My Favorite Supplements & When to Take Them

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One of the top questions I receive daily always involves my favorite supplements, how to use them, when to take them, etc.  So, today, I’m going to break it down for y’all! Keep in mind, that everyone’s bodies are different — and you definitely do NOT need to take supplements to stay in shape and be fit.  Supplements aid in muscle recovery, muscle gain, and depending on what type of supplement, fat loss.  Also, my favorite supplements and protein bars/snacks are all linked in my sidebar!

1) Pre-Workout: Pre-workout gives you that boost of energy that you need when you’re struggling to get to the gym AND it aids in muscle endurance {and recovery}. I have used Cellucor C4 ‘ripped’ for quite awhile.  It gives me enough energy, and doesn’t have any creatine in it.  Creatine isn’t bad, but I just personally don’t react very well to it.  If you do take a pre-workout with creatine, just expect some water retention {bloating} during your workout and for an hour or two post-workout.  If you’ve never taken a pre-workout supplement or don’t do well with caffeine, I suggest taking a 1/4 of a scoop and evaluate how you feel and take more the next time if needed.  I would also cycle on and off of it {I try not to take it every day, but only as needed}.

2) BCAAs: So, what are BCAAs? They’re branched chain amino acids {leucine, isoleucine, and valine}, which promotes muscle protein synthesis, aids in muscle recovery, and can potentially prevent fatigue during a workout.  That’s why I drink mine during a training session — however, you can take them before, during, or after.  If you follow me on Snapchat, then you saw that I just switched BCAAs from Cellucor Amino Acids {which is a little more affordable} to 1Up Nutrition Female BCAAs.  Both are completely fine to take, BUT I prefer the flavor of 1Up Nutrition, which is why I switched over. I also sometimes take Core4 Nutrition FundAminos post-workout {which is equivalent to 30 g of protein}, but it’s a bit pricey {and the taste is pretty rough}, so I only take it on a really hard leg day.

3) Protein Supplements: I used to choke down protein shakes, just because I needed the protein, but I finally found the best protein powder ever — and you can quote me on that.  I use Beverly International UMP in every flavor {cookies & creme and rocky road are my fave flavors}.  You can mix them with Carbmaster milk or Fairlife milk for a nice little milkshake OR just mix with water post-workout on your way out of the gym.  You should be consuming protein within 30 minutes of your workout, so it’s typically easier for me just to bring a scoop of protein to the gym and drink it while I’m in the car on the way home.  You can use it post-workout, breakfast {mix with cream of wheat or oatmeal!}, meal replacement, snacks, or try baking with it or making some protein pancakes! You won’t be disappointed, trust me.  A few of my favorite protein bars include: Oh Yeah! One Bars {birthday cake flavor is amazing}, PowerCrunch Bars, Quest Bars, FlapJacked Muffins, Kodiak Power Cakes, and Quest Protein Chips.

4) Keto Supplements: This is something that I’ve been trying lately…and to be honest, I wasn’t even going to add this on the list, because I’ve been taking this for a week and it has made me pretty nauseous.  However, I know a few people who take it and they’ve reacted fine! A Keto supplement pretty much puts more healthy fats {ketones} in your body, prevent food cravings, and also aids in a ketogenic diet/lifestyle {which I don’t do}.  It also helps maintain blood sugar levels.  Many people think it provides you with a boost of energy — but there’s no caffeine, it’s just easier to convert it into energy as opposed to other fats/oils.

5) Fat Burners: I don’t train for anything in particular.  I don’t compete.  I don’t feel the need to take fat burners, because I feel like it’s not something that can be maintained long-term.  However, if you are interested in taking fat burners, I would suggest a non-stimulant fat burner before bed.

6) Water: the best supplement you could take.  Drink at least 100 oz daily!

{Blunt side note: eating tons of protein, especially protein whey, sometimes stops you up — if ya know what I mean.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.  I typically take a fiber supplement and make sure I eat enough fibrous veggies daily. Drinking water is also crucial.  Additionally, I take this all natural supplement when needed to help keep me regular! It is what it is, y’all.  Gotsta stay regular or else = water retention, dehydration, you name it.}

28 Responses to My Favorite Supplements & When to Take Them

  1. paul says:

    you look amazing

  2. Alice says:

    This is really interesting and helpful!
    I’ve been into the gym as long as I can remember, but have only really started taking supplements properly for the past few months, so it’s really helpful seeing what other people take!

    Alice x

    http://www.InTheEyeOfThis.co.uk

    • That’s great, Alice! Supplements make a big difference, but I feel like some people sometimes depend on them. As long as you’ve got a good gym regimen, you’re good!

      xx

  3. Aly says:

    I’ve recently found your blog and I’m obsessed with literally everything about it! Do you create your own programming for gym workouts or do you have a coach/follow some other program?

    • Thanks! So happy you stumbled upon my site and love my style and fitness! I create my own program for gym workouts and post my weekly workout routine every Monday! I also try to post videos under the Daily Fix {more will be uploaded soon} and also on Snapchat and Insta Story!

  4. Kristen says:

    Protein drinks…do you always drink your shakes after your workout? How important is that it’s after rather than before?

    • Hi Kristen! This is super important…actually quite crucial when it comes to muscle gain! You must consume protein within 30 minutes post-workout. It’s not as important to have protein beforehand as it is after! If it’s around dinner time {aka eating dinner immediately after the gym}, for example, and I know that I’m going straight home from the gym, I’ll skip the protein shake and have the shake as dessert later that evening! xx

  5. Sam says:

    I have yet to try pre workout, but I’ve been thinking about it lately for when I’m working out at the end of the day. It would be nice to have a nice boost of energy. Thanks for sharing!

    x, Sam
    http://www.samanthasuarez.com

  6. Love this post! Super helpful!

    xo,
    Bethany // http://www.simplybethany.com

  7. Do you take the “natural supplement” – that you linked at the end- daily? I am looking into it and the preworkout. Thanks for sharing!

    • I take it nightly! That way, every morning post-coffee…. {lol}. When I travel or am stressed or have drastically exceeded the amount of protein I typically eat, I’ll take one in the morning and one at night! But beware, two in one day is sometimes aggressive. Hope that helps! xx

  8. Heather says:

    Hey Grace- What Keto supplement have you been trying? I can get headaches from certain supplements are well, but 7-Keto DHEA by Nutri-Dyn was recommended by my trainer and seems to not make me feel yucky- a little more pricey than some other options though… Thanks for all the information above. Its motivating!

    • Hi Heather! I’ve been trying pruvit! I don’t know if it’s just when I take it on an empty stomach, but I hear so many great things about it, so I really want to try maybe another brand — so thanks for sharing that! I’m okay with a pricey option, as long as it’s good quality {oh, and doesn’t make me nauseous haha}. I appreciate your tip! xx

  9. Teri Lyn Zinser says:

    Hi! Thanks for the post. Do you use the C4 or the Engineered Body product for you pre-workout? Do you prefer one over the other? Do you use it every day? 🙂

    • I use both! They both taste very different — Engineered body has stevia, mostly natural, and more on the sour side. C4 is more of a fruity sweet taste. I like using them both so that I don’t get used to a certain kind or brand! I also try not to use it every day but only when I need to (but lately, I’ve been using it every day ha!). Hope that helps! xx

  10. Allison says:

    Hi Grace!

    I’ve just came across your blog…and like all the others, I’m pretty obsessed! haha. I was wondering about the natural supplement, and saw in another comment that you take it every night, that way after your morning coffee it’ll kick in! My question for you is what coffee do you drink? I feel like I am always looking for a healthy but still yummy and sweet alternative to my morning coffee with creamer…about to start counting those macros again. Thanks!!

    Allison

    • Hi Allison! Thanks for swinging by, and I’m glad that you love my style and fitness tips! I drink just keurig coffee {I get my K-Cups from Cost Co…usually variety version}, and I’ll use powder coffeemate orginal — however, they have other yummy flavors but you have to sacrifice some macros for the good ones haha! xx

  11. Lauren A says:

    Hi Grace!!
    I love your blog, so many darling outfits and such great fitness info and tips!! I started using C4 pre workout and the protein powder you use. LOVE them both!! I know you said you don’t personally use fat burners, but I’m trying to ditch the last few lbs of baby weight and wanted to know if you know of one/have heard of one that works well?! I do spinning 3x’s a week and HIIT 2/3 xs a week and watch what I eat… but need a little extra boost to get me over the baby fat loss hump! TIA for any suggestions! Xo
    Lauren

  12. Sarah W. says:

    You are just BODY GOALS. My goodness…speaking of water, I need to drink some ASAP. Thanks for the reminder!

    XO from Austin,

    Sarah | The Bella Insider | @sarah_thebella

  13. Alice says:

    About how much protein should you consume in a day? Do you consume the same amount even if you don’t work out that day??

    • Hi Alice! I consume the same amount as my body weight 1 g per 1 lb. I eat the same amount of protein every day, regardless of if it’s a rest day or not! Hope that helps! xx

  14. Abbey says:

    Do you have any tips for keeping on track with water consumption throughout the day? I am TERRIBLE at drinking water and often find myself far behind my intake goal at the end of the day.

    • I use a 24 oz Tumbler cup and fill it up! I’ll drink around 20 oz from that cup the moment I wake up. I’ll drink another 20 at lunch, and another 20 at dinner. My preworkout is 20 oz before the gym, and I drink 20 oz during my workout with my BCAAs. That’s already 100 oz 🙂

  15. Tiffany says:

    What does the C4 taste like? I’m iffy about the cherry limeade, but you suggested the watermelon BCAA’s and that’s amazing, so I trust your opinion!

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