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Best Supplements For Runners Reviewed & Tested

last updated Dec 16, 2018
Getting your daily amount of needed vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can be difficult, even if you are the healthiest of eaters.

To 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.
Interviewed Experts
10
Interviewed Experts
Researched Sources
30
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1600
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
22
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Sarah Coryell:

Our most recent update focuses on ensuring the best products only get featured on this list and that all of the information is accurate and up to date. We have changed some of our content to better suit your needs and ensure that you are able to choose your best nutritional supplements to date. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us! We would love to hear from you!

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1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.2
Use
99%
Features
97%
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97%
Product Purity
96%
Brand
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$6.37
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
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97%
Features
95%
Application
95%
Product Purity
96%
Brand
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$57.94
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
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95%
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93%
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Product Purity
92%
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$16.99
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
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93%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$22.99
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
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$36.18
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
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87%
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88%
Product Purity
88%
Brand
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$27.99
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
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86%
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86%
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88%
Product Purity
85%
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83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$18.99
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
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81%
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83%
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83%
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80%
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Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$16.99
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
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Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$19.92
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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
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Price Comparison Last Updated (18.12.18)
$43.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • 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
  • Labrada BCAA powder
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Now Iron Essential Mineral

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.2
Now Iron Essential Mineral
Use
99
Features
97
Application
97
Product Purity
96
Brand
97
best offer for today
$6.37
Pros:

Good for maintaining a balanced iron level for the body

Aids the delivery of oxygen to the muscles

Easy dose system-capsules

Quite affordable

Cons:

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 needs

Read more

Iron Balance

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.

Provides Energy

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Gold Standard Protein
Use
97
Features
95
Application
95
Product Purity
96
Brand
96
best offer for today
$57.94
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

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

Increased Protein

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.

Quick Absorption

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Nature Made Calcium
Use
95
Features
93
Application
95
Product Purity
92
Brand
95
best offer for today
$16.99
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

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

Vitamin D

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
ProLab Caffeine Tablets
Use
93
Features
92
Application
92
Product Purity
90
Brand
90
best offer for today
$22.99
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 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.

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Caffeine

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.

Maximum strength

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Century Mega Multivitamins
Use
90
Features
90
Application
90
Product Purity
90
Brand
90
best offer for today
$36.18
Pros:

Promotes protection from free radicals

Replaces lost minerals expelled through sweating

Ensures a healthy balance of minerals

Ensures a healthy balance of vitamins

Cons:

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

Increased Vitamins

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.

High Antioxidants

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Optimum Nutrition Creatine
Use
88
Features
87
Application
88
Product Purity
88
Brand
86
best offer for today
$27.99
Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Improved Performance

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Nuun Hydration Tablets
Use
86
Features
86
Application
88
Product Purity
85
Brand
83
best offer for today
$18.99
Pros:

Can be taken with water

Great selection of flavors

Electrolytes

Caffeine

Vitamins

Cons:

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.

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Energy Supplement

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.4
Madre Labs Omega 3
Use
81
Features
83
Application
83
Product Purity
80
Brand
80
best offer for today
$16.99
Pros:

Easy to consume Gel capsules

Zero GMO

Zero gluten

100 doses

Cons:

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.

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Fish Oil

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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Cellucor C4 Pre Workout
Use
80
Features
80
Application
80
Product Purity
80
Brand
80
best offer for today
$19.92
Pros:

Increased workout

Has beta-alanine additional supplement

Comes in different flavors

Can be used with any drink

Cons:

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.

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Beta-Alaine

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.

Increased Performance

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. Labrada BCAA powder

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.2
Labrada BCAA powder
Use
76
Features
77
Application
77
Product Purity
75
Brand
76
best offer for today
$43.99
Pros:

Healthy option for balancing the body

Helps in muscle recovery

Vegan

Essential amino acids

Organic

Also has electrolytes

Cons:

Some people don't think it is sweet enough

BCAAs provide you with essential amino acids your body cannot replenish on its own. They aid in muscle recovery and improve your overall performance as well and this is the best brand that guarantees the supplement is effectively provided.

Read more

High-Quality BCAA

This product has a 2:1:1 ratio of the essential BCAA components to increase your performance: 2 parts leucine, 1 part valine, and 1 part isoleucine. This is the adequate quality ratio of these components that the most effective brands usually have.

Vegan-Friendly

Vegans can get the most out of this formula as well. This should come in handy to them and to anyone else with strict dietary limitations who still require maximum energy output and increased performance at the gym.

Cost and Value

This product comes at a great price. In addition, Labrada's formula features high quality and highly trusted ingredients, further improving its value for the customer.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

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.

Features

Every product has specific features that they can provide to users.

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.

Application

Consider how each vitamin and supplement are to be used and consumed.

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.

Product Purity

Make sure everything in the supplements are safe for you to take.

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.

Brand

A product is more than its brand but reputation does come into play.

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 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.

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.

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Know a little more about the products before consuming.

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.

The right tool for the job.

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

Advanced Features

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.

Bottom Line

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Are there any supplements 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.

Sources

  1. Abby Housefield, Runners Connect, Article,
  2. Karla Bruning, Active.com, Article,
  3. Charlotte Kennedy, Men's Running UK, Article,