How to Make Sports Nutrition Part of Your Endurance Training Routine

If you’re a runner, cyclist, or triathlete, it’s likely that you’ve got all the right gear and are sticking to a dialed-in training plan. But what about your nutrition? Even if you’re eating clean, consuming adequate calories, and getting most of your macronutrients from a well-balanced diet, you might still be able to up your game with carefully targeted supplements. Here’s a quick guide to what to take, when, and why.

Getting Your Brain Going

As crucial as it is to set yourself up for success with sufficient sleep and to follow this with the right morning fuel, your mind also needs priming if you’re to be at your peak. Getting morning sunlight, early movement, and a fat and protein-rich breakfast can all help bring your brain back online. A nootropic supplement can be another beneficial addition to your morning routine.

The AM production of neurotransmitters largely sets your cognitive and emotional tone for the rest of the day. A pair of Polish molecular biologists found that citicoline – one of the key ingredients in Momentous Brain Drivecrosses the blood-brain barrier and elevates the transmission of these brain chemicals. [1] Another Brain Drive ingredient, acetyl-L-carnitine, shows potential for boosting neurotransmitter levels and improving physical performance. It increases production of acetylcholine and dopamine and, according to a paper published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, increases time to exhaustion during endurance exercise. [2] Taking two capsules of Brain Drive with breakfast can help you start your day strong.

Fighting to the Finish

Creatine is often regarded as only being useful to power athletes, yet it’s actually beneficial for endurance training too. An Australian study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that creatine supplementation helped cyclists produce a faster finish, with the researchers also suggesting that it might help riders respond to mid-race breakaways. [3] Though you may not be doing the all-out sprints favored by football and basketball players, even longer intervals tax your ATP-PC system. As such, every time you do an interval session – or a longer, slower run, ride, or swim that involves a sprint finish or speed bursts – you're depleting your body’s phosphate reservoir.

The best way to top it back up is to take five grams of creatine monohydrate daily. A product like Momentous Performance Creatine, which is made from the finest source in the world and is certified to be free of PEDs and contaminants by both the NSF and Informed Sport, mixes easily in smoothies or water, and can be taken with your protein to top your phosphate stores back up.

Powering Back Up

Every time you train, you create microtears in your muscles. These can only heal if you’re consuming enough protein. Bulking up is a common worry among endurance athletes who want to preserve their hard-won power-to-weight ratio, but in fact, many aren’t getting enough protein to even preserve their lean mass and the high caloric demands of endurance training can lead to the loss of both muscle and overall bodyweight.

A study published in PLOS ONE found that endurance athletes’ protein needs are 77 percent greater than those of sedentary people, with the authors recommending that you consume up to 1.83 grams per kilogram of bodyweight during intense training blocks and race season (so 137 grams if you're a 165-pound man, or 99 grams if you’re a 120-pound woman). Consuming 20 or more grams of complete protein after training or racing will help you improve your acute recovery. Momentous Recovery Protein is formulated with the needs of endurance athletes like you in mind, providing 20 grams of high quality, grass-fed whey protein isolate, 10 grams of carbs to replenish your glycogen stores, and sodium, potassium, and magnesium to restore electrolytes.

Supplemental protein isn’t just for kickstarting muscle repair after you train and race. It’s also necessary for creating hemoglobin that transports oxygenated blood, maintaining fluid balance, and, as we’ll cover in more depth in an upcoming post, keeping your immune system running in high gear. Sure, foods like eggs, meat, and dairy are great sources, but you don’t always have time or energy to prepare, cook, and eat them, particularly when you’re hustling to get to work, grabbing lunch while your kids are between online classes, or are worn down at the end of a long day. In which case, you could tear open a packet of Momentous AbsoluteZero, drop it into a blender bottle, put in a splash of milk or a dairy-free alternative, and have a convenient, protein-packed snack in seconds.

Preserving Joint Health

Even if you’re getting enough protein to promote muscle repair, your body’s connective structures might need something extra. Collagen is one of the core components of ligaments, tendons, and the extracellular matrix that forms the scaffolding of all your tissues and organs. You produce collagen naturally but from your mid-20s on, its production and synthesis both start to decline. This process accelerates as you age, so it’s no wonder that pain and compromises in joint mobility and function become increasingly common in older athletes.

There are two ways that you can increase the amount of collagen in your body. The first is to incorporate fast, load-bearing exercises like skipping, bounding, and box jumps into your training for a few minutes twice a week. The second is to take supplemental collagen before such sessions. The field’s leading researchers found that training explosively doubles collagen production, while taking a supplement that pairs all three kinds of collagen with vitamin C – like Momentous Collagen Peptides – 30 minutes before you train doubles it again. [4]

Improving Quality Sleep

Even if you’re staying hydrated, fueling with the right foods and supplements, and training smart, you’re not going to reach your full potential in sports or life if you aren’t recovering fully. While there are many variables to experiment with, the biggest bang for your recovery buck is always going to come from your sleep. Sure, tracking your slumber can be helpful, but increased awareness of your nighttime patterns alone isn’t enough. You also need to be doing things to move the needle in the right direction.

In a previous post, we looked at several ways to improve your sleep hygiene. These include cutting back on afternoon and evening caffeine, sidestepping screens before bedtime, and sleeping in a cool, dark room. Yet there might still be some times that you need a little help in drifting off and staying asleep, whether that’s because you’re still buzzing from a late run, are churning over a family problem in your head, or just aren’t feeling that tired. This is where a nightly supplement like Momentous Elite Sleep can help.

The melatonin included in this unique formula is the most heavily researched sleep supplement. A paper published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism concluded that taking it regularly can help you spend more time in restorative REM sleep. [5] Another study conducted at the University of Northumbria in the UK investigated the influence of a tart cherry supplement on various sleep measurements, and found that subjects had “significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency total with cherry juice supplementation.” [8] Finally, a team of British, Japanese, and Chinese researchers reviewed previously published studies on Valerian Root. They found that ten studies concluded that valerian root improved participants’ subjective sleep quality, while a further eight noted that the supplement reduced anxiety.[9] You can get all three of these research-backed micronutrients by taking a capsule of Momentous Elite Sleep nightly.

Resources

[1] Kamil Synoradzki and Paweł Grieb, “Citicoline: A Superior Form of Choline?” Nutrients, July 2019, available online at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334434631_Citicoline_A_Superior_Form_of_Choline

[2] Gamze E Orer and Nevin A Guzel, “The Effects of Acute L-carnitine Supplementation on Endurance Performance of Athletes,” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, February 28, 2014, available online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24263659/.

[3] Kristyen A Tomcik et al, “Effects of Creatine and Carbohydrate Loading on Cycling Time Trial Performance,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, January 2018, available online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28806275/.

[4] Gregory Shaw et al, “Vitamin C–Enriched Gelatin Supplementation Before Intermittent Activity Augments Collagen Synthesis,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2017, available online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5183725/.

[5] Dieter Kunz et al, “Melatonin in Patients with Reduced REM Sleep Duration: Two Randomized Controlled Trials,” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, January 2004, available online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14715839/

[6] Guosong Liu, et al. “Efficacy and Safety of MMFS-01, a Synapse Density Enhancer, for Treating Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2016, available online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26519439/.

[7] JL Shergis et al, “Ziziphus Spinosa Seeds for Insomnia: A Review of Chemistry and Psychopharmacology,” Phytomedicine, July 2017, available online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28899507.

[8] Glyn Howatson et al, “Effect of Tart Cherry Juice (Prunus Cerasus) on Melatonin Levels and Enhanced Sleep Quality,” European Journal of Nutrition, December 2012, available online at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22038497/.


[9] Noriko Shinjyo, Guy Waddell and Julia Green, “Valerian Root in Treating Sleep Problems and Associated Disorders—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Evidence Based Integrative Medicine, October 21, 2020, available online at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2515690X20967323.

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