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8 Top Supplements For Runners To Pick Up The Pace

8 Top Supplements For Runners To Pick Up The Pace
Evangeline Howarth
Editor6 years ago
View Evangeline Howarth's profile
Nutritionally reviewed by Jennifer Blow

If you’re a regular runner, you’ll know that there are so many variables that mean a run goes well or badly — what you’ve eaten, how hard you’ve been training, and even your mood can play a part. Getting your nutrition right — whatever your distance — is a simple step towards making sure you have a good run. And, if you’ve really caught the competitive bug, then these supplements for runners might make all the difference to your finishing time.

Before Your Run

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine probably isn’t the first supplement that springs to mind for running performance, but you’ll be surprised by the benefits. Running — especially for long distances — causes muscle inflammation and cellular damage, as well as muscle catabolism.1 If you want a pair of strong legs to run on, then you need to maintain and build up that muscle.

Its main function is to supply more energy to be used by the muscles to push a little further. However, some research also suggests that it could allow your body to use oxygen more efficiently by reducing submaximal VO2 levels — this is good news for your legs and your lungs.2 If you’re a sprinter, then creatine can help improve the power behind that explosive movement.3

Good for all distances  

THE Pre-Workout+

Once you’ve tried THE Pre-Workout+, there’ll be no running without it. The pioneering PhaseTech™ time-release technology means that the initial caffeine punch won’t be followed by a crash, but a sustained series of energy boosts – it’ll keep you pounding the pavement for as long as you like.

Caffeine isn’t the only benefit of this potent pre-workout. With VASO6 and hawthorn berry extract added to the blend, your muscles are about to get a whole lot more oxygen. These two ingredients have incredible vasodilating effects, meaning increased blood flow to the muscles, carrying all the energy-making molecules and added nutrients. No excuse for slowing down.4-7

Good for mid-long distances  

Caffeine Pro™

Supplements for runners don't come more straightforward than this. Caffeine is undeniable in delaying fatigue — relied on to get you through the working day, as well as through your workout.8 There have been studies to show that caffeine can sharpen your senses and kick-start your focus, to keep you in the zone from start to finish.9 For the most convenient boost that cuts out queuing for a coffee, try our Caffeine Pro™ tablets for a quick hit.

Good for all distances 

During Your Run

Energy Gel Elite™

Eating during a run really isn’t necessary until you’re over the 90-minute mark. This is when you need to replenish your carbohydrate stores to keep yourself going. Obviously you want to avoid carrying food or getting a stitch when you’re on the move, so an energy gel that fits in your pocket is ideal. Our Energy Gel Elite™ sachets are the perfect solution as they provide 25g of carbohydrates to boost your glycogen stores, as well as a vitamin B blend to reduce tiredness and fatigue. This is one of the most sustaining supplements for runners looking to go the distance.

Good for long distances 

After Your Run

Protein Powder

Protein comes pretty high on the list of supplements for runners. It's vital for muscle repair and growth, so getting some on board as soon as you’re finished is the perfect way to make sure that your legs are ready to go again as soon as possible.10 Even if you didn’t perform at your peak, it’s important that your body gets the nutrients it needs to repair itself and keep improving.

Whey protein is the easiest way to give your body the protein it needs straight away, especially if you’re tight on time. Our Impact Whey Protein comes in a huge range of delicious flavours and delivers 21g of protein per serving, with only 103 calories — ideal for supplying your muscles with what they need after a tough 10k.

Plant-based? We’ve got you covered – try our delicious range of vegan protein powders.

Good for all distances 

THE Whey+

If you’re looking for the ultimate supplement to chase down and smash your targets, then you’ve just found it. This exclusive protein powder contains a blend of both fast- and slow-digesting protein so that your muscles get an immediate hit, as well as a sustained supply for hours after. THE Whey+ unique PhaseTech™ delivery system allows for an additional phased-release of BCAAs to maximise your muscle recovery, making you stronger for many runs to come.

Good for all distances 

Vitamin D3

Joint supplements for runners can make all the difference and save you some pain. Vitamin D3 is well known for maintaining bone health as it helps calcium to be absorbed from what you eat.11 Studies have shown that a large percentage of the population are deficient in vitamin D,12 which is where our convenient Vitamin D tablets come in handy. Supplementing this essential vitamin is a great way to reduce the risk of stress fractures, and some studies have shown that it may also provide some significant performance benefits such as improved muscle power.13-14

Good for all distances 

Take Home Message

There’s no doubt that running is tough on the body — both mentally and physically. Providing your muscles, bones and mind with the nutrients they need will keep you out on the road for longer and doing laps of the track without thinking. Whatever your ability, distance or body type, with a little research and trial and error, you’ll find that these supplements for runners can help to improve your performance and recovery.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

1 Clarkson, P. M., & Hubal, M. J. (2002). Exercise-induced muscle damage in humans. American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation81(11), S52-S69.

2 Jones, A. M., Carter, H., Pringle, J. S., & Campbell, I. T. (2002). Effect of creatine supplementation on oxygen uptake kinetics during submaximal cycle exercise. Journal of applied physiology92(6), 2571-2577.

3 Mujika, I., Padilla, S., IbaÑez, J., Izquierdo, M., & Gorostiaga, E. (2000). Creatine supplementation and sprint performance in soccer players. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise32(2), 518.

4 U.S. Patent No 6,706,756 BI, Fig.7

5 Rigelsky, J. and Sweet, B. (2002). Hawthorn: pharmacology and therapeutic uses. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 59(5), pp.417-422.

6 AstraGin; NuLivScience; “Clinically Demonstrated to Significantly Increase the Absorption of Amino Acids, Peptides, Vitamins, and Other Nutrients in Intestinal Cells to enhance the Nutritional Value of Targeted functional Foods and Supplements

7 Majeed, M., Badamaev, V. and Rajendran, R. (1998). Use of Piperine as a Bioavailability Enhancer. United States Patent.

8 Graham, T., Rush, J. and Soeren, M. (1994). Caffeine and Exercise: Metabolism and Performance. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 19(2), pp. 111-138.

9 Hogervorst, E. E. F., Bandelow, S., Schmitt, J. A., Jentjens, R. O. Y., Oliveira, M., Allgrove, J. E., … & Gleeson, M. (2008). Caffeine improves physical and cognitive performance during exhaustive exercise.

10 Esmarck, B., Andersen, J. L., Olsen, S., Richter, E. A., Mizuno, M., & Kjær, M. (2001). Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans. The Journal of physiology535(1), 301-311.

11 Holick, M. F. (1996). Vitamin D and bone health. The Journal of nutrition126(suppl_4), 1159S-1164S.

12 Pearce, S. H., & Cheetham, T. D. (2010). Diagnosis and management of vitamin D deficiency. Bmj340(7738), 142-147.

13 Lappe, J., Cullen, D., Haynatzki, G., Recker, R., Ahlf, R., & Thompson, K. (2008). Calcium and vitamin D supplementation decreases incidence of stress fractures in female navy recruits. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research23(5), 741-749.

14 Bartoszewska, M., Kamboj, M., & Patel, D. R. (2010). Vitamin D, muscle function, and exercise performance. Pediatric Clinics57(3), 849-861.Not

Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.

In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!

Find out more about Evie's experience here.