Best Supplements For Runners Reviewed & Tested

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A healthy combination of supplements is perfect for helping maintain the body.

Think of your body like a high tech engine, it needs regular focused ongoing maintenance.

Those who have a strong passion for running are always looking for newer and more effective ways to enhance their performance, health, and endurance.

A good pair of running shoes, reasonable training methods, healthy diet, and necessary supplements for your body are some key factors for getting and staying on target. In this article, we will take a look at some good supplements for runners which will keep your body going. In order to meet various demands, the supplement market is full of a variety of different products. Knowing which supplements are right for you is the best place to start.

For runners, it is common knowledge that the body must be looked after and well maintained. Part of this vital maintenance is to take the right amount and balance of nutrients. Following a healthy running schedule is crucial. It is even better for promoting health if exercise is supported through a supplemental form of a healthy diet. Challenging regular exercise won’t be as beneficial to a person if that person is not on a regular nutritious diet.

Enjoy this list of supplements and choose those which you need.

Last Updated: March 15, 2018
By Richard Haberkost:

When you engage in running, you fine-tune and perform your body to a higher level. There will be times when you want to supplement the maintenance of your body. We regularly seek out the best options for you to choose from. Here is a fantastic selection of researched and proven products for runners. Read our section covering criteria for review to know how much research we carry out to ensure the best choices. If you find you have a few questions, check our informative FAQs which covers questions put forward by runners.

Now Iron Essential Mineral
  • Now Iron Essential Mineral
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Maintain the bodies iron balance
  • Price: See Here
Nature Made Calcium 600mg
  • Nature Made Calcium 600mg
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Healthy strong bones
  • Price: See Here
ProLab Caffeine Tablets
  • ProLab Caffeine Tablets
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Caffeine equals boosting energy
  • Price: See Here

 

 

Best Supplements For Runners.

1. Now Iron Essential Mineral 18mg

Maintain the bodies iron balance, this is very important.

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.
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Description
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.

Cost
Offered at a price which sits close to standard for a supplement.
Pros

Good for maintaining a balanced iron level for the body

Aids the delivery of oxygen to the muscles

Easy dose system-capsules

Cons

Do not over use, too much iron can damage body cells

2. Nature Made Calcium 600mg

Calcium equals healthy strong bones.

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.
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Description

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.

Cost

An affordable product for ensuring calcium top up
Pros

Aids the growth of strong bones

Fends of  osteoporosis

Works towards maintaining a balanced body health

Also contains vitamin D

Cons

Stay with recommended dosage, do not take too much

3. ProLab Caffeine Tablets

Caffeine equals boosting energy.

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
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Description

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.

Cost

Easy price and easy tablet dose system
Pros

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

Cons

Caffeine is an energy booster but do not over do it

Gold Standard Protein Whey protein

Protein builds healthy lean muscles

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
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Description

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.

Cost

Affordable whey protein, the price is friendly
Pros

Easy to consume and a nice range of flavors

None meat product

Good before exercise

Aids recovery for muscles

Promotes lean muscle growth

Cons

Some runners prefer meat protein

Creatine

Multi-functional supplement

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.
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Description

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.

Cost

You pay for a good performing supplement, an average price
Pros

Post workout

Offered as capsules or powder

Repairs muscles

Reduces Inflammation

Repairs damage to cells

Improves body water distribution

Improves heart rate

Cons

Some runners do not like the taste

Madre Labs Omega 3 fish oil capsules

Omega 3 for real health benefits.

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
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Description

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!)

Fish Oil

No GMOs

No Gluten

100 healthy Fish Gelatin Soft-gels

Cost

Really reasonable money layout for Omega 3
Pros

Easy to consume Gel capsules

Zero GMO

Zero gluten

100 doses

Cons

Some runners prefer the liquid form 

Century Mega multivitamins

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.
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Description

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.

Cost

A good investment in a broad source of vitamins and minerals
Pros

Promotes protection from free radicals

Replaces lost minerals expelled through sweating

Ensures a healthy balance of minerals

Ensures healthy balance of vitamins

Cons

Some runners prefer effervescent tablets to put in water

Nuun Hydration Tablets

A broad choice of fruity flavors

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.
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This product offers you the option to use the supplement in combination with water so that you also re-hydrate your body while. A very easy method for getting electrolytes, vitamins, and energy creating caffeine.

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
Affordable price for a user-friendly way to take a supplement
Pros

Can we taken with water

Great selection of flavors

Electrolytes

Caffiene

Vitamins

 

Cons

Some runners prefer capsules

Megafood. Men's One daily

Megafood. Men's One daily
Just one tablet a day ensures that you balance the nutrient levels in your body.

The ingredients include nutrients which originate from organic farm produced products such as nutritional yeast, brown rice, broccoli,  wholesome carrots and nutrients with protective antioxidants and phytonutrients.

This means that the nutrition you get is all zero GMO.
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Description

This product offers a method to gain body balancing nutrition simply and effectively packed with antioxidants and organic food sources.

Enjoy the rejuvenating benefits and a feeling of well being via antioxidants and a broad spectrum of carotenoids.

This supplement is devoid of any negative contents containing gluten, soy, dairy or preservative chemicals.

Balance your body and you will balance your health, this option can be taken through using safe ingredients which will work for you without any side effects such as those which can result from preservatives, chemicals or GMO foods.

Cost

This course of supplements created from natural resources is sold at a customer friendly cost.

Pros

Healthy option for balancing the body

Free from GMO products

Free of preservatives or chemicals

Antioxidants

Organic

Easy quick absorption tablet 

Cons

Stick to prescribed daily intake, no cons reported

 Naturelo Whole Food Multivitamin 

 Naturelo Whole Food Multivitamin 
You get the full body maintenance blend of super supplements while forgoing chemicals, preservatives or any animal extracts.

Ideal for vegans who want to promote personal health without breaking a strict diet regime. Easy to consume and offered as a good affordable health product.

Read on and decide if this blend of supplement should be at home with you.
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Description

When we talk about multi-vitamins, this product has everything which excluding meat extracts or chemical preservatives.

All genuine natural vitamins consisting of A-B_C_D-E-and K.
Vegetable blends with organic fruit flavors.
 Fully None GMO and zero Gluten.
Zero Soy, Gelatin, Zero eggs, Zero dairy and zero caffeine. Zero additives. 
Assists Immunity. Works for boosting metabolism and energy.
Good for the heart, the brain, and the prostate.
Good for bringing down inflammation and stress.
Supports a healthy immune system.
Contributes positively towards bone strength. digestion and vision. Vision, Digestion & Bone Strength*
Antioxidants, ginger, Biloba, resveratrol, cinnamon, turmeric, ginkgo, rutin, lutein, lycopene.
Iodine, Calcium
This is just a taste of the beneficial nutrients.

Cost

Affordable and good.

Pros

Supports immune system

A healthy blend of vitamins

Free of chemicals/preservatives

Free of animal extracts

A choice of blended vegetable and fruit flavors

Generally good for overall body health

Cons

Some people prefer nonvegan supplements

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:

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.

Silhouette of a man in running, joints pain. Vector illustration

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 as a regular supplement for active runners benefit from healthy bones, reduced inflammation, fewer sore muscles, and enhanced flexibility of the joints. Omega 3 is a much-needed ingredient in our bodies but modern diets are deficient in good amounts of omega 3. This means that runners involved in rigorous regular running are more at risk of problems unless they use an Omega 3 supplement. Therefore, we advise long-distance runners and other athletes to look towards using an Omega 3 supplement for the positive physical benefits and for the prevention of problems.

Multi-vitamins and minerals as a supplement for runners do offer clear benefits. We note that excessive sweating means we are losing vital minerals. The case for supplementation is very clear.

Modern diets are often lacking with regards to good intake and balance of minerals and vitamins. Supplementing B12, Vitamin D, potassium, and calcium can only result in positive benefits for regular runners as long as these are taken in appropriate amounts. The body needs fuel for strong bones, tissue repair, and the growth of muscles. Minerals and multi-vitamins contribute positively toward muscle performance to meet the needs of energetic runners.

Iron is a very important mineral which is often overlooked but is vital for promoting the transportation of oxygen around our bodies to fuel muscles and all tissue activity. Hemoglobin moves vital energy-giving oxygen around the body. To be low on 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. The body will under-perform and become fatigued very easily. Also, recovery time after exercise will be greatly 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 means speedy benefits for the body. Whey protein will promote growth for muscles and can serve towards reducing the systolic pressure of blood by around four percent.

When tissue is overworked or damaged inflammation will occur. Though short-term inflammation can be beneficial, there is a danger of inflammation becoming chronic.  Evidence shows that big amounts of whey protein as a supplement will bring down reactive C-Protein which is known as a marker of body inflammation. Runners can and do gain benefits from whey as a supplement.

Creatine is an amino acid which provides known benefits. Creatine repairs and grows muscle tissue. It has positive outcomes for tissue damage and repair and is good for runners who take part in high-endurance training.

Calcium: Most of us get enough calcium in our daily diets. For runners, the focus should be more towards considering the use of vitamin D as a supplement because this vitamin promotes the absorption of calcium in the body.  The benefits of calcium are the promotion of healthy dense bone tissue, which in itself serves towards protection of bone fractures.

Caffeine is a known pick-me-up or booster of energy. Where reactions can be quicker, we become more alert, and we have better motor skills. Caffeine also enables fat to be converted over into needed energy, therefore this supplement is popular among runners.

There is no doubt at all that our reviews conclude that supplements can benefit runners in a wide variety of ways, some supplements replace lost minerals, some supplements promote the transportation of vital oxygen, provide food for building muscles, repairing tissues, alleviating muscle soreness and promoting muscle recovery, even balancing the hydration of our bodies.

Happy healthy fitness woman.

We agree that supplements can be beneficial but stress must be placed on using supplements only if you are sure you need them and if you use them be sure to use the correct amount in balance with the needs of your body.

 

FAQ

 

Q: I’m an older runner and recently I have found that I become more easily fatigued. Any suggestions?

A:  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?

A:  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?

A:  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?

A:  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?

A:  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.

 For carrying 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.

Sources:

  1. runnersconnect.net Protein for Runners.  How Much Protein Do You Need to Stay Healthy as a Runner? Article. 2017
  2. active.com  What Runners Should Know About Protein. Karia Bruning. Article 2017
  3. mensrunninguk.co.uk The Importance of Iron. Article May 16, 2016 
  4. trainingpeaks.com Iron and Endurance Athlete. Article James L. Weinstein 2009
  5. active.com Vitamins 101 For Runners. Article. 2016 Suzanne Girard Eberle, MS, RD
  6. livestrong.com article vitamins endurance athletes. ANDREA CESPEDES
  7. runultra.co.uk Can-Fish-Oil-Make-You-a-Better-Runner. Article A Mobbs. 2016
  8. trainingpeaks.com benefits-of-omega-3-fats-for-the-endurance-athlete. Article.    DECEMBER 4, 2014  
  9. theguardian.com Could caffeine help you run better. Article.  David Cox. 2015 May 21st
  10. active.com Running articles the caffeinated-runner. Matt Fitzgerald ( No date)