A few posts ago I wrote about how I was planning to start using niacin as a barefoot running tool for keeping warm through winter. I’ve been using it since then and it definitely works well. It sometimes works a little too well.
We had a temperature drop a few days ago, but now we’re back at around +15C, sunny and rainy weather. I can’t use the niacin unless temperatures are below zero because otherwise it’s unbearably hot and uncomfortable.
The dose I take is fairly small. Just one tablet of 100mg. I flush easily. The one time I took 200mg I suffered for it. It was cold that day, but I felt like I was burning up. My running clothes were uncomfortable against my skin and I just wanted to strip everything off. The same thing happened when I took 100mg at +5C. It wasn’t cold enough.
I find that in general the niacin makes me want to wear less layers. And it does help with running barefoot in colder temperatures. I find the absorption to be much quicker when I take niacin on an empty stomach. I can flush within 5-10 minutes, whereas if I eat breakfast it can take up to 20 minutes.
The flush itself wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I thought it would be more like a natural, deep blush. Something pretty. But the niacin flush looks more like blotches of red on your face and skin, so I can see why people try to avoid it. It doesn’t look good.
My ears are the first thing to flush. The tips of my ears turn red, and then my face. A while later I tend to flush on the body parts that store more fat (hips, thighs, bum, boobs, etc). Timing is everything. I need to get out when I start to flush, otherwise I find it’s not as effective. And it really does helps get over that initial coldness of setting out in bare feet.
Another thing I forgot to mention about any B vitamin supplement, is that it tends to turn your urine a bright yellow colour. So don’t be alarmed if that happens.
I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the really cold weather, particularly through snow. I don’t think this will be the year that I go fully barefoot all winter (it’s my first attempt), but I’d at least like to spend less time running in shoes.
I did come across an indoor track a couple of days ago. It’s close to my house, but when I walked in there were signs everywhere about the requirement of shoes. I know that if I ask, someone will just point me to those signs. So I think I may try to just go barefoot and plead ignorance if necessary. I don’t like fighting with people, but thankfully I have an innocent-looking face and most people don’t like fighting with me either.