After a spring spent cooped up, we're looking forward to getting the heck outside—at least on our balconies, and if we're lucky, farther afield. No matter where you are, extra sunshine brings extra energy. Channel it into your workouts, and the results will speak for themselves. Here are the tools and supplements we're using to launch headfirst toward brighter days.
Alpha Lion SUPERHUMAN Pre-Workout V2
Recommended by Tyler McGlasson, M.K., CISSN, senior specialist, regulatory compliance and science
As springtime comes to a close and summer draws near, it's time to start thinking about kicking those workouts into high gear. There's no better way to push yourself to the limit than with an energy-focused pre-workout.
SUPERHUMAN V2 by Alpha Lion brings the heat with a high dose of caffeine plus caffeine malate on top of nearly a dozen other performance-enhancing ingredients. Consuming caffeine strategically can help burn more calories during your workout by either increasing your time doing cardio or upping your reps with the weights.* Both will be necessary to reveal that great physique you've been building over a winter of heavy lifting.
SUPERHUMAN comes in several flavors, but skipping the Hulk Juice (sour gummy) or the Unicorn Juice (rainbow sherbet) would be a big mistake. Let's get out there, work hard, and look great for a summer in the sun!
Recommended by Shoshanna Cohen, senior content editor
One side effect of writing about supplements is you end up taking a lot of them. And while they do help me feel better, I sometimes struggle to keep them all straight: which I'm supposed to take in the morning, which at night, which I should take with food, which I need to reorder, which ones cancel each other out, how many of each, etc.
This is why Persona Nutrition is so cool. You take an online assessment, and they send you twice-daily vitamin packets based on your results. I still drink a protein shake with creatine every day, but the packets cover everything else.
I've been taking Persona packs for the past two months. My customized pill lineup seems pretty sound. It includes better versions of what I was already taking (digestive enzymes, vitamin D, omega-3s, and a good multivitamin), plus some new ones (quercetin for immune support, peppermint and ginger for digestive support). I must say, I feel good, especially my digestion, which always gives me grief. Honestly, though, the best part is never having to think about vitamins. Unless I'm writing about them.
Yoga Direct Antimicrobial Yoga Mat
Recommended by Frieda Johnson, copy editor
A yoga mat is always on my shortlist of necessary workout accessories, but as the weather warms up, it becomes even more necessary. Why? Because I love to move my yoga and bodyweight training outside to take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air.
Working out in the sun makes me feel more energized, yet is also calming and meditative, making it my ideal way to start the day. Without a good yoga mat, though, working out on my cement patio becomes significantly less enjoyable. Luckily, my Yoga Direct yoga mat is durable enough to endure even the added wear and tear of being used outdoors and thick enough to make lying on concrete bearable.
This one also has the added benefit of being treated with ionic silver to make it resistant to bacteria, odors, and germs. In this time of heightened hygiene awareness, it's a nice extra layer of protection against the gross factor of something you've been standing on with bare feet.
Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey Isolate
Recommended by Nick Collias, executive editor
I don't ask a lot of my protein. I don't need it to pretend to be a superfood or convince me that I've eaten when I haven't. It just needs to be, in no particular order, not too sweet, not too filling, and not full of nonprotein extras.
Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey Isolate fits the bill. A scoop provides a solid blast of 25 grams of isolate and hydrolysate protein that mixes instantly and goes down very easily after a hard training session. But it's still light enough that I can eat a substantial meal in the not-too-distant future—because, let's be clear, I want to. A scoop here or there is an easy way to get from "Am I eating enough protein to support my training?" to that 0.8-1 gram per pound of body weight daily target that sports nutrition experts recommend. Slug it and forget it.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.