Which Workout Supplements Should You Take?

You’ve probably seen ads for workout supplements everywhere. But which ones should you take? Get the scoop on the best (and worst) supplements out there.


In today’s fitness-centric world, there is a dizzying array of workout supplements to choose from. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which ones are the best for you. This guide is designed to help you understand the types of supplements available, their benefits and drawbacks, and which supplements are most suitable for your individual fitness goals.

Whether you’re looking to build muscle mass or endurance, there is a wide variety of innovative workout supplements designed to match your needs. Protein shakes and weight-gain formulas provide additional nutrients for muscle growth and strength training. Pre-workouts increase energy levels and reduce pre-workout jitters while encouraging healthy eating habits. Post-workouts speed up recovery time through increased hydration and amino acid absorption, while vitamin and mineral complexes keep your body energized throughout your entire workout.

No two people have the same particular supplement needs when it comes to physical fitness, so it’s important do some research in order to figure out which supplements will work best for you. The following guide provides an overview of the most popular types of workout supplements available today, as well as some tips on how to make sure you’re taking the right ones.

Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are the most popular type of supplement for people looking to enhance their gains from a workout. Protein helps you build muscle, burn fat, and increase your strength. When taken consistently, protein supplements can help you reach your fitness goals faster. In this section, let’s explore why protein supplements are beneficial and the different types that are available.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of the most popular types of protein supplements. It has become widely used among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts because it digests quickly, making it ideal for use before or after workouts. Whey is a fast-acting source of protein to support muscle growth and aid in muscle recovery. Some of the main components found in quality whey proteins include: branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), essential amino acids (EAAs), and essential fatty acids (EFAs).

When it comes to maximizing your workout performance, whey proteins are great for helping you reach your goals. Protein is the building block of muscle, so when whey proteins are consumed before or after a workout they provide much needed nutrients that can be quickly broken down into amino acids and used by the body to synthesize muscle tissue. Whey also helps replenish energy stores after an exercise session, aiding in a faster recovery time between workouts.

When looking for the best way to supplement your workouts with protein, whey is a great choice due to its high level of energy boost and its ability to support the body’s natural muscle-building processes. It’s important that you choose a brand that uses premium ingredients and provides clear nutrition facts so you’re getting exactly what you need without any chemicals or filler ingredients added in.

Casein Protein

Casein Protein is a slow-release protein supplement derived from milk or other dairy sources such as cheese and yogurt. It is one of the most widely used types of supplementary protein among athletes and bodybuilders looking to gain lean muscle mass.

Casein protein is considered distinct from other types of protein because it takes longer to digest, allowing it to slowly trickle amino acids into muscles throughout the day. This can help promote muscle repair, growth and maintenance in between workouts.

When taken as a supplement, casein is consumed in powdered form and typically blended with other ingredients like carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fillers depending on the desired flavor profile. Since casein has a less pleasant taste than many other kinds of protein supplements, nutrient fortification is recommended for better palatability. Common forms of casein include: micellar casein, calcium caseinate & sodium caseinate.

It’s important to note that casein has different absorption rates based on when taken in relation to meals or exercise. If taken immediately after exercising (which is an extremely common practice among athletes), it provides both a stimulatory effect on protein synthesis as well as anabolic activity due its ability to supply nutrients over an extended period of time.

Soy Protein

Soy protein is a plant-based protein that is derived from soybeans. It has become a popular protein supplement for athletes because it contains all of the essential amino acids needed for muscle development. Soy protein is also low in fat and cholesterol, making it an attractive option for those who are looking to reduce their dietary intake of saturated fats. Among the benefits of soy protein include helping to accelerate muscle growth, improve exercise performance, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health.

For post-workout recovery, soy protein can be consumed in both solid and liquid forms. In solid form, soy protein can be found as a powder that can be added to smoothies or other food items such as yogurt or oatmeal. Liquid forms range from shakes to other types of ready-to-drink beverages. It is important to note that when looking for a quality soy protein supplement, one should always consider the type of ingredients used as well as how much real soy is contained within the product to ensure maximum benefit from supplementation.

Creatine Supplements

Creatine is one of the most popular workout supplements out there and for good reason. It helps to boost muscle growth, increase strength and power, and is also beneficial for endurance and overall health. It’s also one of the most studied supplements out there, so you can be assured of its safety when used correctly. Let’s take a look at what creatine can do and how it can benefit your workouts.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is one of the most common and effective forms of creatine. It’s also the least expensive, making it a great choice for those on a budget. When taken correctly, creatine monohydrate can help provide your muscles with more energy so that you can lift heavier weights, go for longer during your workouts and experience larger gains in muscle size.

Creatine monohydrate is naturally found in foods like red meat and seafood, but it’s difficult to consume enough of these foods on a regular basis to see any real benefit from them. That’s why many people opt for supplementation primarily to meet their needs. Taking 5-10 grams per day can help make sure your muscles are saturated with creatine without causing any adverse side effects or digestive distress. Consuming high-quality carbohydrates at the same time as taking creatine has been shown to maximize its effectiveness in replenishing muscle ATP levels and increasing muscle mass.

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine Ethyl Ester, also known simply as Creatine Ester, is a form of the popular dietary supplement creatine. This derivative form has been around for nearly 20 years. It is most often used by athletes and bodybuilders because it contains more of the energizing components of creatine than regular creatine does. This compound is hydrogenated, which means that it absorbs more quickly into the muscles and increases energy levels more rapidly than other forms of creatine.

The primary benefit of using Creatine Ethyl Ester is increased muscular strength and power during workouts. Studies have shown that taking it before exercising can increase raw strength and performance while decreasing fatigue afterwards. It can also help support the growth of lean muscle mass with improved oxygen delivery to working muscles, increased metabolic rate, and better glycogen synthesis.

Creatine Ethyl Ester comes in capsules or powder forms and should be taken 30-50 minutes prior to exercising for maximum benefit. Because it helps reduce fatigue after exercise, many workout fanatics prefer to use this type instead of regular Creatine Monohydrate. Although similar to traditional creatine supplements, its patented esterified form allows for better absorption in the body so that people take fewer doses with enhanced effects during resistance training programs or other intense physical activities.

Creatine HCL

Creatine HCL (hydrochloride) is a form of creatine supplement that has hydrochloride groups attached to the creatine molecules. It is believed that this makes the creatine much more water soluble and increases the amount of absorption by the body. This form of creatine provides a higher degree of bioavailability, meaning it can potentially produce greater gains in strength, muscle mass, power and overall performance during resistance exercises than other forms of creatine. Furthermore, due to its increased solubility in water it has been suggested that you need smaller doses to achieve your desired results compared with other forms of supplementation.

When taking this form of supplement it is important to take into account other factors such as your training level and intensity prior to using this product. Additionally, taking an appropriate daily dose is key along with ensuring adequate hydration levels during and after workouts as dehydration can inhibit performance benefits associated with Creatine HCL supplementation. Furthermore, if you are ever unsure about how supplements may affect your health check with a qualified healthcare provider before consuming any products.

Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you an extra boost when you hit the gym. They can help to increase energy, endurance, and mental focus to help you get the most out of your workout. While there are a variety of pre-workout supplements available on the market, it is important to do your research before taking one. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular pre-workout supplements and how they can benefit your workout routine.


Caffeine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements, as it increases alertness, focus and helps to reduce fatigue. It works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain which helps to promote active mental states. Caffeine also enhances aerobic endurance and increases fat oxidation. The optimal dose of caffeine per day is generally accepted to be 3–6 mg/kg body weight, though individual tolerance varies across individuals- so it is important to start with a dose on the lower end of the spectrum to assess your personal tolerance before ramping up the dose. Caffeine can be found naturally in tea, coffee, chocolate and certain energy drinks but concentrated forms in supplement form tend to offer more consistent dosing for performance purposes. It is important to note that there are potential side effects such as anxiety or jitteriness when taken in high dosages – so always try starting with a lower dosage first and build up gradually once you assess your personal tolerance levels.


Beta-alanine is a popular dietary supplement often used to boost physical performance and endurance. It has been studied extensively in athletes, especially those involved in sports that require intense bursts of physical activity for shorter periods of time. Beta-alanine serves as a buffer for lactic acid, helping to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness during exercise. It can also help improve endurance and overall performance.

Beta-alanine has been shown to be most effective when taken in higher doses over an extended period of time. Most supplement makers recommend taking between 1–6 g per day, but the amount you should take will depend on your goals and activity level. Some users report having feelings of tingling or itching after taking beta-alanine, but this is normal and usually dissipates after some time. When taken at the recommended dosage, beta-alanine is generally considered safe with minimal side effects.


L-Citrulline is an amino acid found naturally in watermelon and other plants, but the effectiveness of pre-workout supplements is enhanced when the dosage is higher. It aids in nitric oxide production and increases the body’s ability to generate energy from food. L-Citrulline is particularly helpful for those who want to increase their endurance by allowing them to work out longer and harder without becoming fatigued. It helps reduce lactic acid build-up, which can lead to muscle soreness, cramps and joint pain after strenuous activity. Additionally, this amino acid can help with cognitive functioning by providing improved focus both before and after exercise. L-Citrulline may be taken orally or intravenously (IV), though large doses of this supplement should be taken only with medical supervision. Common side effects include abdominal cramping and nausea if the dosage is too high or if it doesn’t agree with the individual taking it.

Post-Workout Supplements

Post-workout supplements have become popular with athletes and gym goers alike, as they can help to quickly replenish the energy stores in the body and speed up the recovery process. Different types of post-workout supplements are available, such as protein powders, amino acids, and creatine. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of post-workout supplements and which ones are best for your goals.


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are three essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine – that are found in protein foods such as eggs and dairy. They’re called branched-chain because of their unique molecular structure. BCAAs benefit athletes in several ways, including increasing muscle mass and strength, reducing fatigue, improving endurance and reducing post-workout muscle soreness.

BCAAs can be taken before or after exercise sessions in order to optimize performance and recovery results. Each of the three BCAAs have distinctive benefits. For example:
-Leucine is known for its ability to promote healthy muscle growth, while
-Isoleucine supplies glucose to the muscles for energy production and
-Valine assists with tissue repair after intense workouts.

BCAAs synergistically boost training performance by increasing strength, improving endurance, helping with muscle recovery as well as reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Furthermore, they also act as a powerful antioxidant which helps eliminate free radicals throughout the body caused by physical exertion during training sessions.


Glutamine is an essential amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and helps with a variety of important functions. It is considered a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that while it can be produced in the body it may not always be present in sufficient quantities. As a result, one of the primary uses of glutamine is as an exercise supplement to help maintain and support normal muscle function during exercise.

Glutamine helps support athletic performance, muscle protein synthesis, and gastrointestinal health. By taking glutamine post workout, you are providing your body with the raw materials it needs to recover from exercise-induced stress and continue building new tissues and muscles. Additionally, research has shown that a regular intake of healthy amounts of glutamine can help decrease symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis.

The recommended dosage for glutamine as an exercise supplement varies depending on how much you work out and your individual needs. However, generally speaking 5-10 grams per day taken post workout should provide adequate amounts for most individuals. When taken at the correct dosage level noted above daily most people experience no side effects when taking glutamine supplements post-workout.


HMB (β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate) is a molecule that naturally occurs within the human body and it is an especially important component of post-workout nutrition. It plays a major role in the regeneration and growth of muscle cells, which is why supplements containing HMB are extremely popular among athletes. It can also help to reduce muscle soreness, increase strength and stamina, enhance performance, and boost protein production for quicker recovery after exercise. HMB is available as a standalone supplement or as part of some pre- or post-workout mixes. It’s best taken 30 minutes before exercise and/or immediately after your workout to give you the best results.


At the end of the day, everyone is looking for different results in their fitness routine and therefore, will benefit from different types of supplements. If you are just starting out with your fitness journey and are not sure what supplements might be best for you, it is recommended to consult a professional or certified dietitian about which supplements may be most effective for your needs. Whatever you decide to take, make sure that you do your research and know that what works for one person may not be ideal for another. Supplements can help enhance your results, but they should not replace healthy eating habits and exercise as the foundation of any successful fitness routine.

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