As a runner or an athlete or performing high-intensity workouts, we should understand the unique nutritional needs required to maintain a high activity level. High-protein, plenty of water, collagen, healthy carbohydrates and glutamine supplements are vital to keep us performing at a high-level and supporting a great recovery.
The connection between exercise and glutathione is super important. Glutathione levels deplete rapidly because our muscles need it during high-intensity training.
If you’re a marathon or Ultra runner or someone who does high endurance events such as triathlons, you should know why glutathione is the most popular supplement for athletes.
What Is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a tripeptide molecule composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. It is an important antioxidant naturally produced in the liver and found in every cell of our body.
It is our body’s master detoxifier and helps our body process and eliminate toxins, supports energy production, and boost our immune system.
Glutathione is so important to protect cells from oxidative damage. It also supports the immune system by helping it defend against bacterial and viral infections.
Glutathione may have several health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. It also helps detoxify harmful substances, improve skin health, and enhances athletic performance.
Although our body does produce some glutathione naturally, a poor diet, toxins, medications, stress, and illness or high-intensity training deplete our glutathione levels or stop production completely.
Low glutathione levels can cause high-levels of body inflammation. Without enough glutathione, our body cannot effectively remove toxins, which linger in our bloodstream or get stored in fat, affecting our immune system and some disease.
Why Do Runners And Athletes Need Glutathione?
If we are a super active runner or engage in moderate to high-intensity activity, our body quickly burns through its glutathione reserves. The body’s metabolic rate increases during high-intensity exercise, increasing the demand for oxygen to produce muscle energy. This increased oxygen consumption leads to the production of more free radicals and oxidative stress, which causes damage to cells and tissues.
High-intensity exercise also results in an increased production of lactic acid, which can further contribute to oxidative stress by causing a decrease in pH levels in the muscle tissues.
Overall, increased oxygen consumption, energy production, and lactic acid production during high-intensity exercise can increase free radicals and oxidative stress, which can cause damage to cells and tissues if not adequately neutralized by the body’s antioxidant defence system.
4 Benefits of Glutathione for Athletes
Having a free radical scavenger such as glutathione on board is essential for repair and recovery, especially when we’re a runner or an athlete.
1. Glutathione Improves Muscle Performance
Glutathione is present in high concentrations in many tissues, including skeletal muscles, which is directly related to muscle performance.
The body produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can damage cells and tissues, including muscle fibers. Glutathione neutralizes ROS and protects muscle cells from oxidative damage. This can help to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance muscle performance.
Another way in which glutathione improves muscle performance is by promoting muscle protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. By enhancing muscle protein synthesis, glutathione can help to improve muscle strength and endurance.
Also, glutathione supports the immune system, which is vital for overall health and muscle recovery. By promoting immune system function, glutathione can help reduce inflammation and improve muscle recovery.
2. Glutathione Fights Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress as free radicals is floating around in our blood, bouncing against the vessel walls, tearing them up, and triggering inflammation.
Exposure to toxins, poor diet, smoking, elevated blood sugar, chronic stress, and high-intensity exercise such as running marathons or Ultras, can signal our body to produce more free radicals. Our free radical production is in overdrive if we are deficient in glutathione, which can create an imbalance.
Glutathione helps in recycling other antioxidants in the body, such as vitamins C and E. When these antioxidants neutralize free radicals, they become oxidized themselves.
3. Glutathione Promotes a Healthy Anti-Inflammation
Inflammation is how our immune system responds to injury or infection. When our immune system is functioning optimally, acute inflammation protects us from severe and immediate stressors. Once the threat is gone, the inflammation subsides. A weak immune system can cause chronic inflammation.
Glutathione promotes a healthy anti-inflammation in several ways:
Reducing Oxidative Stress: Glutathione neutralizes free radicals and other reactive oxygen types, which can cause oxidative stress and trigger inflammation.
Facilitates An Immune System Response: Glutathione facilitates an immune system response by regulating the production of cytokines, which are molecules that reduce inflammation.
A Master Detoxifier: Glutathione helps detoxify environmental toxins, contributing to chronic inflammation.
Supporting Tissue Repair: Glutathione supports the repair of damaged muscle tissue caused by high-intensity exercise.
4. Glutathione Supports Cardiovascular Health
One of glutathione’s benefits for athletes is especially vital in regard to heart health. Glutathione helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body by neutralizing free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to the development of heart disease.
One of glutathione’s benefits for athletes is nitric oxide production. Glutathione facilitates the creation of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of heart disease.
How to Support Your Body’s Glutathione Production
Consume Sulfur-Rich Foods: The synthesis of glutathione requires sulfur. Dietary proteins such as beef, fish, and chicken or vegetables such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and broccoli have sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine. They can help increase your production of glutathione.
Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is a vital part of daytime cognitive function and can even play a role in detoxifying your body. When you don’t get enough sleep, your risk of developing chronic issues, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity, increases dramatically.
Incorporate Selenium-Rich Foods: Selenium is a glutathione cofactor needed in all glutathione activity. Foods such as Brazil nuts, fish, sunflower seeds, and bananas are all selenium-containing.
Lower Your Stress Naturally: No one can avoid stress regularly, so finding a relaxing activity, being outdoors, exercising, or listening to music can help keep our body balanced.
Healthy Food Sources of Glutathione
Onion and Garlic
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Take Some Glutathione Supplements Daily, Feel Better And Stronger, Enjoy Nice Strong And Comfortable Runs!