Marathon Training 101: Natural Sports Supplements

Marathon Training 101: Natural Sports Supplements

We've talked a little about the performance-boosting effects of certain superfoods, but let's get to the real nitty-gritty: sports supplements. These are often bought in bulk by athletes and runners in various forms, but there are natural and much better-for-you alternatives you may have not even considered! Let's look at a few here.

Caffeine

Classified as a stimulant, caffeine can affect certain people in different ways. Some people report feeling very sensitive to caffeine intake, citing side effects such as jitters, racing heart, anxiety and inability to focus. Others seem to have a higher tolerance for the stimulant and are able to consume higher amounts without a noticed effect.

When it comes to endurance training, there has been research to show a positive effect and extended endurance. Caffeine stimulates the production of adrenaline, a hormone that releases fat into the bloodstream, which allows it to be used as an energy source for hungry muscles. A moderate amount of caffeine ingested directly before or during your workout may improve endurance.

Try using natural sources like cacao nibs, yerba matte, white tea, black tea, and green tea in Blasts to get the added benefit. However, remember, what goes up, must come down! If you are incorporating caffeine gels into your run, starting them means you must continue eating them throughout your run to keep yourself from crashing.

Creatine

With over 500 studies conducted, creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements on the market today. A study showed that gains in body mass averaged 2 to 5 pounds during 4 to 12 weeks of training and improved overall performance. It meant greater muscle gains, which ultimately leads to a more powerful runner.

During marathon training, it is not recommended to use a creatine supplement, but including foods that contain creatine may be a good way to enhance overall muscle gains. Try eating foods like lean, grass-fed red meats, wild game and fish in your diet. While you will most likely not Blast with those, having moderate amounts in your weekly diet may be beneficial.

Glutamine

Good news! Due to the stress extensive exercise can put on the body, including more glutamine in the diet can help with muscle repair. After an intense workout, glutamine moves nitrogen molecules to damaged muscles, which stimulates repair. Without enough glutamine, nitrogen molecules will not be moved to muscles and repair will be prolonged. Added glutamine can also have a positive impact on digestion and can help the body absorb and utilize nutrients more efficiently. These are all important factors in an athletic lifestyle. That means less sick days, more time to train, better digestion, more nutrients being used in the body and more energy!

Want these results? Include foods rich in glutamine like beets, cabbage, beans, peas, lentils, spinach and parsley, in your daily Blast or diet. Also including foods rich in Vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyrodixine) can help increase levels of glutamine circulating in the body. In order for the body to make glutamine, it has to first convert glutamic acid, this process requires both Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6. Use foods like peanuts, sun dried tomatoes, paprika, pistachios, garlic, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

Want a great Blast that'll give you the supplements you need, naturally? Try our Super Sports Blast.

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics


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