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Back in the day, the 800-meter run was my jam. I lived for the chance to toe the line and race my heart out on the track. Nowadays, my runs are a bit longer and a little slower, and they almost always include a double-wide stroller with my little partners in crime. But no matter my training level, the best supplements for runners have played a key role in maximizing my running performance.

Whether running with your overall health in mind or trying to hit a PR in your upcoming race, you can’t overlook the importance of fueling your body. As a registered dietitian, I’m all about meeting your nutrition needs through whole foods as much as possible. But as a fellow busy human, I know that sometimes it just can’t happen and that’s where running supplements come into play.

RELATED: Running Fuel

The GGR team is comprised of competitive triathletes, former collegiate track and field athletes, and certified personal trainers who incorporate running into their fitness regimen, so they know what it takes to keep their electrolytes in check (check out our list of the Best Electrolyte Powder), protein stores up to par, and carbohydrates replenished, among many other things

The GGR supplement testing methodology takes these four factors into consideration:

  • Ingredients and dosages: Does it have enough research-backed ingredients to help with performance and recovery?
  • Taste: Is the flavor good? What do other customers think?
  • Price: Is it affordable?
  • Effectiveness: How well does it help us as runners?

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

The Best Supplements for Runners

Best Protein Powder For Runners: Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

Good for: Runners who want to increase their muscle mass or add extra protein to their diet

Best Protein Powder

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • High-quality whey protein isolate
  • 28 grams of protein per serving
  • 15 flavors to choose from
  • $1.99 per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-quality protein
  • No artificial sweeteners, food dyes, or preservatives
  • Lots of flavors to choose from
  • Good customer reviews
  • Whey isolate may be easier to digest for some people

Cons

  • Price per serving on the high end

Bottom Line

Our testers love Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate because we know exactly what's in it, and almost every flavor we've tried is a 5 out of 5 on taste. Yes, it's a little more expensive than other protein powders but you get what you pay for.

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Isolate is Informed-Choice-certified, meaning the product has been checked for banned substances and heavy metals and athletes can drink it with the peace of mind they won’t fail a drug test.

Yes, athletes such as runners have failed drug tests after taking supplements that contain illegal substances. A 2018 report from the World Anti-Doping Agency found that more than 1,000 sports supplements contain such substances, including some steroids. That’s what makes Transparent the best protein powder for runners and athletes who want to ensure their supplements are clean. Garage Gym Reviews Head of Content Kate Meier, CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, and a regular runner and competitive weightlifter, also loves the third-party certifications and recommends prioritizing them when selecting a supplement. 

transparent labs protein bottle in hand

As for the taste, Anthony O’Reilly, GGR Performance Editor and certified personal trainer, gave the Peppermint Hot Chocolate flavor a 5 out of 5 and says, “It’s exactly that—all you need is some whipped cream and marshmallows to complete the scene.” If you’re a winter runner, this could make for an excellent post-run treat. Not a chocolate fan? There are several other great flavor options including French Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Strawberry, and Cinnamon French Toast. Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Isolate also made our list of the best-tasting protein powders

Each scoop of the whey isolate provides a boastful 28 grams of high-quality protein. And with only 1 gram of carbs and no fat, each serving contains just 120 calories. 

transparent labs whey isolate being scooped

Last but not least, should you run into any issues with your protein powder, Anthony describes Transparent Lab’s customer service as “awesome,” rating it a 5 out of 5. 

Price Per Serving $1.99
Protein Per Serving 28 g
Recommended Servings One scoop as appropriate
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Joint Support for Runners: Legion Fortify

Good for: Providing runners joint support preserve cartilage and reduce discomfort

Best Joint Support

Legion Athletics Fortify Joint Support

Product Highlights

  • Contains scientifically proven ingredients to lessen joint pain
  • May help to preserve joint cartilage
  • May help reduce joint stiffness
  • No fillers or artificial ingredients

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • Lab tested for purity
  • Money-back guarantee
  • NSF-certified
  • GMP-compliant facility

Cons

  • 3 capsules per serving
  • More than $1 per serving

Bottom Line

Fortify Joint Support from Legion Athletics is a unique blend of five main ingredients that are scientifically proven to lessen inflammation and pain in joints and allow for more mobility and function. Legion Athletics does not use artificial ingredients of fillers and is NSF certified. Main ingredients include: Collagen, curcumi, boswellia serrata, grape seed extract, and agmatine sulfate.

You use your joints a lot during endurance activities and proper joint care is the cornerstone of longevity, especially trying to avoid the dreaded runner’s knee1.  Stretching, wearing the best running shoes, and proper hydration can go a long way. But sometimes getting a leg up in the form of a joint supplement can make a huge difference for your overall joint health. 

legion-fortify

Legion Fortify is an all-natural joint support supplement containing runner-recommended vitamins and minerals such as curcumin (turmeric) for inflammation. In a 2020 European Journal of Applied Physiology2 trial, supplementing with turmeric after a marathon led to a decrease in myoglobin muscle damage. Each 3 capsule dose also contains 10 milligrams of UC-II® Undenatured Type II Collagen3 and 500 milligrams of agmatine sulfate4 to help further reduce joint pain, oxidative stress, and potential cartilage damage.  

Price Per Serving $1.67
Curcumin Per Serving 500 mg
Recommended Servings Three capsules
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Probiotic For Runners: Ritual Synbiotic+

Good for: Runners with tummy troubles

Best Probiotic

Ritual Synbiotic+

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Filled with prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics
  • Clinically studied 
  • Supports gut barrier function
  • Delayed-release capsule designed so bacteria reaches the colon

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Traceable ingredients
  • Supports gut lining and gut barrier function
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • Delayed-release capsule

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Automatically signs you up for subscription
  • There can be uncomfortable side effects at first

Bottom Line

The Ritual Synbiotic+ is a clinically backed probiotic with clean, traceable ingredients designed to support overall digestive health.

As research points to the importance of gut health, some people (me) might call it the MVP for overall health. It’s especially important for runners who need to support their immune systems during rigorous training schedules.

The many different species of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the intestines comprise the gut microbiome5. Each person has approximately 200 different species of microorganisms living in their digestive tract. Some can be harmful to our health, while others can be beneficial and even necessary for our overall health.

So how do we support the beneficial microorganisms? You guessed it—probiotics! Taking the best probiotic is an effective way to add helpful strains of bacteria to your gut. They contain live organisms and may include a particular strain or blend of microbes to help specific conditions.

ritual pill in hand synbiotic

Ritual Synbiotic+ is a 3-in-1 formula consisting of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics for a multi-pronged approach to gut health. Each serving provides 11 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) sourced from two highly-studied—and commonly used—probiotic strains, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium animalis6.

With Ritual, you’ll only need to take one daily mint-infused capsule—some probiotics will have you taking up to three—which GGR Senior Editor and certified personal trainer Nicole Davis describes as “Fine overall.” She goes on to say of her experience taking Synbiotic+, “It took about a week or so for my system to get used to Synbiotic+, but after that, it’s been smooth sailing! I notice less GI discomfort overall. Plus, I think the mint taste of the capsules is refreshing.” Nicole gave Ritual Synbiotic+ a 4.5 out of 5.

Ritual is a subscription-based service and runs a little pricier due to the high-quality, traceable ingredients used in their formula. That said, they do occasionally offer promo discounts on your first month, have a 30-day money-back guarantee, and make it easy to cancel your subscription if needed. 

Price Per Serving$54/30 servings = $1.80/serving
CFUs Per Serving11 billion
Recommended ServingsOne capsules daily
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Recovery Protein For Runners: Momentous Recovery

Good for: Runners who need a pick-me-up after a tough session to prepare for the next run

Best Recovery Protein

Momentous Recovery

GGR Score: 3.75 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Blend of post-workout protein and carbs
  • Chocolate and Vanilla flavors
  • Amino acids and electrolytes
  • NSF-Certified for Sport

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Delicious flavor
  • Easy to mix
  • Contains ample protein and carbs
  • Low in fat and sugar
  • Third-party certified

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Serving size is 2 scoops
  • Only available in vanilla and chocolate

Bottom Line

Momentous Recovery features a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, and electrolytes for post-workout recovery. It contains grass-fed whey isolate protein sourced from Irish cows for muscle recovery and protein synthesis,  carbohydrates to safely elevate blood sugar levels, and L-glutamine and L-carnitine help support the repair and rebuilding of muscle tissue, reducing muscle soreness and promoting optimal muscle function.

Stretching, rest, and even a dip in your cold plunge tub can provide welcome relief post-run. But your post-workout nutrition also can play a role in your muscle recovery. A 2022 double-blind, crossover trial7 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that supplementing with protein plus carbohydrates helped reduce muscle damage in endurance runners after training. 

Enter Momentous. We’ve recommended Momentous Grass-Fed Whey Protein several times in the muscle-building category (it even appears on our Best Protein Powder for Muscle Gain roundup), so for a hearty protein and carbohydrate mix we have to go with Momentous Recovery. 

Momentous Recovery contains a 2:1 protein-to-carb ratio with nearly 23 grams of whey protein isolate sourced from grass-fed Irish cows and 10 grams of carbs to help replenish your glycogen stores8 after running. In addition to the Big Two, Recovery boasts essential amino acids L-carnitine, L-glutamine, and magnesium, and electrolytes for post-run hydration. Momentous is also NSF-Certified for Sport and Informed Sport Certified.

momentous-recovery-protein-mixed-in-coffee

GGR Performance Editor and certified personal trainer (CPT) Anthony O’Reilly tried the Vanilla flavor and rated it a 5 out of 5 for taste, saying, “Any NYC native knows the name Mr. Softee and their iconic vanilla ice cream—this tastes like that. Slightly malted, very high-quality vanilla and creamy all around. This is an insanely expensive protein powder, but in terms of taste, it’s unbeatable.” 

Anthony also gave Recovery high marks for its “finer than sand” solubility, even when mixed with other beverages, such as his Dunkin’ coffee, “The powder is so fine I was able to mix 85 percent of it just with the straw. The other 15 required a brief shake. The powder creates a high-protein vanilla ‘latte’ that is delectable. New morning beverage!”

The lowest score for the product was a 1 out of 5 for cost due to the previously mentioned higher-than-average price per serving. If cost isn’t a factor and you’re looking for a post-recovery protein with a solid formula, fantastic taste, and third-party certifications to boot, Momentous Recovery is a must-have. 

Price Per Serving$54.50/15 servings = $3.63/serving
Protein Per Serving22.94 g
Recommended Servings2 scoops
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Multivitamin For Runners: Huge Multi

Good for: Runners who may have nutritional gaps in their diet

Best Multivitamin

Huge Supplements Huge Multi High-Performance Multivitamin

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • High performance multivitamin for men
  • Designed for athletes to optimize performance
  • Made in FDA-registered facility

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Multivitamin designed for athletes
  • Can be taken without food
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Limited reviews
  • Expensive at more than $1 per serving
  • Customers complain of a bad aftertaste
  • Large serving size that requires multiple pills

Bottom Line

Huge Nutrition Huge Huge Multi High Performance Multivitamin is designed with athletes and their needs in mind. There aren’t many reviews, but they are mostly positive.

We chose Huge Supplements Huge Multi as the best multivitamin for runners because of its high-performance formula featuring the usual vitamin and mineral suspects and a generous amount of zinc. Depending on the levels of protein and carbs that make up the diets of elite endurance athletes9, some may find themselves at risk for zinc deficiency. Zinc has also been shown to help support healthy testosterone levels in active adults10. Huge Multi includes 24 milligrams of zinc with each 4 capsule serving. 

Another ingredient inclusion we wish to call out is bromelain—Huge Multi contains 100 milligrams per serving—which is a protease enzyme found in pineapples that was shown to help improve muscle damage and recovery after strenuous exercise in a 2016 randomized controlled trial11. A less-than-typical inclusion in Huge Multi is pine bark extract, which has been studied12 for its antioxidant properties and potential as an anti-inflammatory that may also help increase blood flow, boost immunity, and even help with cognitive function.

Huge multivitamin

So, what did our expert tester think? Anthony O’Reilly, GGR Performance Editor and certified personal trainer (CPT), wasn’t put off by the 4-capsule serving size, but realizes that this could be a deal-breaker for some. He didn’t run into any issues with the swallowability of the capsules. 

In terms of effect, Anthony says, “For me, the biggest benefit was increased focus and overall athletic performance.” On the other hand, he was candid about the potential side effects, adding, “I noticed on days I took this multi that my urine resembled lemon-lime Gatorade (I’m not joking).” Which may be something you’ll want to look out for, but that aside, Anthony scored Huge Multi a 4.2 out of 5 overall. 

Another item of note: this product doesn’t appear to be third-party tested, so there’s no guarantee about banned substances showing up in a drug test.

Price Per Serving$1.16
Notable IngredientsZinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, B-vitamins, Pine bark extract, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, copper, bromelain
Recommended ServingFour capsules daily
Third-Party Tested? N/A

Best Magnesium for Runners: Transparent Labs ZMO

Good for: Runners who cannot meet their magnesium needs through diet alone.

Best Magnesium

Transparent Labs ZMO

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Highly bioavailable zinc and magnesium
  • Added oyster powder for better absorption 
  • May increase endurance and immunity function

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Non-laxative form of magnesium
  • Transparent list of ingredients
  • No artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives
  • Effective sleep aid

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Doesn't include vitamin B6

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs ZMO supplement provides clinically effective doses of zinc, magnesium, and oyster meat extract.

Zinc and magnesium are common go-to supplements for runners in the thick of training. Maintaining adequate magnesium levels can be especially important for runners due to the mineral’s roles in energy production, muscle recovery, and bone health. It can protect our cells from oxidative damage during physical activity like running.

Competitive triathlete and GGR senior staff writer Amanda Capritto knows a thing or two about running-induced fatigue. She said she didn’t notice any immediate effects with this ZMA supplement, though she noted she does a pretty good job of maintaining proper nutrition and sleep when preparing for her next race.

It might sound odd to give a capsule a 3 out of 5 rating on “taste” but these capsules contain oyster meat powder.

Transparent Labs Zmo Zma

“I don’t know if it’s just because I know there’s oyster meat powder in these or if it’s actually real, but I get a slight seafood/fishy taste and smell when taking these,” Amanda says. She says it’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s present.

Low magnesium levels can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, or muscle spasms. But how much magnesium do we need each day? The average adult needs between 310 and 420 milligrams13 of magnesium daily, depending on sex and age. Pregnancy and lactation also affect your mineral needs.

Transparent Labs saw a need to supplement the essential minerals and developed ZMO— standing for zinc, magnesium, and oyster. Each serving of Transparent Labs’ ZMO provides 144 milligrams of magnesium, or 34% of your percent daily value. But, of course, not all forms of magnesium operate the same. So that’s why Transparent Labs uses magnesium bisglycinate, a non-laxative and highly bioavailable form of magnesium.

You’ll also find 10 milligrams of zinc and 500 milligrams of oyster meat powder. Zinc has been linked to testosterone levels and thyroid function. At the same time, oyster meat powder provides an array of trace minerals that act as co-enzymes and maximize the body’s utilization of zinc and magnesium.

For best results, Transparent Labs recommends taking two capsules daily with 12 ounces of water, ideally on an empty stomach, 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

Transparent Labs products are sent to a third-party lab for testing, and certificates of analysis are posted on the company’s website for viewing at any time. ZMO is no exception.

You can order Transparent Labs ZMO as a one-time purchase or set up a delivery subscription for a 10% cost savings and free shipping.

Price Per Serving$0.97 or $0.87 with subscription savings
Magnesium Per Serving 144 mg
Recommended ServingsTwo capsules daily
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Pre-Workout for Runners: 1st Phorm Endura-Formance

Good for: Runners who need a little boost to fuel their best workout

Best Pre-Workout

1st Phorm Endura-Formance

GGR Score: 4.75 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Combines creatine and beta-alanine 
  • Enhances strength, power, and endurance
  • Increases muscle hydration 
  • Promotes oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles
  • Available in four flavors

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Added creatine
  • Reportedly effective
  • No caffeine
  • No jitters or post-workout crash
  • Includes PeakO2 adaptogen blend

Cons

  • Taste is not for everyone
  • Sucralose included

Bottom Line

Endura-Formance is formulated with all the key ingredients one would look for in a pre-workout drink. While the taste is not for everyone, most users experienced improved performance at the gym.

When it comes to athletic performance, how we fuel our training can influence our muscle growth and overall results. Endura-Formance is a stimulant-free pre-workout designed to increase your aerobic capacity, muscle endurance, power output, and overall strength. It can help energize your muscle fibers with more power and stamina, helping you train harder and longer.

Amanda Capritto, GGR writer and several-time triathlete, has used the 1st Phorm pre-workout several times and gives it a 5 out of 5 for effects—in other words, this stuff right here works.

“Endura-Formance has been a great addition to my supplement stack,” says Amanda, a certified sports nutrition coach. “I love taking this before all types of workouts, but especially endurance workouts since it has ample sodium.”

She says that the Berry Lemonade is “easily one of the best-tasting supplements I’ve tried.” That’s a 5 out of 5 on taste.

endura formance

Endura-Formance combines creatine monohydrate and beta-alanine, two powerful and clinically-proven muscle performance ingredients. Creatine helps to maintain a steady supply of energy for working muscles by keeping up production. On the other hand, beta-alanine is an amino acid derivative that can support your muscle endurance by increasing your body’s carnosine levels.

To further support muscle performance, Endura-Formance provides a blend of betaine anhydrous, Peak02, and S7 synergistic ingredients that help increase muscle hydration and maximize important nutrient delivery to the muscles.

RELATED: Hydration for Runners

For best results, 1st Phorm recommends mixing one scoop of the pre-workout with 8 ounces of cold water right before your workout. However, 1st Phorm advises against using Endura-Formance if you are pregnant or nursing or have a history of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, thyroid disorders, or psychiatric disorders.

1st Phorm products are third-party tested, though it’s unclear what is tested. However, 1st Phorm offers a 110% money-back guarantee on all their products. If you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return the product within 30 days for a full refund plus 10%.

Price Per Serving$1.50
FlavorsBerry Lemonade, Grape, Green Apple, and Orange
Recommended ServingsOne scoop with 8 oz of water immediately before your workout
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Vitamin D Supplement for Runners: Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Vegan Liquid 

Good for: Runners who need to supplement Vitamin D or those with a history of issues like stress fractures

Best Vitamin D

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Liquid

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Liquid vitamin which provides 25 µg of vitamin D3 per droplet (1,000 IU)
  • Claimed to enhance calcium absorption and retention to support bone health
  • Stated to bolster musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurocognitive, cellular, immune, and breast health
  • Free from wheat, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, coatings and shellacs, GMOs, unnecessary binders, fillers, and preservatives
  • Directed to take 1–7 drops daily with a meal

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Reported to be effective in raising levels of vitamin D3
  • No taste
  • Clean ingredients

Cons

  • Reports of faulty cap dispenser and dropper
  • Reports of damaged packaging
  • Some may prefer a capsule form

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a clean and high-quality vitamin D3 supplement that is easy to add to your daily routine, the Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Liquid is a solid choice.

Vitamins are essential for our overall health, and vitamin deficiency can lead to many health consequences. For example, a deficiency can lead to weak bones since vitamin D14 is essential for calcium absorption. Bone health is often overlooked in exercise performance, but unfortunately, stress fractures are all too common.

When exposed to sunlight, your skin produces vitamin D from cholesterol. So, if you run outside, your body may naturally produce the necessary vitamin D. But with skin cancer on the rise, many of us lather up with sunscreen before we hit the pavement.

GGR head of content and competitive weightlifter Kate Meier found the dropper to be an easy way to take a supplement, especially if you don’t like swallowing pills. “This doesn’t have a taste, so you can just drop it into a drink and go,” she says. 

Kate actually didn’t score the Vitamin D supplement‘s effectiveness a 5 out of 5 until she stopped taking it for a few weeks. “This one in particular is a very high dose, which could be why I felt so good this winter and then not when I stopped,” she says. It very well could be why.

An image of Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 liquid

Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Liquid Drops are an easy way to ensure you meet your vitamin D supplement needs. Pure Encapsulations recommends taking 1-7 drops daily with a meal unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Each serving provides 25 micrograms of vitamin D as cholecalciferol. The only other ingredients included in the vitamin D drops are medium-chain triglycerides.

Pure Encapsulations products undergo a rigorous testing schedule. First, all raw ingredients are tested for identity, potency, microbial contaminants, solvent residues, allergens, and heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead. Then, finished products are tested by laboratories certified in Current Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure potency and purity.

Price Per Serving$0.04
Vitamin D Per Serving25 mcg
Recommended Servings1-7 drops daily
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Iron for Runners: Gnarly Nutrition Baseline Iron

Good for: Endurance runners, those with iron deficiencies, and/or female runners with heavy menstruation

Best Iron

Gnarly Nutrition Baseline Iron

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Gluten free
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Designed for plant-based athletes
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Contains iron, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and folate
  • Clean, vegan formula
  • Blend maximizes the body’s ability to absorb the iron
  • No heavy aftertaste

Cons

  • Not many customer reviews on brand site
  • The larger capsules may be an issue for some

Bottom Line

If you have an iron deficiency or if you are planning on competing in an endurance sport and need your body to be ready for anything, this would be a great supplement to look into. It is designed to help produce proteins in your blood system and can be especially helpful to vegan and vegetarian athletes.

There are several groups at risk for iron deficiency, including endurance athletes, females of menstruating age, and vegans and vegetarians. Low iron levels in runners can be one of the main culprits behind poor performances in workouts and races.

Iron bisglycinate, or ferrous bisglycinate, is an easily absorbed form of iron that’s less likely to cause the typical gastrointestinal side effects that many other iron supplements for runners tend to cause. Gnarly Nutrition’s Baseline Iron utilizes this science and is formulated with plant-based athletes in mind.

RELATED: Best Iron Supplement

Certified personal trainer and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly has tracked his hemoglobin levels—an indicator of your body’s iron stores—through an app and has seen a spike each time he tested Gnarly Iron.

“Take it with food to avoid an upset stomach, but if you have low iron like me, this thing will seriously have you feeling better in no time,” he says. He scores it a 5 out of 5 for effectiveness and for swallowability—you only have to down two small capsules.

Each serving provides 25 milligrams of iron bisglycinate, 15 milligrams of vitamin C, and 50 micrograms of vitamin B12. So, what’s the science behind this list of ingredients? Science points to a connection15 between vitamin C intake and iron absorption. Studies have shown that taking vitamin C with iron can help increase your absorption of the essential mineral.

An image of Gnarly Nutrition iron capsules

Beyond the active ingredients, rice bran is the only other ingredient used. For best results, Gnarly Nutrition recommends taking one capsule daily with a meal unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

You can order Baseline Iron as a one-time purchase or set up a delivery subscription for a 10% cost savings. And you can rest assured that Gnarly Sports Nutrition stands behind its health claims. Gnarly products are tested for microbe content, heavy metals, and pesticides. They are also tested for true-label claims to ensure all health claims are backed by evidence.

Price Per Serving$0.50, $0.45 with subscription savings
Iron Per Serving 25 mg 
Recommended ServingsOne capsule daily
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best B12 for Runners: Cymbiotika Liposomal B6+B12 Liquid

Good for: Vegan and vegetarian runners or those who need to supplement B12

Best B12

Cymbiotika Liposomal B6 + B12 Liquid

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Organic blend of B12 and B6 
  • Claims to contain the most advanced form of B12 for maximum absorption 
  • Formulated to boost energy, improve mood, and support heart health
  • Subscribe and save option
  • Recommended to take 12 pumps daily

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Receives tremendously positive reviews
  • Organic
  • Bioactive
  • Contains B12 and B6
  • Tastes good

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 12 pumps a dose

Bottom Line

Cymbiotika’s Liposomal B12 and B6 dietary supplement is an organic blend of B12 in the form of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin and B6 in the form of pyridoxine HCI providing 1,250 micrograms of B12 and 1.3 milligrams of B6 in addition to 1.2 milligrams of methylfolate and 100 micrograms of fulvic acid

Vitamin B1216 is vital for runners because of its role in maintaining healthy nerve and blood cells. It’s also a key component in preventing megaloblastic anemia, a blood condition that causes feelings of extreme tiredness and weakness.

The average healthy adult needs 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. Most people can meet their B12 needs through a balanced, healthy diet. However, vitamin B12 is commonly found in animal sources, so vegans are at a higher risk of developing a deficiency. For example, foods such as meat, salmon, cod, eggs, cheese, and some fortified breakfast cereals are some of the best sources of vitamin B12.

Certified personal trainer and GGR fitness writer Lauren Strong described this B12 supplement as “very fruity with its berry flavor, but it’s not too sweet. The flavor does go away pretty quickly, so it doesn’t give you a weird aftertaste.”

It was hard to rate this endurance supplement’s effectiveness, but we’d have to go with a 3 out of 5. “The bottle says users may not experience noticeable side effects unless one is deficient in B12 to begin with,” Lauren notes.

Liposomal B12+B6 Liquid drops are designed to help you meet your daily vitamin B needs to boost your energy, improve your mood, and support your heart health. Each two-milliliter serving provides 1,000 micrograms of vitamin B12 and one milligram of vitamin B6, which is 41,667% and 63% of the recommended percent daily values, respectively.

An image of Cymbiotika B12

Cymbiotika uses a non-synthetic methylated form of B12 to ensure it’s safe for all individuals. The supplement company also includes vitamin B6 to help maintain a healthy nervous and immune system. Because the human body cannot utilize vitamin B12 without healthy folate levels, Cymbiotika also includes 1,200 micrograms of folate in every serving of its Liposomal B12+B6 Liquid.

Cymbiotika selectively sources high-quality ingredients for all of its products. Furthermore, all raw materials undergo third-party testing to ensure potency, purity, and stability. You can order Liposomal B12+B6 Liquid as a one-time purchase or set up a delivery subscription for a 10% cost savings.

Price Per Serving$1.60 or $1.44 with subscription savings
Vitamin B12 Per Serving 1,000 mcg
Recommended Servings2 ml daily
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Creatine for Runners: Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate

Good for: Runners who are focused on recovery and/or speed and short distances.

Best Creatine

Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Powder creatine monohydrate supplement 
  • 5 g of creatine per serving 
  • Improved strength and muscle growth 
  • May help prevent injuries
  • Supports cognitive and bone health

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Subscribe and save 15%
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Manufactured in cGMP-compliant facility
  • Affordable at under $0.40 per serving
  • Unflavored variety has 1 ingredient, micronized creatine monohydrate

Cons

  • Some flavors sold out
  • Flavored versions contain sucralose which may cause stomach upset
  • Mixed reviews on mixability
  • Mixed reviews on taste

Bottom Line

Nutricost Creatine Powder contains 5 grams of creatine per serving and is available in both flavored and unflavored varieties. Nutricost shares that their creatine supplement can help with muscle building and strength, injury prevention, and cognitive and bone health. This supplement has mixed reviews on taste and mixability.

Creatine remains one of the most popular sports nutrition supplements on the market. It has been linked to increased muscle gains, strength, and anaerobic performance. This is because the best creatine supports ATP regeneration, the primary fuel source for muscle contractions—the same muscle contractions required for every step of your runs.

Our bodies typically rely on creatine to generate quick-acting energy, but studies have shown17 that creatine can even play a role in preventing injury and helping athletes tolerate a heavy training load.

Creatine is naturally produced in the body by combining the amino acids L-arginine and L-glycine, but it can also be found in various foods, such as meat, fish, and eggs. However, you may consider supplementation if you don’t consume many creatine-rich foods.

Someone scooping Nutricost creatine into a shaker glass

GGR’s Performance Editor and certified nutrition coach Anthony O’Reilly has used Nutricost creatine and commented on how easy it is to stack with other supplements due to the minimal ingredients it contains and the fact that the unflavored option is in fact tasteless. He said, “I’ve stacked this with pre-workouts and other supplements, and it never affects the taste of those powders.” GGR scored it a 4.5 out of 5 as far as taste is concerned. 

Each single-scoop serving of Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate provides 5 grams of micronized creatine monohydrate. That gives it a 5 out of 5 for formulation and ingredients because the dose is at the upper end of what most researchers recommend. Mix your scoops with 6 to 10 ounces of water, favorite beverage.

GGR’s performance writer and certified running coach Amber Nelson has mixed Nutricost creatine with a packet of LMNT electrolyte drink mix as a way to hydrate and fuel her muscles before a track workout. She felt that her legs felt less fatigued and like her turnover was improved when taking it prior to a workout.

The dietary supplement is non-GMO and gluten-free. Plus, it’s vegetarian-friendly. In addition, Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate is third-party tested. This creatine is micronized, meaning it’s been broken down into small particles. 

Price Per Serving$0.22
Creatine Monohydrate Per Serving5 grams
Recommended ServingsOne scoop with 6-10 oz of water
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Best Electrolytes for Runners: DripDrop ORS Hydration Solution

Good for: Long-distance runners who lose a lot of sweat

Best Electrolyte

DripDrop ORS

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Developed by a doctor
  • Precise ratios of sodium and electrolytes 
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • DripDrop is a Public Benefit Company
  • Free of gluten, soy, and dairy
  • Non-GMO, vegan, and kosher

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Delivers hydration fast
  • Zero-sugar option available
  • Formulated by a doctor
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Lots of flavor option

Cons

  • Very sweet taste
  • Contains artificial sweetener
  • 16 oz packets only available in 80-count box

Bottom Line

DripDrop has a doctor-formulated electrolyte mix to hydrate you fast. With plenty of flavors, some that are even sugar free, and sticks that come for 8 or 16 ounces of water, it is a customizable option for anyone.

Electrolytes play a critical role in our body, helping to maintain fluid balance, blood pressure, hormone regulation, and muscle contraction. Electrolyte imbalances tend to happen when you lose body fluids like those lost with sweat.

If you’re running in the heat, exercising for extended periods, or running at high altitudes, you may need to include an electrolyte supplement in your supplement routine. The sodium and carbohydrates in these products will help your body hold onto water.

Certified personal trainer and GGR fitness writer Lauren Strong loves the DripDrop flavor options and says every one is a 5 out of 5 so long as you use the proper amount of water. “They all tasted great and I didn’t think any of them were too overwhelming with flavor or too sweet,” Lauren says. “The flavor gets too watered down if you try to mix it in a pint glass or tall shaker.”

She added they not only tasted good, but she felt better soon after taking the electrolyte supplement for runners. “I thought this actually helped with hydration and didn’t make my mouth feel coated with sugar afterward.”

DripDrop is a patented, doctor-developed formula created first to help with dehydration where IV therapy wasn’t available. Now DripDrop ORS Hydration Solution is more accessible than ever, available on the company’s website and Amazon, and in many drug stores.

The electrolyte powder activates a hydration shortcut known as the sodium-glucose co-transport system. Packed with three times the electrolytes of standard sports drinks, it accelerates fluid absorption into the bloodstream so you can feel better faster.

An image of DripDrop electrolyte mix

DripDrop is available in four flavors: Berry, Lemon, Orange, and Watermelon, or you can purchase the variety pack, which includes all four flavors. Each flavor provides 9 grams of carbs per serving and 35 calories. Regarding electrolytes, each packet provides 330 milligrams of sodium, 185 milligrams of potassium, and 39 milligrams of magnesium.

To use, mix one DripDrop packet with water. For example, one 10-gram packet mixes best with 8 ounces of water, while the 21-gram packet mixes best with approximately 17 ounces.

You can order DripDrop ORS Hydration Solution in packs of 16 or 32, with a better price per serving when bought in bulk. You can also order it as a one-time purchase or set up a delivery subscription for additional cost savings. And if you’re a first responder, teacher, medical professional, or military personnel, DripDrop offers a 20% discount when ordering through their website.

Price Per Serving$1.12 as a pack of 32 packets, $1.19 as a pack of 16 packets
Electrolytes IncludedSodium, potassium, and magnesium
Recommended Servings10-g packet mixed with 8 oz of water or 21-g packet with 17 oz
Third-Party Tested? No 

Best Fish Oil for Runners: Kaged Omega-3

Good for: Runners who need anti-inflammatory support

Best Fish Oil

Kaged Muscle Omega-3

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Clean formula with fully disclosed ingredients 
  • 2-step process to purify oil
  • No fish burps
  • Formulated with triglyceride fish oil

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 100% wild caught
  • Fish burp-free
  • Easier to digest and absorb than other formulas
  • Sustainably caught and ethically stored

Cons

  • Comparably expensive
  • Out of stock often

Bottom Line

Kaged Muscle Omega-3 softgels are an innovative take on a classic supplement for those looking for something different.

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been linked to numerous health benefits. For example, they can support the cardiovascular system, help prevent cognitive decline, and even support your body’s natural anti-inflammatory efforts.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be especially beneficial for runners in managing their inflammation. It can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and increase blood flow to your muscles during runs. A recently published 2023 study18 examined the effects of omega-3 supplementation over 12 weeks and found that it increased the runners’ omega-3 index and VO2 max, or the maximum amount of oxygen your body is able to use during exercise.

Kaged’s Omega-3 provides 3,000 milligrams of total fish oil, including 1,100 milligrams of EPA and 900 milligrams of DHA. It’s made with fresh, wild-caught fish and then formulated using premium triglyceride oil to increase its absorption rate. And when compared to its competitors, you can actually see the difference in quality that Kaged offers. Its Omega-3 supplement is clearer than competitors, indicating its a cleaner product.

RELATED: The Best Fish Oil Supplements

The Omega-3 supplement is third-party tested and Informed Sport-certified. You can order it as a one-time purchase or set up a delivery subscription for a 10% cost savings. Either way, you get free shipping. And if you aren’t satisfied with the product, Kaged offers a risk-free 100% money-back guarantee.

Price Per Serving$1.00 or $0.90 with subscription savings
Omega-3 Per Serving 1,100 mg of EPA and 900 mg of DHA
Recommended Servings2 soft gels daily
Third-Party Tested? Yes

Other Supplements for Runners We Researched

We tried to cover running supplements from all angles, but, of course, many others can serve the body well. A few other products we liked include:

Kaged BCAA 2:1:1: These plant-based BCAAs can help support muscle-building and recovery. If you need a boost of BCAAs without a bunch of calories, this might be the right supplement for you.

RELATED: Best BCAA for women

Ritual Multivitamin: Since multivitamins are commonly used for overall health, we didn’t include them in our list. However, if you don’t already take a multivitamin, you might consider Ritual’s Essential Multivitamin. It’s an efficient way to ensure you’re meeting your vitamin needs, and they offer formulas for both men and women.

RELATED: The Best Multivitamins for Men

Garden of Life Raw Vitamin C: Vitamin C is often overlooked when maximizing athletic performance, but the truth is—it can be a powerhouse vitamin. It aids tissue growth and repair and supports a healthy immune system. Furthermore, it is an antioxidant meaning it offers support on the cellular level. Garden of Life’s Raw Vitamin C supplement is made with whole foods and provides a decent amount of vitamin C per serving.

running on the beach

How We Picked and Tested the Best Supplements for Runners

This list has been years in the making—quite literally. I’ve tried a relatively long list of running supplements throughout my running career. And I’m not alone! So many of us here at GGR have tried all kinds of supplements with our running performances in mind.

Lifestyle/Fitness Goals

To choose the best supplements for runners, we first considered all the avenues of health that can affect one’s running performance. Of course, one supplement can’t do it all, so we created categories that address the body’s needs during the demand of training.

Brand Reputation and Third-Party Testing

Next, we checked out all of our favorite, trustworthy companies. We considered their brand’s transparency, scientific research, and guarantees. Then things got specific and intricate. We compared products.

Ingredients, Formulation, and Dosages

We considered ingredients, doses, unnecessary additives, flavors, customer reviews, and more. While there’s an endless number of dietary supplements that could support running efforts, we included the eleven we felt strongest about.

Benefits of Supplements for Runners

If used properly, the right dietary supplements can take your training to the next level. Whether you’re a marathon or neighborhood runner, fueling your body with the proper nutrition can make all the difference. Benefits of running supplements include:

Improved Endurance

Running supplements can help support endurance running levels by increasing energy production, supporting protein synthesis, and fighting fatigue. The right supplement can be just what you need to go that extra mile.

RELATED: Tips for Running Long Distance

Hydration Support

Running supplements with electrolytes can help support hydration efforts by enhancing fluid absorption. Since water regulates body temperature, helps bring energy to our cells, and removes waste, staying hydrated is critical for runners.

Reduced Fatigue

The last thing a runner wants is to be running on empty. Supplements can help your body produce and maintain energy. For example, specific vitamins and minerals can help your body convert glycogen to glucose, which your body then uses for fuel.

Recovery Support

Sports nutrition supplements can boost your protein intake and help you recover after your running workouts. Protein shakes support protein synthesis by providing your body with the amino acids needed to repair broken-down muscle.

RELATED: Best Protein Shakes

Dosing and Interactions 

Before starting a new supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian to ensure it will not interact negatively with any current medications, multivitamins, or other supplements. Also, follow the dosing directions carefully according to the product label unless otherwise directed by your doctor. 

woman drinking quest protein

Third-Party Testing

Since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate vitamins and supplements, it’s best to look for products that third-party labs have tested. Third-party testing ensures that an unbiased company has assessed the product for safety and quality.

Many sports nutrition supplements are tested for microbial content, heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, etc. Additionally, third-party labs can confirm the supplement company’s health, purity, and potency claims. Look for companies that make their certificates of analysis available for customers to view before purchasing.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Supplements for Runners

Since no two bodies are the same, and we all come to the table with different running goals, designing your ideal running supplement regimen is very individualized. Here are a few factors to consider when shopping for supplements to support your running performance:

Science-Backed Ingredients

If you spend your hard-earned money on a supplement, you want to know that what you’re paying has the science to back it up. Additionally, products with filler ingredients only add to the cost, taking advantage of your budget. Instead, look for ingredients that credible sources have studied within the last 5-10 years.

Third-Party Testing

Products that have undergone testing with a third-party lab offer added safety and quality assurance. As a result, you can be confident that your product is free from dangerous contaminants and will back up its advertised health claims.

Budget

Chances are, more than one of the running supplements listed above sparked your interest. Running is a complex sport, so it’s unsurprising that multiple supplements can offer potential running benefits. For that reason, it may be essential to stay on budget. If buying more than one supplement, you might consider subscription deliveries to save on your monthly supplements.

Trial and Error

Certain supplement needs might take some trial and error to find the one that works best for you. To start, look for supplement companies that offer a risk-free, money-back guarantee so you can return the product if it doesn’t agree with you.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you have unique nutrition needs. Talk with your doctor or registered dietitian to find the right products for your training needs based on your medical history and wellness goals.

FAQs About the Best Supplements for Runners

Which supplement is best for running?

I don’t think there’s just one supplement that can get the award for the best running supplement. All of us runners have our own unique, individualized needs, and some needs may take priority over others. The best way to support your running with supplements is to address your specific needs and follow a structured regimen.

That said, here are our favorites: 

Best Protein Powder for Runners: Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Isolate
Best Joint Support for Runners: Legion Fortify
Best Probiotic for Runners: Ritual Synbiotic+
Best Recovery Protein for Runners: Momentous Recovery
Best Multivitamin for Runners: Huge Multi
Best Magnesium for Runners: Transparent Labs ZMO
Best Pre-Workout for Runners: 1st Phorm Endura-Formance
Best Vitamin D for Runners: Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Vegan Liquid
Best Iron for Runners: Gnarly Nutrition Baseline Iron
Best B12 for Runners: Cymbiotika Liposomal B6+B12 Liquid
Best Creatine for Runners: Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate
Best Electrolytes for Runners: DripDrop ORS Hydration Solution
Best Fish Oil for Runners: Kaged Omega-3

What supplements increase running endurance?

A few different supplements can help increase running endurance. Protein supplements are key for rebuilding muscle, especially after protein stores have been depleted during your workout. Electrolyte supplements can also be critical for endurance athletes that lose a great deal of sweat during their runs. And last but not least, probiotics can help support running endurance by preventing common gastrointestinal issues that arise during long runs. 

Should runners take creatine supplements?

Supplements can be excellent tools for athletes of all kinds, including runners. Sports nutrition supplements can support your body’s biological functions as you pursue your running goals. So whether you’re in the thick of full or half-marathon training or trying to increase your speed, dietary supplements can be highly beneficial.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

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