test-8 Nutritional Gifts for Runners
Exercise & Fitness
8 Nutritional Gifts for Runners
Bushra Hassan, MBA, RD • April 26, 2024

Nutritional Gifts for Runners

Looking for the best gifts for runners? If you have a runner in your life, you probably know just how dedicated they are to the sport and that they’re committed to long term performance. Not all of us run marathons, but that doesn’t change how important it is for us to get out there again and again and log those miles consistently. And for most joggers, running just isn’t negotiable.

So, the best gift you can give a runner is support for their growth in the sport and for quick workout recovery. You can do that by giving them the gift of proper sports nutrition for runners. Here are some of our top nutritional picks for runners.

1. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) Powder for Exercise Recovery

MSM encourages the formation of strong cartilage, tendons and ligaments to help protect joints. MSM may also help soothe muscles during recovery, provide antioxidant properties to protect against free radicals and oxidative stress related to exercise and help support the immune system after training.1,2

Research has shown that mixing 100 mg of MSM per kg of body weight into pre-workout water resulted in an increase in total antioxidant capacity after activity, as compared to individuals that didn't consume MSM before their workout.2 So, give your favorite athlete a gift that'll be truly useful in their training regimen: MSM powder that easily mixes into their pre- or post-workout water bottle.

2. Premium Electrolytes Without Added Sugar

Electrolytes are essential for keeping runners hydrated, but many electrolyte drinks contain added sugars and ingredients that might not be supportive of a runner’s healthy lifestyle. Swanson Potassium Gluconate delivers a powerful electrolyte mineral known to support nervous system health, cardiovascular health and to promote energy metabolism. For added support, check out Swanson Ultra 1,000 mg Energy C with Electrolytes, which contains additional vitamins and minerals that are great for runners, including vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

3. Beets for Stamina and Energy

Beets are a nutritional powerhouse for runners. In addition to valuable vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, beets also include nitrates, which according to research, can support circulation and muscular oxygenation.4 Swanson Ultra Beet Juice is an excellent way for runners to add this nutritive food to their daily diet in a convenient capsule form. Or try Swanson Ultra Beet Root NO+ for a quick nitric oxide boost to optimize energy and stamina.

4. High Energy Complex for Physical Performance

Swanson Ultra High Energy Complex is stacked with energizers like eleuthero root, gotu kola and nutrient-dense bee pollen along with a potent royal jelly concentrate. This unique formula is an invigorating energy blend that fights fatigue and supports mental and physical performance. Gotu kola may also help improve circulation in the legs and feet.5 And eleuthero root is often used to promote stamina and athletic performance.6

5. Magnesium for Mind and Body Health

There are many types of magnesium and the benefits of this mineral for athletes are exponential. Magnesium helps promote cellular energy, muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve, bone, and cardiovascular health plus more.7 Try it in Swanson Premium Triple Magnesium Complex or Mellow Mag magnesium powder drink. A bath or foot soak with Magnesium Chloride Flakes (Epsom salt) helps soothe tired muscles and promotes recovery.

6. Probiotics for Runners

A healthy gut microbiome is essential for everyone. After all, more than 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract.8 But a healthy gut flora may have even more benefits for runners, especially during warmer weather. Research suggests that supplementation with a multistrain probiotic may increase running time before fatigue in warm weather.9

Plus, running is a strenuous exercise that puts stress on the immune system, so giving the immune system a boost with probiotics is a great idea for runners. Choose a probiotic blend like Swanson Ultra Probiotic Complex, which contains a variety of friendly probiotic strains.

7. Vitamin D for Bone Health and Performance

You might expect that since many runners spend a lot of time outdoors, that exposure to the sun is meeting their vitamin D needs, but a 2008 study at the Cooper Clinic unveiled that 75% of runners that averaged 20 hours per week had low levels of vitamin D.10 What's more, studies show that the great majority of adults worldwide (more than 88 percent of the global population) have suboptimal levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D plays a role in many processes affecting bone health, muscle contraction, nerve stimulation and immune support, plus vitamin D may increase muscular strength and the size of fast-twitch muscles.11 Vitamin D is vital for runners, and everyone else too!

8. Protein Supplements for Runners

According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, people who exercise regularly, like runners, should consume between 1.4 to 2 g of protein per kg of body weight each day to optimize their training.12 Also, the timing of protein consumption may boost recovery and lean body mass.

A full report released by the society notes that consuming proteins or amino acids “in the hours immediately before and during exercise” has been shown to improve muscle repair and optimize strength.12 Also, protein supplements like whey protein powder may provide an anabolic response similar to free form amino acids.12

That’s great news, especially considering the idea of eating a steak in the hours before going for a run seems out of the question. Swanson Ultra Whey Protein Powder is a better idea. It’s absorbed quickly and provides the muscle-supporting proteins and amino acids runners need without bogging them down.

The Best Gifts for Runners

Buying gifts for runners can be little tricky sometimes since runners need less equipment for their sport than many other athletes. But every runner needs proper sports nutrition to help them perform their best and recover fully. The best gifts for runners are the gifts that help them keep running and improving their game. So, use this guide to put together a healthy care package for the runner in your life.

Bushra Hassan

About Bushra Hassan, MBA, RD & LDN

Bushra is an expert in supplement development, nutrition education, wellness coaching, and product brand management. Her work focuses on diet and nutrition, digestive health, and integrative and functional medicine. She enjoys baking, trying new restaurants, and exploring beautiful Chicago.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


1. MSM. WebMD. Read source

2. Effect of MSM. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. Read source

4. Nitrate Ingestion. Nutrients. Read source

5. Gotu Kola. WebMD. Read source

6. Eleuthero. WebMD. Read source

7. Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Read source

8. Let’s Talk About Health. See source

9. Effects of Probiotics. PubMed. Read source

10. Running on D. Runner’s World. Read source

11. Runner's World Essential Guides. See source

12. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Read source