I’m now almost 250 days into my 365day Run Streak challenge and my mileage is really starting to ramp up as I approach my first ever marathon in June (followed by my first ever ultra-marathon in August!). To help fuel my running and recovery, as well as helping to keep me healthy enough to run every day, there are five key supplements that I cannot live without:
- Protein Shakes. I’ve experimented with a few different protein sources to supplement my daily diet, and always found that a quality protein shake is an essential product to ensure I recover and my muscles repair as quickly and efficiently as possible between runs. I’ll drink a shake in the morning, after my run and in the evening.
- BCAA’s. I drink flavoured BCAA’s little and often throughout the day to ensure a constant drip feeding of essential amino acids into my system all day as my body continuously rebuilds and repairs from the high volume of daily running.,
- Greens. Whilst I try to eat a large and varied amount of fruits and vegetables every day, supplementing with additional Greens in powdered form is an excellent way of maintaining a high intake of healthy nutrients from a variety of sources.
- Ultiman. As with Greens, I get many of my vitamins and minerals through eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables. However, I still feel it is vital to take a quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement as added insurance that I’m meeting my daily requirements, particularly with the high mileage I’m undertaking and the associated mental and physical stress I’m constantly under.
- Electrolytes. Often neglected by many athletes and gym-goers, I add a small amount of electrolyte powder to my daily water intake as a way of enhancing water uptake and utilisation within the body and ensuring I keep a good electrolyte balance throughout the day, particularly during hot and/or higher intensity or longer duration runs.
These are the key supplements that I always make sure I have in stock and that have proved invaluable in keeping my running challenge on the road so far. Whilst these work for me, it is important to understand that everybody’s needs are unique and that we all require and respond better to slightly different things. Some people may require more or less protein, others may benefit more by adding in additional supplements.
I know that, when possible, I like to use AminoGo as an intra-workout drink during long runs as it provides a number of the ingredients I’ve listed above with many more besides, but it is also slightly more expensive so if working within a tight budget then I make sure I always at least have all of my essentials at the ready.