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Home/Blog/Top 14 Workout Supplements to Help Achieve Your Goals

Top 14 Workout Supplements to Help Achieve Your Goals

By Ethan Boldt

April 7, 2024

Best workout supplements

The world of workout supplements — including pre- and post-workout capsules, powders and liquid extracts — can quickly get confusing, considering the best workout supplement for you depends on your specific goals, body size and exercise routine.

What are workout supplements good for? Whether your goal is to burn fat, put on lean muscle mass or improve exercise recovery and joint comfort between workouts, there’s a supplement that can likely help and sometimes they're what to eat before a workout.

Some of the most popular options include protein powders, such as collagen protein, whey protein and bone broth proteins, as well as specific amino acids and fatty acids that support protein synthesis and a healthy response to inflammation.

Below are our top picks for the best workout supplements that can give you a boost in muscle and energy, support performance and assist in recovery. Along with some key foods and hydration, these supplements also can represent what to have before a workout or as a post-workout supplement.

1. Multi Collagen Advanced

Multi Collagen Advanced Muscle is a premium collagen supplement that can help you gain muscle and strength. It's packed with 10 types of collagen from 10 food-based sources, including six premium grass-fed organs as well as a unique, clinically studied blend of superfood ingredients.

Check out its claims:

  • Boosts lean body mass

  • Promotes overall body strength

  • Promotes muscle endurance

  • Promotes healthy body composition

  • Helps promote a healthy response to stress

  • Helps alleviate the effects of stress and tension

  • Helps reduce stress-induced cravings

Looking for a post-workout supplement that can also give a muscle boost*? Multi Collagen Advanced Muscle Capsules use select ingredients to boost lean body mass, including a proprietary muscle building blend that includes East Indian globe thistle and mango bark extract.

*In addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular muscle-building exercise.

In addition, featuring some of the same ingredients, you can also add Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate to your workout regimen. With two times the number of electrolytes compared to leading sports, Hydrate provides rapid absorption of water and key nutrients — plus it's a real food source of balanced electrolytes.

2. Multi Collagen Protein

What are the best supplements for recovery? Those that provide protein and collagen — such as Multi Collagen Protein that features 10 types of collagen — since your muscles need protein following exercise to repair themselves and grow strong, while collagen is beneficial for supporting healthy connective tissue.

Multi Collagen Protein provides collagen protein from four real food sources: chicken, beef, fish and eggshell membrane collagen. It's low in calories and made without added sugar, high in protein and made with only a few high-quality ingredients. It's also high in amino acids including proline, glycine and arginine that provide support for connective tissues including your joints and ligaments, while also supporting a healthy gut.

Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein is uniquely powered by a clinically studied fermented eggshell membrane collagen, which can help reduce knee stiffness in as little as one week, offer relief from exercise-induced joint discomfort, support healthy cartilage and much more.

Varieties include unflavored, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry lemonade and cold brew. Use in smoothies, pancakes, baked goods or stirred right into coffee.

In addition, Collagen Matcha Energizer combines the energizing matcha powder with collagen. On top of all the above benefits, it also promotes energy.

3. Bone Broth Protein

Bone Broth Protein is a type of superfood protein powder made from dried bone broth. It’s chock full of amino acids, the “building blocks of protein,” including collagen protein, as well as essential minerals and the compounds glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. These work together to provide support for your joints and muscles, as well as your gut and skin.

This superfood supplement can be taken pre-workout, during the day or post workout. You might choose to consume Bone Broth Protein before exercising to help lift your energy by providing your body with fuel, or have a serving as a post-workout supplement since it contains protein that “feeds” your connective tissues and muscles.

While one serving, such as a scooped mixed into almond milk or a smoothie, is a good option following exercise, you can up your intake to 2–3 servings daily if your goal is to build lean muscle. Of course, you should always read the label for suggested use and consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning and dietary or lifestyle regimen. Try Bone Broth Protein flavors such as pure, vanilla, chocolate or turmeric in shakes, muffins, pancakes or savory recipes like soup.

Recommendations for protein intake vary, but a general rule of thumb is to consume one gram of protein for every pound of lean bodyweight you’re working towards maintaining.

4. Whey Protein Powder

Whey is a type of protein found in milk. It does contain lactose, a type of sugar found in milk that can be difficult for certain people to digest. Whey protein isolate is the best whey protein option if you have lactose intolerance, as the lactose content is significantly decreased during processing.

Why is whey protein a popular workout supplement? Very high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), it helps promote muscle recovery and support muscle synthesis after exercise. Quickly digested, studies indicate that whey protein can enhance muscle growth. In addition, studies show that supplementing with whey could help decrease fat mass and waist circumference — overall belly fat — in people who are overweight or obese.

Lastly, research also shows that whey protein could decrease appetite and may help reduce levels of certain hunger hormones.

5. Plant Protein+

For those who follow a plant-based diet, Ancient Nutrition’s Plant Protein+ protein powders are great options for obtaining amino acids needed for muscle recovery and performance.

It’s made with organic seeds and botanicals (such as pumpkin, hemp and chia seeds), energizing adaptogens including ashwagandha, and medium chain triglyceride fats (MCTs) — which together promote a healthy body composition and fat metabolism, and increase muscle recovery.

Flavors include vanilla, chocolate and berry. Add a daily serving of Plant Protein+ to your pre- or post-workout smoothie, favorite beverage or baked goods. It’s also great in warm nut milk for a protein-packed hot cocoa beverage.

6. Ancient Elixirs Superfood Matcha

This energizing superfood powder features some of the world’s healthiest superfoods in one highly convenient instant drink mix. It makes a great pre-workout supplement considering it contains 135 milligrams of caffeine per serving (roughly the same amount as one cup of traditional coffee) from matcha and organic coffee cherry.

Not only does Ancient Elixirs Superfood Matcha contain matcha powder brimming with antioxidants, but it also provides you with coconut MCTs and adaptogenic superfoods like ashwagandha, reishi and chaga for healthy energy support. It can generally help to reduce fatigue, support mental clarity, a positive mindset and concentration, and support a healthy response to stress.

With its light green tea flavor that is naturally sweetened with stevia, this supplement powder can be stirred right into cold or hot water or nut milk, added to smoothies or even baked with.

7. Ancient Omegas

Ancient Omegas are capsules that provide the essential type of fatty acid known as omega-3s, which can help promote a healthy response to inflammation.

Some find that a higher intake of omega-3s, including from natural sources such as fatty fish like salmon as well as capsules, can generally help support healthy joints and muscles and contribute to muscle comfort after workouts. Omega-3s also offer other body-wide benefits, too, such as support for healthy heart and cognitive function, as well as promoting healthy aging by supporting smooth, healthy skin and healthy joints.

Adults can take three softgels daily with 8 ounces of water or juice. A daily serving of 3 softgels provides 1,100 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Cordyceps

Cordyceps are a species of “functional mushrooms” that have been consumed for centuries in Traditional Chinese Herbalism due to their ability to support mental clarity, energy and endurance, and a healthy immune system.

In addition to supporting healthy stamina, these powdered mushroom tablets can help promote mental clarity and concentration, support a healthy response to stress, and promote a positive mindset and more restful sleep. All of these benefits may lead to greater stamina during and after workouts.

It’s recommended that adults take one tablet once daily with water or another beverage, either with or without food.

9. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed by the body to synthesize collagen, which is the main structural protein that helps to form and support the health of connective tissues throughout your body. Together, collagen and vitamin C help to give tissues including your joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bones the strength and elasticity that allows your body to function.

Because it acts like an antioxidant in the body, vitamin C also offers other benefits as well, like supporting a healthy immune response and, in general, healthy aging including by promoting skin and neuron health.

Each serving of Ancient Nutrition’s Vitamin C + Probiotics features 2 billion CFUs* of Bacillus subtilis probiotics for extra gut support plus 900 milligrams of vitamin C. It’s recommended that adults take 2 capsules daily with 8 ounces of water or another beverage.

10. Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that the body makes on its own, plus it can be obtained from supplements and certain protein-rich foods, including eggs, beef, milk and Bone Broth Protein powder.

Your muscles use up glutamine while working hard, so replenishing your body’s supply can aid in the normal bodily repairing of muscles. Other health perks associated with glutamine include support for a healthy immune system and intestinal/gut health.

Glutamine can be found in some protein powders and also taken in capsule form. Dosages range considerably depending on your body size and goals, anywhere from 5 to 40 grams per day. Most often you’ll need to take 1–2 servings daily, either in powder or capsule form.

11. Glucosamine

Glucosamine or glucosamine sulfate is a molecule found in the body that helps support the normal repair of tissues. It’s thought to support healthy joints and may help to promote joint comfort and mobility due to its role in helping to lubricate joints and support healthy cartilage.

Most often glucosamine is taken in capsule form in doses of 500 milligrams, 2–3 times per day. It can be taken with or without meals and sometimes combined with other joint-supporting compounds such as chondroitin.

12. Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that is naturally found in the human body, plus it can be taken in supplement form (powder, liquid, or solids) to help support higher energy levels and physical performance.

When used for helping to enhance performance, it’s intended to help increase production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the form of energy that the body uses to power your muscles and organs. However, one disadvantage of creatine is that it has been linked to digestive issues and more if used in high amounts.

Most often, creatine is taken in powder form before and after workouts, such as with water or added to a smoothie. Dosage recommendations vary depending on your body size and goals, so always read directions and check with your healthcare professional prior to use.

13. BCAAs

Among the best workout supplements are those that provide branch chained amino acids (or BCAAs). BCAA supplements typically include three amino acids called leucine, isoleucine and valine, together which help support overall muscle protein synthesis, muscle repair, strength gains and exercise recovery.

Some find that supplementing with BCAAs before a workout can help them work harder, and others find it reduces the time of exercise-induced discomfort between workouts.

Experts believe that BCAAs work best when taken throughout the day, such as in smoothies/shakes, especially following a tough workout when muscles are “hungriest” for nutrients.

To use BCAAs, try adding a BCAA protein powder to coffee, shakes or smoothies about 30 to 60 minutes before or after workouts (some bodybuilders also use this supplement while working out for extra support). A general recommendation is to consume a starting dose of about 90 milligrams per pound of body weight per day.

14. L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body, particularly inside muscles and the brain. Normally we obtain some L-carnitine from foods like red meat, beef liver, avocado and soybeans; however, it’s also taken by some in capsule, powder or liquid forms to increase their intake.

Because L-carnitine plays a role in energy metabolism, it’s often promoted as a supplement that may help promote fat burning and muscle gains. Overall, there’s mixed findings about how well it works, so results seem to vary. However, it may potentially help with things like energy support, having healthy endurance/stamina and building overall strength.

A typical recommended dosage of L-carnitine is between 1 and 3 grams per day, taken in divided doses. It’s best absorbed when taken separately from meals, especially if used pre- or post-workout to support performance and recovery.

*at time of manufacture

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