Since I first began to take a more serious interest in my health, I’ve heard people whispering in corners, obviously plotting and scheming to take over the world, discussing how to mug old ladies and worst of all… talking about supplements!
That’s right. Supplements. To some people a dirty word linked to the world of performance enhancing drugs and cheating. In other circles they are used to supplement diets. In my world, they are used to recover and provide health benefits which *may* help with my running.
I use may because despite using some products for several years, its difficult to attribute all the success to the supplement.
To clarify, I think the most effective way to lose weight, build muscle, get stronger / faster / fitter is hard work. As a runner, this means putting in the miles coupled with decent speed work. The supplements (for example whey protein) help me to take on what is required to help my body recover. This way I can run more often (because runners are crazy and want to run more… Right?).
Supplements + Running = Cheesy picture.
So what supplements do I take?
To be honest. I dont take many on a regular basis but I will discuss the benefits of what I do.
Please comment with your thoughts. Many people have differing beliefs on this subject and I welcome everyone’s opinion.
For general use, whey protein is a great way of providing your body with healthy nutrition. It is low in fat, carbohydrates, lactose and cholesterol and helps to keep you fuller for longer, reducing cravings for sugary foods! I have a scoop of protein mixed with water each morning. It helps me start the day and (although this may be all in my head!) it genuinely does help to reduce my cravings.
After long and/or intensive runs I also have a scoop of protein. I definitely notice a reduced recovery period when I do this and this is the main reason for my use of this supplement.
The research on creatine has been extensive – studies have shown that creatine supplementation in increases lean body mass, strength, power and repeated sprint ability.
I notice that after a few weeks of use,my legs do feel more powerful. I find myself striding up hills which previously filled me with dread. I did initially have concerns that this may increase the size of my muscles (which was definitely not my intention) but by keeping my mileage up I have not noticed any increase in muscle mass.
I am aware that this is a supplement which is normally associated with gym monkeys who are equipped with arms disproportionate to the rest of their body. But my experiences have not left me with the upper body of Stallone… Yet.
Dont mess with John Rambo.
Using Beta Alanine will help increase the production of Carnosine. This is vital to athletes as Carnosine can increase the ability of your muscles to work harder and perform for longer. It may also prevent lactic acid build up during intense exercise, thus reducing fatigue.
I have only recently started taking this and it can give you quite an uncomfortable tingling sensation all over your body (I mean ALL OVER your body!). I recently read an interview with Mo Farah who listed this as a key supplement alongside protein (If I can find the link to the article I will update the blog).
What are your thoughts on supplements?
If any, what do you take?
Change of subject…
I’m looking for some healthy meals which are suitable for freezing.
Any freezer friendly meal suggestions would be very welcome!!