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Let’s be honest, we all want to go faster and longer. Whether you are a professional or dedicated self-made runner, you are looking for performance enhancers. .With so many available, it’s often hard to decide between the many supplements for runners.
Now, in case you might be asking yourself, some substances have been the subject of controversy in recent years. In fact, elite level sports bodies have banned these enhancers but the truth is, there is no actual proof or reliable evidence that they pose any risk in terms of health and wellness. On the other hand, these substances have proven highly influential and beneficial for those who use them.
But what are these performance enhancers and what might they mean to you?
Let’s take a look at the various options available in terms of performance enhancers for runners:
While many people like to drink coffee prior to running, this is not always the best solution. After all, there is often the risk of needing a bathroom break after having a beverage – especially coffee!
That being said, there are many ways in which to take this performance enhancer for runners with caffeine nuts, seeds, gels and even pills offering a convenient alternative. More importantly, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which helps prevent fatigue and activates neurotransmitters in such a way that the runners’ perception of pain is much lower than usual.
When it comes to long distance running, caffeine is particularly effective. You see, fat contains more energy than carbs and you can carry an endless store of fat for a long distance run. With this in mind, caffeine is said to evoke a faster rate of metabolism.
Sugar can seem like the most obvious performance enhancer for runners and this is certainly the most accessible option. In other words, there are many ways in which to carry sugar as a runner. Forty to sixty grams per day is usually enough. As for the types of sugar, fructose, lactose and glucose account for some of the most popular, each of which is known to covert to energy quickly and efficiently.
At the same time, there is no nutritional value in many sugar-related snacks and soda. What’s more, this option is highly addictive and depending on sugars as a runner is not an ideal situation to say the least. For this reason, many runners opt for various fruits which also contain performance-enhancing sugars without the unhealthy side effects.
Although most people consume enough sodium for moderate exercise, maintaining the right balance of electrolytes and water is essential for runners. More specifically, recent studies show that salt tablets can significantly increase their speed. Also, this increased concentration of electrolytes can stimulate thirst and improve the above-mentioned balance between electrolytes and water. As if that’s not enough, salt tablets can help replace salts which are lost through excessive sweating and prevent muscles from cramping up during and after running.
Actovegin is one of the most well-known performance enhancers for runners in the world. Featuring a filtered extract from the blood of a calf, this potent substance improves the rate of absorption of oxygen and glucose into tissue. This substance is commonly used by runners and best known to enhance stamina and overall performance. Incredibly it is allowed by WADA.
In case you might not know, actovegin removes protein from the blood and leaves a mix of amino acids, sugars and steroid hormones. As a result, glucose and oxygen can enter the blood stream faster and energy metabolism can perform a lot quicker too.
While more research is needed to confirm the impact of actovegin on the health of professional athletes, those who have taken this performance enhancer consistently show that the substance works.
Meldonium was allegedly used to grow livestock in Eastern Europe but human studies have already shown how this enhancer can clear up blockages in the arteries and improve the flow of blood.
But how does this provide a distinct advantage to runners?
Well, these blockages and bad blood flow are often the cause of calf or muscle pain. Meanwhile, meldonium also blocks an amino acid (carntine) which allows the body to burn sugar instead of fuel and fat. For this reason, more oxygen penetrates the brain and provides a distinct mental advantage. As a rule, this performance enhancer for runners can help athletes run faster, for much longer periods.
Although the World Doping Agency has placed a ban on the use of meldonium by professional athletes, this is widely expected to change in the coming years. Latest reports show that recreational runners are using Meldonium to help with recovery and increase their overall long distance running.
Ubiquinone is known as the energy which the body uses to do physical exercise and this supplement can increase the level of CO-Q10. In plain language, these tablets increase the level of ubiquinone and help convert calories to your energy pathways (ATP) a lot faster.
Now, that’s not to say you can eat more but rather to explain that an increased presence of ubiquinone can help you work harder and make the most of the energy in your body. As you can imagine, this can be particularly beneficial to people who might be out of shape or trying to get back into running on a regular basis. Also, CoQ10 is perfectly legal, available in various doses and easily attainable in select pharmacies.
As with CoQ10, Chromium picolinate is available over the counter and is often used as a performance enhancer for runners. In this instance, the supplement helps the body quickly access stores of fat and use the available glucose more efficiently. While health studies on chromium picolinate are inconclusive, many runners used this substance for long distances or strenuous workouts.
Beet juice certainly sounds like the most organic performance enchancer for runners on this list. Simply put, beets are made up of inorganic nitrate which is converted into nitric oxide before consumption. As a rule, this performance enhancer increases the blood flow and improves how the body uses its stores of energy and fat. That being said, spinach, lettuce and rhubarb are all shown to have similar qualities and benefits as beets.
Pickle juice is especially high in sodium and electrolytes but you will also find a number of antioxidants. Needless to say, this is a fantastic mix for staying hydrated and avoiding any potential muscle cramps. You can often purchase this juice at local supermarkets although many runners have taken to making their very own concoctions with this delightful pickle!
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to performance enhancers for runners. While one of these are not permitted on professional tracks, each of the above is known to produce impressive results and clear benefits to the athlete. Either way, this is very much a personal decision and it’s important to perform your own research and due diligence before trying any of these performance enhancers for runners.