Sports supplements - is there any real evidence out there?

(2 Posts)
iismum Fri 29-Mar-13 19:06:55

I've recently increased my running to the level where people begin to take supplements (run 10-15k on my long Sunday run; gearing up to a half marathon). I've started to take gels on long runs (e.g. Races over 10k, training runs over about 75 mins) and have recently bought some SIS rapid recovery on the advice of the guy in the running shop.

I'm wondering how much evidence there is that these are really effective. The gels make sense to me because it's an easy and lightweight to take on calories where you wouldn't want to be carrying banana or toast. But what about sports drinks instead of water? After and pre supplements, etc? There seem to be a lot of unhealthy stuff in there (e.g. lots of fructose) but maybe it's ok after exercise? I know some supplements can be a bit dodgy (e.g. the poor girl who died in the London marathon). How does one identify them?

There seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence about how great there are but I can't find any hard science. I'd really like to hear people's thoughts on supplements, and especially pointers to proper research if any exists!

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 29-Mar-13 19:23:48

I avoid them because I get ahem....digestive problems. Anything with caffeine sets me off and the only place I can run is the loo!

I run 12 miles for my long run once a week, 5 jelly babies half way and I'm sorted. I do a 9 mile run too and don't have anything during that. I used to use gels for marathon training, sis go tropical gels didn't affect my stomach but the taste and texture is not pleasant!

Honestly, I think a good carb based meal the night before and water throughout the run is enough for up to half marathon distance. I think the evidence is that it's beyond 16 miles or so before your body really needs refuelling. I take the jelly babies as an insentive to do the full distance because they taste goodgrin

I used to have chocolate milkshake after my run, can't be bothered with that anymore either tbh. I used to like it and you are meant to refuel after, I just eat lunch!

There's nothing scientific about my running, I tend to just wing itgrin

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