Sports Supplements


hope all is well in the running world this evening.

A question that is often asked,who believes in using sports supplements such as gels, tablets and powders. There is a great range of products on the market such as SIS.Are these products proven to work or is it the power of the mind that really aids you to run faster, longer or stronger. 

If you were training for a Marathon what would be good to use ?

All ideas welcome please add to this thread.


  • Jelly babies in your longer runs, recommended to me and has worked a treat.
  • Gels are easy to take at race pace - no chewing. For long training runs I just take sweeties. Foamy bananas got me thru a 30 mile ultra.

    I do love it seeing blokes at the gym swigging their energy drinks after their 4 minute jog on the treadmill.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    ROYALR1 wrote (see)

    Are these products proven to work or is it the power of the mind that really aids you to run faster, longer or stronger. 


    Well insofar as sports supplements do contain active ingredients they're not homeopathic remedies or anything!  I think the key point people usually make is that most are essentially unnecessary, in that you can get the job done (fuelling, hydration, protein for recovery, etc.) with normal food, drink, etc. but they do get the job done, and people are willing to pay for the convenience, e.g. of carrying gels during a race.

    I'll be trying my new baggage-free fuel strategy for my next marathon.  I think I've worked out that good running prep, a good taper and a good carb load is enough to fuel me through 26.2 miles, and I'll be topping up on water and the odd sugary drink provided on the course as I see fit.

  • Use High 5 tablets on runs over 15miles along with high 5 gels. I think they work and if it is a mental thing then so be it. Same as Phil says really. I also eat bagels, peanuts, fruit pastilles and another one I have given a go recently is flat coke image

  • I tried flat coke for the first time recently after reading so many rave reviews of it on various ultra runners' blogs. I don't like fizzy juices, any of them, and now I know that I don't like them flat either! Coke makes my teeth feel furry after just one mouthful. What the heck is in it? Bleurrrghhh! Even if it made me run like I had a rocket up my bum, I don't know if I could put up with the taste...

    Tried Clif gels and energy drinks for the first time during the Loch Ness marathon on Sunday and can definitely vouch for them giving me a distinct boost. The citrus flavour powdered drink mix also tastes pretty good.

    I don't really use gels etc in training other than maybe one halfway through a long run (20+ miles) to keep me going and to check whatever brand/flavour doesn't upset my stomach. I prefer to train without them then on race day I knock them back like mad and really notice the difference. Apart from anything else, I can't afford to buy boxes of gels all the time. Jelly babies and fudge work just as well.

  • good sports supplements are proven to work but the gains are marginal (less than 10%). Professionals value all gains however small so use them. For amateurs it as about whethyou you want to expend the cash.


    dont forget that Chris Boardman effectively invented the protein/carb recovery drink that went on to become SIS Rego. 


    I do use them so clearly I have a positive viewpoint. I'm also lucky that maximuscle let me use their sponsored by price list. 

  • I would say experimenting is the way forward.

    Do not take Energy gels once past there best/use by date wow I thought my guts were being ripped out of me!

    Different people respond to them in different ways. The lastest thing recommended to me was beatroot, either in it's normal pickled form or you can now get the juice on it's own.

    I will say that I use recovery shakes and protein shakes after the intended exercise and I find they do help.

  • I think the main thing with gels is they are small, easy to carry and not too messy.

    I second the don't take gels past their due date advice!

  • Some sports nutrition products are an effective tool, while others are pure snake oil. 

    Buy a sachet of a recovery product like REGO, try it after a long run and if you think it does something for you, then consider buying a bigger batch. 

    Try a couple of electrolyte gels on one of your longer runs, and if you get on OK with them then consider carrying some for the marathon.  

    90% of the sports nutrition products you need come from Sainsbury’s rather than Sweatshop. 

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