Essential for endurance athletes to support the maintenance and repair of bone tissue, regulating muscle contraction. Getting the adequate amount of calcium will prevent low bone mineral and stress fracture. For your body to absorb the calcium you need to take vitamin D3.
Daily dose: 1,000-1,500mg/day
Zinc: This supplement helps to boost the immune system, muscle recovery, and balancing hormones like testosterone.
Daily dose: 10-20mg/day
L-Glutamine: Helps support the immune system and muscle tissue, it helps to take the supplement right after training.
Daily dose: 750-1,500mg/day
Multivitamins: Taking a multivitamin daily is like insurance to your body, just making sure your body gets the basic supplements it might need.
Powdered Greens: Full of nutrients, superfoods, and vitamins just adding a scoop to your smoothie or drink/day will give your body a boost.
Turmeric Powder: A natural pain killer, immunity booster, anti-inflammatory, and helps with digestion.
Ashwagandha: This herb is designed for calming. An adaptogen works to help minimize the impact of stress (physical, emotional and mental). Ashwagandha helps the body absorb the stress of training and promotes restful sleep.
Daily dose: 400mg/day
Protein Powder- Whey protein isolate/ Plant-based protein powder
- Protein is needed for the formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to exercising muscles.
- It’s critical for controlling fluid volume and maintaining water balance.
- Proteins that are consumed are digested and broken down into amino acids, then go into an amino acid pool that can be drawn from if carbohydrate stores run low.
- The Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) found in protein are critical in repairing muscle damage that has occurred during exercise.
- BCAA also help to synthesize muscle production for building lean muscle.
These are just a few examples of how protein assists the body before, during, and after activity. While there’s no denying protein’s role in post activity recovery, the benefits are far greater than just your standard recovery shake.
Fish Oil/ Omega 3’s
Daily dose: 1000mg/day
Some of the benefits Include:
- Fish oil increases protein synthesis
- Fish oil increases muscle strength and physical performance
- Fish oil reduces exercise-induced muscle damage and delayed-onset muscle soreness
- Fish oil helps to combat negative effects of intensive training on the immune system
- Fish oil improves cardio-respiratory functioning
Try to consume natural foods containing Omega 3’s- Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, flax seeds, especially after long runs.
Important Factors of Supplements
Quality matters: The source and quality of supplements is very important, just like healthy fresh foods, with higher quality supplements, our body will absorb more. Synthetic supplements, our body will absorb less.
Avoid additives: Try to avoid supplements with chemicals, and GMO’s we need to avoid as well.
Listen to your body: When we start taking new supplements, we have to pay attention to how we feel. It might work for some people more than others. Like nutrition and diets, we need to focus on our personal body type, and training, as we individually get depleted of certain vitamins and minerals compared to others.
Good Nutrients, Good Supplements, Great Health!