If you are looking for the most important supplements for marathon runners, there are a few that are more beneficial than the rest. Though proper nutrition and a balanced diet are important for marathon runners, there are certain nutrients that are more crucial than others for these individuals who are going to be running long distances and exerting a great deal of physical energy. There are a few vitamins that, while important for everyone, are particularly important for marathon runners.
Many people underestimate the importance of vitamin D. However, it is quite important that everyone have an adequate intake of this vitamin; this is especially true for runners. It has been shown to be likely to increase maximal oxygen uptake, which can increase the endurance of a runner. It can also boost the ability of the muscles to recover, which is important for a marathon runner because of all of the stress that they are putting on their muscles with all of the distance running that they are doing. Specifically, it reduces inflammatory markers, which minimizes inflammation of the muscles and thus minimizes pain. In addition, it is thought to build muscle, which is very important for marathon runners as more muscle will make them stronger. Though it has not been conclusively proven to strengthen muscles, there is research that has shown that adding vitamin D increases muscle force, as well as power output, in individuals who were previously deficient in this vitamin.
Almost everyone is vitamin D deficient, which is not a good thing considering how important it is. The deficiency can lead to higher likelihood of bone disorders, as well as depression and muscle weakness. Runners are at even more risk of this deficiency because the exercise that they do depletes their bodies of vitamin D. It is more difficult to obtain vitamin D than it is to obtain many other vital nutrients, as they can get it through sun exposure and through certain foods and supplements (the more bioavailable form of this vitamin is only found in animal products and not in plant products).
There are certain other vitamins for marathon runners that are very important as well, namely vitamins C and E. They are good antioxidants and are great for distance runners. Vitamin C is well known to be good for the immune system, and it battles oxidative damage that can be precipitated by environmental toxins and exercise as well. Vitamin E also battles free radical damage that can be the result of exercise, and it is good for the cardiovascular system as well. These vitamins for marathon runners can be taken in supplement form.
As you can see, there are many vitamins that are important for marathon runners. These can be great both for the performance of the runner and for his or her general health as well.