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You probably go the gym with your protein powder and shaker bottle, but are those really all you need? When it comes to boosting your performance and recovery, it's not all about protein shakes.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the following ingredients when you shop for workout supplements:

1. Vitamin B6 and B12

Clinical vitamin B12 deficiencies are rather rare, but it's unsurprising that one may be a bit deficient in B vitamin complex, specifically B6. Research shows that these nutrients can be more easily used up whenever the body is under stress. The National Institutes of Health says vitamin B aids the body in forming red blood cells and drawing energy from food. It also helps manage inflammation and regulate mood and sleep patterns. In short, this vitamin helps improve the essential bodily processes so you can get the most out of your workout.

2. Carbohydrates

Along with protein, carbohydrates are crucial to any athlete's prep routine, particularly for those who are exercising for more than an hour every time. Carbs refuel the muscles, and are stored as glycogen. When glycogen is used up, that's when you start feeling fatigued. Carbs are the easiest as well as the fastest way to energize your muscles, especially when you're working out at high intensity. Even following a workout, carbs remain critical. If the energy you lost is not replenished, you are more at risk for injury.

3. Caffeine

Consuming caffeine before a workout can make you go for a long one without feeling so fatigued. Based on a research by the American College of Sports Medicine, athletes who have moderate caffeine amounts one hour before a workout had better endurance during spinning and running tests. Make sure to check your supplement's label though for the caffeine dosage. Too much of it can leave you feeling nervous and even nauseous. Do a trial and error to know how much is enough for you. 

4. Vitamin C

Most of us know Vitamin C as the supplement we reach for when we have a common cold, but according to studies, this nutrient can also assist the body in fighting off the stresses of an arduous workout schedule. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, particularly aids the body in handling metabolic stress, which is exactly that kind of stress from training gives you. And here's a perk - Vitamin C can also keep you from wheezing or coughing before and after your exercise routine. One supplement that contains Vitamin C in is diet whey.

5. Tart Cherry

This stone fruit is becoming very popular as a post-performance supplement for endurance athletes, thanks to its effects that seem to mimic those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Tart cherry works instantaneously, just like ibuprofen, so it can be used for pain relief, and also for repair of muscle damage and potentially as a chronic anti-inflammatory agent. Tart cherry contains phytochemicals which are very health protective, and the same is true for other dark fruits, such as grapes and blueberries.

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