There’s no denying it, working out is hard work. There is no replacement for the effort and dedication it takes to achieve your fitness goals. Whether it’s trimming fat or gaining muscle, we know one thing is certain, it takes good old fashioned hard work to get there.
Thanks to extensive R&D efforts within the industry, there are a variety of workout supplements available to boost your fitness regimen. In a saturated market, it can be difficult to tell which supplements are effective and which ones are nonsense.
Here we explore some of the MVPs in workout supplements - the most effective and reliable supplements that actually work.
Pre-workout supplements are designed to help increase key workout functions: energy, focus, pump, and endurance. This allows you to train for longer and harder, resulting in more intense workouts.
Pre-workout supplements focus on increasing nitric oxide – commonly known as “the pump” – helping your body transport oxygen and nutrients. This helps strengthen the mind-muscle connection and increase focus, allowing more reps in your workout.
Formulas are most notable for providing key nutrients such as
amino acids and creatine, as well as caffeine, to boost your training performance. Formulations that include beta–alanine, an amino acid, can assist with increasing muscle mass and reducing fatigue. (Clinical studies have shown that beta-alanine plays a key role in increasing lean body mass.)
Pre-Workouts without Stimulants
Want to increase performance without raising energy levels? Non-stimulant pre-workout supplements are suited for those interested in leveling up their workout session, but prefer to do so without the energy rush.
Non-stim pre-workouts still focus on optimizing “the pump”, helping to deliver blood to your muscles. Non-stim formulas can also improve focus during your training session, helping with muscle contraction and isolation.
BCAA supplements are a combination of leucine, isoleucine, and valine - three key amino acids for muscle recovery and repair. BCAAs are a powerhouse supplement that can be used during or post workout. During your workout, BCAAs can provide energy when you need it most. Post-workout, they can reduce muscle soreness following a workout, so you can spend less time in recovery and more time at the gym.
BCAAs supplements are most effective with the best results when taken throughout the day, so it helps to stay consistent.
Creatine is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body that provides energy for muscles and other tissue. Fully synthesized, creatine can enhance performance and production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – which helps repair and grow muscle.
Looking for energy and muscle recovery during your workout?
Creatine is clinically proven to help your muscles achieve peak performance – giving you the boost you need to put in a few more reps, run a little faster, and train a little harder.
4. Fish Oil
Fish oil is hands down the best source of Omega-3 oil. Omega-3 oils have natural anti-inflammatory properties which can provide critical support muscles and joints.
In addition to being a vital part of the recovery process, fish oil also supports circulation, heart, and lung health.
5. Whey Protein Powder
Protein is a critical nutrient for gaining muscle. There is no shortage of types of protein powders in the market including whey, casein, soy, egg, beef, chicken, etc.
When it comes to building muscle, whey protein is the most effective option. Whey contains high levels of leucine – the same vital amino acid in BCAAs – which promotes muscle growth.
Looking to stay lean while building muscle? Choose a whey protein with 25 + grams per serving and relatively low calories.