There are so many supplements you can take on a daily basis—multis, spirulina, protein powder, maca, turmeric… You get the idea. And while each has a place in the diet and most all offer proven research-backed benefits, there are three supplements you should definitely include in your daily rotation, both on and off training seasons.
Put the supplements somewhere you’ll remember to take them (like next to your coffee cup!), and make this the one simple resolution you keep this year.
Cod Liver Oil
While most people say any fish oil supplement will do, I’m a huge advocate of cod liver oil. The primary nutrients you’re getting from all fish oils are omega 3s, which are essential fatty acids the standard American diet is typically low in. Omega 3s are essential to heart, lung, and joint health. As a runner, omega 3s will help you fight off persistent inflammation.
In addition to omega 3s, cod liver oil will give you nice doses of Vitamin D and Vitamin A. You typically need to supplement both vitamins, and they need each other for optimal absorption. Both vitamins are essential to your immune system, among playing other roles in the body.
Everything you feel, both physically and emotionally, is now believed to be directly linked to your gut. Simply put, the state of your microbiome and the number of friendly, health-promoting bacteria are pretty much linked to every single system in your body. It determines how efficiently your system runs (including affecting things like your metabolism, immune health, neurotransmitters and the central nervous system, nutrient absorption, inflammation and more). And just because you’re seemingly “healthy” doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a daily boost of microflora.
A daily probiotic is believed to help you be a better runner by boosting your gut microflora, which could possibly translate into fewer bathroom pit stops, a stronger immune system, and improved weight, mood and heart health—all things compromised when you train hard.
Even if you have the cleanest diet out there, a multivitamin will not hurt you. It will cover your bases and give you a baseline of essential nutrients for the day. I’m a huge advocate of multis that come from real food (versus synthetic isolated vitamins). Look for vitamins processed this way. MegaFood is a great option.