With any type of training, you are basically tearing your muscles and hurting your body. Yes, you read it right, you are actually hurting yourself. The trick is that our bodies are fantastic because they can use valuable nutrients and recover.
With each cycle, our body recovers even stronger. When running, you are using a lot of different muscle groups and putting pressure on your joints and bones. You might think that running intensely for an extended period is the most important thing, but it isn’t.
You need to rest properly and recover so that you can actually reap the benefits of that workout. Not only will your body be stronger, but you will also be prepared for the next workout and prevent any pain or injury. To achieve proper recovery, you need enough rest and good nutrition.
However, getting the right vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from food can be really difficult and expensive. Luckily, there are various supplements you can use for recovery. Today we’re going to talk about them.
Supplements go with proper nutrition
You might think that supplements are complicated, but they aren’t actually. Each of them comes with a suggested serving you usually take once or twice per day. You don’t have to change your diet in any way, simply add the supplements in your routine.
Supplements are there just to give you additional nutrients you don’t get enough from your food. They don’t have a lot of calories, so if your goal is to lose weight, they won’t get in your way. Some recovery supplements for runners can even be used as a low-calorie substitute for meals.
Supplements can’t replace your food
One common mistake that people make is that they try to use supplements as food. Even though you can replace a single meal with some shake combined with oatmeal or some fruit, it doesn’t mean you should do it for all of your meals.
Supplements on their own aren’t good for your digestive system. At the same time, food has many nutrients and vitamins that you can’t find in supplements.
Best types of recovery supplements
When you start your search for supplements, you will see that there are many different types and brands to choose from. In our opinion, you don’t need more than these five types of supplements. We’ve also picked some of the best products for each category.
BCAAs are a chained group of amino acids made out of isoleucine, valine, and leucine. These essential amino acids are great for muscle growth, increased endurance, and muscle recovery. Various studies of BCAAs have also shown that they prevent protein breakdown and muscle damage.
- BSN AMINOx
- Comes in 5 different flavors
- Easy to mix in water
- Has BCAAs, L-Citrulline, L-Alanine
- Includes electrolytes
- Good price
This supplement has a lot of science in it. Apart from BCAAs, it has a couple of other amino acids that can help recovery and workouts. When you look at the cost per gram, this is a very affordable BCAA supplement. It has a fruity artificial taste like syrup because of sweeteners and soy.
The supplement also features taurine, which is also suitable for recovery and muscle cramping. However, the exact dosages of amino acids aren’t provided. As far as effectiveness is concerned, it works well, but it has large dosages that you need to put down with each serving.
- Optimum Nutrition PRO BCAA
- Trusted brand
- 8g of BCAAs and 13g of amino acids
- Includes electrolytes
- Has glutamine
This is a powerful BCAA product that has glutamine, phytonutrients, and electrolytes. It’s an overall supplement for training. It comes in several flavors, all of which are quite tasty. Optimum Nutrition is a known brand that makes all kinds of supplements, and they have a standard for quality.
It has no sugar and includes antioxidants as well. Each serving has 10 calories and 2 grams of carbs. One of the downsides is that there is only a single size, and it also includes soy.
- Cellucor COR-PERFORMANCE Beta BCAA Powder
- Each serving has 2.5g of BCAA
- 5 calories
- Low amount of carbs per serving (less than 1g)
- Nice taste
- Has beta-alanine
COR-Performance Beta BCAA has all the building blocks your body needs to grow and recover. It has BCAA, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Leucine. It also includes Citrulline Malate and Beta-Alanine in the mix to boost the efficiency of this highly active compound.
It’s a rich formula that doesn’t include any gimmicky ingredients. All of the ingredients are here for a reason, and that is to maximize performance and improve recovery.
Turmeric or Curcuma Longa is an Asian spice, but recently it has found its way into the fitness world for other uses. The greatest benefit of turmeric is that it has exceptional anti-inflammatory effects. It controls inflammation and calms it down by regulating enzymes, proteins, and cytokines.
Its effects also help with muscle soreness caused by an intense workout, which means that it can also prevent inflammation from occurring in the first place.
- Thorne Meriva-SF
- 1 capsule has 250mg of curcumin
- 2 capsule serving
- Bottle of 120 capsules
- Efficient absorption
- No soy
Thorne Meriva-SF is one of the most popular curcumin supplements on the market. It offers great absorption and provides fast relief from soreness and joint pain. It has a unique formula that has bound curcumin to sunflower phospholipids.
It has a “sustained-release” technology, which ensures longer effects. The curcumin attached to phospholipid improves absorption making the effects strong and quick. The formula doesn’t have any soy, dairy, or gluten.
- Vimerson Health Turmeric Curcumin
- 2 capsules per serving
- 1200 mg of turmeric root per serving
- 100 mg of turmeric root extract per serving
- 10 mg of BioPerine per serving
- Completely natural formula
This is a completely natural curcumin supplement without any GMO ingredients. Apart from the turmeric root extract, the most important ingredient is BioPerine. This patented extract has piperine, which improves absorption without any side effects and improves bioavailability.
Curcumin has no sugar, cholesterol, antibiotics, or artificial ingredients. The product is well-tested and safe to use. It can be used both for chronic inflammation and for people suffering from osteoarthritis.
- Fermented Turmeric
- Sourced ethically
- Vegan product
- No gluten
- No dairy
- No sweeteners or sugars
This is one of the best turmeric supplements in the form of powder. It’s easy to mix with water or any other beverage. It has active anti-inflammatory turmeric combined with probiotics to make digestion easy. It has a non-GMO formula that’s also gluten-free, organic, and vegan.
It’s one of the best recovery supplements for runners that are vegan, vegetarian, and conscious about the environment. It’s one of the rare supplement brands that are all about ethical sourcing.
Anthocyanins are a type of strong antioxidants that can be found in various fruits or veggies. These antioxidants have a lot of different health benefits. However, we will stick to those relevant for recovery.
Anthocyanins lower exhausting and all of the negative effects associated with radical oxygen accumulation during exercise. Other research shows that Anthocyanin can also improve recovery through its anti-inflammatory effects.
Most Anthocyanin supplements are made out of blueberry as this fruit is rich with it, but it doesn’t cost a lot.
- Natural Factors BlueRich Blueberry
- 15 calories per serving
- 1500mg of blueberry extract per serving
- 37 mg of Anthocyanin
- No soy, gluten, sugars, or dairy
This supplement comes in the form of softgels that can be used 1-3 times every day. Apart from anthocyanin, it includes ingredients such as yellow beeswax, sunflower lecithin, and flaxseed oil. It has a variety of natural ingredients and doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners.
The manufacturer is from Canada, and all their products are approved by the FDA and Health Canada. Overall, Natural Factors is a reliable brand in the world of supplements.
- Bulksupplements Pure Blueberry Extract
- Comes in several sizes
- Has lots of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
- 800mg of blueberry extract in each serving
- Isn’t organic
- No gluten or sugar
- Without additives
This is one of the best powder options of anthocyanin supplements. You only need to put a 1/3 of a teaspoon per dose. It gives good results and helps muscles relax properly. The dose can be increased to up to 4 teaspoons per day.
The biggest downside of this supplement is its taste. Many users say that they don’t like the taste at all and that it doesn’t taste like blueberry.
- MegaFood Wild Blueberry
- 336mg of wild blueberry extract in each serving
- Completely organic
- Includes Silica and Vegetable Lubricant
- No soy, dairy, or gluten
This company is in the business of providing fresh foods for over 40 decades. The supplement packs an extract of wild blueberries that they also sell separately, which means that they know what they are using to make the supplement.
A single tablet of MegaFood Wild Blueberry has enough antioxidants like 7 fresh blueberries. You only need to take a single tablet per day to get your dose of antioxidants that will help you with recovery.
There is numerous research showing that Omega-3 leads to better muscle protein synthesis. It regulates an important pathway that is essential for cell growth and production. The mTOR pathway regulation also leads to decreased muscle protein breakdown.
Simply put, even if you’ve overextended your training and damaged your muscles, Omega-3 can help recover them and prevent damage. These fatty acids come from fish oil that can be processed or unprocessed.
- WHC UnoCardio Sports
- 60 softgels
- 1250mg of Omega-3 per serving
- 720 mg of EPA per serving
- 480 mg of DHA per serving
- 500 mg of NEM
WHC is a known brand that produces fish oil products for different uses. WHC UnoCardio Sports is one of the best recovery supplements for runners. Its formula is focused on delivering large amounts of Omega-3 without any nonsense ingredients.
This is a compact but effective formula. Everything is in place to help improve absorption and make the effects longer. It’s made out of non-endangered fish.
- Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
- Comes in several different sizes
- 2,100 mg of EPA per serving
- Has several omega-3s in its formula
- Very potent
This is one of the richest Omega-3 supplements. Nutrigold is a respected company that has certifications from the FDA, World Health Organization, and The International Fish Oil Standards. Each serving has 2,100 mg of very pure DHA and EPA.
The ingredients are sourced sustainably, and fish oil is processed with the highest standards. The result is a very pure and potent product that meets the highest quality standards. It’s one of the most effective Omega-3 supplements.
- NuTru Vegan Omega-3
- 300mg of DHA per serving
- 150mg of EPA per serving
- Rosemary extract
- Vitamin E
- Soft vegan capsules that are easy to digest
NuTru Vegan Omega-3 is one of the rare fish oil products for vegans that includes DHA and EPA as well. This company works with Labdoor, which is one of the most respectable third-party testers in the industry. All of the ingredients are tested with the highest standards and sourced ethically.
Each capsule has 300mg of DHA and 150mg of EPA. This product also includes tocopherols, rosemary extract, purified water, and glycerin. It has no artificial colors or gluten.
Cherry powder or tart cherry is becoming a very popular supplement in the fitness world. Studies show that cherry powder can help improve the recovery process and help with anti-inflammatory effects.
Tart cherry reduces inflammation and oxidative stress caused by physical activity. Even though this supplement is still being tested, many athletes use it already and report great results.
- Sports Research Tart Cherry
- Organic tart cherries
- No additives
- One of the strongest supplements
- Has Anthocyanin and Phytonutrient properties
A single softgel of Tart Cherry Concentrate has 800mg of the whole cherry fruit. The effects are quick and very powerful. It’s one of the most reliable brands on the market when it comes to cherry powder. It includes other ingredients like organic yellow beeswax and virgin olive oil
- Solaray Tart Cherry
- 800mg of tart cherry per serving
- 8 mg of anthocyanin per serving
- Very cheap yet effective
- Capsules are made out of vegetables
It comes from one of the most trusted brands with a long line of supplements. The whole profile of the ingredients is transparent and clear. Tart cherry is the main ingredient without any unnecessary fluff. Overall, this is a simple but effective cherry powder product that brings great value for the cost.
- Eclectic Institute Berry Tart Cherry
- 4400 mg tart cherry per serving
- 4000 mg of dried blackberry
- 600 mg of nettle leaf
This is a very strong formulation of the tart cherry that has 4400mg in each serving. It also includes anthocyanin, but there is no exact dosage on the label. The powder is made out of whole foods and combines several herbs. It’s completely raw, which makes it a bit hard to swallow, but you can just add more water.
Supplements help with recovery time, but you still need to take time to recover
Using recovery supplements for runners can be very helpful. Your body will take less time to recover, you will feel better, and reduce the chances of getting injured. Furthermore, you can train more intensely and get better results.
They are great for both professionals and casual runners. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to rest. Supplements can speed up recovery and help your body return to a healthy state in less time, but they can’t replace sleep.
You need to listen to your body and take a break when it tells you to. Establish proper sleep habits, watch your diet, hydrate your body, and stretch out your muscles. Remember that the best way to improve your results is to find a balance between intense running and rest periods.
We hope this post helps you understand what you need to know about recovery supplements for runners. OF course, you don’t have to use all of these types of supplements at the same time.
See what your body is lacking and slowly start supplementing your diet. Once you see how your body reacts to a supplement, adjust your dosage, and add others if needed.