Fitness Supplements: What You Need to Know

If you regularly listen to podcasts or follow fitness influencers, you’ve heard ads for “the best fitness supplements.”

We ask ourselves, “What are fitness supplements that I need?” Green powders like AG-1 claim to provide all your daily baseline nutrition. Many energy drinks on the shelves, like Celsius, advertise thermogenic fat-burning properties. Some experts even claim that adding more antioxidants to your diet, like vitamin C, will make your workouts more effective.

But are these extra powders, drinks, and pills helpful for your fitness journey?

In this post, we’ll look at the world of supplements, discuss their safety, and check out some scientific data to see if they help accelerate your fitness levels.

Are Fitness Supplements Safe?

For every person who says that you should take supplements if you work out regularly, there’s another who feels like supplements may be unsafe.

And there might be a good reason for that.

Like all food and drugs, the FDA regulates supplements. However, the details regarding FDA safety standards for supplements get hazy because no law states that the administration must test supplements for safety or effectiveness like drugs that go to market.

This lack of testing is why every supplement package has a disclaimer that reads something similar to, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Does FDA Testing Matter?

While the lack of FDA testing doesn’t mean a supplement is “bad” for you, it can make you question its effectiveness.

Most of the claims that a supplement can help you burn fat or increase your ability to build muscle come directly from independent studies performed by the manufacturer.

As a result, many people who don’t use fitness supplements feel that supplement claims are mostly marketing campaigns to get people to buy a product.

There’s good news — reputable labs have tested many of the most popular supplements to see if they actually improve fitness levels.

3 Common Science-Backed Fitness Supplements

The National Institutes of Health recently published a report that broke down the findings of over 150 studies on supplement effectiveness.

Here are the fitness supplements that researchers found to be the most effective:


Clinical trials found that caffeine can enhance performance in endurance activities and high-intensity training if taken before a workout.

One reason caffeine works to help you perform better during a workout is because it blocks the receptor in your brain that perceives pain and tells you to stop pushing yourself.


Many people who strength train take creatine regularly because it helps build muscle, and some studies have shown that it can also help with brain health.

If you’re curious about taking creatine, you need to know that it may cause some weight gain because it encourages your muscles to retain water.


Protein is one of the most common and effective fitness supplements because your body needs it to rebuild muscle after a workout. The grams of protein recommended to consume daily should change based on your activity levels.

If you’re around 150 pounds and moderately active, you should aim for around 90g of protein a day. If you’re working out frequently and want to build muscle, you should eat between 120 and 150g.

Should You Take Fitness Supplements?

Taking supplements really depends on your ultimate fitness goals.

Some people may want to take creatine or caffeine pre-workouts to maximize their potential in the gym, while others may simply not need (or want) to.

Before integrating a supplement into your routine, it’s advisable to research potential side effects first and ensure the supplement’s effects align with your goals.

You also want to be positive that you’re sourcing quality fitness supplements.

Before investing in any supplements, it’s wise to research third-party testing. This means an outside party evaluated the product for potency and looked for any potentially harmful ingredients.

A Healthy Diet Is More Important Than Any Supplement

It doesn’t matter what claims a supplement manufacturer may make — you need a whole-food diet that supports your fitness journey first.

Opting for protein-rich food sources like high-quality meats instead of making a protein shake will give you more balanced nutrition. Incorporating fruits and vegetables rich in essential carbohydrates can also contribute to maintaining elevated energy levels throughout the day.

At Fit Body Boot Camp, we’re here to help you take the guesswork out of nutrition. Our fitness coaches have a deep knowledge of what you need to build a diet that supports your exercise level.

Visit a location near you today to learn more about our included nutrition counseling sessions!

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