Getting your nutrition right is a key part of the game in running races, especially if you are going for a half marathon or longer distance. You have to consider how much you need for your distance and pace, as well as how to carry it, and everything should be carefully practiced before your event. As a rule of thumb, you should take on fuel during any race over about an hour long.
As products to fuel your running flood the market, we’ve nailed down a list of our favourites that includes something for everyone. But remember, make it personal. Try and try again until you unlock something that works for you.
Here are some of our favourite nutrition products just waiting to help you fuel your best run ever.
High5 Zero tablets come in a slim tube that’s easy to stash away in your bag and they can be a lifesaver. Each tablet to mix with water contains a mixture of electrolytes and minerals that can boost your run as well as aid recovery after, as it replaces what you lose in sweat. They come in a great range of flavours, with and without caffeine, including a neutral flavour for those who can’t stomach something sweet when they run. High5 Zero tablets are zero sugar, zero calories and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
If you’re a fan of Jelly Babies while you’re running, this could be the product for you. They can be easier to take on than a classic gel as they’re easy to bite into and take on in pieces. The slim packet is easy to carry in a pocket and very easy to open on the run. Shot Bloks are easy to chew cubes of jelly that come in six flavours, all of which are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Maurten is the elite’s choice, with many well-known athletes using it to fuel their runs and races, including Eliud Kipchoge. Maurten is a carbohydrate used to fuel performance that comes in gel and drink form. The gels are especially easy to open and great to use on long runs for an extra kick.
We love Gu gels because unlike some other gels, their thicker consistency makes them a little easier to take on in smaller quantities without spillages. Gu comes with or without caffeine and is available in a range of weird and wonderful flavours like salted watermelon, gingerade and the simpler strawberry and banana. Take them with water for great carbohydrate delivery.
Powerbar energy bars pack in everything you look for in a drink or gel with a great mix of electrolytes and sodium to replace those lost in sweat, and all-important carbohydrate, your body’s main source of fuel while running. There are a massive range of Powerbar products, but look no further than the Energize bar for a one-stop bar with everything you should need for longer runs packed in. Available in banana and berry.
It can take a little getting used to, but if you know the science behind including beetroot juice in your running diet, you will see why Beet It shots are a popular choice for runners looking to go longer. Beet It delivers 400mg of dietary nitrate, said to increase exercise time to exhaustion by up to 25%. The Beet It 400 shots are easy to carry and take on – just take time to practice taking it on at the best time during your race to get the best beetroot kick!
If you’ve read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, you will be aware of the superpowers of chia seeds in energy delivery for runners. Chia Charge bars combine oats and fast burn carbs essential for runners going longer. They are great pre and post run as well as on the move. Chia Charge have branched out from their original and banana flavours, and now offer a range of glorious flavours like salted caramel, peanut butter and berry flapjacks.
TOP TIP: stick them in the fridge overnight before taking them out on the run.