-By Jess Walter
The physical demands of a marathon are well known -runners need to build up physical endurance and continuously add miles to training sessions – all while being cognizant of diets and aerobic exercise. However, one aspect of marathon training that many tend to overlook is the mental strain associated with the run.
The Role of the Brain in Running
If you do not have the mental capacity to accommodate the pressure, your mind will be the first to give out before your body does. Here, we take a look at supporting the brain to give you the edge during your marathon training and the race itself.
When we think of preparing for any sort of athletic challenge, most people consider strengthening muscles and improving stamina to be the primary focus of any training regimen. Yet, if you think of the brain as the control center for the body, it makes sense to start there instead.
The brain is responsible for muscle control, the strength of the immune system, the actions of the body as well as having an impact on the time it takes to get over injuries. The chemistry of the brain must be well balanced in order to fight infections, diseases and heal from chronic inflammation.
When the brain is running in equilibrium, the nervous system is stable and an athlete will be able to push themselves further to achieve their desired goal.
In a study conducted by the University of Arizona scientists discovered that the brains of male runners display additional cognitive connections to those found in sedentary young men.
These connections are evidence that running is far more intellectually demanding than previously realized, and that thinking patterns are altered in runners not just when they are exercising, but also in the aftermath of physical activity. Therefore, it is vital that the brain is given as much support as possible in preparation for a race.
Ingredients to Look For in a Brain Supplement
Supplements play a major role in developing the ideal brain chemistry for you to perform at your best. When you’re considering the best supplement to add to your diet, ensure that these ingredients are included:
- Phosphatidylserine a chemical which is essential in removing toxins and dead brain cells. It energizes existing brain cells and provides flexibility and fluidity for membranes.
- Rhodiola Rosea this powerful herb enhances mental performance, while reducing stress in the brain, making it easier to concentrate on the physical task at hand.
- Trans-Pterostilbene a molecule which supports healthy brain cells, motor skills function and supports a strong blood circulation around the body and to the brain.
- Citociline this ingredient rapidly improves mental energy, helping you to stay alert and focused on your training goals. By taking this, your RNA levels will increase which will improve memory function and retention.
- L-Theanine by absorbing this amino acid, which is found in tea leaves your alpha brain waves will be stimulated, resulting in a better ability to focus on your fitness challenge.
- Bacopa Monnieri this ingredient perfects the transmission of nerve impulses. Brain function and its processing speed will be improved, which will allow your body to respond quickly when carrying out physical activity.
As with all significant dietary changes, you should consult a doctor about your plans to take a supplement to ensure that it is safe for your individual medical profile.