Supplements: what I use

2017 started and it’s finally time to ditch the wine and grab the coconut water.

I have consulted a sports nutritionist to finally get my nutrition on point. As you know,  this is one of my main goals for this year and it will also help me to achieve my other, most imminent goal: running my 1st marathon.  I have never taken supplements before but decided to give my nutritionist’s advice a go.

Please note that this is a space where I share my personal journey  on running with chronic asthma and allergies. I am not an expert. And, also, supplements don’t do miracles!

Now, the goal of my nutrition plan is to get my food in order so I can have less supplements. But as I will be running around 40km a week + doing strenght training this stuff should help my body to survive the transition in exercise volume.

So, without further ado, this is my current schedule.

 

Pre Training:
1 dose (2g) of BCAA

Post Training

On short runs:
½ dose of BCAA (1g)
1 dose (5g) of Glutamine
1 capsule of NAC N-Acetylcysteine

On longer runs or strength training sessions:
½ dose of BCAA (1g)
1 dose (5g) of Glutamine
1 capsule of NAC N-Acetylcysteine

Evenings:
1 dose (5g) of Glutamine

So, what is all this stuff?

I have copied info from Examine.com  –  possibly the best unbiased source out there about supplements.

BCAA
This is the quick snapshot from Examine.com:

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are three amino acids with similar structures that beneficially influence the muscles. They can be found in any food containing protein, such as eggs or meat. Supplementation is not necessary, but BCAAs may benefit the body if taken at specific times. BCAA supplementation, for people with low dietary protein intake, can promote muscle protein synthesis and increase muscle growth over time. It can also be used to prevent fatigue in novice athletes.

 As a vegan and someone who is not really following a fully healthy diet (YET!) I have shown some iron and other deficiencies. Again, this is is just an aid on this phase as I adapt to a new meal plan and up my exercise amount.

GLUTAMINE

A conditionally essential amino acid which only appears to benefit the body as supplementation when otherwise deficient (vegans, vegetarians with low dairy intake) or during prolonged endurance exercise. Glutamine is a very effective intestinal and immune system health compound, as these cells use glutamine as the preferred fuel source rather than glucose.

Again, as a vegan with some diet deficiencies, this could be helpful.  My nutritionist prescribed this due to my previous gut issues and as a precaution for longer runs.

As Examine.com states:

(…) endurance events exceeding 2 hours do tend to show decreases in serum glutamine  level. Both supplementation of glutamine and increasing protein intake from food (in the dose of 20-30g animal source protein) can alleviate this decline in serum glutamine and potentially can reduce damage to immune cells associated with prolonged cardiovascular exercise. 

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a prodrug for L-cysteine, which is used for the intention of allowing more glutathione to be produced when it would normally be depleted. Through glutathione buffering, NAC provides antioxidative effects and other benefits.

Why am I using it: my nutritionist thinks I could use some help on recovery and reducing lactic acid. It also helps the neurovascular tissue to metabolize vitamin B12 (which I need to take as a vegan – see below).

 

Vitamin B12
Apparently all vegans take this (oops).  This is an essential vitamin mainly found in animal produce (although also found in seaweed and some other vegan options). B12 is essential to avoid anaemia especially in a time  where you are putting your body through stress.  I had some blood tests recently and didn’t have alarming low levels of B12. I take one of these every week or every 3 days as maintenance.

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Vitamin D
This is usually low in everyone’s body in the UK during the winter hahah. I take mine as a spray so it’s super convenient.  You can’t get Vitamin D anywhere else but from the SUN – so there is no way to work around this one if you are stuck in gloomy weather…

 

That’s it! What do you think?

Do you use supplements?

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