10 Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes – 3 Full Tips

I like to run for miles, so I know how important it is to take supplements and eat right to improve performance.

Even if you eat well and work out, there’s only so much you can do. Running supplements might help if you feel like you’ve reached the limits of your routine but still want to do more.

Relax and let’s get started, because there’s a lot to talk about!

First Up, Have You Nailed The Basics?

If you think supplements will help you get stronger, you should first answer these questions:

  • Are you getting enough to eat?
  • Are you working out right?

People seem to have a lot of trouble with their diets. They don’t drink nearly as much water as they should and eat a lot of junk food, both of which hurt their athletic performance.

Before you move on to supplements, you should make sure you’re good at the basics. To be more specific, you should pay attention to what you eat and exercise well.

Now, no matter what you eat or how you train, supplements will probably help you in some way. But without a solid base, supplements are an expensive waste of money.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

Most likely, if you changed your diet and started working out properly, you would get the same or even better results than if you took supplements.

I think that taking supplements without eating right and working out is like taking painkillers when you have a toothache. You’ll feel better after taking the painkillers, but you’re not getting to the root of the problem.

So, you shouldn’t spend money on supplements until you’ve tried to improve the basics. Then, if you feel like your athletic performance could be better, you might start thinking about supplements.

What Are The 10 Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes?

If you are sure that you need supplements to get better at your sport, then this section will give you some ideas.

I used the following sources to write this piece:

  • The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health has a report called “Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance.”
  • The journal “Nutrients” has an article called “Nutrition and Supplement Update for the Endurance Athlete: Review and Recommendations.”
  • “The 7 Best Supplements for Endurance Runners,” by Swolverine, a brand for endurance athletes and people who live an active lifestyle.

I think you should also read these sources since I won’t be quoting them all word for word. There is a lot of useful information there, but I’ve only kept the most important points.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the list of supplements for endurance athletes!

1. Carbohydrates

Depending on where you get your carbohydrates, they might or might not be a supplement. No matter what, I think carbohydrates are important enough to be on the list.

For endurance athletes to do their best, they need to eat enough carbohydrates. Different sources give different suggestions for how much to eat every day.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and the Dietitians of Canada (DC) all say:

  • Moderate endurance exercise (1 hour per day): 5-7 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
  • Moderate to high-intensity endurance exercise (1-3 hours per day): 6-10 grams per kilogram per day.
  • Moderate to high-intensity endurance exercise (4-5 hours per day). 10-12 grams per kilogram per day.

I’ve already talked about how important it is to get enough carbohydrates. You can’t improve your endurance if you don’t eat enough carbohydrates every day.

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When it comes to carbohydrate sources, complex carbs found in natural foods seem to be the best. These are better than simple carbs because they don’t raise blood sugar and don’t make you fat like simple carbs do.

When it comes to exercise performance, simple carbs don’t seem to be better than complex carbs, so you could just avoid them.

Whole grains, beans, peas, and vegetables are some of the best places to get complex carbs. Try to base your diet on these to get the most energy out of what you eat.

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2. BCAAs

BCAAs are made up of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are found in animal foods like meat, fish, and milk, and you can also buy them as a supplement to help you work out.

Muscles can get energy from all three amino acids, and leucine can also be used to build muscle.

It looks like BCAA supplements don’t have much of a direct effect on endurance athletes. Instead, BCAAs tend to shine when it comes to strength training and bodybuilding because they help build muscle.

Still, BCAAs won’t make you more durable, but they will help you train harder and heal your muscles faster after you work out.

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3. Beetroot Or Beet Juice

Many studies have found that running, swimming, cycling, and rowing all get better when you eat beets or drink beet juice. When it comes to strength training and bodybuilding, not much is known about how beetroot and beet juice work.

In studies that showed the benefits of beet juice, people drank 2 cups of beet juice 2.5 to 3 hours before working out. But keep in mind that beet juice seems more likely to help people who are not highly trained endurance athletes than it does to help those who are.

Nitrates may be the reason why beetroot and beet juice are good for endurance. Beets and their juice are two of the best natural sources of nitrates.

People think that beets and beet juice improve endurance by turning some nitrates into nitric oxide and making blood vessels bigger. By making vessels bigger, you improve blood flow and get more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which makes you stronger. It could also speed up the process of getting rid of waste products from muscles.

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4. Beta-Alanine

Some studies have shown that beta-alanine causes small improvements in sports like hockey and soccer that require short bursts of effort. It’s still not clear if beta-alanine improves running or cycling endurance, though.

Most studies had people take between 1.6 and 6.4 grams of beta-alanine every day for 4 to 8 weeks. On the other hand, people get about 1 gram of beta-alanine per day from food day for 4 to 8 weeks.

On the other hand, people get about 1 gram of beta-alanine per day from food. You should probably start at the lower end of the range and see how this supplement works for you.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that can be found in fish, meat, and chicken. The supplement works by increasing the amount of carnosine in the muscles. This decreases the amount of lactic acid in the muscles, which makes the muscles less tired and gives them more strength.

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5. Caffeine

Coffee, tea, and energy drinks all have caffeine in them, which is a stimulant.

Researchers have found that a moderate amount of caffeine gives you more energy and makes you feel less tired for a few hours. Caffeine helps a lot with sports that require short bursts of effort.

Caffeine has different effects on different athletes, so you may see great results or nothing at all.

Between 2 and 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight can improve performance. More than 6 milligrams doesn’t seem to improve endurance performance in a noticeable way, but it does make side effects like bad sleep, irritability, and anxiety worse.

If you want to try caffeine, start with less (2 mg per kg) and see what happens. If the first dose doesn’t work, you could try a higher dose while keeping an eye out for side effects.

6. L-Glutamine

Low levels of L-glutamine (also called glutamine) in the body can cause inflammation, muscle breakdown, and a weaker immune system. Even though the body can make glutamine, endurance athletes may not have enough of it and need to take glutamine as a supplement.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

The main benefit of glutamine is that it speeds up muscle recovery. With this in mind, making sure your body has enough glutamine lets you work out harder.

Another interesting thing about glutamine is that it makes the body take in more sodium.

In a study that was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it was found that higher concentrations of L-glutamine helped sodium be absorbed better. Muscles were less tired and retained their strength as a result.

So glutamine may be good for endurance athletes by speeding up muscle recovery and giving them more energy.

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7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in muscles and help them heal faster.

There are a lot of these fats in seafood, plant oils, nuts and seeds, and foods that have been added to. But Swolverine says that krill oil is the best way to get omega-3 fatty acids.

Krill oil is easy to find and can help reduce inflammation, ease joint pain, improve joint mobility, and speed up the healing process.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

Omega-3 fats and krill oil are two more supplements that indirectly improve endurance by letting you train more and recover faster, so you can do more of both.

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8. Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, which you may know as baking soda, has been shown to improve performance in short, intense activities with heavy loads that come and go (like sprinting in football or soccer).

But the effects of sodium bicarbonate on different athletes are very different. Some people may even do worse because of it.

Sodium bicarbonate is usually given at a dose of 300 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. But be aware of the side effects.

Baking soda makes people throw up, feel sick, and keep water in their bodies. Some people also find sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water to be too salty.

People think that sodium bicarbonate works by stopping acids (like lactic acid) from building up in muscles, which makes people feel less tired.

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9. Turmeric

In the way it works, turmeric is like omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that turmeric improves the health of joints and mobility, reduces inflammation and soreness in muscles, and speeds up muscle recovery.

Turmeric is a lot like Ibuprofen when it comes to reducing inflammation. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at how safe Ibuprofen and turmeric are and what they do.

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One group of people with knee osteoarthritis took 1,200 milligrams of Ibuprofen every day, while the other took 1,500 milligrams of turmeric extract every day for 4 weeks.

After four weeks, the effects of turmeric were found to be comparable to those of Ibuprofen.But turmeric had less of an effect on the health of the digestive system.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

So, turmeric could be used instead of ibuprofen because it is safer. Because it reduces inflammation and speeds up recovery, it could also help endurance athletes do better in sports.

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10. Whey Protein

Endurance athletes sometimes don’t eat enough protein because its main purpose is to build and repair muscles, not to give them energy. But protein is very important because it helps muscles get stronger.

The ACSM, DC, and AND all say that endurance athletes should eat 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. Most of the time, people tell endurance athletes to eat less protein (1.2 g/kg/day).

Most people get enough protein from the meat and other foods they eat. Some endurance athletes, though, may not get enough protein from food alone, so they have to take supplements.

Whey protein is a great protein supplement that you should try. There are three different kinds of whey protein: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

Whey protein concentrate is not as refined as isolate or hydrolysate, so it has more fat and carbs. Isolate and hydrolysate, on the other hand, have more “pure” protein.

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3 Tips For Safe And Effective Supplement Consumption

To end this post, I’d like to give you three tips that will help you choose and take endurance supplements more effectively and safely.

1. Understand The Difference Between Direct- And Indirect-Effect Supplements

I’ve looked at quite a few supplements. If you’ve paid attention, you’ll have noticed that some supplements affect endurance directly while others do so indirectly.

Most direct-effect supplements, like caffeine or beet juice, help the body make more energy or get rid of waste faster.

On the other hand, supplements with indirect effects, such as BCAAs or glutamine, may improve performance by letting you train harder and make more gains.

This is important to know because supplements with indirect effects might not help you if you don’t have nutritional deficiencies. Their effects will be strongest if you don’t get enough important nutrients from your current diet.

2. Mind Side Effects

Next, remember that supplements may have unwanted effects. Carefully read the label on your supplement, and only take as much as it says to. When it comes to supplements, more isn’t always better. If you take too many, you risk your health without getting much in return.

3. Make Sure You Aren’t Consuming Prohibited Substances

Lastly, make sure you’re not using any drugs that are against the law. Check the WADA list of banned substances to get started.

Best Supplements For Endurance Athletes

If you are competing professionally, you will find all the information you need. But keep in mind that the drugs that can’t be used may be different from one sport to the next.

Final Words On Supplements For Endurance

In the end, don’t forget to master the basics first, such as your diet and workout routine. If you master these first, you will be much better able to use supplements.

Also, making changes to your diet or workout routine might not cost you anything, but buying supplements does.

I also think you should look at other online guides because there’s a lot more to this topic than what I’ve told you. I just kept this guide simple so it would be short and easy to understand.

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