While your workout might be just a small part of your day — an hour or maybe less — the way you fuel your body and recover is just as important as the workout itself. There’s a whole host of supplements to support your goals, but where should you start? Luckily, we’re here to help you decide what supplements to take — and when — to see the results you’re looking for.
We know every day might look a little bit different, so there are multiple options for the best supplements depending on the timing of your training session. The keys to recovery are a balanced diet and well-timed supplements. If building muscle is your goal, focusing on protein intake and speedy recovery are key.
Even if you’re trying to tone up and burn fat, the following supplement routine can really be a game changer. This supplement guide will suggest some of the best supplements to take to fit around your daily schedule.
- Supplements for a Morning Workout
- Supplements with your Breakfast
- Supplements for Lunch and the Afternoon
- Supplements for Evening Workouts and Before Bed
Supplements for a Morning Workout
The timing of your workout is an important consideration when thinking about the best supplements for you. If you work out in the morning before eating, a pre-workout supplement can help give you an energy boost to get going and get the most out of your workout, even though you haven’t eaten yet.
THE Pre-Workout not only provides natural energy from creatine, it also has other ingredients to boost power and limit fatigue, with two B vitamins (Niacin and B12) for optimising energy and metabolism. Take THE Pre-Workout about 30 minutes before you start your training session.
Supplements with your Breakfast
What should you do immediately after a morning workout? Refuel and hydrate! Especially if you didn’t have breakfast first, it’s important to get a high-quality meal and include some protein. Whether you choose an omelette or something lighter, try to incorporate between 20 and 40 grams of protein.1
If you’re on the go, a smoothie made with Impact Whey Protein is a great choice — blended with some fruit and a source of healthy fat (avocado, Almond Butter, or Peanut Butter), it can be a complete meal. If you can’t eat a meal immediately, just a scoop of Impact Whey Protein mixed with water or milk can be used anytime, anywhere.
Taking a Daily Multivitamin with breakfast is another good practice. We all know we should eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains and healthy fats, but with our busy schedules it isn’t always that easy. Keeping a routine of a multivitamin with your breakfast can make up for anything that’s lacking in your diet throughout the day. Since your metabolism is up and running at this time of day and you’ve just eaten, a multivitamin can be well absorbed.
Based on your age and activity level, other vitamins might be useful too. Many people benefit from a Vitamin D supplement, especially if you aren’t regularly getting sun exposure — which can be especially hard through the grizzly winter months. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and keeping your immune system in top condition. Vitamin D is also associated with improved muscle performance and balance, so you can smash that deadlift PB.2
Another supplement to consider is a daily dose of Omega-3. The benefits of these healthy fats range from heart to brain health. Known for their anti-inflammatory effects, omega-3 fatty acids also have the potential to decrease muscle soreness and improve muscle building.3 We know that our heart is crucial to staying fit and ready for our workouts, and a daily dose of this heart-healthy supplement can keep you on track.
Supplements for Lunch and the Afternoon
If a healthy lunch isn’t enough to help you power through the rest of your day (or an afternoon workout), try the Pre-Workout Blend. It’s designed as more than just a boost of energy — it also contains vitamins C, B6, B12, and niacin to keep your metabolism running strong and your immune system protected.
Keep drinking water throughout the day to stay well hydrated and make sure your lunch and snacks have some protein content to continue your post workout recovery. Focus on including veggies with each meal and snack to add volume to your meals. When you want a treat, you could swap out your usual chocolate or crisps for a Crispy Layered Bar or one of our other indulgent healthy snacks.
If you work out after lunch, but more than an hour before dinner, make sure you refuel with a post-workout shake or high-protein snack. Impact Whey Isolate is an easy choice for your shake, and you can boost it with other supplements that help meet your training goals without adding a ton of calories.
For a juicier, more refreshing option, you could also try Clear Whey Protein. Adding Creatine will help increase physical performance during your next workout and keep your muscle stores maximised by replacing any creatine you’ve used during exercise.4
Supplements for Evening Workouts and Before Bed
Getting prepared for an evening workout and don’t want to overdo it on the caffeine? Try THE Pump. This pre-workout provides all the benefits of other pre-workouts without the caffeine. With vitamin C, iron, taurine, and thiamine, you’re giving your body the key ingredients to stay energised all the way through your workout but won’t leave you tossing and turning all night.
One of the most efficient ways to help your body recover is to SLEEP — aim for at least 8 hours a night. If you prefer to maximise your muscle recovery overnight, you have two different options for your post-workout recovery shake.
Overnight Recovery Blend is a unique all-in-one evening supplement that gives you a massive 45 grams of protein per serving, as well as minerals zinc and magnesium to support your immune system and give you energy for the next day — speeding recovery. All you have to do is drink a shake and the magic happens while you sleep.
If you don’t need quite as much protein at the end of the day, then Slow-Release Casein is a good alternative. It’s designed to be absorbed more slowly, providing a steadier supply of protein to the muscles while you sleep. Research shows that our muscles need protein for recovery up to 24 hours after our workout is complete, so ending your day with Slow-Release Casein can make you feel sure that you’ve given your body the best ingredients to see results.
Take Home Message
Recovery can be just as important as training when it comes to building muscle. While a healthy diet is the core of seeing results, well-timed and consistent supplementing can make a major impact on your goals over time. Whether you’re trying to bulk up, lose weight, or just shorten your recovery time, being consistent with taking the right quality supplements throughout the day can keep you on the right track.
Want the latest supplement advice?
READ THESE NEXT:
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
1. Kerksick, C. M., Arent, S., Schoenfeld, B. J., Stout, J. R., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C. D., … & Willoughby, D. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1), 1-21.
2. Uusi-Rasi, K., Patil, R., & Lamberg-Allardt, C. (2016). Vitamin D, Exercise, and Health. InNutritional Influences on Bone Health(pp. 227-240). Springer, Cham.
3. Gammone, M. A., Riccioni, G., Parrinello, G., & D’Orazio, N. (2019). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: benefits and endpoints in sport. Nutrients, 11(1), 46.
4. Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., … & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1), 6.
Claire is a Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.
Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claire’s ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.
Claire is also a certified indoor cycling instructor and loves the mental and physical boost she gets from regular runs and yoga classes. When she’s not keeping fit herself, she’s cheering on her hometown’s sports teams in Pittsburgh, or cooking for her family in the kitchen.
Find out more about Claire’s experience here.