Best Supplements For Runners Reviewed & Tested
That's where supplements can come in handy. To help you get you started, we have put together a list of supplements that will help keep you feeling your best. Enjoy the following list as it comes with a ton of research, interviews, and reading reviews.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Good for maintaining a balanced iron level for the body
Aids the delivery of oxygen to the muscles
Easy dose system-capsules
- Now Iron Essential Mineral
- Gold Standard Protein
- Nature Made Calcium
- ProLab Caffeine Tablets
- Century Mega Multivitamins
- Optimum Nutrition Creatine
- Nuun Hydration Tablets
- Madre Labs Omega 3
- Cellucor C4 Pre Workout
- Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Now Iron Essential Mineral
Good for maintaining a balanced iron level for the body
Aids the delivery of oxygen to the muscles
Easy dose system-capsules
Do not overuse, too much iron can damage body cells
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; this brand is a perfect supplement for such needsRead more
This product helps to maintain the body's iron balance. This is very important since iron deficiency is a lot more common in women but can also afflict a sizable number of men.
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 this supplement might be an option and can greatly help. However, keep in mind that an overabundance of iron in the body can damage your cells and tissues.
Cost and Value
Now Iron is a supplement that is offered at a price which sits close to the standard for supplements like it. And with its capability of replenishing energy and providing an abundant iron supply, it is worth every penny.
2. Gold Standard Protein
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
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 and this supplement would take care of this very need.Read more
Most people get enough protein in their daily diets, but runners have higher protein needs. Runners can get many benefits from protein supplements and the brand is the best as it replenishes lost proteins to increase your performance.
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.
Cost and Value
This is a product that provides an affordable source of whey protein. For most runners, a suitable amount is about 40 to 60 grams of whey protein per day; this provides enough for your body to recover quickly during your workout routines.
3. Nature Made Calcium
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
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. This is not a simple issue; most people can easily get enough calcium through their daily diets. Therefore, this could be the supplement which you would want to take.Read more
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.
Increased Strength and Performance
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.
Cost and Value
At an affordable price, the product ensures quality vitamin D and calcium. Because of this, the potential health benefits and avoidance of injuries can equal tremendous savings for the customer.
4. ProLab Caffeine Tablets
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 overdo it
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 more
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 because it gives you an additional energy during your workouts.
Cost and Value
The ProLab Caffeine Tablets come at an extraordinarily easy price. What's even better is that this affordable product comes in an easy tablet dose system with the right amount of caffeine and other pre-workout supplements.
5. Century Mega Multivitamins
Promotes protection from free radicals
Replaces lost minerals expelled through sweating
Ensures a healthy balance of minerals
Ensures a healthy balance of vitamins
Some runners prefer effervescent tablets to put in water
No matter how healthy you feel, you need to ensure you have enough vitamins in your meals. 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.Read more
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. the brand ensures that your body has enough vitamin supplements it needs to complete its actions.
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. This brand is the best when it comes to this feature.
Cost and Value
A good investment in a broad source of vitamins and minerals can be derived from just one bottle of Century Mega Multivitamins. Because of this, it gets our approval as a fantastic value for a runner's supplement.
6. Optimum Nutrition Creatine
Increased recovery rate during workout
Quite an affordable brand
Contains CreaPure Creatine that is a pure supplement
Increases muscle energy reserve for a boosted workout
Some customers complain of a narrow cap
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, then this is the perfect brand for you.Read more
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. This brand offers quality ingredients to offer energy supplements for your workouts.
Muscle Strength and Repair
The most advantageous time to take a Creatine supplement is upon finishing a workout. The brand helps you avoid injuries and replenishes muscle tissues to keep you running and fit.
Cost and Value
Here's the truth: Optimum Nutrition doesn't sell their products for very cheap. However, you can rest assured that you are paying for a good performing supplement that guarantees you muscle strength and powerful performance at the gym.
7. Nuun Hydration Tablets
Can be taken with water
Great selection of flavors
Some runners prefer capsules
We all know the important role water plays in our life. Water is considered a super supplement for runners; it's 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. Nuun has a broad choice of flavor to help hydrate your body.Read more
This product offers you the option to use the supplement in combination with water so that you also re-hydrate your body in the process. The result is a very easy method for getting electrolytes, vitamins, and energy creating caffeine.
Quick Dissolving Tablets
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.
Cost and Value
Nuun comes at an affordable price for a user-friendly way to take a supplement. The brand also comes in various dissolving tablet flavors that can be taken with water.
8. Madre Labs Omega 3
Easy to consume Gel capsules
Some runners prefer the liquid form
Omega 3 has real health benefits and 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.Read more
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.
No GMOs and Gluten Free
It is made of pure ingredients to provide you with Omega 3 needed to help control muscle injury to boost fitness. The product is also gluten-free.
Cost and Value
With Omega 3 guarantee and 100 healthy Fish Gelatin Soft-gels, the product offers a reasonable money layout for the supplement.
9. Cellucor C4 Pre Workout
Has beta-alanine additional supplement
Comes in different flavors
Can be used with any drink
Some consumers complain of its costly price
Pre-workout is a favorite among many athletes and runners--it gives you the energy you need to push yourself to the limit. C4 offers a potent formula that serves as the greatest hits of other popular running supplements.Read more
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.
The way that C4 improves runners' performance is that it helps to reduce muscle fatigue. This carries the consequence of longer workouts, whether it's a long run or lengthy trip to the gym.
Cost and Value
This C4 product is sold at the average price for a pre-workout supplement, more or less. When compared to the cost of many other running supplements, however, it comes at a much higher asking rate.
10. Vitamin Code Raw Zinc
100% Certified Organic ingredients that are traceable to the farm of origin
Raw and vegan
Contains prebiotics and digestive enzymes
Whole food based
Some had stomach issues
Some users felt overall zinc level was low
This is a versatile and nutritionally packed zinc supplement that's great for runners because of the high variety of included minerals that support bone health in addition to the usual body growth and maintenance functions that come with zinc. It also has probiotics and enzymes to assist with digestive health and is 100% raw, vegan, and organically certified.Read more
Users reported this was extremely good at clearing up adult acne and for overall immune, digestion, and whole body system maintenance.
All of the ingredients in this product are sourced from whole foods and are traceable all the way back to the farm of their origin. It is 100% organically certifies, raw and vegan.
Although few number the most common difficulties people experienced were an upset stomach and one person felt that the inside of their mouth got a bit raw.
Ease of Use
It comes in capsules that are of normal size and are easy to swallow.
Not the cheapest product but when you look at the per serving price compared to the integrity of the ingredients and efficacy of the product it rates as a good buy.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It's important for the supplements you take to work well.
If you're going to be going to the trouble and expense of taking a nutritional supplement it's important that it works well in order to get your money's worth, help you feel better, and not just be excreted. When choosing the products for this list we considered over 1600 reviews from people who had used the supplements we were considering. We didn't put anything on here that hasn't proven its efficacy in the real world. Shopping for nutritional supplements can be dizzying. Especially in the information age, there is just so much out there that it can be confusing as to what and who to believe and to know what companies are reputable and consistently putting out good products. We made sure to only include products from reputable brands that have proven their products over a long time period and are still doing a good job and not resting on their laurels. It's very easy these days to put just about any kind of pill in a bottle, slap a label on it and claim that it works, since believe it or not there is actually very little government oversight when it comes to nutritional supplements so it's up to the consumer to do their due diligence. We've helped with that in this buying guide but as always encourage you to do your own research since your health is the most important thing and should never be completely outsourced.
Since the nutritional supplement industry is largely unregulated by the government we made sure to bring you products from brands that can be trusted to use high-quality ingredients.
Taking your health seriously is important and that's why we made sure to only include products on our list that use high-quality ingredients that are reputably and ethically sourced. This can be very difficult in a globalized world with so many things coming from so many different sources. Although not every single ingredient from every single product on our list comes from whole foods, we did our best to include products that do originally come from a food-based source. This is important because ingredients that are sourced from whole foods are going to be more natural, have fewer side effects and make a smaller negative ecological impact on our environment. In many cases the products we have chosen use ingredients that can all be traced back to the individual farms where they were grown. Number ten, Vitamin Code Raw Zinc is one such product.
Every person has a unique system and no nutritional supplement will act the same for all of us.
When it comes to nutritional supplements it's important that you listen to your own body when you're taking these products. Although while choosing supplements we made sure to only include products from reputable companies that had a low incidence of causing people difficulties it's inevitable that a small percentage of users will experience some sort of unpleasant side effect from using a nutritional supplement. Fortunately, most of these side effects are minor. The most common are upset stomachs and headaches. Again it's important that you listen to your body while taking these supplements and if they make you feel worse instead of better stop taking them immediately. One thing that everyone can do to help prevent and minimize side effects when taking nutritional supplements is to drink plenty of water. This helps to dissolve the supplements in your digestive system, as well as making your cells fully receptive to absorption. Being dehydrated while taking a supplement can make it really hard on your system to utilize the vitamins and minerals it contains, so you could get side effects from something that could actually be really good for you if taken when properly hydrated.
Ease of Use
Most supplements come in capsules or pills that are easy to take, but those that are powdered or in large pills can be more difficult.
Fortunately, this is a less complicated factor to look at than the ones above. Either a product is easy, simple, and convenient to take or it isn't. When choosing products for this buying guide this wasn't our first consideration, we were more concerned with bringing you effective products that have high-quality ingredients, but as we narrowed it down this was certainly something we took into account. Most people today are very busy, and a supplement may be very good in all other aspects but if it's difficult to take you may find yourself conveniently "forgetting" to take it and then you won't get the benefits. So as much as possible we brought you products that are either in easy to swallow pill form or if they are powdered have good taste and with liquids.
While health is the most important thing in our lives, that doesn't mean you can, or should have to spend a fortune on it.
At RunnerClick we believe that optimum health shouldn't be the purview of only the rich. Everybody deserves to have access to proper nutrition no matter how much money they make. And while the honest truth is that unfortunately, nutritional supplements are currently out of the reach of billions of people worldwide because of larger system issues, most people living in the industrialized world can afford to take some sort of nutritional supplement. While overall quality was the most important thing we looked at we also didn't add any super expensive products to our list. If you're new to the world of nutritional supplements some of these products may seem pricey when you first look at them when you break it down to a per serving price they're much more palatable and are certainly still less expensive than going to the doctor.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It could probably go without being said, but here it is anyways. It's a good idea to do your own research about these products before putting anything in your body. This about any allergies that you may have, or even possible side effects.
If you take supplements to help get fit, but don't do enough of the exercise part of the deal, Don't blame the supplements for not working.
While Caffeine will do its job on its own, many other products require a little something from you to work correctly. Make sure you're choosing the appropriate supplement for the type of workout you're doing.
Other Factors to Consider
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. It is an essential nutrient that many runners need.
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.
Here are some common supplements and how they can benefit runners:
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.
We know this isn't typically thought of as a supplement, it's one of the most important factors when it comes to our health. 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.
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.
A Balanced Diet based on Whole Foods
It is especially important for runners to get 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 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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. Which ones should I 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. Your friends care and have your best interests at heart but unless your friend is a doctor or experienced nutrition expert be careful about taking their advice without doing more research of your own.
q: I tend to get problems with muscle soreness and some inflammation, especially after long runs. Are there any supplements 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.
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- From 5K to Ultramarathon: 8 Supplements to Get Runners Started off on the Right Foot , Nutrition and Fitness Website ,
- 5 Bone Strengthening Nutrients you Need to be Getting, Runner's World Magazine ,