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Can Niacin Help You Run Farther?

author image Jonathan Thompson
Jonathan Thompson is a personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise and has extensive experience working with clients as well as teaching. Thompson holds specializations in longevity nutrition and muscle management for runners. He began writing in 2004.
Can Niacin Help You Run Farther?
Niacin is one of eight B vitamins that may improve several biological functions. Photo Credit Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Regardless of activity level, everyone can benefit from increased muscular endurance. The ability to sustain muscular activity for long periods of time can improve mobility in elderly people and give athletes a competitive advantage. Muscular endurance is the result of several factors including the impact of vitamins, which are vital for efficient muscle contractions. Niacin, or vitamin B3, has been theorized to increase muscular endurance, which could help you run farther.

Importance of Niacin

Niacin, or vitamin B3, has similar effects to other B vitamins in that it helps the body convert carbohydrates to glucose so that they can be used as fuel. Unlike other B vitamins, niacin is important in the production of sex and stress-related hormones. Niacin also helps improve circulation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, niacin requirements are generally met through diet and deficiencies are rare.

Muscular Endurance

The Fitness Department at the Dixie State College of Utah defines muscular endurance as the ability to perform many repetitions of a given movement with little to no resistance over a long period of time. Endurance will also prevent fatigue when performing daily activities. Muscular endurance can be improved through training, such as cycling or running. Because your diet can strongly affect how efficiently your muscles perform, supplements are sometimes used.

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There is no scientific evidence to suggest that niacin increases muscular endurance, allowing athletes to runner farther. A 2009 study published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" tested the effects of supplements featuring niacin on both muscular strength and endurance. The researchers found no benefits of niacin to athletes.


High doses of niacin can cause what is called a niacin flush, a tingling redness in the skin of the face and chest. People with a history of liver disease, kidney disease or stomach ulcers should not take niacin supplements. Because of the possibility of interactions with medications and liver damage, do not take niacin without consulting your doctor first.

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