You know what they say: abs are made in the kitchen. More specifically, they really mean, “Fitness is made in the kitchen.” True, you can’t get fitter without the gym, but if optimized nutrition isn’t part of your fitness plan, don’t expect major gains. Proper nutrition and supplementation are paramount to your overall health. There are a lot of great supplements out there that can offer significant benefits, but here are three in particular we wanted to point out to you.

The Top 3 Supplements for Beginners

1. Protein

When you get to the gym, you’ll undoubtedly see other athletes walking around with a water bottle in their hand, quickly downing their post-WOD protein shake. There’s a reason so many of us think this supplement reigns supreme: protein is vital to recovery, muscle growth, and fat loss.

Protein powder is a quick and easy way to get this much-needed macronutrient in your system. And don’t forget you’re not limited to drinking it. There are all sorts of recipes that use protein powder, like these chocolate peanut butter protein balls.

We love: Origen Whey Protein

high protein snack
2. Vitamin D

Many (if not most) of us are deficient in vitamin D, and we don’t even know it. Vitamin D plays an important role in reducing inflammation, improving your mood, and helping you maintain better respiratory health. Plus, because it encourages the brain to release melatonin, it helps us sleep better. You probably know sleep is vital to recovery, and recovery is vital to gains.

We love: Puori Vitamin D3

vitamin d supplement from puori

3. BCAAs

If you could wave a magic wand and speed up your recovery, would you? Of course. Try taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the next best thing. BCAAs work to restore the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which our bodies use for energy during training. Research has found this supplement might reduce muscle damage and even help you handle back-to-back sessions better.

We love: Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA

BCAAs for recovery

An Important Reminder

Smart supplementation is a good move and, in the case of athletes, usually necessary. However, we want to give you an important reminder: supplements are not a replacement for quality nutrition. You should still aim to get a lot of your protein from wholesome, nutritious sources like chicken and fish. Supplementing for recovery is great, but don’t forget to prioritize rest days, mobility, and sleep.

A supplement, by definition, completes or enhances something when added to it. It’s not a replacement!

Pay close attention to your supplementation and nutrition, and we know you’ll see amazing progress in the gym.