Taking these post-workout supplements after your endurance training definitely makes sense
Endurance training challenges your entire metabolism and (intentionally) causes damage to your muscle cells. That means stress for your body – and that stress is the crucial factor for boosting performance. Training effectively doesn’t just involve the workout itself, but also making sure you optimize your recovery. That starts with nutrition, which supports muscle growth, metabolism, and so on. The better you recover from the stress you put your body through, the more effective your training will be.
As a sports nutrition coach, I see plenty of runners who train really well but either neglect their nutrition or take a scattergun approach to supplements. Neither of these approaches usually helps and, in a worst-case scenario, they can even negatively impact your training.
If you have neglected your nutrition so far, your first step should be to find out what your body is lacking. Electrolytes, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants are particularly important, as science indicates that these supplements will improve your recovery and boost your performance during your next endurance session. Read on to find out why.
Must-Have No. 1: Electrolytes Not just for after your run.
Whether it’s short and intensive or long and slow, running makes you sweat – and it makes no difference whether it’s hot or cold outside (although it’s easy to underestimate how much you sweat when it’s cool). And when you sweat, your body loses electrolytes. These are minerals that conduct electrical impulses and help your body to regulate normal nerve and muscle functions. The most important electrolytes that runners sweat out are magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium, so replenishing them after your run is the first step on the road to good recovery.
A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that mixing electrolytes with fast-acting carbohydrates led to better running performance among test subjects. That’s why isotonic drinks are the number 1 running supplement during intense or long runs, even during training. Their concentration of minerals is equivalent to that of human blood, so the body can absorb the lost minerals in a flash.
Our Endurance Drink will also keep you supplied with all the important electrolytes and different types of sugar during your run, keeping you on the fast track and laying the foundation for your recovery afterward.
Must-Have No. 2: Amino Acids and Protein
Any physical activity causes micro tears in your muscles. And when your body repairs these muscles, they get bigger and stronger – that principle applies whether you’re lifting weights or playing soccer. Protein helps build muscle and is made up of amino acids. If you like to mix yourself a Whey Protein or Vegan Protein shake after a weight training session, you should do the same after your run as well.*
When it comes to endurance sports, the most important amino acids are BCAAs and L-Glutamine – and you can find this mix (along with fast-acting carbohydrates) in our Recovery Aminos.** A review from 2019 indicates that the amino acid L-Glutamine improves glycogen synthesis – in simple terms, the process of replenishing carbohydrate stores in muscles. The faster you replenish these stores, the sooner you can train again.
BCAAs are essential protein components that are metabolized directly via your blood, not via your liver. That means that they are available to your body particularly quickly. According to the review – which was published in the Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering – studies suggest that BCAAs may accelerate recovery between workouts.
Must-Have No. 3: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids – specifically DHA and EPA – are a supplement whose effect on athletic performance and recovery has yet to be conclusively investigated. Some studies show improved recovery and performance parameters in endurance athletes supplementing DHA and EPA. Although eating habits are individual, the Western diet tends to be rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. These include vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, certain grains, animal fats, and many industrially processed foods. An adequate intake of omega-3 supports a balanced ratio of fatty acids. In addition, DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function and vision.***
Food comes first!
Any supplement is only as good as how you train and what you eat. Make sure that you have a sensible training schedule with adequate recovery times. Eat a varied, wholesome diet with a high proportion of complex carbohydrates, high-quality protein, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables. With a solid foundation like this, supplements can support recovery – but they are never a substitute for healthy nutrition and exercise breaks. We recommend that you talk to a nutritionist, or ask your doctor or health care professional for advice to find out if you have a deficiency.
More interesting articles from foodspring:
- 6 No-Brainer Ways To Eat More Vitamins Every Day
- Muscle recovery after your workout: 6 regeneration rules
- The 7 Principles of Exercise: What are they, and how can they level up your fitness?
- Which Dietary Supplement is Right For You?
*Protein contributes to muscle maintenance and muscle building.
** Carbohydrates contribute to the restoration of normal muscle function (contraction) after very intense and/or very long periods of physical activity that lead to the depletion of muscle and glycogen stores in skeletal muscle.
*** DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function & vision. The positive effect is achieved through the daily intake of 250 mg DHA.
Sources for this article
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