The supplements featured in this post, along with the ingredients they contain, will help you achieve your desired fitness results – from improved cardio workouts, increased strength, and quick post-workout recovery to recharge your batteries.
When it comes to energy, many people think of it as some kind of instant jolt to the body that it gets from a certain stimulant like caffeine in coffee or the 1MR pre-workout complex.
And while we all love this arousal and the fat-burning benefits of stimulants, the type of energy we’re talking about here is a long-term, sustained, calm state of the body.
Using the right supplements will help you stay alert and focused, yet calm and refreshed.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea is well known for its ability to enhance fat burning. It is linked to catechins, in particular epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a plant compound found in tea leaves.
Catechin inhibits an enzyme that normally breaks down norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter and predator hormone associated with adrenaline. Also, this enzyme accelerates all processes in the body, providing it with a mild stimulating effect.
However, green tea also contains the amino acid theanine. Theanine enhances overall relaxation and has a calming effect.
When combined with the effects of EGCG and a small amount of caffeine in green tea, it has been shown to provide a calm boost of energy and improve brain function.
- Take about 500 mg of EGCG standardized green tea extract two to three times daily to maintain a constant energy level.
This supplement is a combination of the amino acid citrulline and malic acid (malate). Clinical studies show that subjects taking citrulline malate report less fatigue and experience an increase in energy production in the body by about 35% than before taking it.
- Take 1-3 grams of citrulline malate two to three times daily for sustained energy levels.
Coenzyme Q10 (coQ10)
Coenzyme promotes reactions in the body that produce energy. Thus, having enough of this enzyme is critical for energy production.
Japanese researchers found that subjects taking 300 mg of CoQ10 per day for eight days experienced less fatigue during exercise and recovered faster between exercises.
- Take 200-300 mg of coQ10 with breakfast every day to help your body get the energy it needs.
Consider combining the following four foods to get the right combination for an energy boost:
- Resveratrol (100 mg), Red Wine Extract (100 mg), Grape Seed Extract (50 mg)
- Green tea extract (500 mg per capsule)
- Citrulline Malate (2000 mg Per Scoop)
- CoQ10 (200 mg capsules)
Increased muscle strength
Muscle strength is important to every woman as it improves every aspect of her life, be it gym, sports or daily activities.
Of course, anyone reading HerFlex should know that women need whey protein before resistance training for optimal performance and good results.
Here are some additional pre-workout supplements to really increase muscle strength.
Creatine’s primary action is to rapidly increase the energy that muscles need during anaerobic exercise such as weightlifting so they can complete a few more reps. This will help you be stronger while working out in the gym.
Worried about bloating from creatine supplementation? Today, only a small percentage of people experience this discomfort. Newer forms such as creatine hydrochloride (Con-Crуt) and crealkalin (Kre-Alkalyn) do not have these side effects.
- Take 1.5-5.0 g of creatine, depending on the type, 30 minutes before and immediately after training.
This amino acid is not used as a building block for muscle growth, but it is one of the most important amino acids for muscle strength.
In muscle cells, it interacts with the amino acid histidine to form carnosine. Having more carnosine in muscle cells allows them to contract more forcefully and prevents fatigue.
Research confirms that athletes taking beta-alanine increase muscle strength and power more than those who do not.
- Take 1.5-3 grams of beta-alanine before and after training.
Scientifically known as trimethylglycine, betaine is an essential amino acid because it has the ability to donate methyl (methyl donor) generously.
I will spare you a biochemistry lesson on what methyl units are, but I will say that they are very important for maintaining health and performance. Research shows that athletes taking betaine increase muscle strength by 25%.
- Take about 1000-3000 mg of betaine as trimethylglycine, anhydrous betaine, before and after training.
This is another amino acid that is not used as a protein building block, but it does important functions in muscles that lead to increased muscle strength and endurance.
Studies show that muscles with lower levels of taurine contract with less force than muscles with higher levels of this amino acid.
- Take 1-3 g of taurine 30 minutes before training.
Most people find it best to do cardio on a completely empty stomach to burn the most fat. While this is partly true, doing cardio on an empty stomach not only burns more fat but also promotes muscle breakdown.
The main thing before cardio is to give the body amino acids in the form of rapidly digesting whey protein to prevent muscle breakdown, but not interfere with fat burning. Here are four more supplements to take before cardio:
Carnitine is an essential component of a complex transport system that transports fat to the mitochondria, where it is burned for fuel.
Several studies show that taking carnitine increases the amount of fat burned by the body both at rest and during exercise.
And numerous studies show that this is not only great for melting body fat, but also increases muscle endurance. This effect is enhanced by taking carnitine along with caffeine.
- Take 1-3 g of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, L-carnitine tartrate, or acetyl-L-carnitine 30-60 minutes before cardio.
When it’s hard to get the stimulus for intense cardio workouts, taking caffeine can give you the energy you need to have a heavy HIIT session or a long run.
But the real reason we take a pre-workout dose of caffeine is because it increases the amount of fat you burn during exercise and increases your endurance, studies show.
Caffeine has been shown to increase the amount of fat you burn during exercise. This is because caffeine binds to fat cells.
When this happens, the release of fat from the fat cells increases. During exercise, this effect is enhanced, and the body’s increased need for energy during exercise burns the released fat forever.
This will not only help you shed fat, but it will also increase endurance, as increased fat burning reduces critical levels of muscle glycogen.
- Take 100-400 mg caffeine, depending on tolerance, 30-60 minutes before cardio.
This amino acid was once quite popular with bodybuilders. This is because glutamine provides many benefits, from building muscle to strengthening the immune system.
But I recommend that you take it before cardio for two other main reasons: increased endurance and greater fat loss.
Glutamine can dull fatigue and increase endurance by helping to neutralize lactic acid levels that build up in muscles during exercise.
In two separate studies from Louisiana State University, researchers found that a dose of just 2 grams of glutamine raised the system’s natural bicarbonate buffer levels within 90 minutes.
Research also shows that taking glutamine 30 minutes before aerobic exercise increases the calories burned during this exercise.
- Take 2-5 grams of glutamine 30-60 minutes before training.
This herb has a history of use as a medicine since the days of the ancient Greeks. It is considered a stimulant because it increases the body’s resistance to various chemical, biological and physical stressors.
Since vigorous exercise is one such exercise, Rhodiola may help your body adapt better to it.
Research shows that rhodiola can act as an antioxidant in the body and increase energy levels in muscle cells, as well as increase the amount of oxygen carried by the blood to muscles for exercise, which promotes more fat burning.
All of these benefits have been proven to lead to increased endurance as well.
- Take 300-1800 mg of Rhodiola 30-60 minutes before training.
The following four fat burners contain either all four or more of the ingredients listed above. If something is missing, simply combine 1 or 2 missing ingredients to get the most out of them:
- GNC GenetixHD Pro-Sculpt. Active ingredients: caffeine, carnitine, rhodiola rosea, glutamine, white willow extract, quercetin, taurine, citrulline and BCAA.
- Dymatize Dyma-Burn Xtreme. Active ingredients: caffeine, carnitine, green tea extract, mate, tyrosine, raspberry ketones and ginseng
- Better Body Sports BodyForm. Active ingredients: caffeine, acetyl-L-carnitine, green tea extract, synephrine, taurine and tyrosine
- Max Muscle Emerge. Active ingredients: caffeine, carnitine, green tea extract, synephrine, taurine, ginseng, yohimbine, vinpocetine, NADH, and evodiamine.