Do you need workout supplements? That answer depends on your physical body, your fitness goal, and what you eat. You don’t necessarily need them and there is lots of controversy over them, but I think they help a lot!
Before I talk about the ones I use remember all supplements aren’t created equal. Before you make a purchase look out for proprietary blends, artificial sweeteners, food dye, misrepresented clinical research, and unnecessary ingredients.
There’s a reason some products are cheaper than one another. I’m all about saving money, but sometimes you should splurge (a little) for a high quality product. Regardless of how much you’re willing to spend it’s important to know WHAT your supplement is made of. Unfortunately the Food & Drug Administration uses relaxed regulations for nutritional supplements so some companies use toxins in their products.
Below are the supplements / brands I use and why. Feel free to explore and find products best for you, your diet, and budget.
Pre-Workout: RSP Amino Lean
I LOVE this product because I never feel jittery, I don’t crash, there’s no sugar, it has BCAAs and L-Carnitine, and you can pick how much energy you want (2, 4 or 6 scoops..the most I had was 4). I DON’T take this everyday. Only on the days I lift and do hiit workouts (for 1.5+ hrs) or for a intense leg day. Pre-Workout gives me the extra boost of energy I need especially on the days I don’t feel like moving. Some people think your cheating when you take pre workout but to each their own.
*I don’t drink coffee so remember to check your daily caffeine intake. *
Before / During Workout: BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
I recently started taking BCAAs, but I don’t take them everyday nor on the same day as my pre-workout. This products helps reduce muscle fatigue and soreness from intense workouts by replenishing our body with the nutrients we lost working out. Although my pre-workout is created with BCAAs, sometime I don’t need the extra energy but want to help my body with recovery.
Post Workout: Whey Protein, Plant Based Protein
You NEED protein to repair the muscles you used and to help build new ones. If you consume enough protein with your daily diet then maybe you don’t need protein powder. But if you’re like me and don’t eat enough protein then you do! Science states that technically it doesn’t matter if you have your protein shake before or after… you just need to take it at some point. Personally I love taking it after because I don’t like to workout on a full stomach and I’m always hungry after training anyways.
Post Workout + Before Bed: Casein Protein
Do you need this? It depends how intense/hard you train. I only take this when I do strength training +hiit workouts on the same day. I can feel my body begging for some extra nutrients! Unlike whey, casein is a slow releasing / slow absorbing protein which is why many athletes take it before bed. It feeds your body at a slower rate for a longer period of time.
Research states that this supplement helps with better performance.
Other Supplements / Vitamins I Take
Women’s Multivitamin: These are important because we don’t always have well balanced diets, therefore we’re lacking in specific nutrients. I switch between a couple of brands because of my budget and I always stay away from gummies because I just don’t trust the ingredients used to make them. Regardless of what you purchase remember to read the label to review the % daily value. Some ” multivitamins” tend to be 100% of one specific vitamin and about 5% of the others.
Joints hurting? Inflammation?: Sometimes I get injured and feel really achy. Knee problems are common in my family so I’m trying to have the strongest joints out here! There are a few vitamins that can help with this pain, but Glucosamine and Tumeric do the trick!
Superfood Powder: I know for a fact my diet is “greens “focus and they’re are so many colorful veggies and fruits out there that are so beneficial to my body. Finding all of them in my grocery store can be hard so I just buy the Opti Reds. This powder helps improve gut health, inflammation, and your immune system.
*Please remember to do your research and to always consult your physician for any questions regarding your health. Supplements can have different side effects on people which is why some brands are preferred over another.