Welcome to the Women’s Running Awards 2017 – Nutrition Product of the Year.
Over the past few months, a team of independent testers been putting the nominated products through their paces to find out the best in each category. Click on the sub-category below or scroll down to see the full results!
Race-day nutrition can make or break your run, and could be the all-important factor in you bagging that new PB. When it comes to pre-race fuel, always try it out in training first, to ensure you don’t end up with unexpected tummy troubles out on the course! And for optimum performance, look out for products with caffeine added, as it’s proven to make you run faster – experts believe this could be because it reduces perception of effort.
BEST IN CATEGORY & BEST VALUE – OPTIMUM NUTRITION ESSENTIAL AMINO ENERGY
“A good pre-workout drink, tasted ok and you do get many uses out of the tub. After use I felt I had a lot of energy and did not get cramp or tightness during the run which I sometimes experience.” – Rachel simm
EDITOR’S CHOICE – HIGH5 ZERO X’TREME
“This dissolved well and had a nice flavour. I would definitely recommend it – I ran my fastest parkrun so far this year after using it for the first time!” – Carolyn Arber
For post-race nutrition, opt for a snack that provides carbohydrates and protein, ideally in a 4:1 ratio, to replenish your muscle glycogen stores and fuel muscle repair and recovery.
BEST IN CATEGORY & BEST VALUE – CLIF BAR
“I would recommend this bar and buy it again. It had a nice taste and texture and I felt it gave me an immediate pick-me-up. It’s a handy size for on the go, isn’t too sticky and is easily digestible.” – Kath Roberts
EDITOR’S CHOICE – GOOD FULL STOP COOL COCONUT & MINT RECOVERY BAR
“Containing 15g of protein, this bar is a handy way to get your protein in after a long run. It has a refreshing taste, making it really easy to take on when you don’t feel like eating.” – Ella Davis
WHY DO YOU NEED EXTRA FUEL WHILE YOU RUN?
Even if you’ve taken on board some pre-race fuel, for example a carb-heavy breakfast the morning of your race, your body can only store enough energy (in the form of glycogen, stored in the muscles and liver) to run for 90 minutes to two hours. To avoid ‘hitting the wall’ – a term used by runners to describe the sensation that comes with completely running out of energy – you should aim to take on regular fuel during longer races or training runs. For maximum performance bene t, aim to take on around 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour. For races, choose readily available carbs such as energy gels and isotonic sports drinks and, in training, when you’ll be running at an easier pace, take on snacks high in protein and fat, which will keep you fuller for longer.
BEST IN CATEGORY – LUCOZADE SPORT ELITE GEL
“A good size, a nice flavour and easy to open mid-run. After use, I felt it worked nice and slowly – I didn’t get that sudden energy rush followed by a crash, as you do with some other gels.” – Rachel simm
BEST VALUE – GOOD FULL STOP MIXED NUTS FRUIT & NUT BAR
“I loved using these bars on long runs. They’re full of natural ingredients, taste great and helped keep my energy levels up when I began to flag!” – Berni Ryan
EDITOR’S CHOICE – HIGH5 ENERGYGEL
WHY IS PROTEIN IMPORTANT?
Protein is an essential macro-nutrient in our diet, vital for muscle growth and repair, alongside lesser-known functions such as hormone and antibody production. As runners, our protein requirements are slightly higher than the general public, as it forms an important part of recovery after exercise. Consuming a protein snack as soon as possible after a run will stimulate the rebuilding of damaged tissue.
BEST IN CATEGORY – CLIF BUILDER’S PROTEIN BAR
“It was very tasty, like a chocolate bar. and it filled me up quickly, in fact i only needed half of it.” – Sandra Lewis
BEST VALUE – SIS WHEY20 GEL
£24 (FOR PACK OF 12), SCIENCEINSPORT.COM
“I liked the flavour and the yoghurt-like texture. A really easy way to take on protein after a long run.” – Deb Pattison
EDITOR’S CHOICE – PULSIN VANILLA CHOC CHIP PROTEIN BOOSTER
“I love the fact this bar is made from natural ingredients. And it tasted lovely with a post-run cuppa. Plus, because of the high protein content, it kept me full for a while.” – Ashleigh Johnson-Palmer
CHOOSING HEALTH DRINKS
With so many health drinks on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. From increasing fat burning to boosting your intake of certain vitamins, they all have their perks. When making your decision, always be sure to check the ingredients and nutritional information – those lowest in sugar and containing the most natural ingredients will be your healthiest options.
BEST IN CATEGORY – BIO-SYNERGY SKINNY WATER
“It has a lovely taste, not too sweet and not fizzy. And it isn’t full of sugar and empty calories. I would definitely drink this as an alternative to water, which i don’t think enough of.” – Michelle Bradley
BEST IN VALUE – ERDINGER ALKOHOLFREI
“I’m not a huge beer drinker so had it with a bit of lemonade and it was refreshing. It was nice to have “beer” with a curry and not feel any alcoholic affects.” – Brenda calland
EDITOR’S CHOICE – ROOTS COLLECTIVE VEGETABLE BLEND
“I’m someone who definitely doesn’t eat enough vegetables, so these drinks were a great way to boost my vitamin and fibre intake. They taste so delicious, too, you hardly notice you’re eating your greens!
– Janet simons
WHY EAT HEALTHY SNACKS BETWEEN MEALS?
Most of us lead manic lives and, most days, we’re trying to juggle training with work, family life and a whole host of other commitments. A healthy on-the-go snack will help to sustain energy levels between meals and ensure you’re well fuelled for your next workout. Plus, many options are now packed with “superfood” ingredients, boosting your intake of essential vitamins, minerals and macronutrients to support your health.
BEST IN CATEGORY – & BEST VALUE – GOOD FULL STOP MIXED NUTS FRUIT & NUT BAR
“I Loved them. I had a selection of flavours and liked every one of them. I used them as a snack and before the gym and they stopped hunger pangs. I’d definitely buy these again.” – Brenda Calland
EDITOR’S CHOICE – MERIDIAN PEANUT & COCONUT BAR
£21 (FOR CASE OF 18), MERIDIANFOODS.CO.UK
“Great product, great price, nice taste and filling, too. The taste is true to flavour and it has a lovely texture. On the shopping list!” – Amy jones
BEST IN CATEGORY & BEST VALUE – HIGH5 PROTEIN SNACK
“I tried this bar out after some of my weekend runs. It’s got 12g of protein in there so you’ve all the muscle repair benefits, it was really filling and had a lovely nutty flavour.” – Deb Pattison
EDITOR’S CHOICE – ADUNA SUPER-CACAO
“A teaspoon of this in a glass of milk was such a lovely treat after parkun – it tasted just like a chocolate milkshake. I believe it’s also a source of antioxidants, so you’ve got all the heart-health benefits, too.” – Melody Smith