Supplments and energy drinks

I am confused about the use of supplements, energy drinks etc.

I currently run approx 7 K three times a week and like to carry some water with me as I need a drink as I run.  I have been adding Nectar or Zero hydration tabs to my water bottle to make it taste a bit better.

Should I be drinking these during a run or after a run?  Does it matter?

I am also going to start training for my first ever half marathon and wondered what I should be supplmenting in my drinks for that?  I note there are products like Sipis etc - should these be drunnk during a run or afterwards?

Whenever I read magazines about this they seem to be vague about when to drink things and assume you know what's what.  Please help.


  • For those distances - just water. No need for extra energy and unless it's scorchingly hot - you don't need isotonic stuff. Save your money.
  • The simple answer is you don't need to drink during those distances, nor do you need anything in the water that you don't need to drink over those distances. And you don't need to add anything before or after. Nor will your performance improve if you do.

    If you to find out why, have a read of "Waterlogged" by Tim Noakes.

    Having said that, adding stuff to make a nicer taste is fine, and the placebo effect on performance still works even if you know the suff doesn't really work as intended.

  • Cool. Thanks guys.

    Should I do anything specific for my half marathon training?

    I do find having a drink helpful on my runs
  • Your get used to running without drinks for short ones, I don't take drinks out for 10 ks even in the warmer weather.

    I used to train with gels and drinks when I first did my half,

    But now Iam happy to run a half with just water only

    I used to pile on weight when taking that stuff, I've played about with grape juice honey ,water and a pinch of salt for halfs. But rarely drink it all at this time of year.

    Save your cash
  • Most people will say you can easily run for a hour without any water. I take a small amount of water say 200ml if I'm running up to 13 miles although I've done without on plenty of occasions without and trouble.

    Since I've started to up the distances (up to 20m at the mo) I'm using zero high5 which are a electrolyte tads which you dissolve in your water. I put a tab in my bottle to take on my run and also have one in my water afterwards.

    As I tend to lose a bit of salt through sweat I take a small amount of salt pre and post long run (over 13m). I just pick up a load of the "free" sachets when I'm in a cafe or mc d's .

    I've had a bit of trial and error to get me right after 18/20m long runs as I was getting v sick afterwards. I the end I rehydrate with zero high5 in water, a nesquick milkshake, banana and the pre mentioned salt. I see to be able to get this down and keep it down and it sorts me out nicely.

  • For 10km I personally don't take water unless it's hot.  Anything longer I tend to carry water.  I use energy gels but at half marathon distance+ really.

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