With Spring races upon us, we’re dedicating this month to all things running on the Neat blog. As Team Neat gears up to run the Hackney Half ourselves, we’ll be sharing all our favourite tips and tricks to make sure you’re running stronger and faster than ever this year. Which includes what supplements can help to fuel your performance…
How you decide to fuel pre-run depends on your personal preferences. Many people find that eating a high protein meal a couple of hours beforehand can hugely benefit their energy levels. After all, you need to have something in the tank for when the going gets tough! We swear by a good bowl of protein oats, or a veggie-packed omelette. Others may prefer to keep it light, especially if training early in the morning. This is when a simple protein shake, mixed with water, almond or oat milk, is ideal.
Although to be used in moderation, caffeine is also a hugely effective tool for fuelling your runs, due to its impact on alertness and arousal. In fact, we wrote a whole blogpost on its impact on training and performance, here! Now, who’s up for a flat white?
What you do after your run is just as important as the workout itself. Alongside stretching & sleep, refuelling smart is crucial to repair the muscle tissue you've broken down during exercise – which is where protein comes in! Wholefood sources of protein are great, but a scoop of whey protein and water will be absorbed the quickest, making it ideal for post-run recovery. And don’t forget to include a good portion of carbohydrates (and micro-nutrients!) at your next meal too.
Obviously, water is generally essential but its particularly important after running. If you’ve had a particularly long and hot run, consider adding a pinch of salt to re-balance what has been lost in your sweat.
For those racking up the miles every week, it’s important to consider what else might be missing from your diet that could be impacting your performance. Fish oil is said to fight inflammation and reduce lactic acid build up, therefore reducing muscle soreness. Vitamin D and Calcium will help to keep your bones nice and healthy too.
The Main Takeaway?
You can fuel your performance and enhance recovery without anything too fancy. A balanced diet, paired with some simple supplementation is enough, so don’t waste your money on anything with hundreds of ingredients that you don’t understand.