1. Protein Powder- HydroWhey ($57)
If you are serious about hitting the gym, the first supplement you need is protein. Weight loss, muscle mass, and more efficient workouts, protein is the must have supplement. And HydroWhey is one of the best there is.
Of course, with quality comes price. Weighing in at 3-ish pounds, this product comes at the price of other high end powders that weigh 5 lbs. But with a higher protein to sugar ratio, low calories, and the addition of the amino acids- it is hard to beat.
2. Creatine ($25)
Following protein as the #2 supplement you need is Creatine. Essentially, this stuff pushes water to your muscles, allowing for better protein synthesis which means that protein powder you just dropped a wad of cash on will be working harder and more efficiently for you.
Powder is cheaper, tasteless and easy to mix into anything resembling a liquid. The pill (caps) form tends to run a bit pricier, but evens out with more exact measurements and a hassle free method of ingestion.
3. Omega-3 Fish Oil ($14)
Part of building in the gym or on the track is a well rounded diet. If that diet doesn’t include a fair helping of fish, you will be missing out on some essential Omega 3’s. These will also help with protein synthesis (you’re seeing a trend now, aren’t you?) along with the soreness that comes from a workout.
There’s a ton of benefits that fish oil is claimed to bring, and at such a low price it’s worth trying for yourself.
4. Glutamine ($8)
At #4 we have Glutamine, and what some may consider to be the lesser known side of supplementation.
Glutamine helps boost your immune system and muscle recovery from those workouts. Again, there is compelling evidence that supplementing with this product will help take your workouts to a new level and being so cheap, it’s silly not to try it.
5. Betaine ($11)
Here we have yet another protein synthesis booster. (If you are reading this and haven’t grabbed some protein powder yet, feel free to slap yourself)
Betaine will help build bigger and better muscles, which will help you push harder in your workouts, and continuing in this cycle until you become that modern-day Adonis you know you are.
6. BCAA ($27)
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) help to reduce fatigue from workouts and decrease soreness.
These are handy in their own right, but if we are being honest, you can probably pass on them if you are eating a rich and varied diet. A lot of people struggle with that though, so if fast food tends to be a trend for you, a bottle of these might breathe new life into your post-workout.
Multi-vitamins in themselves are a bit of a toss up. Some say yes. Some say it’s just a way to pee money.
If you aren’t eating well, or having trouble building muscle or breaking through those workouts, it may be because of a vitamin deficiency. These aren’t cheap, so keep that in mind before you buy some just for kicks. The energy and metabolism from GNC provides an extra benefit of just that, so it makes it a bit more worthwhile.
8. Women’s Multivitamin: Ultra ($23)
Up until the multivitamin, both sexes would benefit from these supplements. But, when it comes to what each pill is packing, there is a bit of a difference. A bit of coffee and these Ultra’s is your ticket to the same benefits, if they’re needed. Again, multivitamins are a debatable subject, and are only necessary if you are lacking in a well balanced diet.
9. Pre-workout ($25)
Not that you should take a pre-workout, but here it is if you have to. A fair bit of stuff goes in these, and you should probably avoid overusing it for long periods of time. Unfortunately, the day will sometimes get in your way and you need a pick me up to get a decent workout in.
10. Blender Bottle ($9)
Low on the list but don’t let that take away from its importance. The shaker cup is a must have if you don’t relish the thought of slurping down boogers (if you do, you’re probably one of those horse lovers). Protein powder is great and all, but unless you are willing to put some milk and powder in a blender every day, and then clean it everyday- the shaker cup is king.
On the plus side, these are made to last, and can be used as a water bottle or cup when not fueling you with that sweet, ever loving protein.
11. Bonus: Whey Protein, Natural ($58)
For those who worry about what is hiding in their powder, Gold Standard’s Natural line is a great investment. It covers a few of the supplements above though the taste is a little more bland than the “unnatural” powders.
12. Bonus #2: Protein Bars ($29)
Oh, you didn’t get a protein powder yet? Even after slapping yourself?
Well, they do come in bar form if you want something easy and delicious and don’t mind paying a premium. Honestly, these are great for supplementing those supplements, aka afternoon snacking to give you an extra boost of that nectar-of-the-gods which is protein.