So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge to get fit, build some lean muscle, lose some fat and generally become healthier. Chances are, you've begun your training routine, and have at least contemplated setting up a regular workout program for yourself.

See Also >> Top 8 Exercises Every Beginner Should Be Doing


While it is not compulsory to take supplements, doing so can help you to get better results from your training, and may also help improve your health and well-being. As a general rule, always do a little research and see what studies support your supplement choices. Don't just rely on marketing!




So... What is the Best Supplement for Beginners?

Simply put, there is no single supplement that is the best for beginners. The best supplement for you will depend on a variety of factors such as your diet, your training, your general lifestyle and ultimately your goals. Do you have an idea of what your key goals are? For most beginner trainers, these fall into three major categories:

  • - Build Mass or Put on Weight/Size
  • - Lose Fat or Lose Weight
  • - Build Muscle

Although these are three separate goals, they often occur together. When you start training, most people find that they get fitter and start to build lean muscle and size whilst also losing fat. However, for beginners, it’s best to stick with one goal at a time to help simplify your training and supplementation routine!


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This list represents the supplements that have been shown to be the most effective and beneficial. You don’t need to take all of them, but if you are unsure what supplements you need, this list is a good place to start!


1. Protein powder

Whatever your training goal, you need adequate protein in your diet. It used to be thought that the human body needed 10-15% of its daily caloric intake from protein, but now after extensive study and testing, it's commonly thought that 20-30% is a more accurate intake (or between 1.5 - 2.0g of protein per kilo of bodyweight)- especially for hard-training athletes!

Protein is an absolute necessity for proper recovery from exercise, building muscle, and can help preserve current muscle mass during a low calorie diet.

Want to know more about Protein Powder? See:

>> PROTEIN 101


The first and most obvious step to getting enough daily protein is through food - preferably through animal sources, complete proteins. However, for some people this can be time-consuming and expensive. After all, eating every 2-to-3 hours isn't possible for some people, while others just don't want to eat that frequently. That's where protein supplementation factors in!

Protein supplements act fast and enable you to comfortably and affordably meet your daily protein goals, even when you're busy at work. At certain times, especially after a workout, protein supplements may even be more beneficial than food. Because whey protein is digested quickly and easily, it's the ideal post-workout protein source.



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 NOTE: We do not recommend EHPlabs Athlete Jaco De Bruyn's serving size for his IsoPept Zero Protein shake!

2. Creatine 

Creatine is a by-product of amino acid metabolites found in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Approximately 95 percent of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle, and the remaining five percent in the liver, kidneys, brain and testes.

Creatine is also one of the most-well-studied supplements on the market. It has been shown to improve sprint times and boost the performance of athletes engaged in high-intensity activity, such as weightlifting and strength training.

Creatine can boost maximal strength and energy output during exercise, allowing you to lift heavier, longer. It also acts as a "cell volumizer," making muscles fuller, and also speeds up your recovery afterward.

While a few people will argue that creatine is not a supplement for beginners, if you're looking for a supplement that works well to improve training and performance, as well as lean muscle mass, you can't look past it!


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There are plenty of different types of creatine available on the market, but the staple creatine is 'Creatine Monohydrate' - which is also the type of creatine that is most used by studies examining its benefit. 

3. Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs)

In your body, protein is converted into amino acids, which are best thought of as protein building blocks. Your body then uses these building blocks for any number of critical metabolic processes and reactions. Your muscles are made predominately from three amino acids; leucine, isoleucine, and valine, the so-called branch chain amino acids, BCAAs for short. 

When taken during training, BCAAs can improve prolonged performance and promote recovery. BCAAs may also reduce muscle breakdown (catabolism), potentially leading to more total muscle growth.


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BCAAs may:


  • - Increase energy
  • - Enhance protein synthesis
  • - Boost strength and power
  • - Improve muscle-building potential


Naturally found in foods high in protein, BCAAs are already part of anyone's diet. As a supplement, however, BCAAs are particularly useful during a workout for increased energy, less total muscle breakdown, and improved recovery!

They're also useful on non-training days to help maintain lean body mass.

4. Multi-vitamin and minerals

Even if you eat healthily most of the time, there may still be some nutritional gaps in your diet. A skipped meal or a sweet treat could mean that, on that day, you don’t get all the nutrients you need to stay fit and healthy. After all, it is impossible to follow the perfect diet 24/7/365 – you’re only human after all. 

A good quality, one a day, multi-vitamin and mineral supplement provides a nutritional safety blanket so that, on those occasional days you don’t eat as well as you should, you still get everything you need.

Look for products that contain a wide range of nutrients, approaching 100% of your daily recommended intake. Anything less is a waste of time.


5. Fish oil

Unless you eat fish every day, you probably don’t consume enough omega three fatty acids, also known as essential fatty acids, or EFAs for short. EFAs are very important (essential, actually!), help to keep your heart and brain healthy, and regulate inflammation throughout your body. If you train hard, you will probably suffer at least some joint and muscle inflammation. Also, nutritional and environmental toxins can cause inflammation too. Inflammation, which is basically swelling and redness, are a leading cause of illness and disease.

Fish oils are high in EFAs, and can help put out the fire of inflammation. Even if you don’t feel inflamed you probably are, and consuming a high-quality fish oil supplement can help you stay that way.

A few well-chosen supplements can make a lot of difference to your gym performance, fitness, and health. Make sure that, whatever supplements you buy, you use them consistently, and as instructed by the manufacturer. Like the food you eat, buy the best quality products you can find and afford, from companies you can trust!