Endurance supplements can be boiled down to four main categories which consist of hydration, fuel, recovery and performance.
Hydration is pretty simple. It consists of proper water intake and electrolyte balance. For electrolyte intake during endurance events we usually recommend Hammer Endurolytes.
Fuel is the energy to keep the body moving which is provided primarily by carbohydrates. Think of energy gels like Hammer Gel or drinks like Accelerade, Hammer Perpetuem, or Hammer Heed. These products are designed to be mixed in water and consumed during endurance activities. They consist of primarily carbohydrates with some electrolytes and some may have amino acids.
Recovery products are designed to be used at the completion of a workout. Recovery comes in several parts. The main components to worry about are structural recovery which is concerned with repair of damaged tissue, metabolic recovery which involves replacing cellular energy stores and hormone optimization which requires providing the proper nutrients and rest to normalize testosterone and cortisol. By far the best product in this category is AfterGlow by BioRhythm, with Hammer Recoverite being our next choice for endurance athletes.
Performance supplements should be considered after you have taken care of the basic needs mentioned in the three paragraphs above. It doesn’t make sense to try and improve performance if you are not taking a good recovery drink. Performance supplements are as the name says designed to help improve performance. For endurance athlete’s beta- alanine, creatine and natural testosterone boosters should all be considered. Beta-Alanine is a favorite with endurance athletes as it buffers lactic acid so it allows an athlete to work harder and longer.
In future articles we will go into more detail on supplementation for endurance athletes but this should hopefully provide an easy to understand framework from which to create an appropriate supplementation program.