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A person wearing black tennis shoes with a water bottle of pink liquid Amino Recovery

Whether you’re lifting weights, pedaling your legs, or dancing to the beat, a 45-minute or hour-long workout class puts stress on your body. This exercise-induced “good stress,” is what can help you grow stronger and be ready to return to class again and again, especially when it’s paired with proper recovery.

While many people first consider physical recovery techniques such as sauna, stretching, or massage, nutrition plays an important role in how well you recover too.

“Without the right nutrition strategy, your energy levels, strength, and fitness performance can decline —while soreness, fatigue, and cravings can increase,” says Samantha McKinney, RD, CPT, the national program manager for nutrition, metabolism, and weight loss at Life Time. “It becomes challenging to see the results you’re hoping to achieve.”

To help you make the most of your workouts, our team of Life Time dietitians, including McKinney, and the Life Time Class Collection team came together to share their go-to supplements for pre- or post-class, based on the efforts required.

Here, we break down their top three supplements picks for everyone, followed by other beneficial ones to consider based on your needs and goals.

Amino Recovery

Life Time’s Amino Recovery supplement provides all of the essential and conditionally essential amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids. It can help enhance strength, reduce soreness, and support the health of your joints and tendons.

“This is often called the best-kept secret for workout nutrition,” says McKinney. “Every scoop contains essential amino acids to support lean tissue, which helps build shape and tone. It provides protein building blocks to help the body hold onto muscle, dampen soreness, and kickstart the recovery process during and after exercise.”

How to use it: Mix one scoop per 100 pounds of ideal body weight into your workout water bottle and drink during your class.

Pair with these classes: Amino Recovery can be transformative for any class, and if you’re a regular at any of these, it’s highly recommended to work it into your routine: LIFT Barbell Strength, LIFT Strictly Strength, MAXOUT Upper Body, MAXOUT Lower Body, MAXOUT Mashup, MAXOUT Core, XTREME HIIT, XTREME INTERVALS, XTREME Kettlebell, STRIKE Boxing & Conditioning, LIFE BARRE Fusion, LIFE BARRE Strength, LIFE BARRE Core, LIFE BARRE Classic, Warrior Sculpt

Learn more: “How Do I Use Amino Acids?” and “What Are the Benefits of Supplementing With Amino Acids? 

Hydrate

If you’re exercising and sweating often, many experts recommend supplementing with electrolytes to help keep your body hydrated. Electrolytes are a collection of minerals, including sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, that help the body hold onto and maintain an appropriate balance of fluids.

“Even a slight level of dehydration can dramatically impact your workout performance and recovery afterward, and drinking plain water isn’t always enough to rehydrate your body.” McKinney explains.

Life Time’s Hydrate supplement features a balance of these minerals, including sodium and chloride from pure Redmond Real Salt. It easily dissolves in water and packs a punch of flavor (choose Peach Mango or Blood Orange), while being free of added sugar and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

How to use it: Mix one serving with 12 to 16 ounces of water. Drink first thing in the morning, before workouts, or anytime you need to replenish fluids.

Pair it with these classes: Hydrate is recommended before any workout, especially if you’re taking REMIXX Cardio, REMIXX Step, STRIKE, STRIKE Kickboxing, STRIKE Boxing & Conditioning, AMP Cycle, AMP Sculpt, EDG Cycle, EDG Sculpt, PWR Cycle, DANZE Jam, DANZE + Tone, DANZE Choreography, or FIRE HIIT.

Learn more: “Expert Answers: Do You Need Sodium for Hydration?

Vegan+ All-In-One Protein Powder

A daily, high-protein shake is the No. 1 healthy habit most often recommended by Life Time dietitians and coaches. Your body uses protein to help rebuild your muscles and recover after a workout — and protein powder is one of the easiest ways to add more protein to your diet.

Life Time’s Vegan+ All-in-One Protein Powder has 30 grams of clean protein, along with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and digestive enzymes to help your body refuel and to support energy and metabolism. “Protein helps aid in muscle repair and supports lean body mass,” McKinney adds. “It tastes smooth and mixes well too.”

How to use it: Mix two scoops with water or blend into your favorite shake recipe within 30 minutes after your workout. It also can be used as a healthy meal replacement when you’re on the go and need something convenient.

Pair with these classes: Life Time dietitians recommend 30 grams of protein after every class, and especially after LIFT Barbell Strength, LIFT Strictly Strength, MAXOUT Upper Body, MAXOUT Lower Body, MAXOUT Mashup, MAXOUT Core, SHRED or LIFE BARRE Strength.

Learn more: “6 Reasons to Use Vegan Protein Powder

If you really want to bolster your results, consider adding these powerful options to your routine in addition to the ones above.

Creatine

Creatine is a well-researched supplement that offers several health and fitness benefits, including improved recovery, performance, and body composition, along with preventing fatigue. High-intensity activities require a potent energy source that comes from phosphocreatine, which is stored in your muscles. The more creatine in your diet, the more your muscles can make and store, providing energy for your favorite high-intensity classes.

Life Time’s Creatine Monohydrate powder supplement promotes strength, lean muscle mass, and power output, and decreases recovery time between bouts of intense activity. It has no flavor, sweeteners, or colors and can be easily mixed into any beverage.

How to use it: Mix one scoop into any liquid or add it to your protein shake immediately after your workout.

Pair with these classes: LIFT Strictly Strength, MAXOUT Mashup, ALPHA

Learn more: “Creatine: Why This Supplement Is Not Just for Body Builders

Pre-Workout

A pre-workout supplement can be beneficial for adding extra energy and focus to your workouts, particularly for strength-training or higher-intensity efforts.

Life Time’s Pre-Workout supplement delivers a handful of nutrients and other bioactive ingredients that help the body access stored energy, dilate blood vessels, and stimulate the nervous system to recruit muscle fibers. “Think of it as a booster that, with continued use, can increase energy during workouts as well as support focus and drive,” says McKinney.

How to use it: Mix one to two scoops with eight to 10 ounces of liquid approximately 30 minutes before your workout. If you’re new to using pre-workout, start with one scoop and work your way up to two scoops, depending on how your body responds to it. It’s common to feel tingling in your body when using it, and the best results come from using it regularly for at least one month.

Pair with these classes: XTREME HIIT, XTREME Intervals

Learn more: “Is Pre-Workout Right for You?

Magnesium

Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, impacting most bodily systems.  It’s also one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies. Among its many functions, magnesium is important for cardiovascular health, energy production, muscle function, bone health, recovery, and more.

During a workout class, your body experiences physical stress, which increases its use of magnesium. Regular exercisers may require 10 to 20 percent more magnesium — and supplementation is one of the easiest ways to provide your body with this essential nutrient.

Life Time’s Magnesium provides a chelated, easily absorbable, encapsulated magnesium malate that supports metabolism, performance, and recovery. The formula also contains malic acid which is involved in cellular energy production and helps to reduce muscle fatigue.

How to use it: Take two to three capsules each evening.

Pair with these classes: LIFE BARRE Classic, LIFE BARRE Core, LIFE BARRE Fusion, ROOT HATHA, SURRENDER YIN, SOL Guided Vinyasa

Learn more:Why Magnesium?” and “Magnesium: Health Benefits and Best Ways to Supplement

Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a senior writer and content editor at Life Time.

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