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5 Best Supplements for Endurance in 2024

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If you’re an endurance athlete, supplements may be just what you need to push through your toughest workouts. In this article we will be covering the best supplements for endurance that pair simple carbs with electrolytes for a quick boost of energy that will also keep you hydrated.

As their name implies, keep in mind that these supplements are best suited to endurance athletes. Athletes training for less than 1-2 hours at a time will likely be better off using a high-quality pre-workout supplement. However, endurance supplements can make a huge difference for distance runners, triathletes, and other endurance athletes.

best supplements for endurance torokhtiy

Top 5 Best Supplements for Endurance Reviewed

  1. Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel — Best Option With Caffeine Boost
  2. POWERADE Sports Drink
  3. Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix
  4. Precision Hydration 500 — Best Third-Party Certified Option
  5. Gatorade Endurance Formula
Best Supplement For EnduranceTotalCarbs + Electrolytes
Formula per Serving
Taste/FlavorNutrition Label TransparencyValue for Money
Tailwind Nutrition38.5109.59.59.5
POWERADE389.59.59.59.5
Skratch Labs389.59.59.59.5
Precision37.599.5109
Gatorade379.599.59

1. Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel — Best Option With Caffeine Boost

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel torokhtiy
  • Form: Powder
  • Flavors: Matcha, Cola, Tropical, Mandarin, Raspberry, Lemon, Berry, Unflavored
  • Key Ingredients: Caffeine, Electrolyte Mix
  • Additional Ingredients: Dextrose, Sucrose
  • Carbs per Serving: 25g
  • Package Information: 1350g
  • Servings: 50
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.80
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Courtney Dauwalter, Ellen Campbell, Annie Hughes

Starting off our list of supplements for stamina is the only product we’re covering to feature caffeine. Let’s see how Tailwind Nutrition’s Endurance Fuel stacks up to the top spot on our list.

As mentioned, this is the only supplement with any caffeine. Keep in mind it is very mild compared to something like a pre-workout with only around 35mg of caffeine per serving. This is equivalent to a small cup of green tea! The supplement also comes in non-stim flavors if you want to avoid the caffeine!

For its electrolyte content, you’ll be getting 310mg of Sodium, 90mg of Potassium, 12mg of Magnesium, and 27mg of Calcium. While this is slightly less than Powerade, it’s still a solid blend.

You’ll be getting a slightly lower hit of carbs at 25g per serving. These are sourced from Dextrose and Sucrose.

Keep in mind this is for 1 scoop. They suggest using 2-3 scoops with 700ml for each hour of endurance training. This will give you a higher hit of electrolytes, as well as an ideal caffeine intake for endurance. However, you can decide how many electrolytes, carbs, and caffeine you want by using less or more.

One plus here is that Tailwind doesn’t use any artificial ingredients in its formula. You can also expect excellent flavor variety with 8 different choices. It does work out to be slightly more expensive than Powerade at about $0.80 per serving.

38.5 EXPERT SCORE

Tailwind Nutrition’s Endurance Fuel is the only supplement with any caffeine. The supplement also comes in non-stim flavors if you want to avoid the caffeine!


Carbs + Electrolytes Formula:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Easier to change electrolyte content for your personal needs
  • No artificial flavors
  • Only product on our list with caffeine

Could be better:

  • Stimulation may not be as strong as you want
  • Flavor will be very mild

2. POWERADE Sports Drink

POWERADE Sports Drink torokhtiy
  • Form: Premixed Drink
  • Flavors: Fruit Punch, Mountain Berry Blast
  • Key Ingredients: Electrolyte Mix
  • Additional Ingredients: High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Carbs per Serving: 34g
  • Package Information: 591ml Bottles (Comes in a pack of 24)
  • Servings: 24
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.71
  • Company Founded: 1988
  • Recommended by Athletes: Simone Biles, Lydia Williams, CJ Bott

Next on our list of the best supplements for endurance athletes is one of the most iconic sports drinks on the market, which delivers on being a solid endurance supplement as well. Let’s take a closer look at why the Powerade formula works so well.

Powerade claims to have 50% more electrolytes compared to other sports drinks, so let’s see if that’s true. You can expect a formula containing 400mg of Sodium, 130mg of Potassium, and less than 2% of the daily value of Magnesium and Calcium. This does work out to be the supplement with the highest electrolyte content on our list, although not by a number as high as 50%.

It’s carb content comes from high-fructose corn syrup, which is a common sweetener in sodas and sports drinks. At 34g of carbs per serving, this will give you a quick hit of energy during your workout.

powerade insta
Photo by @powerade_us

While the bottles Powerade comes in make them convenient, it’s worth noting the use of disposable plastics doesn’t make this the most environmentally friendly option. It’s also worth noting you won’t be able to change how many carbs and electrolytes you’re getting in the same way you can with a powdered supplement.

Keep in mind that this is formulated with several artificial ingredients and dyes. Also, despite being such a large company, Powerade is currently only available in 2 flavors on Amazon. Despite all the packaging, Powerade works out to be the cheapest option on our list at only around $0.71 per serving.

38 EXPERT SCORE

Powerade claims to have 50% more electrolytes compared to other sports drinks. It’s carb content comes from high-fructose corn syrup, which is a common sweetener in sodas and sports drinks.


Carbs + Electrolytes Formula:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High electrolyte content
  • Solid sugar content for quick energy
  • Will likely deliver the sweetest flavor on our list

Could be better:

  • Contains some artificial flavorings and dye
  • Cannot customize the amount of carbs and electrolytes by altering serving size

3. Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix torokhtiy
  • Form: Powder
  • Flavors: Fruit Punch, Lemon + Lime, Orange, Mango Tangerine, Matcha Lemon, Orange, Pineapple, Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry Limeade
  • Key Ingredients: Electrolyte Blend, Caffeine
  • Additional Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Dextrose
  • Carbs per Serving: 20g
  • Package Information: 440g
  • Servings: 20
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.10
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Allen Skratch, Kelly K Roberts, Avery Stumm

The next endurance booster we’ll be looking at is a product from Skratch Labs, a smaller company dedicated to making high-quality supplements. Let’s see how it compares to a massive company like Powerade.

In terms of electrolyte content, it’s fairly similar to the top 2 products on our list. You’ll be getting 380mg of Sodium, 38mg of Potassium, 38mg of Magnesium, and 44mg of Calcium. Keep in mind the company recommends mixing 1 scoop for 350-500ml of water and using 1-2 servings for each hour of exercise, depending on your thirst.

Skratch Labs insta
Photo by @skratchlabs

It contains the lowest carb content on our list so far as well, with 20g of carbs coming from Cane Sugar and Dextrose. Its Raspberry Limeade flavor also features a mild extra hit of caffeine with 50mg per serving.

Like Tailwind, Scratch is made with no artificial ingredients. It is largely sweetened with natural fruit juices. It does also have a fairly limited flavor variety with 3 different options to choose from. Keep in mind that this is one of the more expensive products on our list, costing about $1.10 per serving.

38 EXPERT SCORE

A product from Skratch Labs is made with no artificial ingredients. It is largely sweetened with natural fruit juices. It does also have a fairly limited flavor variety with 3 different options to choose from.


Carbs + Electrolytes Formula:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Solid electrolyte blend
  • Made from all-natural ingredients
  • Carbs sourced from cane sugar

Could be better:

  • Natural flavoring is very mild
  • Reviews suggest the packaging is faulty

4. Precision Hydration 500 — Best Third-party Certified Option

Precision Hydration 500 torokhtiy
  • Form: Powder
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Key Ingredients: Electrolyte Blend
  • Additional Ingredients: Sugar
  • Carbs per Serving: 17.5g
  • Package Information: 160g
  • Servings: 8
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.75
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended by Athletes: Marc Dubrick, Jason West, Lisa Weightman

Next on our list of endurance enhancers is Precision Hydration, which is the first product on our list to come in single-serving sticks of powder. This makes them especially convenient for taking on the go!

For electrolytes, you’ll be getting 250mg of Sodium, 125mg of Potassium, 24mg of Calcium, and 12mg of Magnesium. Keep in mind this is the 500mg option, with Precision offering higher amounts of electrolytes in their 1000mg and 1500mg options.

This is the lowest carb content on our list so far with only 17.5g per serving. Its carbs are sourced from sugar.

Like most of the products on our list, this is made without any artificial ingredients.
Although it will be sweet because of the sugar, it doesn’t appear Precision comes in any specific flavors. Likely because of the single-serving packets, this is the most expensive option on our list by far at ~$1.75 per serving.

37.5 EXPERT SCORE

Precision Hydration is the first product on our list to come in single-serving sticks of powder. This makes them especially convenient for taking on the go!


Carbs + Electrolytes Formula:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Multiple strengths available for different purposes
  • Single-serving packets are very convenient
  • No artificial ingredients

Could be better:

  • Most expensive option on our list
  • No specific flavors

5. Gatorade Endurance Formula

Gatorade Endurance Formula torokhtiy
  • Form: Powder
  • Flavors: Lemon Lime, Orange, Cherry, Watermelon,
  • Key Ingredients: Electrolyte Blend
  • Additional Ingredients: Sugar, Maltodextrin, Fructose
  • Carbs per Serving: 22g
  • Package Information: 907g
  • Servings: 38
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.82
  • Company Founded: 1965
  • Recommended by Athletes: Josh Allen, George Kittle, Shedeur Sanders

Closing off our list of stamina and endurance supplements is another one of the most iconic sports drink brands of all time, Gatorade. Let’s see how this compares to the rest of our list.

Its electrolyte content is 300mg of Sodium, 140mg of Potassium, and a low, unspecified amount of Calcium. This makes it one of the most basic electrolyte mixes on our list so far. They suggest using 1.5 scoops for 350ml of water, so you could easily double this depending on your needs.

Gatorade Endurance Formula insta
Photo by @mesamarathon

This is also the first product on our list whose carbs aren’t entirely made up of sugar. You can expect 22g of carbs, with only 13g coming from sugars. Its carbs are sourced from sugar, fructose, and maltodextrin.

Unlike Powerade, this Gatorade powder isn’t made with any artificial ingredients. It also comes in a decent variety of 4 different flavors. This also comes at a fairly average price for our list at around $0.82 per serving.

37 EXPERT SCORE

Closing off our list of stamina and endurance supplements is another one of the most iconic sports drink brands of all time, Gatorade. This is also the first product on our list whose carbs aren’t entirely made up of sugar.


Carbs + Electrolytes Formula:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Lower sugar content may be ideal for some
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Solid total electrolyte content

Could be better:

  • Fairly basic electrolyte formula missing magnesium
  • Reviews suggest a weak flavor

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What Are The Benefits of Endurance Supplements?

As we’ll cover more in-depth below, muscle endurance supplements aren’t necessary for many athletes. However, for endurance athletes, they provide a whole host of benefits and can significantly boost performance. We’ll be covering their wide-ranging benefits in more depth below.

workout keto torokhtiy

✅ Supporting Physical Performance

Endurance supplements improve performance through a combination of simple carbs and electrolytes. Simple carbs are sugars that are easily absorbed by the body for quick energy. Electrolytes then help you replenish the minerals you’ve lost through your sweat. This combo will help you maintain peak performance when it begins to drop during your workout.

✅ Reducing Perception of Effort

By getting a hit of energy from simple carbs, you may reduce your perception of effort. If you’re close to having depleted glycogen stores, getting a quick hit of energy can drastically reduce your rate of perceived effort and keep you pushing for longer.

gym training torokhtiy

✅ Rehydration

Of course, whenever you’re drinking an endurance supplement, you’ll also be taking in a good amount of water. Hydration needs tend to differ between individual athletes so it’s difficult to make exact recommendations for how much water and electrolytes to drink before, during, and after exercise.

✅ Boosting Cognitive Performance

Physical performance isn’t the only thing that will drop when your body’s glycogen stores are depleted. Our brains are dependent on sugar for fuel. A quick hit of sugar can help you stay focused on the task at hand during a tough workout.

gym warmup torokhtiy

✅ Replacing Electrolytes Lost in Sweat

As mentioned above, your body loses a ton of electrolytes while you sweat. Having your electrolytes out of balance can quickly reduce performance. Especially if you’re working out for longer than 2 hours – or if you just sweat a lot – the electrolytes in sports drinks can make a huge difference.

✅ Improving Palatability of Fluids to Encourage Voluntary Fluid Intake

Finally, endurance supplements just make water more enjoyable to drink. If you regularly forget to drink water while working out because you don’t enjoy the taste, sports drinks can help you stay hydrated. Keep in mind that you can get too many electrolytes – especially sodium – so make sure you’re still drinking plenty of plain water as well.

Warmup running torokhtiy

For Whom And in What Situations Are Sports Drinks Most Beneficial?

As you can probably tell from their name, endurance supplements aren’t necessary for every athlete. They’re mainly beneficial for those training for long periods at once. If you’re regularly working out continuously for longer than an hour, or are training for an ultra-endurance event, then these supplements will be especially beneficial for you.

1. If You Are Doing Endurance Exercise For 1 Hour Or More

First, the benefits from the simple carbs and electrolytes found in endurance supplements will be most beneficial for athletes training for more than an hour. This is because with shorter workouts your glycogen stores most likely won’t be somewhat depleted and you won’t lose a good amount of electrolytes through your sweat.

workout torokhtiy

It’s worth noting that for longer exercise, you can take your supplement every 15-20 minutes to give yourself a more steady supply of fuel and rehydration. Using thirst as a cue for when to take a couple of sips of a sports drink can be a good indicator.

2. If You Are Preparing For Or Taking Part In Ultra-endurance Competitions

The point above is especially relevant for those training for ultra-endurance events that typically last for significantly longer than 1-2 hours. During these competitions, proper hydration and fueling are necessary to maintain a consistent level of performance. This is why simple carbs and electrolytes taken consistently through your training are so important.

For Whom And in What Situations Are Sports Drinks Most Beneficial?

Before rushing to buy an endurance supplement, consider the following points to help you make a decision. Remember that the vast majority of athletes do not need endurance supplements. In some cases, they may not even be suitable for all endurance athletes. Let’s see why.

squat woman torokhtiy

1. Recreational Fitness Enthusiasts Usually Do Not Need Ssports Drinks

As mentioned, endurance drinks are only really necessary if you’re training for longer than an hour. If your workouts aren’t that long, you won’t get much benefit from a sports drink. In this case, you’re likely better off with a pre-workout supplement. These will give you a solid hit of energy as well as an assortment of active ingredients to boost your performance.

2. Sports Drinks or Powders Contain Varying Amounts of Sodium and Carbs Per Serving

All of the supplements on our list contain a fairly high amount of sodium and carbs. These are both beneficial for endurance, but getting them in this form may not be suitable for everyone.

Sodium is necessary for performance, and most athletes do not need to worry about consuming too much sodium on any given day. Still, consider how much sodium you take in every day to determine if these supplements are suitable for you. Remember you can always take a smaller serving to have less sodium at once. Always consult with your doctor before you will include a high sodium drink into your routine.

Belt for workout torokhtiy

Next, especially if you’re following a low-carb diet like keto, these supplements will not be suitable for you. Each of the products on our list contains a solid amount of carbohydrates. While this will provide a good source of energy for most, some people will prefer to avoid any extra sugar/CHO intake.

3. Fructose-containing Sports Dinks Can Cause Gut Discomfort

This point is specifically relevant to those with fructose malabsorption and FODMAP intolerance. While most people will have no problem digesting endurance supplements, those with these conditions may experience intense stomach discomfort whenever consuming high-sugar products like the supplements on our list

reverse plank torokhtiy

Those with these conditions are likely better off avoiding these supplements, and opting for a zero-carb electrolyte supplement instead. While we don’t generally recommend low-carb high-fat diets for athletes, it may be beneficial for people with these conditions.

4. Why is Ranking The Best Endurance Supplements So Difficult?

As you can see from the points above, recommending and ranking endurance supplements isn’t easy. Everyone has different needs for their training and different dietary preferences, so different supplements will work better for some people.

It’s important to take training styles, goals, and overall nutrition all into account before deciding on which supplement will be right for you. The supplements on this list are meant specifically for endurance athletes who are okay with sugars and carbs.

bicycle training torokhtiy

For keto athletes, a zero-calorie electrolyte powder will make more sense as an endurance supplement. For non-endurance athletes, a high-quality pre-workout will likely provide more value. Always consider your situation before making any decision.

FAQ

What Ingredients Improve Endurance?

The 2 main ingredients we focused on for this list are electrolytes and simple carbs. During endurance exercise, you’ll deplete your glycogen stores making simple carbs beneficial for a quick hit of energy. You’ll also be losing electrolytes through your sweat, making these important for keeping the electrolytes in your body in proper balance.

It’s worth noting that caffeine can also help improve endurance. However, it is not as common in endurance/electrolyte supplements, so we did not highlight it as much in this list

What Is The Best Stimulant For Endurance?

If you’re looking for a proper stimulant to help with your energy during endurance exercise, you can’t go wrong with caffeine. There’s only one product on our list that contains any caffeine, albeit at a very mild dose. If you’re interested in using caffeine for endurance, consider buying a high-quality pre-workout, or a basic caffeine supplement instead. These will also give you a solid mix of active ingredients to help with your performance.

What Builds Stamina The Fastest?

While the ingredients in endurance supplements can help you maintain stamina, the only way to truly build your exercise capacity is through consistent and effective training and adequate recovery. Regularly push yourself in training to improve factors like VO2 max, thresholds, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, strength and more, which will lead to significantly stronger stamina over time.

Are Endurance Supplements Good for All Athletes?

Not necessarily. As implied by their name, supplements to improve endurance are most beneficial for endurance athletes who train for longer than 1-2 hours at a time. The mix of carbs and electrolytes will likely not make much of a difference during workouts where you’re not depleting your glycogen stores or losing a lot of electrolytes through sweat.

Athletes working out for less than an hour at a time will likely benefit more from a high-quality pre-workout supplement instead.

Conclusion

While endurance supplements certainly aren’t necessary for all athletes, they can make all the difference for those training for hours at a time. This is because the carbs and electrolytes they contain will provide a quick boost of energy as well as help you stay properly hydrated.

If you’re interested in the best supplement for cardio endurance, consider checking out POWERADE Sports Drink for its high electrolyte and carbohydrate content.

Are you an endurance athlete training for any specific events? What do you use to help you refuel and rehydrate during your workouts? Let us know in the comments below!

Also read:

Referenses:

  1. Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
  2. Essential Electrolytes // RUSH: https://www.rush.edu/news/essential-electrolytes
  3. THE FIRST-TIME MARATHONER’S GUIDE TO FUEL AND HYDRATION FOR YOUR MARATHON TRAINING (SELF) // UCONN: https://ksi.uconn.edu/2018/10/09/the-first-time-marathoners-guide-to-fuel-and-hydration-for-your-marathon-training-self/
  4. Sugar and the Brain // Harvard Medical School: https://hms.harvard.edu/news-events/publications-archive/brain/sugar-brain
  5. Hereditary fructose intolerance // MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/hereditary-fructose-intolerance/
  6. LOW-FODMAP DIET FOR IBS // UVA Nutrition: https://med.virginia.edu/ginutrition/wp-content/uploads/sites/199/2023/12/Low-FODMAP-Diet-and-Instructions-2023.pdf

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Jacek Szymanowski

Author: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance Architect,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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