Whether you run for pleasure or are a frequent race competitor, you’re probably interested in tips and products that can help improve your performance and boost your health.
If so, keep reading to learn why a pre workout could be the missing piece to your workouts.
SHOULD RUNNERS TAKE PRE-WORKOUT?
Simple answer: Yes!
A good idea for all runners, pre workout can be used to as a tool to fuel your body and give it the nutrients it needs to endure the longest or shortest of runs.
The key is to find a low stimulant formula that supports your cognitive functions, improves your oxygen utilization, increases time to fatigue, and supports your joints and muscles.
Keep reading to learn more about utilizing pre workout for running and how it can benefit you.
BENEFITS OF PRE-WORKOUT FOR RUNNING
There are many important benefits of pre workout fuel for runners.
- Improved mental clarity to keep you focused and motivated.
- Improved endurance to allow you to continue competing and improving your performance.
- Improved oxygen utilization to keep your heart, lungs, and muscles functioning at optimal levels.
- Sustained energy so you can power through your workouts
WHEN TO TAKE PRE-WORKOUT FOR RUNNING
It is best to take a pre-workout about 20-30 minutes prior to running.
This allows the formula enough time to take effect and benefit you during your exercise routine.
BEST INGREDIENTS IN PRE-WORKOUT FOR RUNNERS
- Natural Caffeine
- Joint Support
Not all pre workout formulas are the same.
Here are some of the key ingredients to look for when choosing the right formula for you:
Caffeine is a key component to pre-workout supplements.
Research shows that caffeine helps stimulate the body and improve endurance while delaying time to fatigue.
Caffeine may also help spare the use of glycogen, a storage form of carbohydrates. This reserves more energy available for later use and can help improve your endurance.
Rich in antioxidants, natural caffeine sources improve cognitive functions, mental focus, and energy levels.
Although they get a bad rap, carbohydrates are the main and preferred source of energy for your body and muscles.
Carbs are broken down into glucose after consumption, and are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.
During long endurance activities like running, your muscles rely on the fuel from carbs and glycogen stores to keep going. Not having enough means you won't have enough energy to maximize your workout, which also limits your ability to burn calories or improve your performance.
The key is to consume the right amount of easily digestible carbs to prevent you from being overly full or feeling sluggish during a run.
Research shows that palatinose, which is a type of sugar that comes from beets, is broken down more slowly in the body compared to other sugars and provides a long lasting energy source without spiking your blood sugar.
Adaptogens are specific types of herbs and mushrooms that help the body adapt to different environments.
Research shows that adaptogens help the body respond to stress and decrease the onset of exhaustion, both of which are common in endurance exercise like running.
Some adaptogens to look for in a pre workout include:
- Cordyceps - Improve high improve endurance and increase sustained energy by delaying time to fatigue.
- Reishi - Packed with antioxidants, Reishi improves athletic performance by fighting free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in athletes.
- Lion’s Mane - Supports muscle glycogen storage which supports sustained energy, increased time to fatigue, and improved cognitive functions.
- Turkey Tail - Improves overall exercise performance and reduces fatigue.
Long workouts like runs require continuous exertion on your joints, which can take its toll and lead to harmful inflammation in the body. Pre workouts should therefore contain ingredients to help combat this inflammation and protect the body.
Some ingredients to look for include:
- Ginger Root
- Devil's Claw
Each of these are backed by science to help reduce inflammation caused by high intensity exercise and provide antioxidants to give your body a head start on the recovery process when taken in a pre workout.
BioPerine is proven to increase your body’s ability to absorb and utilize the anti-inflammatory benefits in turmeric to reap maximum benefits.
THIRD-PARTY TESTED FORMULAS
Safety can be a big concern for all supplements, since the supplement industry is not well regulated by the FDA.
In fact, the FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. This means that there are hundreds of supplement companies out there producing products that either don’t contain what they claim they do, or contain a form of the ingredient that isn’t well utilized by the body, making it ineffective.
Look for supplements that are third party tested, which is a voluntary service that companies can take to ensure safety and quality.
BSCG certified is a type of third party testing and is the gold standard for dietary supplement certification. It involves testing for banned substances and drug contaminants that can lead to health concerns or positive drug tests, and certifies products to be free from them.
Choosing supplements that are third-party tested can help give you full confidence in what you are buying.
There are many benefits of pre workout for running.
Whether you're an indoor or outdoor runner, low stimulant pre workouts can have a positive effect on your training and running regiment.