If you’re looking to maximize athletic performance, you may have considered taking workout supplements. Nutrition and a good fitness plan go hand in hand, so the best workout supplements are only as good as your training routine and daily regimen.

This is why it’s important to consider not only what supplements to take but also when to take them.

How to Get the Most Out of Workout Supplements

When thinking about the most effective supplements to take around a workout, it is helpful to think about them in three phases: before, during, and after exercise.

Here is a quick guide for supercharging your workout nutrition:


When you have a big game or tough workout session, it’s important to prepare and plan ahead. You’ll want to give yourself a boost by taking a pre-workout supplement with caffeine. Caffeine stimulates your body’s metabolism, which in effect, helps maintain focus and reduces fatigue.


View this post on Instagram


A good performance requires preparation. #Caffeine found in H24 Prepare can keep you focused and motivated during your workouts 💪 Take it 15 – 30 mins before your exercise.

A post shared by Herbalife24 (@herbalife24) on

Similarly, a pre-workout supplement with nitric oxide precursors helps with healthy blood flow. Wider blood vessels support the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to working muscles during exercise, which then helps maintain your performance.

During a Workout

While working out, you’ll want to stay hydrated and fueled, so look for sports drinks with a good amount of carbohydrates and electrolytes! Electrolytes can replace valuable nutrients such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are lost when you sweat.


View this post on Instagram


Sometimes 💧 is not enough to rehydrate properly. You need #electrolytes like magnesium, sodium and potassium. Find these nutrients in #CR7Drive.

A post shared by Herbalife24 (@herbalife24) on

The combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes will not only replace those valuable nutrients but will also continuously supply your muscles with the glucose required to maintain your performance. The longer and more intense the workout, the more you need!


Your post-workout nutrition serves two purposes:

  1. Refueling what you just burnt off
  2. Preparing you for your next workout

This is why you’ll want to focus on protein and high-quality carbohydrates. Protein repairs and rebuilds muscles, which is great for increasing lean muscle mass.

The type of workout you do will determine the ratio of carbohydrates to protein that you’ll need.

The protein can come from whole foods such as chicken or fish; however, many people don’t like eating right after a hard workout, and it’s not always easy to calculate your protein intake from foods. A protein shake is a great, convenient solution after a workout.


View this post on Instagram


Taking #RebuildStrength within 30 minutes after your workout can help you recover faster and stronger 💪 What will you do to earn your rebuild?

A post shared by Herbalife24 (@herbalife24) on

No matter the type of workout you are doing, you’ll want to make sure you get your post-workout shake in right after your training! A post-workout shake can come from dairy (whey or casein) protein or from plant-based sources like soy.

What to Look for in Sports and Fitness Supplements

Reading the nutrition label of any dietary product is the first step to ensure you are getting what you need to maximize results. You’ll want to know how many macronutrients you’re consuming, as well as anything extra added.

That said, while getting the right nutrients is incredibly important when working out, it is vital that your supplement is clean. Looking for certifications like NSF for Sport gives you the confidence that your product has been tested for banned substances against the World Anti-Doping Association banned substance list.

Supplements to take before, during and after a workout

Overall, when thinking about workout supplementation, focus on nutrition and create a routine that will help you before, during, and after every training session. This will go a long way to helping you crush your goals!

Dana Ryan

Dana RyanPh.D., MA, MBA – Director, Sports Performance, Nutrition and Education

Dr. Dana Ryan is the director of Sports Performance, Nutrition and Education at Herbalife. She is also the Chair of the Fitness Advisory Board. She completed her doctorate in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness at Arizona State University. She earned an MBA from USC and a Master’s in Kinesiology from San Diego State University. Dr. Ryan is also certified in nutrition for optimal health, wellness and performance. Before joining Herbalife Nutrition, she taught exercise physiology and related courses at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), and conducted research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),* on the impact of community-based nutrition and physical activity programs on heart disease risk. A passionate athlete, Dr. Ryan enjoys all water sports, especially rowing. Her favorite Herbalife products are Herbalife24® Liftoff®, Herbalife24® Rebuild Strength and Enrichual Hemp Facial Serum.

*The University of California does not endorse specific products or services as a matter of policy.