Workout routine? Check, Nutrition plan? Check. Fitness gear? Check. So, what’s missing? Have you considered adding workout supplements
to your routine? From pre-workout energizers to post-workout recovery aids, there’s support for just about every aspect of training. And options abound. You’ll find bars, gels, powders, capsules – even chewing gum
– to supply your body with the nutrition it needs to help you meet your goals. Only problem is: if you’re new to supplementing, it’s hard to know where to start.
Remember, pre-workout supplements are geared toward prepping your body for workouts, and post-workout supplements address your body’s needs during recovery time after exercising. Let’s take a look at the options and the benefits you can reap by adding certain products to your routine.
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs)
Branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements are a top fitness pick for both beginners and seasoned athletes alike. BCAAs
are known to support energy levels to lengthen your workouts while also helping to combat exercised-induced fatigue. Additionally, taking BCAAs before exercise may help to reduce muscle soreness post workout. †
How to take BCAAs
BCAAs are available in powder form
to add to beverages, or you can take BCAA capsules
. They’re best consumed 30 minutes before your workout.
Nitric oxide boosters
This pre-workout supplement helps to support healthy blood flow by relaxing muscles that control blood vessels. This allows more blood to move through the vessels and into your muscles, supporting increased energy production. †
How to take nitric oxide boosters
Take the recommended dose 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout. Choose from nitric oxide boosters in powder form or capsules.
Caffeine provides an energy boost, while also potentially increasing your intensity, muscle strength and fat loss. Taking a caffeine supplement that includes green tea extract can help to support your metabolic rate and burn fat. †
How to take caffeine
Energy fizz sticks
(just add to a beverage), gummy chews or tablets/capsules
should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before exercising.
Creatine is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the muscle tissue. Taking a creatine supplement post-workout allows the muscles to recover faster and helps to reduce muscle soreness, promoting the ability to continue with exercise the next day. †
How to take creatine
You’ll find creatine supplements
in powder form or capsules. Take the recommended dose 30 to 60 minutes post-workout. My favorite way to take it is to add a scoop of powder to my post-workout shake.
Whether you choose whey, casein or plant-based protein
, this nutrient helps to repair muscle fibers and supports muscle growth. †
Not sure which type of protein to choose? To note: whey protein absorbs quickly, casein take several hours to be absorbed, and plant protein falls somewhere in the middle. Find a protein powder that best fits your fitness routine and health goals.
How to take protein powder
Drink a protein-enhanced smoothie or shake within an hour after exercising. You can combine protein powders into one beverage to experience the benefits of each.
Glutamine is another amino acid that serves as a building block for protein. Taking a glutamine supplement after a workout may decrease muscle soreness and reduce fatigue. †
How to take glutamine
Powder or tablets can be taken 30 to 60 minutes post-workout. I suggest an unflavored glutamine powder to add to your protein shake.