It’s not just about what you take.
It’s about when you take it.
If you’re taking supplements to give yourself an extra fitness edge, knowing the best time to take them can help you get the greatest results in the gym.
We’ve rounded up some of the most popular workout supplements and identified what time of day is best for each one.
Used to help improve muscle strength gains, the most important thing is that you take it every day. Don't skip a day, even if it's a rest day, as you need the creatine to build up in your system in order to be effective.
Because your body depletes its stored creatine when you exercise, the ideal time to take it is 30-60 minutes before a workout to give your body time to absorb it.
If you turn to caffeine to improve exercise motivation and endurance, use it approximately 20 minutes before a workout. This gives it time to kick in. However, skip the caffeine energy boost if you’re doing an evening workout. It can compromise your sleep, and quality sleep is essential for exercise recovery and muscle growth.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Your body uses BCAAs for muscle growth and to better absorb protein. To maximize your fitness results, take your BCAA supplements either immediately before or immediately after you hit the gym to ensure your body is pumped full of BCAAs when your muscles need them most.
- Protein Powder
Your body needs protein to rebuild stressed or damaged muscle tissue after a workout. Sip your protein shakes immediately post-workout to flood your body with the protein it craves after a good session.
Fish oil pills and other omega-3 supplements can help reduce inflammation, which speeds up exercise recovery and can help minimize any muscle pain or soreness you have. Take these pills every day for maximum benefit, and time your dosage for after a workout when you need the soothing effects of omega-3s the most.
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