My timing wasn't the greatest, but I have to take baby steps (I have to remind myself of this!) and make sure that I get better before I go "all out" again. Besides, my reduction in running miles has enabled me to fully recover from the Boston Marathon and it has helped me find motivation to cross-train and strength train.
Today I want to talk about the supplements that I take as a runner. There are four vitamins that I take and I consider them my "must haves."
Iron, Omega 3 fish oil, Bioastin, and Vitamin D.
Since I don't eat red meat, my iron levels tend to be low, so I supplement my iron deficiency with 25mg of iron a day. The omega 3 fish oil has a number of benefits, which include reduction of heart disease, reduction of joint pain and stiffness (very important for runners!), prevention of cancer and stability in mental health (woohoo, no PMS!). Bioastin has been considered "nature's strongest antioxidant." It protects cellular function and supports joint and tendon health (important for runners).
Last but not least: VITAMIN D. I would venture to say that if I would only be allowed to take one vitamin, I would choose Vitamin D. The "sunshine vitamin" like some people like to call it, has a vast number of benefits, which include:
- Aiding in the promotion of calcium absorption in the bones. Calcium cannot be absorbed into your bones without Vitamin D. So, more calcium consumption does not equal stronger bones.
- Vitamin D deficiency can impair muscle contractions, which can affect the way your heart pumps blood in your body. This in turn, can also affect your kidneys because the lack of blood pumping into your kidneys will not enable the kidneys to get rid of waste and toxins in your body.
- Vitamin D helps your immune system fight off diseases such as the common cold.
- Vitamin D influences cell production which means that it helps with the creation of new cells. This is extremely important because most diseases such as cancer, stem from abnormal cell growth.
Another interesting factor about Vitamin D, is the link that researchers have made with running performance and the deficiency of this vitamin. Since low levels of vitamin D can affect one's immune system (point #3), researchers found that vitamin D deficient runners got injured and sick more often. They also pointed out that some runners would experience more joint pains and inflammation in their muscles, which makes sense because low levels of vitamin D affects one's bones (point #1) and one's blood flow (point #2).
So my friends, make sure to get plenty of sun (in a reasonable amount of increments) and don't forget to take vitamin D. I take 10,000 IU of vitamin D which people think is a crazy amount, but I have never found any literature indicating an over-dose of the vitamin. If you like to air in the side of caution, I believe that about 2000 IU would be a good amount.
What vitamins do you take?