Supplements For Spartan Race | Complete Guide

Supplements For Spartan Race | Complete Guide

Training for a Spartan race puts extreme stress on our bodies. We train hard to perform our best in the course, and we continually strive to become better, faster, and stronger. There may come a time where you start to look for supplements that may help you perform better. So you went to your local health store or search online, only to be greeted by hundreds of brands and ingredients you can’t even pronounce.

If that ever happens to you, you come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll share with you some of the most effective and not so effects supplements for spartan race available in the market. Take note that there are way too many supplements out there for me to cover, but if you have any other specific supplements you are considering, do leave a comment below and I’ll add that to this list.

Table of Content

  • Caffeine
  • Creatine
  • Beta-alanine
  • Others
  • Protein
  • Beetroot
  • Spirulina
  • Word of caution (Must Read!)
Supplements for spartan race - Caffeine
Good Ole’ Caffeine

Caffeine

To kick start his list, we have good ole’ caffeine!

Caffeine is one of the most extensively researched substances for sports performance, particularly for enhancing endurance. It has been shown to reduce perceived effort and help delay fatigue, which is why caffeine is the main active ingredient in almost all pre-workout, and one of the most widely used stimulants in the world.

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant, and it has been shown to improve maximum power output[1], anaerobic running performance[2], and aerobic performance[3].

It is also a nootropic, which enhances brain function that causes us to be more aware of our surroundings.

Important

It is also important for us to note that habitual caffeine intake will lead to caffeine tolerance, which reduces its effects and consuming a higher dosage will not overcome it.

Taking a month-long break from caffeine will help reduce this tolerance.

How To Use Caffeine

  • Recommended caffeine intake: 3mg – 6mg/kg body weight, 45min before workout
  • 1 Espresso shot = 64mg~ Caffeine
Supplements for spartan race - Creatine
Red meat is a source of creatine

Creatine

Creatine is another well-researched and effective supplements available in the market.

It is a very popular supplement within the bodybuilding community, and we often associate creatine with speed, power, and strength.

On the other hand, you hardly even hear people talking about it in endurance sports.

The reason is that the primary benefit of creatine is to improve strength and power output[4]. Although many studies have been conducted on anaerobic running capacity, the results are fairly mixed and generally suggest a small improvement[5] in performance.

As Spartan racer, we are more than just runners, we are required to lift, carry, hoist, climb, and those activities require significant strength.

That being said, although creatine may not be beneficial for aerobic performance. It can help us during hypertrophy, strength, and sprint interval, which will translate to better race-day performance.

Note that even though we can obtain creatine from food such as red meat, food sources contain very small amounts. Hence, supplementing creatine may be a good idea.

Important

Stomach cramping may occur when supplementing creatine without sufficient water. Diarrhea and nausea may occur as well if too much creatine is supplemented at once. If this happens, spread out the dosage and consume it with meals.

How To Use Creatine Supplement

  • Recommended creatine intake: 2-5g/kg body weight everyday
  • 1kg red meat = 5g~ Creatine

Beta-alanine

If you ever tried any pre-workout and felt a tingling sensation throughout your body, that’s beta-alanine.

Beta-alanine is used to increase physical performance in the 60s – 240s second range. Similar to creatine, even though beta-alanine may not help to improve our aerobic capacity, it has been shown to increase muscular endurance for training set that lasts for 60 – 240 seconds [6].

Interestingly, the benefits of beta-alanine seem to decline after 240 seconds, and no benefits for exercise lasting less than 60 seconds [7].

Important

When consuming beta-alanine, you may experience a harmless tingling sensation throughout your body right after ingesting it. If you want to avoid this, simply reduce the dosage and increase frequency. For example, instead of 1 serving x 3g a day, you change it to 3 serving x 1g a day.

How To Use Beta-alanine Supplement

  • Recommended beta-alanine  intake: 2-5g a day
  • Note that beta-alanine is not time-dependent.

Others

The 3 supplements mentioned above are well researched and are proven to work. However, the following supplements listed below shows a mixed result and may not be helpful.

Supplements for spartan race - Protein
Protein Source

Protein

We all know that protein is essential for the building and maintenance of your muscle mass. The last thing we want is to let all our hard work go down the drain. That being said, if you are not consuming sufficient protein from your daily diet, then taking protein supplements may be helpful.

Important

Not all proteins are equal. Proteins are made up of amino acids, 9 of which are essential amino acids (EAA). Meaning, your body cannot produce it and must be obtained through your diet. All animal-based protein, dairy, and eggs are a complete protein, meaning they contain all 9 EAA. On the other hand, most plant-based proteins are not a complete protein.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, either you consume a wide range of vegetables or take a protein supplement.

How Much Protein Should You Be Consuming?

  • 1.5g/kg of body weight.
Beetroot

Beetroot

Beetroot has been gaining a lot of traction lately with its aerobic enhancement properties.

A small study conducted shows that participants saw an average of 41 seconds improvement in their 5km treadmill run when consuming beetroot compared to cranberry relish (control), 75min before a 5km. However, do take note that the sample size of this study was very limited [8].

Another cycling time trial study found that athletes saw a 2.7% improvement after consuming 500ml of beetroot, 2.5hrs before the time-trial. [9]

How To Use Beetroot Supplement

  • 500ml of beetroot before exercise.
  • Note that one study shows no difference in single dosage and 15 consecutive consumption [10].
Spirulina

Spirulina

Spirulina is a non-toxic blue-green alga that has been gaining popularity for its impressive nutrient profiles and potential health benefits. Sports performance-wise, spirulina has been shown to decrease time to fatigue in a 2-h run[11].

How To Use Spirulina Supplement

  • 2g-7.5g per day

Word of caution (Must Read!)

First off, if you are not consistent with your training program and having a well-balanced diet, taking all these supplements won’t make much of a difference.

Secondly, when taking any supplements. I try to avoid taking any supplements that contain a proprietary blend. The reason is that we don’t know the exact dosage of certain active ingredients in the mixture, and it’s common for supplements to contain anywhere between 150mg to 400mg caffeine per serving. Since its very common for us to consume other stimulants such as coffee, we may be at risk of overdosing on caffeine, which can be lethal.

If you got any other questions regarding supplements for Spartan race, post it on the comment below, and I’ll add that to the list.

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Coach Justin

- Certified Personal Trainer | Obstacle Racing Specialist | Sports Science <3

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