The Best Supplements for Runners (Top 10 Runners Supplements 2021)

best supplements for runners
Hello! This website participates in affiliate programs (Amazon affiliate program, etc) to fund its existence. Also, I am not a doctor and I do not provide medical advice. I am a professional basketball player, Certified Personal Trainer, and Masters Student in Nutrition Education. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Review Disclaimer for more information.

Choosing the best supplements for runners comes down to understanding the dietary needs of runners and what nutrients can help runners recover faster, perform better, and become healthier.

As a professional basketball player, I am no stranger to the needs of a runner. Running is obviously one of the main components of basketball, and my career has helped me understand which supplements are most important for improving running performance and recovery from intense training.

I have experimented with over 100 different supplements in my life, and I believe that I have a great understanding of the best supplements for runners. Keep reading below to find out what I believe are the most important supplements for running!

The 10 Best Runners Supplements (2021)

Here are the best runners supplements for 2021:

Multivitamin

The best supplement for runners, in my opinion, is a multivitamin supplement. There are other runners supplements that promote endurance, running speed, and muscle function, but a multivitamin supplement is crucial for making sure you are intaking enough vitamins and minerals to maintain your overall health.

Over time, the addition of a multivitamin supplement can help reduce the breakdown of your body from extensive exercise. According to a study published in Human Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition,

“During the study the running performance of unsupplemented children deteriorated, and markedly so in a subgroup with initially poor nutrient status. The vitamin and iron supplement prevented this deterioration so as to produce a significant reduction in the energy cost of treadmill running in the more malnourished subgroup, relative to the changes seen in children receiving no supplement.”

Personally, I believe the best multivitamin supplement for runners is Rainbow Light Multivitamin. This is the multivitamin supplement that I use. Rainbow Light makes different multivitamins based on gender and age as well.

Rainbow Light Men’s One Daily High Potency Multivitamin for Immune Support with Vitamin C, D & Zinc, 150 Tablets, Non-GMO, Vegetarian & Gluten Free, 5 Month Supply
11,586 Reviews
Rainbow Light Men’s One Daily High Potency Multivitamin for Immune Support with Vitamin C, D & Zinc, 150 Tablets, Non-GMO, Vegetarian & Gluten Free, 5 Month Supply
  • IMMUNE HEALTH: Supports immune health with a high potency source of zinc
  • Clinically proven absorption of vitamins D, B2, B5, folate, calcium & zinc
  • CUSTOMIZED NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT: Packed with scientifically studied ingredients to help support...
  • DIGESTIVE BALANCE: Vegetarian and gluten free, these multivitamins are gentle on the stomach and...
  • PURITY SAFEGUARD: The formula is made with pure-tested ingredients & no artificial preservatives,...

Vegan Protein Powder

Protein is the building block of any fitness routine. Without protein, the body’s cellular function diminishes. For runners, protein is important because your body uses protein to help muscles recover from strenuous workouts and training sessions.

Although your goal should be to intake enough protein each day from dietary sources, using a protein powder supplement is a great idea for many runners who do not consume enough protein per day.

The most commonly used protein powder for runners is whey protein powder because it is cheap and effective.

According to a study published in Sport Sciences for Health,

“Whey protein consumption likely plays an important role in the increase of Amino Acids (AA) concentrations in the blood, even during exercise, and was associated with a decrease in exercise-related muscle damage and inflammation.”

Along with that, whey protein can also improve running performance. According to a study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences,

“In the current study, we demonstrated that whey protein can also be used for aerobic exercise for better physiological adaptation, in addition to resistance training. Whey protein could be also a potential nutrient supplement with a variety of benefits for amateur runners.”

Although whey protein is the most common option for protein powder, it is not necessarily the best option for everyone.

According to the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine,

“Animal proteins is an important source of protein, however potential health concerns do exist from a diet of protein consumed from primarily animal sources. With a proper combination of sources, vegetable proteins may provide similar benefits as protein from animal sources.”

Personally, I suggest vegan protein powder supplements for runners. Personally, I believe the best vegan protein powder for runners is Sunwarrior Illumin8:

Keto Friendly Lean Meal Illumin8 Superfood Shake with 15 Grams of Protein Snickerdoodle (1.59 Lbs. / 20 Servings)
226 Reviews
Keto Friendly Lean Meal Illumin8 Superfood Shake with 15 Grams of Protein Snickerdoodle (1.59 Lbs. / 20 Servings)
  • Nutritious, vegan protein powder meal replacement shake with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and a...
  • Natural energy from lychee fruit extract, functional mushrooms, organic green coffee bean, organic...
  • Made with the best plant-based ingredients like organic pea protein powder that fuels your body and...
  • Rays your vibe with Sunwarrior’s sugar-free, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, meal...
  • Choose from 4 delicious flavors: Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Snickerdoodle. Suitable for...

Another great option is Your Super Skinny Protein:

Sale
Your Super Skinny Protein Superfood Powder - Post Workout Recovery, Plant Based Protein Powder, Essential Amino Acids - Pea Protein, Hemp Protein, Organic Spirulina, Moringa, Alfalfa- 26 Servings
553 Reviews
Your Super Skinny Protein Superfood Powder - Post Workout Recovery, Plant Based Protein Powder, Essential Amino Acids - Pea Protein, Hemp Protein, Organic Spirulina, Moringa, Alfalfa- 26 Servings
  • CONTROL HUNGER & BOOST POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY: Packed with 2 high-quality vegan proteins and 3...
  • CONTAINS ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Speeds up metabolism and contains 9 essential amino acids...
  • POWERFUL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS: Naturally dried ingredients to preserve all micronutrients; tested by...
  • NO SWEETENERS OR FILLERS EVER: No stevia, thickeners or artificial flavoring – Made with 5...
  • EASY TO USE: Simply add two tablespoons of the mix to smoothies, juices, water, yogurt, muesli,...

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is often perceived as a supplement for bodybuilders, strength athletes, and people who lift weights in the gym due to the proven results creatine monohydrate can have in terms of increasing strength, power, and muscle mass gains. However, creatine monohydrate is also one of the best supplements for runners.

There are many forms of creatine. However, creatine monohydrate is the most well-researched form and safest.

Due to the reasons listed above, creatine monohydrate is often beneficial for sprinters as well. However, creatine monohydrate can also benefit mid to long-distance runners as most runners do some strength and power training as well as interval training.

Creatine monohydrate assists with ATP-resynthesis and producing cellular energy more efficiently. Long-distance runners don’t need to use creatine monohydrate to add muscle mass, but it can still help them run longer and faster.

If you’d like to buy creatine monohydrate, I suggest you try RSP Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate:

RSP Creatine Monohydrate – Pure Micronized Creatine Powder Supplement for Increased Strength, Muscle Recovery, and Performance for Men & Women, Unflavored, 500 grams
337 Reviews
RSP Creatine Monohydrate – Pure Micronized Creatine Powder Supplement for Increased Strength, Muscle Recovery, and Performance for Men & Women, Unflavored, 500 grams
  • PURE 100% MICRONIZED CREATINE - Every serving of RSP Nutrition Creatine powder contains 5g of 100%...
  • STRENGTH, RECOVERY, & LEAN MUSCLE GAIN - Pure Creatine Monohydrate has been shown to increase...
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  • SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN - RSP Creatine Monohydrate is one of the purest forms of Creatine you can buy....

Collagen

As we age, collagen stops being produced at the rate that it did when we were younger, which is why collagen is a beneficial supplement to add to your daily regimen and one of the best supplements for runners. Collagen supplements can reduce joint pain, improve mobility, boost metabolism, and improve sleep.

According to a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion,

“The results of this study have implications for the use of collagen hydrolysate to support joint health and possibly reduce the risk of joint deterioration in a high-risk group. Despite the study’s size and limitations, the results suggest that athletes consuming collagen hydrolysate can reduce parameters (such as pain) that have a negative impact on athletic performance.”

I have used multiple collagen supplements, as well as I focus on eating as much bone broth soups throughout the year for as much collagen as possible.

If you would like to try a collagen supplement, my suggestion is BioCell Collagen:

Sale
NOW Supplements, BioCell Collagen Hydrolyzed Type II, Clinically Validated, 120 Veg Capsules
364 Reviews
NOW Supplements, BioCell Collagen Hydrolyzed Type II, Clinically Validated, 120 Veg Capsules
  • BioCell Collagen is a versatile nutritional supplement that supports both joint health and moisture...
  • Joint Mobility and Comfort*
  • Promotes Healthy Skin*
  • Clinically Validated
  • GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect of the NOW manufacturing...

BCAAs and EAAs

While most people can get enough amino acids through their regular diet as well as a vegan protein powder supplement, Branch Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) and Essential Amino Acid (EAA) supplements are useful for quick digesting amino acids that can provide fuel for your muscle directly before, during, or after a run.

Taking BCAA or EAA supplement can help reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle recovery after running workouts, and they are also beneficial for improving your overall body composition.

According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition,

“results obtained showed that BCAA supplementation prior to squat exercise decreased DOMS and muscle fatigue occurring for a few days after exercise. These findings suggest that BCAAs may be useful for muscle recovery following exercise.”

There are a few quality BCAA supplements that I regularly use, but my favorite BCAA product of all-time is Scivation Xtend BCAAs:

XTEND Original BCAA Powder Knockout Fruit Punch | Sugar Free Post Workout Muscle Recovery Drink with Amino Acids | 7g BCAAs for Men & Women | 30 Servings
32,996 Reviews
XTEND Original BCAA Powder Knockout Fruit Punch | Sugar Free Post Workout Muscle Recovery Drink with Amino Acids | 7g BCAAs for Men & Women | 30 Servings
  • XTEND BCAA POWDER FOR MEN & WOMEN - The World's #1 BCAA Brand has been perfecting recovery since...
  • SUGAR-FREE BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS - Zero sugar, zero calories, and zero carbs in every delicious...
  • IMPROVE RECOVERY & HYDRATION - Consume a minimum of 14 grams of BCAAs per day - before, during, and...
  • TESTED & TRUSTED BY THIRD PARTIES - Proudly NSF Contents Tested & Certified and Informed-Choice...
  • DELICIOUS FLAVORS UNLIKE ANYTHING ON THE MARKET - Mango Madness, Rainbow Sherbet, Blue Raspberry...

For an EAA supplement, my suggestion is RSP Nutrition Amino Lean. Amino Lean is also one of the best supplements for runners to take before a run because it also contains caffeine:

RSP Vegan AminoLean - All-in-One Natural Pre Workout, Amino Energy, Weight Management - Vegan BCAAs, Preworkout for Men & Women, Cucumber Lem, 25 Serv
1,870 Reviews
RSP Vegan AminoLean - All-in-One Natural Pre Workout, Amino Energy, Weight Management - Vegan BCAAs, Preworkout for Men & Women, Cucumber Lem, 25 Serv
  • Natural Pre Workout Anytime Energy - 130mg Energy & Focus blend made from fermented tea leaves,...
  • Vegan BCAAs + EAAs - Comprehensive blend of vegan aminos to boost performance and support muscle...
  • Natural Weight Management - CLA, Carnitine, Green Tea Extract, and Green Coffee Extract promote...
  • Antime Energy and Performance - Use Natural AminoLean as a pre workout, morning coffee replacement,...
  • Clean Active Nutrition - Zero Calories, Zero Sugar, Vegan Friendly, All Natural, Nothing Artificial

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are one of the best runners supplements because they can help speed up muscle recovery with their anti-inflammatory functions, and they can also help reduce the risk of muscle overuse injuries related to exercise.

Additionally, fish oil can assist with weight loss and improving your body composition.

As stated in a study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

“Fish Oil supplements and regular exercise both reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. Increasing intake of n−3 FAs could be a useful adjunct to exercise programs aimed at improving body composition and decreasing cardiovascular disease risk.”

Lastly, fish oil supplements are effective for reducing joint pain due to their anti-inflammatory nature.

There are many fish oil supplements, but I strongly suggest you find a product which states it does not contain “fishy burps.” Most fish oil supplements have the amounts of essential fatty acids you want, but some are higher quality and have less of this annoying side effect.

My favorite fish oil supplement is Utzy Naturals U-Omega:

Omega 3 Fish Oil | Natural Triglyceride Fish Oil | 120 Softgels | Lemon-Lime Flavor | Pharmaceutical Grade | 3rd Party Tested
27 Reviews
Omega 3 Fish Oil | Natural Triglyceride Fish Oil | 120 Softgels | Lemon-Lime Flavor | Pharmaceutical Grade | 3rd Party Tested
  • FRESH & PURE – Our premium fish oil is made with the finest quality and purity standards to create...
  • ETHICALLY SOURCED - High absorption fish oil
  • EASY TO CONSUME - We’ve even added a hint of natural lemon flavor to make the perfect blend of...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY - Made in the USA in a cGMP manufacturing facility

Turmeric

Turmeric supplements has incredibly strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is one of the best supplements for runners

Consuming turmeric can reduce muscle soreness, reduce joint pain, and improve your overall health in a variety of ways.

Furthermore, many people are using turmeric for weight loss as well.

As stated in a study that was published in Nutrition Today,

“Curcuma longa L, has been used for centuries in food preparation and in traditional medicines to treat numerous diseases and conditions. The primary biologically active constituent of turmeric is the polyphenol, curcumin, an orange-yellow powder that has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which, in part, may contribute to curcumin’s potential to prevent such conditions as cancer, Alzheimer disease, heart disease, and arthritis, to name a few.”

I use turmeric all year because I believe it helps alleviate my asthma, reduces inflammation in my joints and muscles, and makes me feel healthier on a day to day basis. I normally take my turmeric supplements after lunch and about an hour before sleep.

Although I have found many effective turmeric supplements, the turmeric supplement I suggest you try is Okinawa Triple Turmeric:

Okinawa Triple Turmeric +® Turmeric Curcumin Supplement with Black Pepper Extract to Aid Absorption, 765 mg Turmeric from 3 Varietals & Curcumin, Joint Pain Relief, 120 Vegetarian Capsules
356 Reviews
Okinawa Triple Turmeric +® Turmeric Curcumin Supplement with Black Pepper Extract to Aid Absorption, 765 mg Turmeric from 3 Varietals & Curcumin, Joint Pain Relief, 120 Vegetarian Capsules
  • OKINAWA TRIPLE TURMERIC:  Okinawa Triple Turmeric + vegetarian capsules contain 765 mg of...
  • WILD TURMERIC: Curcuma Aromatica, or Wild Turmeric, is the first type of Okinawa Turmeric in our 3...
  • YELLOW TURMERIC: Curcuma Longa, or Yellow Turmeric, is also present in our blend to further support...
  • WHITE TURMERIC: Curcuma Zedoaria, or White Turmeric, aids joint support, while also supporting...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Okinawa Triple Turmeric curcumin supplement with black pepper is made in the USA...

Calcium

Calcium supplements are one of the best supplements for runners for a few reasons.

Calcium supplements are the best supplements for bone health and they assist your body in multiple other ways as well. Calcium supplements are especially important for runners who do not consume dairy or ilk regularly because there are few other quality dietary sources of calcium.

In my opinion, the best calcium supplement for runners is Juveriente Bone Strength Complex:

Juveriente® Bone Strength Complex/A Japanese Dietary Therapy for Cellular Level osteoporosis Relief, Packed with Vitamin C, D3, K2, Calcium, Phosphorus, Strontium and Boron / 90 Capsules for 30 Days
  • BASED ON A COHORT STUDY BY A JAPANESE NATIONAL AGRICULTURE INSTITUTE, which found the high...
  • CELLULAR LEVEL BONE RELIEF / the system behind the secret is it restrains born absorption by...
  • THE ONLY BONE SUPPLEMENT TO CONTAIN Β-CRYPTOXANTHIN. Introduced in 2017 and has got many repeaters...
  • 100% NATURAL FOOD COMPLEX
  • CELLULAR LEVEL RELIEF + STANDARD BONE HEALTH VITAMINS: β-Cryptoxanthin, vitamin C, D3, K2, calcium,...

Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body and it can help speed up muscle recovery time and reduce fatigue from your running workouts

According to a study published in the Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness,

“As a therapeutic intervention, glutamine supplementation was effective in attenuating strength loss and muscle soreness following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage.”

I have used glutamine as a separate supplement, and I have also used many amino acid products that contain glutamine. In my opinion, glutamine works best when it is combined in a BCAA or amino acid supplement. However, if I am using a separate glutamine supplement, I do notice a difference when I take ~5 grams of glutamine before training and ~5 grams of glutamine after training.

In my opinion, the best pure glutamine supplement is BulkSupplements L-Glutamine:

BulkSupplements.com L-Glutamine - BCAA Powder - Glutamine Supplement (1 Kilogram - 2.2 lbs)
3,608 Reviews
BulkSupplements.com L-Glutamine - BCAA Powder - Glutamine Supplement (1 Kilogram - 2.2 lbs)
  • AIDS RECOVERY* - Glutamine supplement is believed to help boost athletic endurance and aid exercise...
  • PROMOTES MUSCLE GROWTH* - L-Glutamine supplement is often used in the bodybuilding community to...
  • SUPPORTS GUT HEALTH* - Vegan Glutamine powder has been used to promote digestion and supports the...
  • HIGH QUALITY - Our L-Glutamine is pure, no fillers, additives or flavorings. This amino acid is...
  • NON-GMO - No genetically modified ingredients. Also free of sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten and...

L-Carnitine

One last supplement for runners I will mention today is L-Carnitine. Although many people believe L-Carnitine is only a weight loss supplement, it is actually an amino acid that can assist with weight loss but is even more effective for reducing recovery time from exercise.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition,

“Overall, summary results indicate that L-Carnitine supplementation improves muscle soreness and markers of muscle damage (creatine kinase,  lactate dehydrogenase, and myoglobin).”

Additionally, as stated by a study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry,

“L-carnitine supplementation enhances exercise performance while attenuating blood lactate and oxidative stress responses to resistance training.”

In my opinion, the best L-Carnitine supplement is Now Foods L-Carnitine:

NOW Supplements, L-Carnitine 1,000 mg, Purest Form, Amino Acid, Fitness Support*, 100 Tablets
1,985 Reviews
NOW Supplements, L-Carnitine 1,000 mg, Purest Form, Amino Acid, Fitness Support*, 100 Tablets
  • OFFERS FITNESS SUPPORT*: NOW L-Carnitine 1,000 mg tablets are the purest form, clinically tested,...
  • BOOSTS CELLULAR ENERGY* AND TRANSPORTS FATTY ACIDS*: L-Carnitine is a non-essential amino acid that...
  • CLASSIFICATIONS/CERTIFICATIONS: Non-GMO, Kosher, Soy Free, Vegan/Vegetarian
  • GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect of the NOW manufacturing...
  • Packaged in the USA by a family owned and operated company since 1968

Concluding Thoughts – The Top 10 Runners Supplements

Along with the runner’s supplements listed in this article, it is still important that you consume a healthy diet that provides a proper amount of calories per day along with all the necessary vitamins and minerals for your body.

For more information on the best supplements for runners and other health and fitness advice, Jamie Is Running is a great resource.

Taking these supplements on a daily basis will not only provide the proper maintenance for your body but they will help you increase your performance so you can reach your goals!

Read Next: Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

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Adam Kemp
Hello! My name is Adam Kemp. I am a professional basketball player and an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer. In 2014 I graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Communications, and for the last seven years, I have played professional basketball in Europe. I am also an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, and I am currently completing my Masters of Science in Nutrition Education at American University. The health and fitness tips you can find throughout the articles I have written include information I have learned throughout my basketball career, academic studies, and my own personal research. If you would like to learn more about my life, please take a moment to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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