Need more energy for running long distances? What you consistently put into your body largely influences your running performance. Every so often, I like to mention research-backed natural health supplements, drinks and foods that may significantly help boost your mental and physical stamina, so you can build more progress, more easily, as an endurance runner.
How to Get More Energy for Running Long Distances
I am always looking for more ways to get more energy for running! Here are some natural fatigue-fighters that are well-known for their health benefits and for giving a desired effect with enhancing energy and boosting mood!
Nuts and Seeds
Snacking on nuts and seeds are a delicious deal for guaranteeing energy for running, and here’s why! According to reports from the Los Angeles Center of Human Nutrition, nuts and seeds are high in artery-clearing omega 3 fats which help your muscles burn triglycerides for fuel!
To quickly ignite a lasting jolt of energy for running, all you need to do is smell the aroma of peppermint essential oil, suck on a peppermint-flavored candy, chew peppermint gum, or rub peppermint scented lotion on you. According to Wheeling Jesuit University researchers, sucking on a peppermint candy can crank up your energy levels drastically as it was found to make hard, intensive exercise easier without even realizing it. The science behind how peppermint delivers high-quality energy for running is that the scent of peppermint recharges and stimulates brain cells responsible for alertness!
Schisandra is an Asian berry that may play an important role in curbing fatigue and may significantly help advance your endurance capacity for running. According to Swedish researchers, taking 500-mg a day of Schisandra was found to greatly relieve physical and mental stress and boost concentration and coordination, which are important compliments for endurance running.
Run happy, run farther! More and more research is finding crucial evidence on how rhodiola can produce effects of happiness by lifting symptoms of depression, anxiety and frustration. In a sense, rhodiola can be thought of as an energizing anti-depressant whereby according to Chris Kilham of MedicineHunter.com, taking 150-mg to 300-mg of rhodiola daily may significantly reverse fatigue, improve focus, mental energy which translates into greater, sustainable physical energy and stamina for running.
According to data in the Annals of Neurology Reports, eating more blood oranges energizes your brain because they contain an abundance of vitamin C and folate, helping dial-up energy, meanwhile its reddish-purple pigment delivers a force that gets you energized for running by keeping brain cells consistently healthy and firing more rapidly, keeping your mind fresh and focused. Another added health bonus of blood oranges is that they may reverse brain aging by keeping your brain stronger and sharper for life.
Amla, which is an Indian gooseberry, was found to be highly effective at halting exhaustion. According to research in the Journal of Environmental Biology, amla revs energy and boosts brain power since its packed with brain-enhancing nutrients and minerals, such as polyphenols, iron and chromium AND amla is incredibly high in vitamin C!
More details from the study discovered that amla slows the breakdown of brain cells responsible for learning and memory and helps prevent the accumulation of proteins that interfere with brain cell communications and functions considered the culprit behind Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, not only does amla double your energy levels, research has consistently found that amla is aggressive against fighting age-related brain ailments.
Another proactive approach to boost energy and go farther in running is with ginger. According to data in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, ginger is great for over-turning fatigue by improving mental focus and speeds up reaction time. This is because ginger is a potent source of gingerol, which boosts blood and oxygen flow to the brain, helping wake you up. It also calms stressed adrenal glands and helps protect the brains housekeeper cells, which insulate brain cells and filters out toxins and metabolic waste. So, ginger is another force that will help keep your brain young, protecting it from age-related brain disorders, but at the same time, ginger enables lasting energy efforts.
This small fruit is a great weapon against tiredness as it deploys energy for running by curbing appetite. Trouble is, when you are hungry, your energy levels dip, but kumquats ensure a steady supply of energy by making you feel less hungry. According to reports in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry kumquats stimulate the sensation of fullness, helping suppress appetite. This is because kumquats contain a handy appetite suppressor, called pectin, which essentially expands in your stomach, stopping hunger from creeping up.
Lime Essential oil
For a quick energy boost, take a whiff of lime essential oil. According to reports from the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation, the research confirmed that the scent of lime essential oil stimulates the production of brain energizing beta- waves which plays a huge part in increasing focus, alertness, and mental stamina for at least an hour per sniff.
Phosphatidylserine, is a soy extract that is another effective way to stimulate higher energy levels for running. According to research in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, taking 100-mg per day of phosphatidylserine improves energy and brain power by increasing the brains production of acetylcholine, which is a natural compound that helps install more energy-efficient brain cell connections, inducing faster communication between brain cells, making you more sharply focused, fresh and wide awake for running!
For a jolt of immediate energy, consider smelling the aroma of a lemon peel as the scent of lemon automatically grants you lots of energy. Infusing your water with lemon works just as well for potently fighting tiredness. It turns out that lemon contains a detoxifying compound, D-limonene, which helps purify the liver by clearing away fatigue-triggering toxins by 30%.
Carrot juice plays a great effect in boosting energy for running because of its antioxidant richness! Carrot juice packs a lot of stress fighting power thanks to being high in an antioxidant, beta-carotene, which boosts positive emotions and was found to cut your risk of depression by 37%.
Keep muscle fatigue away and boost strength and stamina for running with 2,000 mg of the amino acid, L-ornithine. How does it work? According to work in Nutrition Research, L-ornithine helps your body use fuel more efficiently, so you can enjoy a surge of energy during running AND L-ornithine removes the fatigue-causing ammonia that builds up in the muscles when you run overtime.
Looking for an alternative to coffee? Need a more long-lived mood-boost? Try sage tea for a boost of energy since your body doesn’t build a tolerance to it like it does with the caffeine in coffee. Plus, sage tea does not give you the jitters that are so often accompanied with caffeinated coffee. How exactly does sage tea give you lasting, high-quality energy? According to research out of England’s Northumbria University, sage slows the release of enzymes that breakdown acetylcholine, a brain chemical or neurotransmitter in the brain that wakes you up. Basically, sage allows energizing acetylcholine to linger around in the brain longer, keeping you wide awake.
Block out physical fatigue and mental exhaustion with happiness-boosting black tea. According to the journal Appetite, black tea reboots your energy levels because it contains the mood-lifting combo: caffeine and l-theanine which collectively works to send feel-good energy, making you feel instantly more joyful.
Vitamin D assists in lasting-energy for running by balancing blood sugar levels. According to reports in Nutrition Research, taking 420-IU of vitamin D3 daily has a positively enormous effect on improving insulin sensitivity and glucose (sugar) blood levels to the point of actually reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers specified that vitamin D gives you the energy you so richly deserve for running, by nourishing the hypothalamus, which is a very tiny gland in the brain that regulates most biological functions in the body, including blood-sugar level regulation as well as the body’s response to insulin, helping you feel fresh and well-energized for running.
Vitamin D3 can give you a big energy leap. According to the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, if you are more tired than usual, consider taking 1,000IU of vitamin D3 to put pep in your stride. Upping your Vitamin D3 intake is especially important during the winter, where we don’t get as much sunlight. The mechanism of action behind how vitamin D3 boosts energy that’s lasting is that it energizes muscle cells, preventing physical fatigue from creeping up.
The first challenge of attaining lasting energy for running is with stabilizing your blood sugar levels, thereby preventing sugar crash fatigue. For instance, cinnamon was found to have a powerful leveling effect on blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has been widely used in traditional medicines for the treatment of a wide range of health ailments, particularly, preventing blood sugar spikes and even type 2 diabetes!
- According to Shane Ellison, M.S, cinnamon controls high blood sugar spikes by simulating muscle cells to remove sugar from the blood when insulin is high.
Cinnamon can also give you energy by amping up your brain energy on an unprecedented scale. According to research presented at a recent annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Science, cinnamon stimulates activity in areas of the brain that control alertness, making your mind more sharp and focused. Comparative studies have established that cinnamon keeps your brain young, fresh and crackling by preventing age-related brain cell damage.
Probiotic supplements give you lots of energy for running because there is a very strong brain-gut connection, that has been emphasized many times by researchers, that influences mood and brain energy. When your gut is not functioning optimally, this can take hold of your energy levels and mood. Make taking a multi-probiotic supplement a priority because it helps your brain get more energized by keeping your gut healthy.
- According to work in the journal of Gastroenterology, taking a probiotic supplement high in ‘good bacteria’ allows you to feel more energized by making you feel significant less stressed and anxious.
When you feel great, you run great and produce great performance results quicker!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil gives you energy by naturally protecting and detoxing your liver. Sometimes our liver needs revitalizing because of a poor diet which underpins sluggish liver function which is enough to make you feel sluggish.
- According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology, extra virgin olive oil is very high in antioxidants that curbs chronic tiredness by recharging your liver’s natural ability to burn food and stored fat for energy.
By replacing the fats in your diet with taking 3 tablespoons of extra virgin oil is enough to strengthen your liver’s energy processing productivity and your tiredness will fade away.
Pine and Cedar Scents
If you’re reluctant on taking supplements, one natural way to get a boost of energy is with the scent of pine. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, MD, reported that the scent of fresh evergreen triggers the release of brain chemicals that boost mood and alertness. Furthermore, according to reports in the American Medical Association Journal, the scent of cedar also improves attention, focus and mood by increasing the flow of nourishing oxygen to the brain by 30%. You can get candles that are pine and cedar scented or you can get them in essential oil form as well.
Take Home Message
There are various, diversified ways to boost energy for running, whether it be taking supplements, eating better or using topical measures, such as essential oils, to help you level the playing field and give your body better economical potential to perform well when running.
So, try out the health supplements I just mentioned and see how you fair, especially because they are scientifically-backed which makes them stand-out from other natural health supplements. You want to rely on what really works, so it certainly helps that the effectiveness of these supplements are verified in the scientific literature!
There’s certainly a lot to be gained from clean fuel and these health supplements can certainly make all the difference in advancing your performance.
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.