We all need a little extra energy sometimes—whether it’s a quick pick-me-up to get going in the morning or something to help banish that dragging feeling on your way to the gym. these supplements are proven to help buoy you up without a subsequent crash. When you need energy most, these boosters allow you to control exactly how much and what kind of lift you really get. follow label directions, starting with the lowest recommended dosages, and increase as needed.
Green Coffee Extract
Best for: Feeling mentally sharp
How it works: this tasty supplement includes the extract of the unripe whole coffee fruit, which supports brain function and alertness by boosting neuron activity. the extract is also high in antioxidants that promote new brain cells.
Use it: Take one scoop daily on an empty stomach with 6–8 ounces of cold water.
Best for: Boosting energy when you’re watching calories
How it works: Raspberry ketones are derived from the fruit and help your body release stored fat for energy instead of using muscle tissue. They also help boost metabolism, so you’ll burn even more calories daily
Use it: Take 100–200mg about 30 minutes before meals.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Best for: Improving workout performance and speeding recovery
How it works: BCAAs (which include leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are especially effective taken before and after workouts. they help quickly drive creatine, glucose, and other nutrients into muscle cells to efficiently fuel activity. Post-exercise, BCAAs help reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol, which then helps you feel less tired and sore.
Use it: As a stand-alone powder or in capsule form. Take about 3g of BCAAs before and after workouts for a total of up to about 6g per day.
Best for: Stronger workouts
How it works: Creatine is a crucial part of the adenosine triphosphate (atP) cycle, the series of reactions that fuel immediate energy. The more creatine present in your muscles during workouts, the more rapidly your body can produce energy, which translates into an ability to perform more reps before reaching fatigue.
Use it: Take 2–5g before and after workouts for a total of up to 10g per day. Start with the low-end dosage and slowly work up. It may initially make you look slightly bulkier, but that effect is temporary.
Green Tea Extract
Best for: Battling the 3 p.m. slump
How it works: Green tea extract contains a high concentration of catechins, nutrients that help boost the energizing brain chemical norepinephrine. It also contains the amino acid theanine, which helps you feel more relaxed while sharpening your mental focus (making it a great supplement for later in the day).
Use it: Take 400–1,000mg of green tea extract (standardized for about 50% eGCG) up to twice a day.
Best for: Energizing workouts
How it works: Arginine is an amino acid that readily converts to nitric oxide (no), a gas molecule that causes your blood vessels to relax, allowing a greater flow of oxygen and nutrients. You’ll especially feel the difference in the muscle groups you’re working, since these extra nutrients and fluids allow your muscles to perform more work.
Use it: Take 3–5g once or twice daily, at least one dose pre-workout.
Best for: Long-lasting energy
How it works: The dry form of caffeine is often simply labeled as “1,3,7–trimethylxanthine,” but it’s the same stuff you’ll find in your morning cup of coffee. Caffeine quickly perks you up by stimulating your central nervous system, but it also fuels other energy systems, providing a significant workout boost. Research shows that taking caffeine about an hour before exercise allows you to lift more weight. other studies have found that caffeine also allows you to perform more reps because it blunts muscle fatigue.
Use it: If you’re looking to improve your workout results, cut caffeine intake at other times of the day and take 100–400mg of caffeine anhydrous an hour before exercise.