Most workout supplements are full of junk, including bulking agents, fillers, preservatives, and unnatural colors. Almost every supplement you see for sale in a brightly colored tub is NOT paleo, and may even do you more harm than good.
However, there are some supplements that are not only suitable for people on a paleo diet, but that can really take your workout to the next level.
In this post, we explain all the best paleo workout supplements.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Our Paleo Workout Supplement Stack
If you’re in a rush, here’s our recommended paleo workout stack:
|Take before a workout to hydrate and get a pump
|Proven to build muscle and boost performance
|BCAAs / EAAs
|Drink during your workout to fuel your muscles
|Use as a quick and easy source of protein
|Vital for recovery and strengthening your connective tissue
|Beef Liver Pils
|A bodybuilding secret weapon and nature’s superfood in pill form
Forget pre-workout powders that give you a rush and a headache — if you want to fuel your workout and get a pump when lifting, electrolytes are the best workout supplement to take.
Electrolytes are essential minerals (including sodium, potassium, and magnesium) that keep your body hydrated and support most of your body’s vital functions. When we sweat due to high-intensity exercise, we lose fluid — and lose electrolytes. Therefore, taking an electrolyte supplement keeps you hydrated in the gym and gives you the fluid needed to perform at an optimal level.
Staying hydrated means you’ll have more energy and stamina. And because your body is retaining water, you’ll have a bigger pump in your muscles when you lift.
You’ll see electrolytes in a lot of sports drinks, but these also contain processed sugar and lots of carbs. Look for pure electrolyte salts for a paleo-friendly option, and mix your own drinks.
Creatine is the number one muscle-building supplement for a reason: it works.
Almost any gimmicky supplement on the market only has any effect because it contains creatine, so your best bet is to just ignore all of those products, and buy creatine directly.
Creatine is completely paleo-friendly, and also has nootropic benefits too, meaning it improves mental performance as well as gives you strength gains.
BCAAs & EAAs
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein that your body uses to grow and repair body tissue — in other words, build muscle. They come in two supplement forms:
Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) — 9 out of 20 of the amino acids that the body needs are called EAAs because the body can’t make them on its own. These are: histidine, leucine, methionine, threonine, valine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) — 3 of the 9 EAAs have a different molecule structure, and are known as BCAA. They are: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
BCAAs are the amino acids used the most during exercise, so taking a BCAA supplement provides targeted support. EAAs support other functions as well and are therefore a more comprehensive supplement. BCAAs are usually cheaper, so the choice often depends on the individual’s budget.
Both EAAs and BCAAs are good to drink before, during, and after exercise.
If you’re looking for high-quality protein, whole food is almost always a better choice and will be absorbed better by the body. But sometimes you need to get 20g or more protein quickly and conveniently, and for that, a whey shake is ideal.
To build muscle, you need to eat 1g of protein per lb of body weight per day, and a high-quality whey protein is perfect to get you there on a paleo diet.
Whey protein supplements are notorious for being highly processed and including lots of bulking agents, so always look at the ingredients label and choose wisely.
Collagen is an underrated paleo workout supplement, but is one of the most effective. Most people focus on whey to get a complete protein source, but collagen itself is the main component in all the connective tissues that make up your tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
In short, it boosts your muscle mass and helps you recover.
Many people take it for the benefits for their skin and hair, which you’ll also experience. But nothing else will help with joint pain and keep your body moving the way it should like collagen.
Collagen-rich foods like bone broth and fatty cuts of meat are common on the paleo diet, but to get more collagen into your diet, try a clean, reputable supplement.
Beef Liver Pills
No other food is as important to ancestral living as beef liver.
This organ meat really is nature’s superfood, and is full of Vitamin A, Zinc, and B Vitamins. In particular, its huge amount of vitamin B12 gives you strong energy for your workouts.
Beef liver pills are known as an old-school bodybuilding secret, with some bodybuilders taking one pill an hour for a steady supply of protein, nutrients, and energy throughout the day.
Liver pills are paleo-friendly, and are a great paleo workout supplement as well as a boost to your overall health.