Though there can be a lot of debate about which vitamins can be considered the best vitamins for runners, there are two vitamins that are particularly needed by runners. If someone is preparing for races or a marathon, he or she should be boosting intake of vitamin C and vitamin E.
In a study done by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, nine runners took 500 milligrams of vitamin C and 100 IUs of vitamin D every day for two weeks. They would then run a five-mile timed trial in harsh conditions, namely a chamber that was ozone polluted, hot, and humid.
The vitamins made the concentrations of antioxidants in the blood of the runners go up, and these numbers were increased before and after their races. The runners who took vitamins had higher concentrations when compared to another trial where runners had taken placebo pills. This is significant to know it because it was the runners who had the biggest increase in concentrations of antioxidants that had the biggest time improvements as well. Doing exercise in a polluted environment, such as the one in the study, makes for a more oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to the creation of inflammation causing compounds. However, antioxidants that are present can take away these free radicals, which reduces oxidative stress and stops airway inflammation. Airway inflammation can cause injury to the lungs and makes them less efficient while people are exercising. This is why the people with the higher antioxidant levels performed better, particularly in the environment that was utilized in the study.
As such, it is important that people, particularly runners, consume plenty of vitamin C and vitamin E, particularly when they are actively exercising on a regular basis. Whether or not vitamin C and vitamin E are indeed the best vitamins for runners can be up for debate, but it is pretty obvious that they are at the very least very important vitamins for runners or anyone who is doing regular exercise and wants to perform at his or her optimal level.
People can consume these vitamins in the form of supplements, but it is preferable that they consume them in the form of whole healthy foods. Good sources of vitamin C and vitamin E include broccoli, citrus fruits, spinach, kiwi, tomatoes, mango, and sweet potatoes. People should make sure not only to consume appropriate levels of vitamin C and vitamin E, but also pay attention to the rest of their diets and make sure they are consuming all of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Though a lot of practice and physical hard work is what most runners focus on when they are preparing for a race or marathon, a well-rounded and healthy diet can go a long way in making you the best runner possible and helping you win that race.