Nutrition

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Running nutrition, for both men and women is crucial to keep you running faster and for longer while avoiding that inevitable dip.

Depending on the distance you are running, you may need to refuel on the run. Keeping it as easy as possible is key but also knowing what your body will tolerate when you’re running is paramount. The only way to find out what will work for you is by training with different products, trying them out and sticking to the ones that you know work for you.

Carbohydrates are a vital energy source and should be taken before, during and after exercise. Some gels contain caffeine for that extra kick, but not all so check the details.

If you’re running under 10k, as long as you are well-fuelled before your run, you should be ok to last without refuelling, although you may need to take extra hydration on board during the journey. For anything longer than 10k, it’s advisable to carry some nutrition products.

Ways to fuel, before, during and after running:
Before and during:

  • Energy Gels effectively deliver an easily digestible and quick supply of carbohydrate to give you energy during exercise. Some gels are isotonic, some are not, but both work quickly. The purpose of an isotonic drink is to improve the intake of water, minerals and nutrients to facilitate the replacement of what the body uses during effort. It facilitates rehydration, while contributing to the proper assimilation of the particles needed to support effort (glucose, sodium etc). Even though they are fast-acting it is important though to allow your body to absorb gels before you actually need it: think keeping topped-up rather than waiting until you are on empty. For gels that aren’t isotonic you will need to drink water too, at the same time as taking your gel.

  • Energy Chews are a great alternative if you find the consistency of gels is not for you. A bit like chewing a jelly cube, Clif’s Bloks and High 5 Energy Gummies come in various flavours and some contain caffeine for that extra boost.

  • Energy Bars, such as the popular Clif Bars and Chia Charge Bars, are a convenient snack to keep you fuelled and support your training. You can get away with eating an energy bar 30 to 60 minutes before your run, whereas it’s advisable to only eat a proper meal two to four hours before running.


After exercise:
Your body needs protein following a run, such as the SIS Rego Protein Bar for energy replenishment and repair of your muscle fibres to aid a faster recovery. It’s also possible to get that much-needed protein boost in a drink. The SIS Rapid Recovery powders provide a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is optimum for a raster recovery. Protein powders work best wehn added to water for a quicker absorption rate, but can be added to milk if you prefer. They also come in various flavours, either as single sachets or in 500g tubs. To gain the most benefit, protein needs to be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing your exercise.

Before, during and after:
Electrolyte can be added to water to create a refreshing, anti-cramp drink. The drink can be used before, during and after exercise to maintain the body’s electrolytes which are lost through sweating. It’s essential to keep your electrolytes topped up, particularly on a hot day. Electrolyte tabs come in tubes, High 5 Zero and SIS Go Hydro, or sachets and tubs from SIS Go and SOS - all of which come in various flavours.

Whichever products you choose make sure you try them out during training and don’t leave it to race day to try new products for the first time. Using nutrition during training runs gets your body used to taking on the nutrition as the stomach will switch off during a run to better use the energy in major muscles.

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