ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

10 Common Fitness Supplements And Their Purposes

Updated on November 19, 2018
CaitBooth profile image

Caitlyn has a passion for food and fitness, two things that can compliment each other—or not!


These are all called supplements for a reason. None of the things listed below are needed in order to exercise and get results. Most of the time, a balanced diet and exercise work just as well!

Do not take any supplements, pursue any workout program, or try any diet without first consulting a doctor or physician.

1. Branched-chain Amino Acids

What it Does:
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (called BCAAs) are basically the amino acids (the building blocks of protein) needed to build muscle. The amino acids are: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Those are the amino acids the body does not make itself, therefore they have to be ingested from other sources.

BCAAs help someone have a better workout by fueling the muscles and preserving the stores of glycogen (muscle fuel)

When to Take it:
They can be taken any time, even during the workout.

Who Should Take it:
Anyone who wants to enhance the workout and aide in muscle recovery after the workout.

2. Protein Powder

What it Does:
Increases the intake of protein, which is necessary to repair muscles after working out.

When to Take it:
Right after a workout is the best time, but they can be consumed any time

Who Should Take it:
Anyone who struggles to reach their quota of protein for the day, or who wants a little protein boost after a workout.


There are many different kinds of protein powders out there, and they each do different things. From whey isolate, concentrate, or hydroslysate, to casein protein, it can be quite confusing to know which one to purchase. Below are the different types of protein powder and the benefits of each one.

Whey Isolate:
High amounts of pure protein (around 90%); virtually lactose-free, carbohydrate-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free; more expensive but overall better for the body; suggested for athletes who suffer from lactose intolerance

Whey Concentrate:
Higher amounts of carbohydrates, fat, and cholesterol than the isolate; cheaper than whey isolate; 29%-89% protein per pound; contains BCCAs and glutamine

Whey Hydrolysate:
The amino acid bonds are broken, allowing the protein to be absorbed by the body more quickly. They cost more than regular whey concentrate.

A slow-digesting dairy protein. Often taken before bed because it is broken down slowly. Similar to whey in that it helps build muscle.

Pea Protein:
High in BCAAs and low in carbohydrates. Made from dried and powdered peas. Completely plant-based, and usually used as an alternative to whey proteins for people with intolerance to dairy.

3. Multivitamin & Multi-mineral Supplements

What it Does:
Supplements the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals possibly missing from the diet. The nutrients often vary by brand, so read the label and do some research.

When to Take it:
Most people take them in the morning with breakfast

Who Should Take it:
Anyone wanting to supplement their diet with essential nutrients

4. Creatine

What it Does:
Increases the body's ability to make energy at a faster rate. It is naturally occurring in the body and in the foods people eat, such as meat. It offers more fuel to the muscles, allowing for muscle growth. It does cause weight gain due to water retention.

When to Take it:
2 -5 mg in a protein drink is suffice. Can be taken before or after the workout, depending on when someone drinks a protein shake.

Who Should Take it:
Anyone who wants to supplement their efforts in the gym.

5. Fish/Krill Oil

What it Does:
High in the essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which help in the prevention of heart disease and can even aide in lowering blood pressure. Krill oil has also been said to be beneficial in helping arthritis symptoms as well as premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

When to Take it:
Daily along with the other vitamins. Any time during the day, though most take it in the morning.

Who Should Take it:
Anyone wanting to supplement their diet, especially if it lacks in fish and/or other kinds of seafood.

6. L - Carnitine

What it Does:
In the most basic scientific version, L-Carnitine helps transport fatty acids to the mitochondria in cells. Simply put, it is a nutrient (made in the body with the help of Vitamin C) that helps with making energy. It also aides in aging as it keeps cells healthy.

It is often taken to aid in weight-loss but can benefit recovery post-workout, increase muscle oxygen supply (which stops that muscle burn and keep the muscles from tiring faster), and boosts red blood cell production, which transports oxygen through the body faster.

When to Take it:
Mixed in with a pre-workout drink, such as a protein shake.

Who Should Take it:
Anyone suffering from a deficiency of the nutrient, or someone looking to get the most from a workout.

7. Glutamine

What it Does:
Glutamine helps reduce muscle soreness after a workout and can help boost the immune system

When to Take it:
Glutamine can be taken 2 or 3 times a day - before the workout, after the workout, and before bed

Who Should Take it:

8. Pre-Workout

What it Does:
Pre-workout has caffeine in it, which helps wake the body up and get it ready for an intense workout. Pre-workout can make people feel jittery, most athletes mentioning a "buzz" in their body after consuming it, so use with caution.

When to Take it:
As the name suggests, pre-workout is taken before a workout to keep a person from feeling tired during the workout

Who Should Take it:
Anyone who wants to workout, but feels they need an energy boost before going

9. Beta Alanine

What it Does:
Used for improving an athlete's performance, building muscle mass, and improving the overall physical functions of the elderly.

When to Take it:
Take 2 to 5 grams before a workout

Who Should Take it:
Anyone looking to make the most of their time in the gym or someone wanting to supplement their muscle growth. Also, the elderly can benefit from small amounts taken daily, though it is also made by the body and therefore not necessary.

10. Glucosamine

What it Does:
Glucosamine is a supplement specifically designed to support joint health and help joint pain from arthritis.

When to Take it:
2-3 times a day; can be taken with a meal as this prevents an upset stomach

Who Should Take it:
Anyone suffering from osteoarthritis, or anyone looking to keep their joints in top health.

© 2018 Caitlyn Booth


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)