Best Supplements For Runners Reviewed & Tested
Committed runners know the importance of maintaining their bodies, which is why most of you are passionate about finding newer and more effective ways to enhance your performance, health, and endurance.
For example, we always make sure to have the best gear available—the best running shoes for us along with the best attire, tailored to each season’s needs. So, why should this be any different when it comes to supplements for runners>
If we want to stay on target and reach our goals, we need to fuel our bodies to keep them running properly (much like a car). Which is why this article is devoted to supplements runners need to keep their body going.
Keep in mind that our list focuses on types of supplements and features highly recommended brand—however, if you have a brand you know and trust it is your choice to go with them. Our main focus is to highlight the types of supplements that will help you performing and recovering at optimal levels.
- Now Iron Essential Mineral
- Maintain the bodies iron balance
- Nature Made Calcium 600mg
- Healthy strong bones
- ProLab Caffeine Tablets
- Caffeine equals boosting energy
Best Supplements For Runners.
1. Now Iron Essential Mineral 18mg
Iron deficiency is a lot more common in women but also afflicts a sizable number of men.
If you are getting a balanced amount of oxygen to the muscles in combination with other much needed vital nutrients, this means that muscles are being efficiently maintained in reaction to the demand placed upon them during strong physical exercise. Your muscles can perform better in terms of recovering after a workout and you will not feel so tired or have any over problematic issues with aches. In a fast-paced modern society, there are people who do not have the time or perhaps even an understanding of which foods to include in their diet to maintain a healthy balance of iron in the body.
Here are the benefits of iron: Oxygen carrier to feed muscle function, enable hemoglobin formation and regulate brain function.
A severely depleted overall body level of needed iron risks headaches, anemia and will feel oversensitive to cold weather. Combine these and you can see that we cannot function without a well-balanced amount of iron.
The main symptom of Iron deficiency is feeling consistently and unusually tired. It goes without saying that fatigue can have a negative impact on a runner by making even easy runs more difficult than usual. A blood test will show whether or not you are low in iron. If you are, taking a supplement might be an option. Taking ferrous sulfate can help. However, keep in mind that an overabundance of iron in the body can damage your cells and tissues.
Offered at a price which sits close to standard for a supplement.
Good for maintaining a balanced iron level for the body
Aids the delivery of oxygen to the muscles
Easy dose system-capsules
Do not over use, too much iron can damage body cells
2. Nature Made Calcium 600mg
Calcium is important for healthy bone density.
Low calcium has been shown to lead to osteoporosis, resulting in a lot of the common pains experienced in running. Therefore, this is not a simple issue. Most people can easily get enough calcium through their daily diets.
This could be the supplement which you want to take.
If you do not need a calcium supplement, a vitamin D supplement might be a better option. Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in the food you eat, It is also a good way to strengthen your bones, which helps to prevent fractures or breaks.
This product will act as a good body supplement for ongoing maintenance to ensure healthy bones and this reduces the chances of unwanted fractures. When your body is short on calcium this can lead to a less robust bone tissue, weaker bones are more prone to damage, especially for sports people.
An affordable product for ensuring calcium top up
Aids the growth of strong bones
Fends of osteoporosis
Works towards maintaining a balanced body health
Also contains vitamin D
Stay with recommended dosage, do not take too much
3. ProLab Caffeine Tablets
Caffeine is a popular supplement in sports because of its massive benefits. Many athletes depend on it. This supplement enhances alertness and sharpness, enhances the body’s ability to turn fat into energy, and increases motor skills coordination and quickens reactions. Additionally, caffeine decreases the strain of too much effort, which increases a runner's self-perceived stamina. When it’s used in combination with carbohydrates, caffeine is also good for post-running recovery.
Read on and choose your boost
Caffeine is absorbed quickly and its effects can be long-lasting. You should take a caffeine supplement right before or while running. For dosage, it is recommended to take 550 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to approximately 40 ounces (or five cups) of coffee.
Its side effects such as water-electrolyte imbalances, hypothermia, and reduced heat tolerance may be a concern when using this supplement; however, exercise can help work against those effects.
Easy price and easy tablet dose system
Quick for boosting energy
Aids in post-race recovery
Good for taking before a race
Quick tablet for consumption
Increases motor skills
Gives quicker reactions
Caffeine is an energy booster but do not over do it
Gold Standard Protein Whey protein
Protein is necessary to our functioning and livelihood. It is a very important part of the body's maintenance and regulation processes. For starters, it adds the proteins that are depleted during a run and builds lean muscle tissue, which aids in muscle recovery. If your body's protein level is low, you may tire easily.
Try this none meat protein product
Most people get enough protein in their daily diets, but runners have higher protein needs. Runners can get many benefits from protein supplements. Taking a protein supplement before a run or post-workout will get runners the highest benefit. Among the most popular protein supplements, whey protein is the best form to use because it’s absorbed quick and easy.
For most runners, a suitable amount is about 40 to 60 grams of whey protein per day.
Affordable whey protein, the price is friendly
Easy to consume and a nice range of flavors
None meat product
Good before exercise
Aids recovery for muscles
Promotes lean muscle growth
Some runners prefer meat protein
Optimum Nutrition Creatine
Creatine-amino acid provides benefits to runners. Creatine has the ability to help repair and grow muscle. It is often used for those who often take part in intense workouts like running because it reduces inflammation and cell damage.
When taken on a daily basis, Creatine supplements may decrease submaximal VO2 levels which maximizes your body's O2 use while running. By improving your heart rate, your rate of perspiration, and water distribution, it can also help you run longer and more efficiently in hard conditions.
If you are looking for a multi-functional supplement, this is good.
You should use Creatine supplements in two phases. First is the “loading phase" - about five days, which is aimed to provide desired Creatine levels for your body. You should use approximately 20 grams each day. Next is the maintenance phase, during which you need only five grams daily.
The most advantageous time to take a Creatine supplement is upon finishing a workout.
You pay for a good performing supplement, an average price
Madre Labs Omega 3 fish oil capsules
Most people know the major benefit of Fatty fish oils. However, a large part of the population does not eat enough fish, which means they are deficient in omega 3 - fatty acids.
Don't eat enough fish, try this alternative
Fish oil helps to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, and strengthen joint flexibility. Because our body can't produce these vital essential fats itself, we have to get these from food such as oily fish, seeds or nuts. Krill Oil is also considered a source of omega 3 essential fats. (Also pollutant-free!)
100 healthy Fish Gelatin Soft-gels
Really reasonable money layout for Omega 3
Easy to consume Gel capsules
Some runners prefer the liquid form
Century Mega multivitamins
Mega multivitamin supplements are highly necessary because your body requires vitamins and minerals continues to run efficiently.
In fact, most of these vitamins can be delivered from a healthy diet. However, due to natural conditions as well as pollution in our environment, many of the nutrients do not exist in soil or in foods.
For other reasons, when you exercise, the body loses minerals via sweat; therefore, the demand for nutrients increases.
A body that does not have enough nutrients will be easy to infect and cannot perform optimally.
It would be wise to choose multivitamins which have high levels of antioxidants in order to protect against free radicals which are known to damage our body’s organs and tissues.
A good investment in a broad source of vitamins and minerals
Promotes protection from free radicals
Replaces lost minerals expelled through sweating
Ensures a healthy balance of minerals
Ensures healthy balance of vitamins
Some runners prefer effervescent tablets to put in water
Nuun Hydration Tablets
Finally, we all know the important role of water in our life.
Water is considered a super supplement for runners. It is best to provide your body with about 8 glasses or 2 liters of water each day.
This can support the promotion of cardiovascular health, keep your body cool, supplement lost water by sweating during running, and help your muscles - as well as joints - work well.
Offered in tablets which quickly dissolve and a wide choice of tasty fruity flavors so that there is a flavor for every person.
The tablets are held in an easy to carry tube casing so that you can slip them into even a small pocket and take with you.
Affordable price for a user-friendly way to take a supplement
Can we taken with water
Great selection of flavors
Some runners prefer capsules
Labrada BCAA powder
This BCAA supplement comes in several flavors and provides you with a 2 to 1 ratio of leucine(2) and isoleucine(1) as well as valine(1). This product comes at a great price and features high quality and trusted ingredients.
Healthy option for balancing the body
Helps in muscle recovery
Essential amino acids
Also has electrolytes
Some people dont think it is sweet enough
Cellucor C4 Pre Workout
C4 features the active ingredient beta-alanine--so it will give you that tingly feeling some people like. It will also aid in muscle recovery and increase your overall ingredients. C4 features high quality ingredients you can trust and comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Average price for pre workout
- Begins working immediately
- Lots of flavors
- Aids in muscle recovery
- Trusted ingredients
- Satisfaciton guarantee
- Some people don’t like the tingly feeling
Why Take Supplements?
Regular runners and especially distance runners put their bodies through high endurance exercise, which means their bodies need additional support through nutritious supplementation. Here is a list which will be recognized by all runners. These points confirm the sense of using nutritious supplements.
- Supplements can help runners maintain a balanced fitness and health.
- Runners experience stiffness and muscle pains after long runs.
- Excessive sweating dispels nutrients from the body and these need to be replaced.
- Runners need recovery time after long runs.
- Runners require a strong focus and a lot of energy for performance.
- Runners know about longer lasting muscle and joint pains.
Taking supplements does have a positive impact on all of the above.
It is especially important for runners to make sure you’re getting enough vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Eating a balanced diet is a good start but adding supplements can help fill in the holes. Supplements are generally safe but it is best to talk to your doctor before beginning to take any supplements.
A balanced diet must include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein and a selective combination of balanced healthy supplements. A broad choice of beneficial supplements are available on the market for runners, the best-known being multivitamins and protein supplements. When choosing to supplement a diet, a person will need to target supplements which are able to provide positive results such as:
- Benefits all-around health, both psychological/physical.
- Better cartilage and bone strength
- Helps reduce inflammation.
- Fewer problems with sore/tired muscles.
- Increased energy capability.
- A better level of endurance.
- Higher athletic capability.
- Better focus and feeling of self-motivation.
- Quicker muscle recovery.
The selection of benefits from supplements is realistically positive for runners and athletes in general. Diet supplementation can promote an improvement in running further and quicker as well as aid in faster recovery after challenging exercise. Combine this with a better depth of sleep and we see a good group of beneficial variables.
Finally, we all know the important role of water in our life. Water is considered a super supplement for runners. It is best to provide your body with about 8 glasses or 2 liters of water each day. This can support the promotion of cardiovascular health, keep your body cool, supplement lost water by sweating during running, and help your muscles – as well as joints – work well.
Some runners said that they still run without any supplements. If your body can be supplemented enough with the above supplements, it will make certain that your health, as well as running, will be improved considerably.
Our Criteria for reviewing supplements for runners.
When reviewing supplements we closely looked at which supplements give the most realistic benefits to which parts of the body or how the supplements improve other factors such as energy, performance, and endurance.
We looked at how supplements promote tissue repair and the maintenance of body tissue. The benefits for runners were clear. Daily activities inflict wear on the tissue, so rigorous regular running certainly impacts on the bodies ability to maintain healthy tissue.
Our bodies have specialized sets of cells which create proteins that repair damaged body tissue and grow new tissue. For runners, supplements containing vitamin D and calcium are very beneficial. Especially for those regularly doing high performance running to promote the growth of new tissue and build up bone strength.
Fatty fish oils promote healthy bones, reduced inflammation, fewer sore muscles, and enhanced flexibility of the joints. Omega 3 is an essential ingredient in our bodies–but modern diets are deficient in omega 3. This means that runners involved in rigorous regular running are at risk unless they use an Omega 3 supplement. Therefore, we advise long-distance runners and other athletes begin using an Omega 3 supplement for the positive physical benefits and for the prevention of problems.
Multi-vitamins and minerals offer many benefits. Excessive sweating means we lose minerals and need to replenish them.
Modern diets don’t provide us with the nutrition we need–and are lacking in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, potassium, and calcium. Our body needs these vitamins and minerals to strengthen our bones, repair tissue, and help our muscles grow. Minerals and multi-vitamins contribute toward muscle performance and provide runners with the additional energy they need.
Iron is a very important and often overlooked, It helps transport oxygen in our bodies and fuels our muscles and tissue activity. Hemoglobin moves vital energy-giving oxygen around the body. Low iron means you are low on vital red blood cells which transport oxygen. The negative implications for runners who feed high-performing muscles with oxygen are obvious–their bodies will under-perform, become fatigued easily, and recovery time will be prolonged.
Protein (whey protein) supplementation preserves healthy lean muscle mass. The driving force for muscle growth is found in whey protein and is called leucine, an amino acid. Consistent lean muscle growth after exercise is enabled by the amino acids which we find in whey protein.
Runners need protein and whey is a known source for a high-quality protein packed with beneficial amino acids. Whey is very easy to digest which provides speedy benefits for the body. Whey protein promotes muscle growth and reduces towards reducing the blood’s systolic pressure of blood by around four percent.
When tissue is overworked or damaged inflammation will occur. Though short-term inflammation can be beneficial, chronic inflammation can be dangerous. Evidence shows that whey protein brings down the reactive C-Protein, which is known as a marker of body inflammation.
Creatine is an amino acid that repairs and increases muscle growth. It prevents and repairs tissue damage and is great for high-endurance training.
Calcium: Calcium promotes healthy dense bone tissue, which in itself serves towards protection of bone fractures.
There is no doubt our review demonstrates the many benefits runners receive from the appropriate supplements. They replace lost minerals, promote oxygen transportation, provide food for building muscles, repair tissues, alleviating muscle soreness, promote muscle recovery, and balance your hydration.
We agree that supplements can be beneficial but stress must be placed on using supplements only if you are sure you need them. If you use them be sure to use the correct amount in balance with the needs of your body.
Q: I’m an older runner and recently I have found that I become more easily fatigued. Any suggestions?
As we grow older it can be that exercise such as running might fatigue us more quickly but if you have been running over a number of years it seems fair to say that you are physically healthy. It might be that you could consider taking iron as a supplement because this will promote your blood systems capability to carry oxygen to those oxygen hungry muscles. However, before taking this course of action it is worth a quick visit to your doctors for a checkup.
Q: I’m a regular endurance runner and I’m thinking about taking supplements, can you suggest which supplements I should consider?
When giving this advice it is on the assumption that, as an experienced runner, you are already on a well-balanced diet. You can consider taking:
A whey protein supplement for the benefits of promotion of lean muscle growth, is full of positive amino acids, benefits with regards to inflammation, reducing blood pressure.
Mineral and multi-vitamin supplements contribute to healthy bones, muscle growth and recovery time, the repair of tissue and muscle performance.
Electrolyte drinks can replace electrolytes lost through excess sweating. Runners need electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, which in turn benefits to the maintenance of body hydration, works towards preventing dehydration, stimulation of thirst while enhancing the bodies ability to retain vital fluid.
Q: As a runner, will I benefit from taking vitamin D as advised to me by a friend?
Vitamin D will promote the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which in the right amounts and context will promote healthy bones. If you feel the need for healthy bones due to any personal bone problems, it will be wise to first get a check by your doctor to see if he/she feels you will benefit from taking Vitamin D.
Q: I tend to get problems with muscle soreness and some inflammation, especially after long runs. Is there any supplement that might help?
Omega 3 fish oil could be useful for you when taken in the right amount. This can give relief towards inflammation and sore muscle recovery. Long runs are more challenging for the body so the problems you have mentioned are not so unusual. If you decide to use a supplement it might be a good idea to use it in moderation. If your problems persist or get worse you should consult with a doctor.
Q: I have heard of runners drinking protein drinks as a supplement after a race, why?
Protein drinks serve towards positive energy in much the same way as carbohydrates. So drinking a protein drink after running can give the body help with recovery time and energy for storing to be used in the future.
To carry out our reviews accurately we have carried out extensive cross-reference research to ensure that the information we provide is as accurate and up to date as possible.
- runnersconnect.net Protein for Runners. How Much Protein Do You Need to Stay Healthy as a Runner? Article. 2017
- active.com What Runners Should Know About Protein. Karia Bruning. Article 2017
- mensrunninguk.co.uk The Importance of Iron. Article May 16, 2016
- trainingpeaks.com Iron and Endurance Athlete. Article James L. Weinstein 2009
- active.com Vitamins 101 For Runners. Article. 2016 Suzanne Girard Eberle, MS, RD
- livestrong.com article vitamins endurance athletes.
- runultra.co.uk Can-Fish-Oil-Make-You-a-Better-Runner. Article A Mobbs. 2016
- trainingpeaks.com benefits-of-omega-3-fats-for-the-endurance-athlete. Article. DECEMBER 4, 2014
- theguardian.com Could caffeine help you run better. Article. David Cox. 2015 May 21st
- active.com Running articles the caffeinated-runner. Matt Fitzgerald ( No date)