Vitamins and minerals to help improve energy for running

Acetyl L carnitineAshwagandhaB complexMagnesiumVitamin B12Vitamin CIronEnergy

Vitamins and minerals to help improve energy for running

Running has become one of the most popular forms of exercise in Australia. In 2012, it was reported that 8% of Australians aged 15 and above have tried running or jogging, an increase compared to previous years (1). Running’s popularity in Australia is because it can be done at any time of day, and is cost-effective.

However, during the cooler seasons, some individuals may feel the need to spend more time indoors and much less time running outdoors. This could be attributed to lower temperatures affecting a person’s metabolism during the cold season. Our metabolism uses up more fuel to maintain the body’s optimal functioning and sustain a strong immune system to fend off cold season-specific illnesses, leaving less usable energy for vigorous exercise like running (2).

A nutritious and well-balanced diet can help you boost energy for running. You may also choose to add specific supplements to your daily diet to give your body the energy it needs for regular exercise like running.

How to boost energy for running with supplements

Vitamins and minerals to boost energy specifically for running can support the repair of muscles, bone health, or post-exercise recovery. While vitamin packs can contain a variety of supplements, it can be useful to know which ones can help keep you running for longer.

Vitamin packs

Here are some supplement options that can provide energy-boosting effects.

Iron

Iron is an important mineral in our body that supports energy production processes (3). During cellular energy production, iron provides the energy used by the compound adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short (4). ATP acts like an energy storage in our bodies, releasing energy when we need it, such as during exercise.

Having sufficient iron in the body maintains and supports ATP energy release activity for you to be able to kickstart your day’s run after being in a less active state at work, school or at home pre-exercise (28). Besides helping regulate energy production, iron also maintains energy levels. This is important for maintaining a steady pace while you’re running. Along with extra training and experience, you can improve your endurance, and run for longer distances (3).

Iron is not naturally produced by our bodies, so we consume it mainly from foods like meats and seafood, and plant-based food such as nuts, beans, vegetables, and grains (5). Men are recommended to take 8 mg of iron per day, while women and adolescent girls have a higher recommended daily intake of 18 mg per day to support the loss of iron during menstruation (6).

*Iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha can be considered as part of your vitamin packs for energy as the ancient herb has long been prized in Ayurvedic medicine. Its most valuable therapeutic properties includes promoting physical endurance, which is needed for you to get through daily activities, including exercise (7). It's also known to improve muscle strength. On a cellular level, one study has shown that the herb can enhance energy levels by influencing energy generation (9). By incorporating ashwagandha in your daily health regimen, your body can produce the energy it needs for better running endurance, even during colder months when body energy levels are naturally lower.

Traditionally, ashwagandha is consumed via powderising its roots and leaves and mixing the powder with food or turning it into a capsule. Vitable’s Ashwagandha extract uses only the root without the leaves - providing a full spectrum of benefits.

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for maintaining healthy muscles, bones, and nerves as well as supporting energy production (10). The mineral, though not naturally produced by the body, is abundant in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (11). Magnesium supports energy production by breaking down the nutrients we get from the food we eat (especially glucose), and converting them into energy that our body can use.

Without magnesium, this conversion process would not occur, and the food we eat would just turn into waste without providing our bodies the fuel it needs for physically demanding activities, including running as exercise (12). Additionally, magnesium also combines with ATP to create an Mg-ATP, an essential mineral nutrient that provides energy for the body’s different functions (13).

You can opt to add magnesium into your vitamin packs to meet your daily requirement of the nutrient.

Vitamin B complex

Vitamin B complex is composed of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12) (15). All eight B vitamins contribute to our health in different ways, but together, they have a critical role in supporting energy production and maintaining energy levels (15). B vitamins help convert carbohydrates into energy, release energy from food, and act as coenzymes to form ATP, the body’s energy storage (16). Including vitamin B complex as part of your vitamin packs can help boost your energy for running.

Acetyl L-carnitine

Also known as carnitine, ACL, or L-carnitine, this energy-boosting amino acid has to be present in ample amounts in our body for it to maintain and support energy production and levels. It plays a role in our energy production by transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouse, where these acids are oxidised to produce energy (17). Good sources of carnitine are meats, fish, and dairy products. You can also opt to have acetyl L-carnitine in your daily vitamin packs, especially if you have dietary or lifestyle limitations that may limit your food sources of carnitine. *Vitamins and supplements do not replace a balanced diet.

Vitamin C

Although vitamin C is traditionally associated with boosting our immune system, it is also needed for supporting energy production. Vitamin C is present in cellular energy production where it acts as a cofactor to molecules that are required to move fatty acids to generate energy (19). It also works hand-in-hand with carnitine as they both oxidise fatty acids that carnitine transports to the mitochondria to generate energy (20). Aside from supporting immune health, vitamin C can help you maintain your exercise habits and contribute to your physical fitness.

The best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and vegetables (21). The recommended daily intake for men and women for vitamin C is 45 mg/day (21).

Vitamin B12

Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is part of the vitamin B group but has an enhanced role in cell energy production and energy metabolism (23). It is specifically in charge of breaking down fats and carbohydrates during the process of converting food into energy, and using these to maintain and support the energy levels of the body (24). It is also present during the synthesis of succinyl-CoA synthetase which similarly converts lipids and proteins into energy (25).

Aside from supplements, you can also eat more meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and foods with high nutritional yeast to get the vitamin B12 your body needs to maintain your energy levels while you’re out for a run (27).

Vitamin subscription in Australia has been made easy with Vitable. After learning which vitamins and minerals can help support and maintain your energy levels and production during running, you can choose from a wide variety of supplements to create a personalised vitamin pack. You can also add other supplements to tailor fit vitamin supplements to you which can help you achieve your health goals. Vitable Australia has also added vitamin delivery to our services to have it shipped right to your doorstep for total convenience.

Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:

Iron | Ashwagandha | Magnesium | B complex | Acetyl L-carnitine | Vitamin C | Vitamin B12

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.

References:

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