Long Distance Training and Dietary Supplementation

Long Distance Training and Dietary Supplementation

Written by Michelle Daniel, owner of The Lifestyle Technique, LLC

Training for a long-distance run is sometimes a running curve. Fueling your body properly is imperative when training for a race and is done through your diet. There are times though that eating real food just isn’t possible or desirable. One of these times is being in the race itself, and that is where supplements can help. The use of dietary supplements containing branched-chain amino acids, glutamine, caffeine, turmeric, and antioxidants are at the top of the list that can help.

Let’s break it down so you can understand why these specific dietary supplements can assist you in refueling, boost your performance, and have a quicker recovery.

Gels are one of the most common long distant supplements used. A gel is great for replenishing carb stocks and fueling you during your long races. Common recommendations are to use one gel about every 2-3 miles. Also, make sure you have already tried the ones you use in the race because they can be hard on the digestive system.

Sports drinks are also common for helping to fuel before and during your longer runs. They can help replenish electrolytes lost during exercise to help prevent dehydration, cramping, fatigue, and help with recovery afterward.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are essential nutrients that include leucine, valine, and isoleucine. BCAA’s help with increasing muscle growth, decrease muscle soreness, reduce exercise fatigue, and help prevent muscle breakdown.

Glutamine may improve athletic performance and recovery from endurance exercises. It can also help improve gut and immune health, promote muscle growth, and decrease muscle breakdown.

Caffeine can be used to help increase your strength, endurance, power, alertness, and energy levels during a workout.

Turmeric has many scientifically proven health benefits. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory which can help with acute and short-term inflammation in the joints after a long run.

Antioxidants have been linked to an increase in performance and aerobic capacity. Quercetin and vitamin E may enhance markers of oxidative stress and enhance recovery.

Regardless, if you decide to use dietary supplementation or not, nutrition is key. Eating balanced meals and snacks plus increasing hydration while training in higher heat is important.

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