Which Dietary Supplement is Right For You?

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patricia kraft recovery ©foodspring

Why drink a protein shake after working out? What is creatine anyways? When is a dietary supplement a good idea for you? It’s easy to lose your way in the maze of products and health claims on the market, so we’ve summarized the most important products here.

What Are Dietary Supplements?

Dietary supplements are, as the name suggests, a way to supplement your diet.

To avoid health problems, each of us needs a certain amount of nutrients, including vitamins, protein, and minerals. These amounts are different for everyone and depend on many factors like health, body size, hormone levels, and physical activity. With a few exceptions like vitamin D in the winter or vitamin B12 for vegans, a healthy and balanced diet is enough to cover your nutrition requirements.

But if you work out regularly, your need for certain nutrients increases and it’s more difficult to cover everything with your diet. When that happens, dietary supplements can be useful for maintaining your physical health. Certain sports supplements also help you keep your performance levels high.

Before you start your fitness and nutrition plan, discuss any relevant health conditions with your health care provider.

Not sure which products might help you on your fitness journey? Our free Body Check provides nutrition tips and personalized product recommendations to help you get closer to your health goals. Get your personalized tips here

What Dietary Supplement Should I Take?

Shakes, bars, capsules, powder, vitamins: which nutritional supplements make sense for you and your health? We’ll go through various products and their functions to help you choose the right nutritional supplement. Remember to look for high-quality products with detailed health information and transparent manufacturing practices.


Protein is one of the most popular dietary supplement ingredients because it’s essential for your physical health: Your muscles mostly consist of proteins!

As a dietary supplement, you’ll often find it in powders or energy bars. Protein powder can be mixed with milk or water to make a shake – or even used in baking!

When you push yourself to your limits in a workout, your muscles have to work pretty hard. When that happens, protein shakes and bars can be useful dietary supplements to keep up your health.

A whey protein shake in a Mason jar topped with chocolate cream sandwich cookies stands next to a tin of foodspring Whey Protein in cookies and cream flavor.


Amino acids, or aminos for short, are important building blocks for your muscles and your physical health. The most important amino acids to look for in dietary supplements are all the L-amino acids.

Aminos dietary supplements are usually available in powder form. Cover your amino acid needs with a dietary supplement to avoid dips in your performance levels and maintain your physical health.

Best of all, you can take these dietary supplements while you’re still working out. Just dissolve a little powder into your drinks and start your muscle recovery right away!


BCAAs are complete packages of the branched chain amino acids essential for your health, including the harder-to-find L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine.

Your body can’t produce these amino acids itself, so to maintain your health you have to get them through food or dietary supplements. BCAA supplements are a product you can find in powder or capsule form.

This dietary supplement is suitable for training programs in all strength and endurance sports. But even if you just move a lot in your daily routine, BCAAs can be useful supplements for maintaining your physical health.


Glutamine is one of the most important amino acids for your physical health. Almost 60 percent of your muscles are made up of L-glutamine.

Glutamine is a good dietary supplement if you do very intensive training sessions with high levels of strain. Because, after you’ve put your muscles through the wringer in a workout, they need some time and resources to recover, and dietary supplements can help!


In principle, the body is able to produce enough L-carnitine just from the foods you eat. Extra L-carnitine dietary supplements are usually taken as part of a health and fitness plan with the goal of body fat reduction, but their effectiveness hasn’t been proven in research studies yet.


Strength athlete, soccer player, runner, swimmer – does your sport require top performance? Then a creatine product can help you overcome your limits!

Creatine dietary supplements are available in powder form. This dietary supplement is not only perfect for muscle health, strengthening, and growth, it also supports you in your speed training.


Zinc and Magnesium

Zinc and magnesium are essential for your health. If you don’t get enough of them in your food, you may end up experiencing fatigue or concentration problems.

During intense workouts, it’s pretty common to sweat a lot, and minerals important for your health, including zinc and magnesium, can get lost that way. Zinc gluconate and magnesium glycinate (Zn:Mg) dietary supplements make it easy to make up for that loss.

In general it’s good to do your research before taking anything in the vitamins and minerals category – even a vitamin C or vitamin D supplement. Check with a doctor about a product’s safety and possible interactions with drugs, foods, or a health condition.

Our tip: Taking magnesium and zinc together increases the minerals’ bioavailability, boosting their effect on your health. With our Zn:Mg dietary supplements you take both at once, increasing the extent and speed of their absorption.Check out our Zn:Mg

What Supplements Are Recommended for Women?

Some women are afraid to use dietary supplements because they’re concerned about too much muscle growth. Don’t worry! It’s highly unlikely that women will bulk up from supplements even with strength training.

Of course, there are a few bodybuilders who specifically train for extreme muscle growth beyond what’s necessary for physical health. But without a specific, highly intensive weightlifting program alongside supplements and the right food, you don’t have to be afraid of too much muscle growth.

Your body needs the right amount of nutrients after an intensive workout, so dietary supplements like protein shakes or protein bars are a tasty and muscle-boosting snack for on the go.


Still not quite sure? Read Anna’s success story to learn more about working out, complete with tips about which dietary supplements she chooses to complement her food choices, her fitness program, and her daily routine.

Our Conclusion

Nutritional supplements can be a helpful part of your fitness plan. With dietary supplements you can cover any high demand for nutrients more easily and build a solid foundation for any kind of sport.

  • Dietary supplements don’t replace a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Regular, intense exercise increases your need for various nutrients.
  • Nutritional supplements can help you cover those requirements.
  • Dietary supplements aren’t just for bodybuilders who want to bulk up.

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.