9 Best Supplements for Runners

9 Best Supplements for Runners

“Sloppy food”, L-carnitine, minerals and BCAA – what supplements are useful for beginner runners and why they need them.

Some Facts About Sport Nutrition For Amateur Runners

One should make distinction between supplements for everyday usage and for competitions. The first group is aimed at filling the runner’s body with nutrients to speed up recovery and make ligaments and joints more adaptive. The key task of supplements for competitions is to support an athlete during long races, give him energy and help avoid dehydration.

Supplements for Runners in Training


Intended Use: for maximum muscle rehabilitation after training.

If you train more than 15 hours a week, an ideal doze of protein per day for you is 0.7g per 1 kg of your weight (0.015 lb. per 2.2 lb.). If you train less than 10-15 hours per week, there is no need in taking protein. The protein from food will be enough for your body.

BCAA (amino acids)

Intended Use: to slow down the process of the muscle mass loss and muscular fiber wear. 

Doses vary. They are labeled on packages. If you train less than 10 hours per week, replace BCAA with bananas. They will do the same effect and help you lose less muscle when running.

Vitamin Complexes

Intended Use: to fill the body with nutrients.

Vitamin complexes should be used on an individual basis. All depends on personal needs and characteristics. For everyone, it is advisable to take magnesium (it reduces the possibility of seizures), Omega-3 and vitamin-mineral complexes that contain basic vitamins and minerals.


Intended Use: Many runners recommend taking L-carnitine to keep body toned before competitions and to start fat burning processes. However, for beginner runners it is of no great use.

If you are aimed at fat burning, it is enough to put in highly intensive morning training before breakfast that last no less than 40 minutes.

If we are talking about filling the body with nutrients before the intensive training load, you should eat more complex carbohydrates. For example, pasta that is very popular among runners on the threshold of competitions.

Supplements For The First Long Run

Electrolyte Mix

Intended Use:  Electrolyte Mix is a typical sport nutrient for long training and races. It restores fluid-and-electrolyte balance and supports acid-alkaline balance. Moreover, it supplies us with glycogen and controls the level of electrolytes (nutrients that help almost all body systems work properly).

You can buy a ready-made isotonifier: it is usually produced in the form of powder and marketed at most sport nutrition shops. You can also cook it yourself by adding sea salt, fresh orange juice and honey into the drinking water.

Energy Bars

Intended Use: provide energy for long races.

Energy bars contain great amounts of carbohydrates. They support the proper level of energy in the body. In these latter days, especially among vegetarians, fully organic bars have become very popular. 

Energy Gel

Intended Use: as well as energy bars, it serves for filling the body with energy during long distance runs.

Energy gel is a synthetic glucose derivative. Many athletes do not use gels out of concern for possible collywobbles, and they replace it with baby food in handy packs. However, it often contains fewer carbohydrates and does not show much effect.

It is accepted that the first energy gel in the world was developed in the middle 80’s with the participation of Bruce Fordice, one of the most well-known marathon runners.

Salt Tablets

Intended Use: restore salt level in the body, slow down dehydration process and reduce the possibility of seizures.

Along with the salt tablets, magnesium ampules can help relieve spasms during long runs.


FruitsIntended Use: Believe it or not, fruits may be more effective than any synthetic products during ultra long marathons.

Most commonly used fruits for running are bananas and oranges. They contain glucose, fructose and sucrose that digest easily and provide energy by filling the body with glycogen. Moreover, fruits restore the body after hard physical loads very well.

Attention! Before taking any sport supplements, please, consult your physician.

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