Supplements for Runners


Authored by Victor Roffel in Exercise
Published on 11-21-2009

Athletes of all sports, especially bodybuilders and weightlifters, take some form of supplement to either increase their recovery or to improve performance. Often, these supplements are mistaken for illegal drugs and some athletes would be tricked into believing it. Runners usually fall on these kinds of traps and end up wasting their money on useless supplements instead. Below are some supplements that all runners can benefit from when used appropriately.


Bcaa stands for branched-chain amino acid. The amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine are contained in Bcaa supplements. These amino acids offer benefits that range from protein synthesis in muscles, increased growth hormone, insulin, muscle endurance and the prevention of catabolism.

Bcaa are often used to prevent muscle loss either on a caloric deficit diet or before a taxing exercise session. This is perfect for runners as every run breaks down the body’s muscle to use as fuel. Bcaa prevents this and helps the runner keep muscle and strength. A dosage of 30 grams spread throughout the day will help tremendously for the running athlete.

Whey protein

Protein is essential for an athlete due to the stress they put themselves on every day. Because runners participate in an activity that depletes glycogen stores rapidly, whey protein is very beneficial.

Whey protein is easily digested and absorbed in the blood stream. Athletes who drink whey protein experience a boost of energy as well. Because the body’s insulin is most receptive during post-workouts, this makes it the ideal drink to take both immediately before and after runs.

Casein protein

Casein is another form of protein. Its effects are different from whey protein but still essential and very helpful for athletes. Instead of being as easily absorbed into the blood stream like whey protein does, casein protein works the opposite.

Protein is not absorbed in the blood stream easily as they congest in the stomach. The acids in the stomach take a reasonable amount of time to break down the protein and slowly release them into the bloodstream over a period of time. This makes casein protein debatable to be one of the best supplements that runners can have. Taking casein before a run will help tremendously in providing energy and preventing catabolism.


Glutamine is an amino acid. It helps improve the immune system, prevents catabolism, enhances recovery and increase growth hormone levels in the body. It also helps improve joint condition which is vital for a runner. Each foot strike on the ground exerts pressure and stress to the knee and ankle joints. Having a supplement that helps in recovering the joints will aid tremendously to the runner. 30 grams or more a day is more than enough for the athlete who runs a ton.

Proper supplementation will definitely help a running athlete in their training. But even with the best of supplements, an unbalanced diet and poor training attitude will override all positive effects. Supplements are supplement to a proper diet and training regime. All athletes should keep this in mind when purchasing supplements.


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