A lot of people want to lose weight. Obesity is one of the biggest health issues in the world today. Almost 2 billion people were overweight in 2016. It can lead to many cardiovascular diseases, elevated cholesterol, stress, and much more. When thinking about losing weight, the first idea that comes to mind to most people is running.
There are many ways to burn calories, but running doesn’t require anything. Simply put, you don’t have to buy a bike or expensive gym equipment. All you need are comfortable running shoes, and you’re good to go. However, this sounds a lot easier than it actually is.
Anyone who is saying that losing weight is easy is lying to you. However, with the right approach and hard work, you can start seeing results really soon. Now let’s see how you can use running to your advantage.
Isn’t running the best weight loss method in itself? (Not necessarily)
Running is an excellent way to lose weight. Many people have used it successfully to burn excess calories. Over 60 million people went out running during 2018 in the US. However, you need to consider many things when looking at the whole journey.
First of all, running is so popular because there is a low entry requirement. Simply put, most people can go out and run. Only people who are morbidly obese or those who have ankle issues can’t just start running.
Furthermore, running can be fun as you can do it with your friends and explore beautiful nature and scenery while at it.
Running is Very Effective at Burning Calories
The process of losing weight comes down to spending more calories than you consume. Calories are basically energy that we need for our bodies to function properly. When we eat more calories than we need, our body stores it in the form of fat.
When we exercise, we burn energy (calories) for our muscles to function. However, not all types of training are equal when it comes to energy consumption. Running is a form of high-intensity interval training.
This type of activity is very good for burning fat because it involves using a lot of muscle groups effectively over a short period. Simply put, you are going to burn much more calories with 30 minutes of running than you would by lifting weights.
Why Running Might Not be so Effective
Yes, running is a great way to burn energy, but it can be counter-effective. However, running can be deceptive. Not all forms of running are very effective at burning a lot of calories. A lot of people just presume that they’ve spent an X number of calories and then stuff themselves with food.
Furthermore, there is a known side-effect called “runner’s hunger”. After each running session, people are usually swept with a strong feeling of hunger. They end up eating more than they spend during their running session.
Dealing with Runger (runner’s hunger)
It’s very easy to get caught in a vicious cycle of overeating after a good day of running. Our bodies need to recover after being stressed out, and this is completely normal. However, if you out-eat the calories you’ve burned, you won’t lose weight effectively.
Here are some tricks to help you curb your hunger and avoid this issue:
- Eat a small meal before running:A small meal before running can give you the energy you need for your activity. At the same time, it can reduce the food craving you have after you’ve finished.
- Get small nutrition snacks during a run:Small doses of carbs and protein can help get the energy you need for your run while speeding up your metabolism.
- Drink lots of water:While you’re running, rehydrate with water to fill up your belly to reduce hunger. You can also drink water before each meal to be fuller and eat less.
- Get protein post-run:Protein can help you recover, build muscles, and studies even show that it can be good for burning fat.
You still need tons of energy, so dieting becomes quite complex
When it comes to weight loss for runners, dieting is very important. When you start working out, you simply want to eat more. Your muscles need to recover, and it’s easy to start overeating. That’s why dieting properly is so important.
At the same time, when people start running regularly, they feel like they “deserve” to eat. The result is that they make things even worse. Their muscles grow, and they gain weight without losing fat. Even though you need to eat to get the necessary energy (carbs) and protein for recovery, you need to keep the calories down.
This can be extremely difficult because you have to learn more about food and calculate your intake of protein, fats, carbs, and calories. At the same time, a lot of food that is rich with nutrients but has low calories can be expensive. That’s where supplements come into play.
Using supplements to fuel your runs without adding tons of calories
Supplements aren’t the boogieman. Professional athletes use them all the time for better results and performance. People who don’t know much, consider supplements to be the same as steroids. However, there are many other supplements out there that are safe.
Supplements are nothing more than added substances your body needs to get the desired results. They make it easier to get everything your body needs without adding tons of calories or eating a lot of food. For example, instead of eating 500g of chicken, you can simply get a protein shake.
Here are some of the general benefits of supplements:
- They help enhance your performance: better performance leads to improved weight loss.
- They save your money: instead of having to spend a lot of money on expensive food, supplementation allows you to get all the valuable nutrients for a fraction of the price.
- Supplements are easy to use: it takes a few seconds to ingest a supplement and no need to disturb your diet or ingestion.
Now let’s see which supplements are the best options for enhancing your running performance and overall weight loss.
List of the best 7 supplements for runners with Type/Brand
L-Carnitine is an important amino acid that is a part of almost every cell in our bodies. Our body makes this amino acid, and it contributes to energy production. L-Carnitine can be found in foods like fish and meat.
Acetyl L-Carnitine is a form of this amino acid with an acetyl group that is naturally converted by our body from the base L-Carnitine. It helps improve motor functions and muscle contractions. Taking Acetyl supplements means that no amount of this compound is lost, and the effects are much quicker than when waiting for our body to produce it from the amino acid itself.
Fat loss benefits: It sends down fatty acids to your muscles, which leads to increased endurance and energy production, allowing you to run more. Additionally, it increases fat burnings by speeding-up your metabolism.
Best Acetyl L-Carnitine Supplements:
- Jarrow Formula Acetyl L-Carnitine
A quality formula for a low price. It’s a pro-vegan supplement that comes in a capsule.
- MRM Acetyl L-Carnitine
This supplement comes in a pill combined with vitamin B. It’s very affordable and praised by users.
- Swanson Premium Acetyl L-Carnitine
It comes in 100 and 240 capsule bottles. Each capsule is 500 mg, and customers report a strong energy boost.
- Life Extension Acetyl L-Carnitine
Life Extension is a known brand that makes supplements. They’ve invested a lot of money in researching the products and can guarantee their quality.
Beta-Alanine is a variation of Alanine, a natural amino acid. Our body can’t produce Beta-Alanine, and this is why we need to get it through nutrition. However, foods don’t have enough of this amino acid, while it’s especially important for people who are physically active.
It’s one of the most popular supplements for athletes worldwide. Countless clinical trials have shown its positive effects on muscle performance, and it promotes endurance and reduces fatigue. That’s why it’s generally a great pre-workout supplement.
Fat loss benefits: Beta-Alanine doesn’t have any direct effects on weight loss. However, more endurance and improved performance allow you to run more often and in longer time intervals, leading to better results.
Best Beta-Alanine Supplements:
- Transparent Labs RawSeries
Transparent Labs is Apple of the supplement world. All of their products are top-quality and very effective. But unlike Apple products, they aren’t overpriced.
- Optimum Nutrition Beta-Alanine Powder
This is a high-quality blend that gives great workout results. It’s one of the rare blends of phosphates and L-histidine in a bet-alanine supplement.
- PrimaForce Beta-Alanine
A product from a reliable company with pure beta-alanine. A good solid product with a nice dosage and low price tag.
- Beta-Cret by ProMera Sports
Combines several ingredients that improve exercise performance. It’s a good proprietary blend but doesn’t have the actual dosage of Beta-Alanine.
Branched-Chain amino acids are the three essential amino acids, including valine, isoleucine, and leucine. For people who work out, all types of amino acids are important. The BCAA chain is crucial for muscle growth, protein synthesis, preventing muscle breakdown, and increased muscle endurance.
BCAA supplements are used by various fitness enthusiasts, powerlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes. They are often combined with other amino acids to further improve recovery and muscle growth.
Fat loss benefits: BCAAs help your body tap into the fat deposits of your body while working out, which means that it makes your training more efficient.
Best BCAA Supplements:
- Transparent BCAA Glutamine
Another top-of-the-line supplement by Transparent Labs. All the ingredients are transparent, and it’s a nice blend of amino acids.
- Xtend BCAA
One of the most popular BCAA blends with 3 essential amino acids. It comes in over a dozen different flavors.
- Bulk Supplements BCAA
A good source of branched-chain ACs, and an affordable option for a pure BCAA powder.
- BSN Aminox
A good mix of BCAA aminos that work almost instantly. The downside is that the ratio of amino acids isn’t transparent.
Runners sweat more than other athletes. When running, you lose a lot of water and minerals that are important for body function. Some of these minerals are: magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and so on. This group of minerals is called electrolytes, and it’s essential to replenish them while running.
Even though water is good for hydration, these supplements combine higher doses of these minerals that help you go through with your intense workout. Electrolyte supplements come in various forms, from liquid, tablets, to powder.
Fat loss benefits: People on low-calorie diets that drink a lot of fluid can experience drastic electrolyte loss. With supplementation, your body will have all the minerals it needs for exercise and proper functioning.
Best electrolyte Supplements:
- Nuun Sport Electrolytes
A very convenient tube of tablet electrolytes that are easy to use and come with well-balanced ingredients.
- Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder
An excellent powder supplement with various minerals and 6 types of electrolytes.
- Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier
Mixes really easily with water and hydrates quickly through Cellular Transport Technology.
- Skratch Labs Mix
Comes with natural ingredients and a wide choice of flavors.
When running our body primarily relies on carbohydrates as a source of energy. Even if you have a nice intake of carbs during long and intense running sessions, your body can deplete all the carbs stored in the muscles. Energy gels are small doses of sugars (carb) that can give you a quick boost of energy.
However, it’s generally recommended only to use a single small dose. Getting excess amounts of sugars during a running session can cause your body to crash while trying to process these compounds. The body uses carbs differently from one individual to another.
If you feel that you don’t have enough energy for a full run, this supplement can help you go through it.
Fat loss benefits: Even though energy gels are basically carbs, they are really concentrated and come in small doses. They make weight loss for runners easier as they don’t fatigue that easily.
Best energy/running gel supplements:
- SIS GO Isotonic Energy
It has a good amount of carbs and electrolytes that can support your running.
- PowderBar Powergel Shots
Nice jelly sweets filled with liquid. They taste good, and you don’t even have to stop running when taking them.
- GU Roctane Gel
A delightful combination of carbs, along with amino acids and caffeine.
- Huma Chia Energy Gel
This gel is made out of natural food and has a pleasant taste.
100% Protein Isolate
Protein is vital for building muscle. However, it also contributes to weight loss. Furthermore, whey protein isolate contains pure protein and is mixed with water to make a low-calorie drink. It contains essential amino acids that are quickly absorbed.
It can be taken as a protein shake mixed with water to deliver the necessary proteins for muscle growth, recovery, and endurance.
Fat loss benefits: Protein is one of the most tested compounds. Numerous studies show how beneficial it is for body functions and overall muscle health. It’s one of the most important supplements for any kind of exercise.
Best protein supplements:
Every serving has 100 calories, 20g of protein, and 3g of carbs. It’s a completely organic formula.
- Naked Whey
A pure 100% whey protein.
- Garden of Life Organic Whey
A quality protein infused with probiotics and BCAA for improved training performance.
- Tera’s Whey Simply Pure
Gluten-free protein from grass-fed cows.
Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin D
The amount of magnesium in your body determines how much vitamin D it can produce. People with high levels of magnesium have a lower chance of vitamin D deficiency. Magnesium reduces fatigue, improves sleep quality, prevents muscle spasm, and improves recovery.
On the other hand, calcium is essential for blood circulation and improves muscle movement. It also makes bones and joints strong, which is essential for runners to avoid injuries. Additional vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.
Some supplements come with all three, but in general, you don’t need all of them. You can take them separately, depending on your needs.
Fat loss benefits: All these vitamins are vital for improving your body function during and after running. They can help you utilize your training, get proper sleep, and rest, which are very important for maintaining health and energy over a longer period.
Best magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D supplements:
This capsule supplement includes all three important vitamins, along with D3, for the best effects.
This is a trusted company with over 40 years of experience in making vitamin supplements.
A well-priced mix of vitamins.
We hope this article has helped you understand weight loss for runners. With a couple of good habits, discipline, and good supplements, you can easily get the results in a few weeks. Start slowly until you learn how your body reacts and then increase your running intensity. Good luck!