5 Supplements You Need for Your Next Marathon

I’m all about trying new products that will help give me just a little bit more edge on race day. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of vitamins, minerals, protein drinks, nutritious powerhouse foods, and even drinking apple cider vinegar with lemon in the mornings. (Come on, admit it, you’ve done it too.)

This past training cycle I’ve added a couple new products as well as ones I’ve already been using for years.


The newest and best product I recently discovered is Nanohydr8. You guys, this stuff is amazing! I have never felt such a surge of energy from the start of my run until the end!

I first used it on an easy 10 mile run just to see how my body would tolerate it. I drank this shot of electrolytes just a few minutes before heading out the door, and my legs felt so good from the get-go. I cranked out 7:30s with no problem whatsoever. (Usually I run around an 8:00 pace.)

I then used it on a long run and again at the NYC Marathon. I definitely think it made a difference in my ability sustain a faster pace with less effort.

There are a bunch of vitamins plus 100mg of caffeine in these little shots. Since I drink decaf coffee 90% of the time, I think this also played into effect of how I felt. I’m not sure of the science behind all of the different ingredients, but I am sold.


I have been using Generation Ucan for years now, and I still love it. The biggest thing is that the powdered drink mix provides constant energy throughout a workout or race rather than having dips or spikes when taking energy gels and chews with simple sugars.  I took 2 servings of the drink about 30 minutes before running the NYC Marathon.

I use the pre-workout drink before hard workouts and long run and follow it up with the post-workout protein drink right afterwards.


This is another new product I recently tried: HOTSHOT. I first remember Shalane Flanagan posting about these, but truthfully I didn’t know what they were for. However, then one of my athletes told me he was using them to prevent cramping, and he swore by them.

To be honest, I’ve never had a problem with cramping during a workout or a race, but I was still interested if I would notice any difference. I used this mid-way through a long run this fall, and when I was drinking it, I know know how they get their name. The combination of the ginger and lime juice definitely leaves a spicy/hot sensation in your mouth!

I took the HOTSHOT, but I didn’t notice any difference in how I felt. And like I said, I’ve never had problems with cramping, so it didn’t surprise me that I didn’t feel any different. However, if you have dealt with cramping in the past, I would recommend them based on other’s experiences.


I have been using these Nuun tablets for years now, and I love them for replacing electrolytes after hot sweaty runs. I primarily use these in the summer since I don’t sweat much in the winter, but if you are a heavy sweater, I would recommend them year-round. I will also use them during the winter months if I go on a long run or run indoors where I sweat more.

These effervescent tablets are very easy to add to hot or cold water after a run, and they also are also great to add to your water during a long run.  Don’t expect many calories from these though, as there are only a few calories per tablet.

I like the little bit of flavor that it gives your water, so when I’m tired of drinking plain water, I’ll add one of these to my water bottle. I’m personally not picky about the flavor and like almost every flavor I’ve tried. There are also ones with caffeine in them if you are wanting an energy boost. I personally don’t use them because I’m too sensitive to caffeine.

Accel Gel 2nd Surge

I’ve tried all of the energy gels under the sun–everything from Clif gels to Hammer Nutrition to Huma, and of course Gu. While I’ve liked a lot of them, the Accel Gel brand, I think, affects my performance more than the others.

What makes Accel Gel different than others is that there is some added protein in the Accel Gel energy gels, and I think it helps with ‘staying-power’ and maintaining my energy levels.

This fall I discovered the Accel Gel 2nd Surge, which has 100mg of added caffeine in it, and since I’m so sensitive to caffeine (because I rarely drink caffeinated coffee), I definitely felt more of a surge of energy using this kind.

I used it on several long runs this fall and felt good through the end of the run, as well as during the NYC Marathon. While NYCM wasn’t my sub-3 goal, I didn’t have the dip in energy like I’ve had in past marathons, and I attribute some of that to this gel.


What supplements/nutrition items can you not run without?

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