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All kinds of active people swear by them, and your workout buddies seem to be taking them regularly, too. But which supplements are the most popular, and why are they worth the visit to a Rachelle-Béry health space? Keep reading as we break it all down for you and offer up recipe ideas that will help you enjoy these life-enhancing supplements with laidback, gourmet flare.

Protein powder

Basically supplement royalty at this point, these powders pack an extra punch of protein that the body can make use of quite easily. They’re designed for people who train a lot and therefore have a higher daily protein intake requirement than folks with a more sedentary lifestyle. Remember: protein is crucial when it comes to supporting muscle recovery and gaining muscle mass. Protein powder can also be an easy add-on to any meal that’s lacking in the vital building block.

Fun fact: eating or drinking more protein than your body requires is pointless, since you only keep what you need—and discard the rest.

Animal vs. plant-based powders

The most common protein powder out there is whey, which is made from cow’s milk. It’s considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to absorb protein—and in the fastest way possible. The isolate version has an even higher protein concentration and contains less fat, fewer carbohydrates, and very little lactose.

Plant-based protein powders have also earned quite a following—and for good reason! On top of boasting a high concentration of protein, plant protein powder is also rich in fibre, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Some plant-based powders are blends of different protein sources, including soy, peas, lentils, chia, brown rice, and sunflower seeds, making them an attractive option from a purely nutritional perspective, as well.

Sports supplements: choosing the right ones for you and creative ways to use them in the kitchen!

Beyond shakes

Everyone’s familiar with the post-workout shake, of course, but did you know that you can take that same powder into the kitchen to fortify your favourite recipes, too?

For a stronger breakfast, you can always make a shake with tasty frozen berries, milk or your plant beverage of choice, adding in oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and protein powder. Another interesting culinary option: blend the protein powder of your choice into pancake batter made with wheat, oat, or gluten-free flour, eggs, vanilla extract, almond milk, and skosh of vegetable oil. Strong and delicious!

Fit snack pro tip: try working protein powder into your muffin, energy ball, fruit/granola yoghurt, and healthy chocolate pudding recipes.

Blend coconut milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and a pinch of salt—then pop your mixture in the fridge for a few hours. Prior to diving in, add chocolate protein powder, stir vigorously, and serve in ramekins. The kids will be all over this one!

This summer, try reinventing and rediscovering ice pops as a nutritious treat. In the blender, add banana, strawberries, almond milk, and protein powder, then pour the mixture into your desired mould. For additional texture and colour, throw in bits of seasonal fruit!

Vitamin and electrolyte supplements

Of course a balanced diet will provide all the vitamins and minerals your body needs—but who can eat perfectly every day and still tend to work, friend, and family obligations? For the days when you’ll inevitably miss the mark, pick up a vitamin and mineral supplement like Ester-C Energy Boost to bridge the nutritional gap. It’s packed with Vitamin C and all its antioxidant properties, but it’s less acidic and easier on the stomach. Energy Boost contributes to a healthy immune system and is full of electrolytes, which you should be reaching for after every sweaty workout session. If physical activity stretches beyond an hour, it’s even recommended to use the product during your session. To boot, Ester-C Energy Boost is a more sensible choice than the most popular sports beverages on the market, since the electrolytes in those beverages come with a whole lot of sugar.

Drink it or lick it!

Sipping on your vitamin beverage in drink form in a natural choice, but turns out you can also make it into an ice pop, which is extra refreshing after a bike ride or tennis match under the sun!

Superfood supplements

Some supplements are basically vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and micronutrient bombs. Think of superfoods like spinach, kale, artichoke, pomegranate, certain nuts, and beets. Red beets can be tricky to cook, and luckily there’s the crystal version by Salaus, which makes for easy incorporation into all kinds of dishes. Just one of the beet-y benefits: improved circulation. Hello, improved performance and endurance! Here’s a beet crystal salad dressing recipe that’s pretty much what your summer salads have been waiting for.

Also worth noting: while beet crystals fully dissolve in shakes, they add colour and crunch when sprinkled atop soups and salads.