Running supplements. To Gu or not to Gu? When you start getting into long distance you start facing the requirement of hydrating while on the run, but also refueling. Most of us have found a supplement of some kind works for us, but how do you determine that and what does it really do for you? There’s quite a variety out there, so where do you begin?
Why Do You Need Fuel Supplements?
Fat and carbohydrates are the two primary sources of fuel to feed the muscles when you’re running. The faster or further you run, the greater the ratio of fuel will come from burning carbs, but unfortunately we can only store a limited portion in our muscles. On average we can store anywhere from 60-90 minutes of muscle glycogen when running.
How Do You Choose Your Fuel Supplement?
When it comes to what to the world of mid-run fuel, the choices are a bit overwhelming. Whether you’ve got a sensitive stomach and need a gel made from real food or it gives you an unpleasant aftertaste, and some maybe even a gag reflex.
I’ve always been partial to Gu. It was the first one I tried, and I have since cheated on it with many alternate forms of race fuel, but I always come back to Gu. It does do a number (2) on my digestive system (#gumakesmepoo). Even so, I have the most positive overall effects and I know exactly when I need it, and I can feel the difference when I’ve missed my Gu time.
Things to for you to consider:
- Test out different flavors and brands
- Digestive Reaction
- How does it balance with hydration
- Take notes after trial runs with the positive and negative effects
Here are some items to try out:
- 3 Clif Shot Bloks
- Huma Chia
- Honey Stinger
- 1 fig cookie
- Gu Gel
- Clif Organic Energy Food
- Nuun Hydration Products
- Gatorade Endurance
- 8 ounces of sports drink
Here is some other recommendations via the BEST of 2019!
I think my favorite fueling product to date is Huma. I like Honey Stinger too, but Huma tends to be more gentle on my stomach. Here are 3 strategies runners can use to formulate their fueling plan: https://runningmybestlife.com/half-marathon-fueling-strategies/