- Relax! Stress agitates the gut making digestion less effective. Take a few deep breaths prior to eating in order to calm your nervous system.
- Manage your caffeine: So many runners' love their shot of caffeine prior to running, but it does disrupt digestion. If possible have an hour between meals/supplements and caffeine.
- Exercise at the right time: When exercising our body is focused on using nutrients rather than processing them. Have something light & easy to digest prior to running and if you have a large meal, wait a few hours before your run. The same goes with supplements, try to have them with a regular breakfast a few hours before you exercise so the body has a chance to absorb their goodness.
- Prescription drugs: Be aware that prescription drugs can mess with digestion and absorption of some minerals, check with your Doctor.
- Eat unprocessed food: Something we hear all the time but perhaps don't think about. The body needs to recognise what is in its gut in order to extract the available nutrition from it. There is a good experiment done with noodles which discusses this issue, but as a rule of thumb; the more a food item is processed the less nutrition your body gets out.
- Use a supplement with the BEST FORMS of vitamins & minerals: Just as with food, some forms of vitamins & minerals are more easily absorbed and used by the body than others. Calcium can come from Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Citrate and at least 7 other forms. All different forms have different levels of bioavailability (and safety). In many cases, those with the lowest bio-avability are also the cheapest, you get what you pay for, which in some cases could mean you get nothing. We have a .pdf below you can check to see what forms of each nutrient you should look for when you buy.
- Use a supplement that delivers its nutrients at the right time: A tablet or capsule supplement has to ensure it disintegrates at exactly the time it hits the small intestine or else it will be passed out as waste. A capsule is better than a tablet, but a liquid supplement does not have this issue at all. Superior absorption (possibly up to 88% better) is why we chose a liquid format for Daily Tonic.
So there you have it, 7 ways to improve your nutrition without changing your diet. Even making one or two changes could make a big impact on your running quality. If you have found this interesting, you may like to read the fuller version complete with more references (for the food nerds like me) here.
What are the best forms of micronutrients in a supplement? (pdf. showing the best forms and those to avoid)