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A Guide to the Best Vitamins for Runners

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For runners, there are many different elements to consider to ensure optimum performance. Everything from the clothes that some individual wears to the shoes that he or she uses for running weights a part in the performance of an individual. However, what may be even more important than the gear a person uses, is what they feed their body. For instance, fattening foods that are heavy on calories or carbs can quickly diminish the chances of a runner being able to run efficiently and effortlessly. While, fruits and vegetables high on minerals and vitamins can enhance the performance of an individual.

With this in mind, we want to take the opportunity to share the best vitamins for runners. In this, we will be covering the best vitamins, what they are, what the pros of taking them are, and the many different foods that an individual can find specific vitamins. Let’s begin!

Contents

What are vitamins?

Each organism in our world has different vitamin requirements, and this pertains to us as humans as well. To be even more specific, all individuals require different vitamins, some more than other. The reason being that we as humans may not be able to produce certain vitamin compounds or produce very little. With that said, vitamins are organic compounds that come from foods that are used to sustain the livelihood of a person.

What are the different vitamin categories?

There is a total of 13 known vitamins that an individual should be taking. These vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble, both having different effects on the body. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body much easier than water-soluble. Now, do you happen to know why they are called “organic”? It is because every single vitamin contains carbon. With that said, the foods that individual eats determine the different vitamins he or she will consume.

How can taking vitamins help a runner?

It goes without saying that the primary purpose for a runner to take vitamins is to enhance their running performance, stamina, and agility. Now, specific vitamins will have different effects that will produce long term results for a runner. For example, calcium is the pillar for which healthy and strong bones are made of, which also reduces the joint pain a runner might feel. Therefore, the right vitamins are crucial to ensure optimum performance. If not, a runner will sacrifice the health of the body, alongside their ability to run at peak levels.

Are there consequences of not taking vitamins?

Yes, there are plenty of consequences of not taking vitamins for a runner. However, this does not just go for runners or athletes. In general, the consequences of not taking the proper vitamins or minerals or having very low levels of the proper vitamins can quickly deteriorate the bodies abilities to function properly. Many consequences of not taking the proper vitamins include, low immunity, physical and mental function, the oral health of an individual, and the overall health of an individual’s body tissue and organs.

With this in mind, many individuals do not consume their needed daily vitamin or mineral intake which can in turn, affect the bodies health in the long term. This can lead to permanent body illnesses such as, short term memory loss, osteoporosis, and more. Now that we have covered the two vitamin categories and a couple of consequences of not taking them, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this article. Let’s talk about the top 10 vitamins for a runner.

The Top 7 Vitamins for a Runner

1) Vitamin B6

What does vitamin B6 do for runners?

Vitamin B6 is known as one of the strongest vitamins intended towards proper brain function. This body aids a runner by producing the proper chemicals that enhance cognitive abilities which can enhance a runner’s ability to be more aware of his or her environment while running. Vitamin B6 is also vitally important for the health of the heart and muscular function, which of course, is essential for runners.

What happens if you are vitamin B6 deficient?

If an individual is vitamin B6 deficient they will notice it due to a lack of cognitive abilities such as response time and the ability to focus. More so, an individual’s energy level will be lower drastically which can impact the body’s ability to run faster and for an extended amount of time. What may be the most important reason as to why an individual should take vitamin B6 is because if not, the body’s ability to heal itself after a workout or extended run will be drastically lowered.

How can you get more vitamin B6 in your diet?

If you are looking to include more vitamin B6 in your diet, organically, an individual should be consuming more poultry, fish, and beef. To be more specific, cereals, nuts, and bananas are high on vitamin B6.

What is the proper vitamin B6 intake for an adult?

· Men and Women Age 19 – 50 Years: 1.3 mg
· Men 51+ : 1.7 mg
· Women 51+ : 1.5mg

2) Vitamin D

What does vitamin D do for runners?

Vitamin D is known as one of the most popular vitamins due to the fact that it is extremely powerful and useful for the body, but it is found in practically most foods. Now, vitamin D specifically for runners can enhance lung function support and cardiovascular health. More so, vitamin D is needed to maintain strong bones and teeth. Specifically, for runners, it regulates insulin levels and supports proper function of the brain and nervous system.

What happens if you are vitamin D deficient?

A vitamin D deficiency may be one of the scariest deficiencies, reason being that it holds so much weight in the body’s ability to function properly. For runners, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to loss of breath, which is vital for proper running, and it can lead to the quick deterioration of bones. Vitamin D specifically, aids in regulating calcium and maintaining the phosphorous levels in blood, which are two extremely crucial factors for runners seeking to go the extra mile.

How can you get more vitamin D in your diet?

The great part about vitamin D, is that it is practically in everything. If an individual is wanting more vitamin D, they should be drinking more orange juice and eating more yogurt, milk, and animal products, such as salmon and egg yolk. With that in mind, for runners, a vitamin D deficiency is rare because even 25 minutes in the sun will give an adult the proper amount of vitamin D they need for healthy body functions.

What is the proper vitamin D intake for an adult?

· Men and Women Age 1 – 70 Years: 15mcg

3) Vitamin C

What does vitamin C do for runners?

Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid, is known to be one of the most important and beneficial vitamins that the human body needs. What vitamin C does to the body includes, preventing cancer, the common cold, and for runners, it combats against strokes, bossts the immune system and maintains the elasticity of the skin. However, the most important aspect of vitamin C may be that it heals wounds, which can happen to runners during an accidental fall or scrape.

What happens if you are vitamin C deficient?

A Vitamin C deficiency can be one of the most detrimental to a runner’s body. This deficiency can lead to the bleeding of gums but most importantly, the chances of healing wounds is drastically lower. Whether healing muscle wounds, or scrapes and cuts, a Vitamin C deficiency can enhance a runner’s ability to run efficiently in numerous ways. With that said, other symptoms include, easy bruising, swollen joints, and lack of energy.

How can you get more vitamin C in your diet?

Vitamin C is another vitamin that is virtually in everything that we eat and drink from orange juice to raw organic fruits and vegetables. Try a bowl of red peppers and broccoli and you are set go!

What is the proper vitamin D intake for an adult?

· Men Age 18+: 90mg
· Women Age 18+: 75mg

4) Calcium

What does Calcium do for runners?

Calcium is known as another detrimental vitamin that the body needs. Calcium is known to aid in controlling blood pressure and help maintain the body’s optimal weight. However, the primary aspect of calcium that is crucial to runners is that it protects the cardiac muscles and strengthen the bones.

What happens if you are Calcium deficient?

With the above paragraph in mind, a lack of Calcium can lead to one of the most detrimental conditions that can heavily affect a runner’s performance, osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a medical condition when an individual is not receiving enough Calcium in their diet and in turn, the bones of the body become fragile and brittle due to loss of tissue. Therefore, if an individual wants to prevent this from happening, which can quickly remove any running dates from their calendar, it is vital to have your daily calcium intake.

How can you get more Calcium in your diet?

Calcium, once again is one of the most prominent vitamins an individual can find in foods. However, the foods needed for proper calcium intake vary from almonds to sardines, Chinese cabbage, and okra. A healthy blend of almonds and kale will give an individual their daily dose.

What is the proper vitamin D intake for an adult?

· Adult Men & Women 19 – 50 years: 1,000 mg
· Adult Men 51 – 70 years: 1,000 mg
· Adult Men 51 – 70 years: 1,200 mg

5) Vitamin B12

What does vitamin B12 do for runners?

Vitamin B12 is essentially known as one of the most important, but least taken vitamin to date. Therefore, for runners, vitamin B12 should be included daily in their diet. As to the benefits of Vitamin B12, well the benefits include proper nervous system function, brain function, and digestion. Therefore, it is vital for runners to take it when it comes to obtaining peak mental performance when running.

What happens if you are vitamin B12 deficient?

If an individual does not include Vitamin B12 more in their diet, the effects will be more prominent in the area of digestion. Digestion weighs heavily for a runner since it is the only method for an individual to receive the proper nutrients needed to run efficiently. Therefore, without vitamin B12 a runner would not digest food properly and receive the qualities of more energy, better weigh management, etc. With that said, the most dangerous aspect of a vitamin b12 deficiency is that it can lead to dementia and loss of memory.

How can you get more vitamin B12 in your diet?

Vitamin B12 is prominent in almost any animal product from fish and meats to poultry and eggs. However, vitamin b12 is not found in fruits or vegetables, making it harder for vegans and vegetarian to get their daily intake. If you happen to not be a meat eater, vitamin B12 is found in nutritional yeast and certain cheeses such as cottage cheese and feta cheese.

What is the proper vitamin D intake for an adult?

· Men and Women 14+ Years: 2.4mcg

6) Iron

What does Iron do for runners?

Iron may just be one of the most important mineral for a runner. The reason being is that iron heavily regulates body temperature and eliminates fatigue. The many other health benefits of iron for a runner are immunity boosting agent and supports proper organ system functions. All of these benefits together create an energized body system that allows for a runner to run more efficiently.

What happens if you are Iron deficient?

Any runner definitely does not want an iron deficiently because the chances are they will not even be able to get out of bed. An iron deficiency sneaks up on an individual through body weakness and severe fatigue. Therefore, it is vital for a runner to include iron daily in their diet.

How can you get more Iron in your diet?

The saying, “the greener the better” is true when it comes to consuming more iron. In fact, whole green leafy vegetables are known for having the most iron. With that said, an individual can have a heathy cereal for breakfast or whole grains and for dinner broccoli and lentils to ensure proper iron levels are met.

What is the proper vitamin D intake for an adult?

· Men 19 – 50+ Years: 8mg
· Women 19 – 50+ Years: 18mg
· Men and Women 51+ Years: 8mg

7) Vitamin A

What does vitamin A do for runners?

Vitamin A is one of the most unique vitamins being that it is an antioxidant and that is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin A, however, plays one of the most critical roles for a runner ensuring that proper vision and neurological function. Most importantly, vitamin A reduces inflammation, which can happen to the body of a runner especially after a long extensive run.

What happens if you are vitamin A deficient?

No individual wants a Vitamin A deficiency, reason being that a Vitamin A deficiency can lead to pancreatic disorders and visual impairment. It goes without saying that without proper vision, a runner can no longer achieve the gear results they once had as a runner.

How can you get more vitamin A in your diet?

If you are a runner that needs to include more Vitamin A in your diet, you are in for a rather yummy treat. Vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes, mango, apricots, carrots, and even plan oils such as olive oil. Therefore, a healthy smoothie made from mango and apricots can do the trick for an individuals proper dose of Vitamin A.

What is the proper vitamin D intake for an adult?

· Men 19+ Years: mcg RAE
· Women 19+ Years: 700 mcg RAE

Three Best Vitamin Supplements for Runners

1) Swanson Ultra Vitamin A, C, E, and Selenium

Receive your daily dose of one of the best vitamin brands in the industry. With their trusted formula, health and wellness enthusiasts heavily trust Swanson for their ability to produce some of the best gel vitamins in the industry. With this an individual can have their proper daily intake of vitamin A, C, E, and S. Meeting the guidelines forth by the FDA, this product can last up to 24 months.

PROS

  • Shelf life of up to 24 months.
  • Trusted company with plenty years of experience.
  • One of the most touted vitamin brands to date.
  • Receiving your daily dose of rare vitamins is made easy.
  • FDA approved.
  • Does not smell bad or taste odd.

CONS

  • Not that many reviews online.
  • Users have mentioned that composition is not as great as leading brands.

2) Centrum Adult Multivitamin

Centrum may be one of the most popular multivitamin brands in the industry today. Perfect for men over 50 or individuals looking to better support their eye, heart, and brain functions will love these easy to take multivitamins. Most importantly, this manufacturer has focused completely on verified non-GMO and Gluten free multivitamins that are proven for long term positive health effects.

PROS

  • Trusted brand with plenty years of experience.
  • High level vitamin is D.
  • #1 Doctor recommended brand to date.
  • Non-GMO and Gluten Free.
  • The most complete multivitamin composition
  • Supports bone, muscle, and brain health.
  • The coating makes it easy to take.

CONS

  • Users have mentioned the sizes of the tablets are too large.

3) Garden of Life Vitamin B Complex

The Vitamin B complex may be the hardest vitamin list for individuals to daily consume. Therefore, this manufacturer and trusted brand has made it easier for individuals to receive their daily vitamin dose. With all of the vitamins ranging from B1-B12, an individual can rest assured that they are consuming on the healthiest vitamin supplements in the industry todayl. With that said, this energy supplement supports metabolism function, heart health, and many more important functions for runners.

PROS

  • Gain mental and physical energy.
  • Includes a RAW probiotic and enzyme blend.
  • Trusted brand.
  • Vegan blend that is RAW and gluten free.
  • Non-GMO and no blinders or fillers.
  • Boost heart health and immune system function.

CONS

  • Includes yeast which some individuals do not like.
  • The tablet is considered somewhat big

Final Thoughts For Runners

As we come to a close, it is in agreement that we say that it is detrimental for runners to include as many essential daily vitamins in their diet as possible. The reason being is that without the needed vitamins and minerals for proper health, a runner will not be able to performance at peak performance.
Vitamins and Minerals not only to help a runner’s ability to run faster and longer, they overall, enhance the wellbeing of the body to ensure a long healthy life ahead. A step now towards a healthier body begins with the proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. With this, soon enough this step will lead to the run of your life!

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