Life sounds simple for endurance athletes, especially triathletes: swim, bike, run, eat, sleep and repeat. A more physically demanding workplace you will not find. Endurance exercise is unlike any other when it comes to keeping yourself on the move.
There’s a lot to consider: you need energy not just for the start of your session but also for the end. You have to worry about making sure you don’t cramp up, and that you’re getting the right balance of protein and carbs afterwards to recover.
Fortunately, all these eventualities have been scrutinized under a microscope by supplement companies who have created unique products that make sure you get off the blocks faster and then have the power to keep going mile after mile.
For example, AthElite Nutrition’s new pre-workout formula has been studied at Nova Southeastern University, Florida, and has demonstrated positive benefits to strength training after just one use.
Here are the supplements that’ll make sure you’re hitting your personal bests:
Cramps can feel like a jackhammer has been left on full power inside your muscles, and the main cause is a lack of electrolytes, found research in Sports Health.
Happily, these supplements are a tasty way to make sure you never have to suffer with them again, because they often come in pre-made drinks which are rich in the magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium that’ll safeguard your PBs. AthElite’s pre-workout boasts all four.
This is one of the few carbs that can boast a patent, thanks to its delayed-release action.
This means you can drink it before you start training, because research in the Forum of Nutrition found that your body digests it slowly so you’ll get a burst of energy midway through your exercise session. Think of it as eating a bowl of pasta in the middle of your run, minus the chewing.
This is an amino acid found in protein-packed chicken, as well as in supplements such as AthElite’s pre-workout, and taking it in mass amounts will keep you on the run for longer.
Research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found it can increase your VO2 Max and endurance. The study authors discovered it fights fatigue and boosts your ability to do more by pooling more blood in your muscles.
Mushrooms can have magic properties, especially those found on mountains.
It might sound like a script for a bad kung fu movie but cordyceps are made from Himalayan mushrooms and can increase your lactate threshold by 10.5%, found research in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Not a bad effort for a lowly fungus.
Your morning latte is home to a stamina secret: caffeine. AthElite’s pre-workout contains unroasted green coffee beans, which are rich in the stuff, as well as metabolism-boosting chlorogenic acid.
Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that caffeine mobilizes fat cells so they can be burnt as energy, while investigation at the University of Coventry, UK, found caffeine can increase your power output by 6%, making it ideal for endurance races.
You can only store enough energy in your muscles to deliver around 80 minutes of endurance exercise before you need to refuel.
But research in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition Exercise and Metabolism found taking a carb gel while exercising helps improve performance and ramps up endurance. With more reserve in your tank you better not forget your way home.
To power away from the pack in an endurance event you need to get plenty of oxygen to your working muscles.
Iron transports O2 in your blood and the Mayo Clinic states that a lack of iron will make you tired, short of breath and decrease physical performance. Iron pills will come as a dose of mini Robert Downey Juniors to your blood.