Advice for Triathletes Seeking Optimal Performance

The Best Supplements for Runners

Running is an engaging adventure that stimulates the mind, body, and spirit, with the sound of pounding footsteps, rhythmic breath, and the exhilarating rush of endorphins. Whether you are an experienced marathon runner or a beginner, it is crucial to optimize both your performance and recovery to reach your full potential on the track or trail. While a well-balanced diet is essential for an athlete’s nutrition, incorporating natural supplements can make a significant difference, providing that additional advantage to enhance your running journey.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, approximately 59% of adults reported consuming at least one supplement daily. These supplements aid in maintaining good health, boosting energy levels, and promoting overall well-being.

Supplements for runners are highly valuable due to the need for athletes to be more cautious in managing their well-being to enhance endurance and alleviate muscle soreness.

Why Might Runners Benefit From Supplements?

For runners, their body is subjected to significant strain to reach their optimal athletic performance. Hence, runners need to prioritize their well-being and take proper measures to maintain their health. Provided below are some recommended supplement choices for runners.

Performance that has been improved or made better.

There are specific supplements that can enhance performance by aiding in energy production, decreasing fatigue, increasing endurance, and improving recovery. For instance, creatine, beta-alanine, and caffeine are supplements that have been researched for their potential to enhance strength, power, and exercise performance.

Recovery and repair, when considering each step carefully.

By following a systematic approach, the following text can be rephrased while preserving the original meaning without adding or removing any information: The performance of rigorous training can result in muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress. The consumption of supplements such as protein powders, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and antioxidants can assist in the mending of muscles, diminish inflammation, and promote recovery. This enables athletes to swiftly recover and engage in more efficient training sessions.

To avoid dehydration, it is important to think step by step.

Running increases body temperature and results in excessive sweating. Although drinking water can aid in rehydrating the body, it can also lead to a higher chance of experiencing diarrhoea as a result of running, further worsening dehydration. To restore the body’s hydration levels effectively, it is recommended to consider purchasing supplements that promote digestive health and hydration.

Optimization of nutrients.

Athletes require more nutrients because they use more energy and have rigorous training. Supplements can assist in meeting nutritional needs and ensuring that essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are consumed sufficiently for optimal performance and overall health. This is particularly crucial for individuals who follow a vegan lifestyle.

When To Avoid Supplements?

Are there any circumstances in which it is not advisable to take supplements? Here are some instances where it would be prudent to seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Medications or conditions related to health.

Before starting any new supplements, runners should consult with a healthcare professional to ensure they are safe and compatible with their individual circumstances, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications. This is important because supplements can potentially interact with medications or worsen certain health conditions.

The act of being pregnant and providing nourishment to an infant through breastfeeding.

During pregnancy or while breastfeeding, it is advisable to take prenatal vitamins and supplements for women. Nevertheless, not all supplements are alike, and there are certain ones that you should steer clear of. For example, fish liver oils and vitamin A supplements contain retinol, which may negatively affect the growth of your baby. Before incorporating any supplements into your pregnancy routine, consult with your doctor.

Allergies or sensitivities of each individual.

Before taking a supplement, it is important to read labels and be cautious of potential allergens or sensitivities, as some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to specific supplements or their ingredients.

Top Supplements For Runners For Performance And Recovery

We have compiled a list of our best supplements for runners or endurance athletes, aiming to enhance performance, promote recovery, and improve overall health and well-being.

Adaptogenic Mushrooms

What is an adaptogenic mushroom?

Adaptogenic mushrooms are mushrooms that help support the body’s natural defence against occasional stress. They are a specific type of functional mushrooms that are considered adaptogens, which are potent mushrooms or herbs that may help bring stability to bodily functions and help the body maintain homeostasis.

In recent years, the popularity of adaptogenic mushrooms has risen due to their ability to promote overall health, including their potential benefits for runners and athletes. These mushrooms contain beneficial compounds such as 1,3 1,6 beta-glucans, which are known to contribute to immune support.

Adaptogenic mushrooms can assist runners in sustaining their training consistency by providing support for immune function. Furthermore, these mushrooms can aid in balancing and supporting the body’s occasional post-workout inflammatory response.

Cordyceps, when thinking methodically, can be rephrased while preserving the original meaning. No additional information should be included, and no information should be removed.

Cordyceps, which is easily identified by its vivid orange hue and lengthy stalk, is a unique mushroom. It is commonly referred to as the Olympic mushroom because it is favoured by athletes for its ability to enhance physical performance.

Cordyceps is frequently linked to improved stamina and usage of oxygen. It is thought to boost athletic performance by promoting effective energy generation and diminishing sporadic tiredness. It might aid in maintaining lung function and moderating oxygen intake during physical activity.

Reishi mushrooms are widely recognized as adaptogens, and they offer advantages for improving sleep health. Adequate rest and recovery are crucial for runners, and Reishi is renowned for its ability to induce a soothing sensation before sleep, enabling you to enjoy a more restful night. Additionally, Reishi mushrooms possess properties that assist in maintaining proper hormonal balance within our bodies.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are being noticed for their potential cognitive advantages. These mushrooms help athletes with mental clarity, focus, and memory, which can be beneficial during training or competition.

When considering Shiitake mushrooms, it is important to think systematically and break down the thought process into individual steps.

When compared to any other mushroom, shiitake mushrooms have the highest levels of B vitamins. These vitamins can aid in converting food into easily usable energy, which can fuel and provide power for us throughout the day.

Shiitake mushrooms are renowned for their ability to generate Vitamins D2, D3, and D4, which play a crucial role in calcium absorption, promoting bone health, and facilitating the growth of healthy cells.


When you lack energy, your performance in training or races will suffer. To enhance your energy levels before a major run, consuming caffeine as a supplement can effectively provide a boost. It is worth noting that the quantity of caffeine you consume greatly influences your energy production.

If you experience feelings of shakiness or anxiety after consuming caffeine, consider combining your caffeine intake with a sufficient amount of taurine, which can help induce a calming effect. By doing so, you can still experience the stimulating effects of caffeine without experiencing tremors or jitters.


One of the most common reasons for poor results during workouts and races in runners is the presence of low iron levels.

According to recent research, it has been discovered that nearly 56% of joggers and competitive runners experience a significant decrease in performance due to an iron deficiency. This is mainly attributed to runners losing more iron compared to other athletes, involving factors like foot strike hemolysis, sweating, and the gastrointestinal tract.

A study conducted in 2011 demonstrated that runners who had low iron levels performed 21 seconds slower in a 2km time trial compared to individuals with adequate iron levels.

When considering supplementation, it is advisable to obtain a blood test to ascertain your precise iron levels. This is crucial not only for determining whether your levels are low or not but also for establishing a reference point in terms of your current iron levels and the extent to which supplementation is enhancing them.

Vitamin D

Recent research has concluded that Vitamin D may be more significant for overall health than initially realized, making it an important component of a runner’s diet.

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in March 2009, it was found that over seventy-five per cent of adults lack sufficient levels of Vitamin D.

Additionally, it was discovered from a study conducted in 2008 at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas that 75 per cent of runners who run an average of 20 miles per week experience low levels of vitamin D.

In recent years, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D has increased, particularly for runners. Athletes should ensure they meet these new requirements for vitamin D and give it special attention.

If you have concerns about your vitamin D levels, you can request a blood test from your doctor to measure your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and determine your vitamin D status.

After thinking step by step, one should be able to assess if they have a deficiency or if they are at risk of developing a deficiency. The healthcare professional can then suggest the appropriate supplement or dietary plan. Usually, these blood tests are affordable and can be conducted along with the aforementioned iron test.


When considering supplementation, the primary concern for most runners is the performance advantage provided by a particular supplement. For instance, they may wonder if it can enhance their ability to run faster by improving oxygen intake or something similar.

However, what we often overlook is that the most effective method to enhance speed and consistency is by improving the recovery process after workouts. If you’re able to recover at an accelerated rate, you can increase the intensity or frequency of your training sessions, allowing you to fully reap the benefits of your runs.

A supplement that aids in recovery will positively affect your running performance.

Protein plays a crucial role in that aspect.

As you may already be aware, the act of running results in the breakdown of muscles and the formation of micro-tears, a process that necessitates repair to gain strength and speed.

The occurrence of the anabolic process in the body requires energy. Swift muscle reconstruction and faster recovery can be achieved when the body receives sufficient energy and nutrients. Nevertheless, when the body lacks adequate fuel to maintain the anabolic process, it starts to deplete muscle to provide the required energy.

It is unfortunate that a significant number of runners, particularly women, have a suboptimal protein intake despite it being the most effective macronutrient for supporting the anabolic process and preventing catabolism.

To achieve optimum results, it is advisable to consume approximately .8 to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight daily. For instance, if a woman weighs 145 pounds, her protein intake should fall within the range of 115 to 145 grams per day.


CoQ10, although not necessary, has demonstrated significant potential to directly enhance endurance performance as a supplement.

Several studies have shown that supplementation of CoQ10 (at a dosage of 60–100 mg/day for 4–8 weeks) enhances aerobic power, anaerobic threshold, exercise performance, and/or recovery after exercise in both trained athletes and untrained individuals.

Because CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance that resembles a vitamin, it is present in all cells. However, it has a low bioavailability, indicating that the body is not very effective at absorbing it. Consequently, supplementation can have a significant influence.

Although studies on the matter are still scarce, the majority of them suggest consuming CoQ10 daily within the 60-100mg per day range as it aids in absorption and bioavailability.

Beet Root

Beetroot juice has gained much attention due to its direct performance-enhancing advantages.

In brief, the body undergoes metabolism (breakdown) of beetroot, resulting in the production of nitric oxide, which is a crucial neurotransmitter for nerve signalling and the dilation of blood vessels.

Both of these can contribute to enhancing performance, but more specifically, the widening of blood vessels aids in the improvement of running economy by facilitating the transportation of blood to the muscles being utilized, thus making the process easier for you.

There are two options for increasing your intake of beetroot juice: you can either consume a concentrated amount before a race or regularly consume smaller amounts to maintain elevated levels over time.


Magnesium supplementation is advantageous for runners as it assists in muscle function, decreases muscle cramps, and enhances energy production, resulting in improved performance and reduced fatigue. Furthermore, magnesium supplements can support post-exercise recovery, facilitating muscle repair and decreasing inflammation, thus enabling runners to recover faster and train more efficiently.

Sodium Phosphate

If you are a runner, there is a possibility of experiencing occasional periods of constipation caused by dehydration. In the event you do not provide your body with sufficient water, your stool will become excessively dry and difficult to pass naturally. By including sodium phosphate in your supplement regimen, you can ensure that your stool remains soft to help facilitate smooth and consistent bowel movements.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics, which are advantageous bacteria present in specific foods or supplements, contribute to enhancing gut health and digestion. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are forms of fibre that nourish the friendly bacteria in the digestive system, similar to probiotics. Therefore, probiotics can be perceived as a source of energy for probiotics.

Now, what is the significance of this for runners?

If you have experienced chronic bathroom problems while training or participating in races, you understand the significance of having a well-functioning digestive system.

In addition, runners need to have a well-functioning digestive system as it enables optimal absorption of the vitamins and nutrients necessary for their well-being.


Beta-alanine, an amino acid, aids in muscle oxidation, thereby enhancing running speed and endurance when consumed regularly. It is common for endurance athletes to use beta-alanine supplements to ensure optimal muscle functioning. According to a study, athletes who incorporated beta-alanine supplements reported a 2-3% improvement in performance.


BCAA, which stands for branched-chain amino acids, is a supplement that can assist long-distance runners in combating exhaustion and decreasing muscle soreness. The usage of BCAA supplements aids in the reduction of cortisol levels, promotes the synthesis of muscle protein, and facilitates recovery, allowing for sustained progress.

Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)

When runners take sodium bicarbonate, it aids the body in regulating acidity levels in the muscles, making it a popular supplement. If you consume approximately 0.3 mg of sodium bicarbonate before your workout, you will experience enhanced endurance during high-intensity activities.


L-carnitine has the potential to assist in weight management and boost metabolic rate, as well as enhance kidney and liver health to improve muscle performance. Furthermore, it has been associated with increased maximum oxygen absorption, making it highly advantageous for runners.

Vitamin E

Supplementing vitamin E is important for runners as any form of exercise can cause oxidative stress, which contributes to free radical damage and potentially the formation of cancer cells. By taking vitamin E, runners can mitigate the effects of oxidative stress and promote long-term health.


L-glutamine is crucial for runners as it assists in preventing muscle breakdown and promoting a quick recovery. Additionally, it aids in maintaining a strong immune system, enabling runners to maintain optimal health and avoid cardiovascular issues that could detrimentally affect their performance.

Coconut Oil

To sustain high running speeds for short or long distances, energy production is necessary. To support their energy levels, many runners add a teaspoon of coconut oil as a supplement. This aids in boosting energy metabolism and ensuring an adequate energy supply for both short and long-distance runs.

Omega 3s

Supplementing omega 3 into your diet can support the body’s inflammation management, aiding in a speedy recovery from muscle contraction, as inflammation is a major contributor to delayed onset muscle soreness.


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