Heinz has launched an exciting campaign for marathon enthusiasts, guiding them to locations for complimentary Heinz ketchup packets. Tailored for devoted ketchup fans fueling their runs, these 10ml packets, with carbs and salt as main ingredients, offer 0 calories and 2.6g-5g of carbs each. To meet carb needs, runners may opt for 8-12 packets per session.

However, the question is, ‘Does it help?’

Discussions on using ketchup as a supplement have persisted for years. In 2021, a Reddit thread on r/RunningCirclejerk began with user @poppypines seeking budget-friendly alternatives to Gu or Bloks, asking if anyone had tried refueling with mini ketchup packets. Responses included a suggestion for mustard to help prevent cramps.

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The campaign has alarmed doctors and health practitioners as they say that chugging on ketchup might not be the ideal solution.

“Runners, swimmers, cyclists or anyone who exercises for more than 60 minutes needs to adequately fuel their body for the best workout,” dietitian Katherine Patton said in the report. “This is important because while you exercise, your body draws on carbohydrates stored in your muscles. However, the available amount is limited.”

Opening and consuming numerous ketchup packets while on the move can be cumbersome, potentially diverting an athlete’s attention and efficiency. Given the challenges of even opening a single packet, relying on a dozen during a long run raises doubts about the practicality of Heinz ketchup as a sports supplement.

Moreover, sports gels commonly include essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, crucial for preventing dehydration and muscle cramps. While Heinz ketchup does provide some electrolytes through its salt content, sports gels are specifically formulated for a more precise electrolyte balance, making them the preferred choice for athletes.

Certainly, the choice to use ketchup as a sports supplement appears to be a personal preference, with some individuals appreciating its added tangy flavor.

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