The Best Supps For Cardio Training Endurance -
Written by Tim Rigby

Supplements are used for a variety of fitness and athletic purposes. One of the most useful (but lesser emphasized) goals from supplement consumption is to improve endurance. Whereas many of the most popular supplements are used for muscle growth, strength increases and fat/weight loss, the objective of improving endurance sometimes takes a back seat. However, we cannot understate the importance and utility of endurance as applied to a cardio training context. Being able to exercise longer has numerous physical benefits such as being good for your heart, brain and metabolism; in addition, many aesthetic advantages are also manifest such as lower fat and body mass.

It’s important to note there is a distinction between true endurance and intensity. Training protocols such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involve a great deal of effort and output, but they are performed for only a short period of time. Think along the lines of a sprinter whose race is finished in a matter of seconds. When it comes to endurance, think more along the lines of a distance runner, swimmer or cyclist.

Within the realm of your own fitness goals, improved endurance can be realized by performing the Stairmaster 10 more minutes than your usual session, or by riding a stationary bicycle for an extra 15 minutes. It is not necessary to increase the intensity while extending your cardio workout; you will nonetheless still burn more calories, stimulate your metabolism, and improve your cardiovascular system by developing your endurance.

So let’s delve right into four of the best supplements you can consume for the purpose of improving your cardio training endurance:


This version of l-carnitine has been shown to be more efficiently absorbed from your gut, in addition to being better at crossing your blood-brain barrier. Many consumers take it for its fat-burning properties (in contrast with caffeine, which in truth has been shown to be more of a “fat releaser”). The consensus of anecdotal evidence on ALC when consumed about 45 minutes prior to a cardio session is that it tends to “kick in” after training for about 20 minutes. Athletes report a noticeable stimulation (like an endorphin rush) and a feeling of pleasure which propels them to extend their workout length, in addition to the sensation of a higher body temperature and an excellent sweat.

Recommended Dosage for Cardio Endurance: 1.5 to 2 grams consumed 45 minutes before training


This naturally occurring, non-essential beta amino acid became popular as an endurance booster some 15 years ago. Bearing heavy scrutiny, beta-alanine has passed with high marks and has shown to be safe and effective. The chemical reaction involved with beta-alanine consumption prior to cardio training is based on it binding with histidine to become the building block of carnosine, a molecule which functions by buffering the buildup of fatiguing acid in muscles. Although the average person tends to consume “sufficient” levels of beta-alanine from foods like beef and chicken, the highly sought-after improvements to endurance are manifest from supplemental form.

Recommended Dosage for Cardio Endurance:
3 to 6 grams daily, with no precise timing required


Endurance athletes know a thing or two about spending energy. The beauty of nitrates (beet root) is that they reduce the amount of energy needed for every muscle contraction (essentially, they make the simple act of moving easier). More specifically, supplementation results in less oxygen being necessary to perform the same level of physical exertion. Practically speaking, this therefore means that if you were to expend the same level of energy as you normally do (without supplementation), you will be able to train for a longer period of time and thus improve your endurance. Athletes like hockey players who rely on elite-level endurance are known to consume nitrates (beet root) frequently.

Recommended Dosage for Cardio Endurance: 2 to 5 grams, consumed 60 minutes before training


This endurance booster is likely to be familiar to you as it’s been one of the most popular nutritional supplements in the world for a long time. As an herb, ginseng has its origins for human use within ancient oriental medicine. You may have seen ginseng sold in small bottles at variety stores as an impulse item for the purpose of providing a temporary pick-me-up, like a cup of coffee. Athletes and fitness trainers know that more substantial consumption can enhance endurance by increasing blood flow, leading to reduced inflammation, oxidation, lactic acid and muscle cell damage. Ultimately, you’ll be able to keep that cardio session going longer and longer.

Recommended Dosage for Cardio Endurance: 400 milligrams daily, with no precise timing required


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