Everyone is looking for an edge these days to get that boost in performance during a race or practice run. There are so many drinks, pills, shakes and powders it can be a very expensive process of trial and error. Today I would like to examine some of the supplements that I have used and work well for me. For disclosure purposes I must inform you that NOBODY paid or gave me anything to mention these products and once again, I am NOT a doctor.
D-Ribose is a supplement which contains a special carbohydrate that is used for energy production in the cells. This carbohydrate is what provides the energy needed for short bursts of power during physical activity. Four tablespoons before exercise is the recommended dose and I like to mix it with water because, while it is sweet to the taste, it is also difficult to swallow in powder form. This powerful particle helps strengthen all muscles, enhances athletic performance, aids in recovery and leads to overall increased energy levels.
N.O.-XPLODE is something that is promoted as a “pre-training performance igniter”. I do not use this for anything except racing 5 and 10k’s. The reason is that it gives you energy, but if misused, your heart will race and you will have an overall feeling of shakiness and nausea. With that said, this supplement really does have its benefits. It provides a noticeable increase in endurance and energy as well as improving oxygen delivery. The flavors are actually pretty tasty but watch your dosage or N.O.-XPLODE may turn into just plain EXPLODE.
NO-Shotgun is something I recently started using before all my runs. Once again, it will give you an enormous increase in energy but DO NOT take it with any other stimulant. The other drawback is that it tastes like yak spit. Only recently did I realize that this product is primarily for building muscle which explains why my weight loss has been minimal, but my pants are fitting better. After using NO-Shotgun for a month, my speed and endurance are better this spring than any others preceding it. We’ll just have to wait and see if the increased leg muscles will help or hurt me in my long runs, but it should be an interesting experiment.
Electrolyte pills are something I have not experimented with too much. Many people swear by them and other runners I know run just fine without them. Approximately half way through a 50k last year I ran across another runner and we started to talk. Long story short, he ended up giving me a few of these and I quickly took them at the next water station. I thought living a healthy lifestyle did not involve taking unknown drugs from a stranger off the street, but I guess not. It’s hard to tell if they had any real effect after one use but I did not suffer from cramps or dehydration and would be open to trying them again.
Ubiquinol COQ10 is a good supplement for everyday use and the health benefits are numerous. It helps to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, promotes good oral health, renal health, fatigue reduction and reduces migraine headaches. Those are just a few of the positive effects of Ubiquinol. COQ10 is produced naturally in the body and most of us are severely lacking. That is why I take 2000mg daily and benefit greatly from the positive qualities.
It’s confusing to decide what supplement may be right for you. Most of mine have been recommended by friends and athletes and I only provided information about the ones that seem to really work for me. For your own safety please read all directions on any supplement you decide to purchase. But if there is a powder or drink that is going to make me a little faster in a 5k or feel a little less terrible at mile 12, you can bet I will try it. So, if you find yourself a completely delirious and chasing a white rabbit down a hole in your next trail run or having a tea party with the Mad Hatter at the mile 22 water station, you may need to try some of the aforementioned supplements. Oh, and maybe some therapy.
Run for fun and race to place!
© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running