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Supplements for Runners

What to eat?

Start with eating five smaller meals per day. If you can't figure out what to eat for the smaller, snack-type meals between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner, try energy bars or meal replacements.

You can carry energy bars with you in your training bag. Whenever you get hungry, pop open a bar. Drink plenty of water with your energy bars.

If solid food doesn't appeal to you for breakfast, or it's too close to your run, you might try a meal replacement mix instead of a bar. These are high protein, moderate carb, low fat powders that you mix with water, juice, or carb drinks for a quick meal. SNS F Lean Machine, and Dynamic Fitness Super Food are excellent ways to get a quick meal.

If you would like to add a little extra protein (many runners are protein-deficient), try blending a shake with whey protein as an evening treat. SNS Whey Protein provides the best taste and best value in protein.

What to drink?

Always drink lots of water. Don't get thirsty. Don't rely upon soft drinks or even sports drinks for hydration. Water is your beverage of choice.

Immediately before and during runs, sports drinks containing a 7% carbohydrate solution (fluid replacement drink) will empty almost as fast as water, while providing a little extra performance. Look for maltodextrin (complex carb) to be listed ahead of simple sugars (fructose, sucrose, dextrose, glucose).

Immediately after every run, drink a 21% solution carbohydrate drink (high carb drink). Like the fluid replacement drinks, high carb drinks should have higher levels of complex carbs than simple carbs. There is a window of about two hours after exercise where the muscles are more sensitive to insulin, and will take up more carbohydrates and convert them into stored glycogen. High carb drinks are also used in the days prior to competition to "glycogen load".

Gel packs (GU, Carb Boom, etc.) are essentially fluid replacement drinks without as much water. They can be used when you will have water provided to you, and you want to avoid the weight of the water in the fluid replacement drink.


What next?

You will be exposed to dozens of "magic bullet" supplements that your friends or your competitors use. Rarely do any of these move you from tenth place to first, in a race. Some supplements may help in certain circumstances.

First, everybody needs vitamins. Athletes need higher levels of nutrients than sedentary people. Athletes need much higher levels of antioxidants than ordinary people. Take a good multivitamin/multimineral compound daily with meals. SNS Ultra-Pro Training Tabs offer the highest potency nutrients, and the optimum method of taking vitamins. Take your vitamins the way you use them; a little at a time.

Athletes also should take extra calcium. Bone density is the obvious reason, but calcium also can help with muscle cramps, with muscle recovery, and may even help you sleep better. Another thing to consider if you are experiencing cramps, is to add a lactic acid buffering electrolyte supplement. Many runners have used the phosphates, bicarbonates, and lactates in SNS 3rd Wind caps to reduce cramping and increase time to exhaustion.

If you find yourself dragging a bit at times, try adding ginseng on a daily basis for a couple of weeks. It is safe, legal, and mild. It can help with energy levels and with immunity. Other supplements that help prevent fatigue and extend endurance are L-Carnitine and Calcium Pyruvate. SNS .

If you find yourself losing weight too fast, try adding some anticatabolic supplements such as branched chain amino acids and glutamine. SNS Anticat BCAA contains both of these supplements designed to prevent muscle breakdown.

Sprinters will probably benefit greatly from adding creatine. Be careful to add even more water when taking creatine. Loading creatine is not necessary when taken in the off-season.


There are dozens of other useful supplements for individual needs; weight gain powders, lactic acid buffers, herbs, and many more.