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Should I be taking protein or other supplements? By Marathon Physio Lucy Macdonald


Where should I be getting my protein from?

It is best to get all your protein, calories, vitamins and minerals from food.


Why is it better to get my protein from food rather than supplements?

You can overdose on certain vitamins and minerals which can be at best unpleasant and at worst dangerous. Nutrients are more easily absorbed in the form of food and your digestive system benefits from you eating food more than it does taking tablets or supplements.

It is also difficult to find good quality protein and vitamin supplements that do not contain unpleasant synthetic ingredients and most of them make false or overexaggerated claims. It is a very unregulated market.


Can I still choose to take supplements?

If you have carefully looked at the ingredient list and understand what is in the supplements then they can have their place at times when you have limited access to food. This is how professional sports people and elite athletes do it. They get most of their fuel from food and occasionally top it up with supplements.


Need advice?

If you are unsure about what supplements might work for you go and see your GP, a dietician or nutritionist (although the latter is not a protected title so make sure they are suitably qualified.)


More marathon physio advice 

Follow @octopusclinic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and/or Lucy Macdonald on YouTube to access our latest free videos on marathon training and injury prevention. If you would like our marathon handbook and are running for charity please contact Lucy Macdonald directly on lucymacdonaldphysio@hotmail.co.uk or if you would like to get the video course Your Marathon: Your Physio please click on the link. 

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