best supplements for runners

Choosing The Best Supplements For Runners. Here Are The Top 5

Perhaps you are an avid runner who does their best to stay in good shape; it is not just a matter of exercising on a regular basis, but also eating healthy, and maybe you are doing a solid job of getting in a nice balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein every day for each meal. That said, that is a good start to a healthy lifestyle.

best supplements for runners

At the same time, however, you might have also heard about supplements, of which athletes take to enhance their body and running performance. You might be wondering if it is worth a try, especially if you are already eating well.

While not an obligation to do so, taking supplements can actually be beneficial, especially for those who might have a tendency to have low iron or calcium levels. Even if you are perfectly healthy, it would not hurt to try it out in moderation.

That being said, this article aims to give you some of the best supplements for runners to consider taking, as well as offering some good products you might want to try out for your health. Without further ado, let us begin!

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7 Top Supplements for Runners to Try

The Best Supplements For Runners

With all of the different supplements out there in grocery stores and health-food shops, the choices can be overwhelming. Even more so, you might not be sure which ones are actually worth it and others just a scam. Here, we provide a list of supplements that are legitimate for your health, and that you might to try out:

1. Celadrin.

Consisting of a multitude of fatty acids and oils, celadrin is good for keeping your joints lubricated, as well as cushioned between each other. It also helps muscles and tendons stay flexible, as it works on the cellular level to keep things comfortable and longer-lasting.

2. Fish Oil.

Also made from fatty acids like celadrin, fish oil helps blood vessels dilate, therefore resulting in increased blood flow to the brain and the cardiovascular system, the latter in which helps pump your heart and keep it strong. This ingredient can also be naturally found in fish, e.g. salmon, but if you do not normally eat fish, then this supplement will do the trick.

3. Zinc.

While you do not need a ton of this particular element in your body, a little bit of it can make a huge difference to your athletic performance. Zinc has been shown to boost energy metabolism, as well as that of the immune system. When you run, you lose zinc, so it is best to replenish them afterwards.

4. Iron.

Especially for women, iron loss is a common thing among athletes since when we exercise, we lose iron in the process. As a result, you might feel tired, sluggish, and devoid of any energy reserve to keep going on your runs. Iron supplements can help, so taking a pill or two can yield good results.

5. Calcium.

As your mother used to say, “drinking milk gives you strong bones.” Calcium, which can make up to 40 percent of milk, truly builds a better bone structure and unfortunately gets lost whenever we perform physical activity. That said, taking calcium supplements helps to reduce the risk of bone fracture while also keeping you fortified with its nutrients.

6. Vitamin D.

Normally, you can get vitamin D for sunlight, but especially if you live somewhere with little exposure to the sun, then vitamin D supplements can work in place of it. Aside from sunlight, vitamin D itself has been shown to decrease risks of diabetes and even some forms of cancer, which is always a plus!

7. Creatine.

A compound originally from protein metabolism, creatine is useful for enhancing muscle contraction by creating phosphorus reserves, which are then released in maximum-intensity workouts such as sprinting. It is the ultimate “power pill,” and it can also be used for strength training.

Top Five Best Supplements for Running

* Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

best supplements for runners

With beta-alanine and amino acids introduced inside of them, Red Leaf’s energizers are the optimal pills to take before your next workout, as they have been shown to feed your muscles with energy to keep you going and prevent post-workout fatigue. It is worth a try!

Pros

  • Has a cranberry and green tea blend for antioxidants to be delivered to your body for better cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Contains beta-alanine and amino acids for muscle strength and faster recovery, so that you can return to exercising soon after.
  • Consists of natural caffeine for a calmer, stress-less workout.

Cons

  • Might not have as much effect as other supplements out there, for it is geared towards beginners.

Opinion

I found Red Leaf’s pre-workout energizer pills to be pretty good, and also tasty! I enjoyed the cranberry-lime flavor, and had no problems with it as I was exercising. The only thing was that I wish that it contained more of the ingredients listed, since it seemed to be quite mild compared with other supplements that I have tried.

best supplements for runners

This particular supplement works especially with the muscles of your body, targeting them to prevent lactic acid from building up post-workout, which are known to cause cramps, tightness, and overall unpleasant symptoms. Its 120-count is plenty, for it is enough to last you a long time for running.

Pros

  • Has a blend of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D for improved VO2 max, which is the time to getting exhausted.
  • Produces plenty of lactate to keep the muscles stimulated while performing high-intensity activities, and then prevents lactic acid (its by-products) from happening..
  • Reduces the pain and soreness after the end of each workout.

Cons

  • Might help prevent some lactic acid from building up, but not all of it.

Opinion

For me being an avid runner, having a supplement that can get rid of lactic acid is a top priority for me. That said, Sportleg’s capsules did a pretty good job in eliminating most of the cramps and unpleasantness usually associated post-workout. I wouldn’t say that it gets rid of everything, but maybe around ninety percent of it. Not bad!

best supplements for runners

Made from a combination of sodium chloride, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, Elite’s Rapid Rehydr8 salt tablets have a unique blend that not only helps retain water while on runs, but also keeps muscle contractions under control through regulating electrolytes in the body. They also help relieve cramps and promote faster recovery.

Pros

  • Has a variety of different elements (calcium, magnesium, potassium) and sodium chloride that all work together to keep your body’s muscles in good shape.
  • Replenishes electrolytes to keep you running faster and farther.
  • Are also useful to take for curing hangover symptoms.

Cons

  • Is excellent for boosting energy, but for cramp recovery not so much.

Opinion

When I first tried out Elite’s Rapid Rehydr8 salt tablets, I found them to be pretty good for running: I did not experience cramping while doing so and even felt an extra boost of energy towards to the end of it. However, after I stopped running, I did feel a bit dehydrated and some cramps, but a little bit of water and rest helped to fix it.

best supplements for runners

SaltStick’s capsules are, as the name suggests, concentrated with sodium chloride, but also contain other elements (calcium, potassium) and even vitamin D for a more-balanced pill to take for your next run. Besides maintaining electrolytes and preventing muscle cramps, this pill can also lower heat stress so as to keep you cool and collected while racing.

Pros

  • Contains a blend of elements, along with vitamin D, for an all-around athletic performance.
  • Helps rehydrate your body in other situations, including long travels and alcohol.
  • A solid electrolyte supplement for aspects such as Addison’s disease.

Cons

  • Will not be as effective if only doing short-to-medium runs in mild weather.

Opinion

Upon first trying them out, I discovered that SaltStick’s capsules did fairly well for keeping me energized and cramp-free. I even used it on other occasions for traveling and sickness, and they worked like magic. However, I did not feel as much of an effect during light, short runs, meaning that they work the best under high-intensity workouts.

best supplements for runners

Rather than being in pill form, Alpha’s supplement is a powder, which you can mix in with your drink to feel the effects as you work out. It contains a hefty dose of citrulline, which is a type of amino acid found in watermelon, that stimulates energy within minutes and lets you lift weights, run, and do other activities with no sweat.

Pros

  • Energy effects kick in almost immediately, therefore giving you the focus and drive to complete your workout in an efficient manner.
  • Comes in watermelon flavor, which is neutral and tasty.
  • Can be used in both weight training and cardio workouts for the best results.

Cons

  • Contains a substantial amount of caffeine, which might not be the best for those who suffer from acid reflux or problems with digesting it.

Opinion

Within fifteen minutes of taking Alpha’s energy powder, I was immediately hit with a surge of energy, which greatly helped me translate over to not only going out for a long run, but also for weight-training before that.

The amount of energy was incredible, and I did not crash too badly afterwards. However, it might be too much for beginners, so it is best to take it in small doses before increasing it.

Winner of the Roundup

Overall, the winner of this roundup goes to Sportlegs SportLegs Supplement Bottle (#2). Not only does it have just the right blend of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to increase VO2 max, but also it reduces lactic acid from building up too much in your body after working out. Its balance of energy, body enhancement, and post-workout recovery makes for a solid product to consider for your next run.

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Happy running.​ 

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