Byron’s Running Tips

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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Byron’s Running Tips
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It is very obvious that the foundation for your cardiovascular well-being is your cardiorespiratory fitness, i.e. your state of aerobic conditioning. This is a situation of "use it or lose it." I also believe that the use of extra dietary supplements to help you improve your aerobic conditioning is one of the very best ways to use nutrients. While my personal interest is to not get older any faster than I have to, anyone of any age can use these tips to enhance performance (and they are legal for competitive sports).

I originally posted this article in November, 2008. I am updating it, since my personal list of supplements I take before running has expanded. Being 6’ 5” my dose level of nutrients is probably double what many women would need for similar results. Of course, the younger you are the less support you would need (I’m 57), unless you are trying for high level competitive performance.

One of my favorite studies in support of jogging is a 20-year study on the value of running1 over the age of 50. The study found that running cut the rate of early death in half. It also found that running slowed cardiovascular disease, cancer deaths, cognitive decline, and poor immunity. The runners experienced no more wear and tear to their joints than non runners.

At the beginning of the study, most participants (who were in their 50s) were running four hours per week. Twenty years later they averaged 76 minutes per week and still felt running helped them maintain their obvious higher quality of health. Running turns on gene switches that help maximize your potential to be healthy. Clear scientific evidence shows that we are all “born to run.” Running raises endorphins and boosts your supply of the vital brain repair compound called BDNF,2 (which also helps you eat less food).

During my 30's and 40's I used to run 20 to 25 miles a week. Now, I’m simply happy to be out running. I do a five mile run three times a week, and go slower than I used to. However, I get just as good a metabolic response to running as I used to. I attribute this to my use of nutrition prior to running, which helps me get the most out of the exercise I do.

Here is the basic list I posted a few years back. It remains my suggested foundation and a good starting point for any person wishing to try my routine. I take these any time within a half hour before aerobic exercise.
1) Pantethine. I call pantethine “runner’s high in a bottle.” It fuels the production of energy in numerous ways, provides great support for your adrenals, your mood, and your ability to mobilize fat into calorie burning while you run.* I take 600 mg before running (Two caps).
2) Cardio Helper. I call Cardio Helper “oxygen in a bottle.” I simply cannot believe how much more oxygen I feel in my body when taking two capsules of Cardio Helper before I run. As any runner knows, the more oxygen you have going the less lactic acid gets in the way.*
3) Muscle Mag. Muscle Mag provides magnesium, malic acid, and related co-factors that reduce muscle fatigue and the rate at which muscles make lactic acid while running.* It is a lot easier to maintain a higher level aerobic pace for an extended period of time with Muscle Mag (Two caps before running).
4) Ubiquinol Q10. I call Q10 the “cellular spark plug.” If you are lacking Q10, as is typical with age, you simply cannot make energy efficiently, and this includes the energy you need to get a positive benefit from running. Q10 has been shown to help muscles function better and turn on genes in muscles that help you burn fat while you exercise (Four caps, 400 mg before running).*

I have added the following to my basic list. My personal reason was to assist cardiovascular and brain rejuvenation as much as possible, while enhancing energy and fat burning even further.
5) Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC). Now that we know running burns fatty acids as fuel almost the entire time you are running, ALC is the key nutrient that enables your body to oxidize fat and convert it to cellular fuel for your engines. ALC also supports heart health.* (Two caps, 1000 mgs before running.)
6) Brain Protector. Contains R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, which acts synergistically with ALC and Q10 to nourish the heart. Lipoic acid also enhances fat metabolism. This product also has blueberries, which are known to boost BDNF.* (Two caps before running)
7) Super Brain Booster. Contains N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, which helps make norepinephrine to give you nerve related energy drive. It contains the special form of choline called Alpha GPC, which is known to boost acetyl acetylcholine in support of memory and learning. Of particular interest to running is that choline acts as a “degreaser,” helping enable fat to flow out of your liver (a lipotropic nutrient).* (Two capsules before running).
8) Green Tea. Green tea now has so much science in support of cardio health, cholesterol metabolism, weight management, and enhanced thermogenesis that it makes a great addition to my fat burning team. Of particular interest is that it helps sustain norepinephrine levels, which helps thermogenesis and in my experience sustains energy while reducing subsequent food desire.* I sometimes take two capsules before exercise or two capsules after exercise instead. Either way it works for me.

This is my strategy. Feel free to try any or all of it. I hope it helps you!

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Running Slows Disease, Maintains Health  Arch Intern Med.  Eliza F. Chakravarty, MD, MS; Helen B. Hubert, PhD; Vijaya B. Lingala, PhD; James F. Fries, MD
  2. ^ Aerobics and Appetite  Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting.  A. Veronica Araya, et al.

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