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The Top 5 Supplements For Active People

“What supplements should I take?

As a registered dietitian, this is a question I hear often. The supplement world can be confusing, and it seems like every other week there's a new trendy supplement with promising claims. Unfortunately, research on nutrition is very hard to do and most new supplements have very little, if any, scientific backing.

While my personal philosophy is to always prioritize a well-rounded diet, supplements can be beneficial for filling in nutritional gaps and supporting health goals. The good news is that you may only need a handful of supplements to help you do that. Here are the top five supplements I recommend, based on solid scientific research:

1. Daily Multivitamin

Most of us don’t consume a perfectly balanced diet containing all the micronutrients our bodies need for optimal performance. A daily multivitamin can help bridge those nutrient gaps that we may be missing. Just keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you get a free pass on not eating your veggies!

Recommended for: Everyone, as a general nutritional insurance policy.

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2. Whey Protein

Meeting daily protein needs can be a challenge, especially for active individuals. New research suggests a higher protein intake of 1.6-2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. To put that in perspective, a 5’10 male weighing 180 lbs would have to consume 10 eggs for breakfast, 7 oz of chicken breast for lunch, 8 oz of ground beef for dinner. That’s a lot of eggs! Whey protein powder provides a convenient and easily digestible source of high-quality protein. There’s a ton of options for protein powders, including plant-based and casein. However, whey protein has shown the biggest benefits for building muscle and recovering from workouts.

Recommended for: Anyone struggling to meet their protein needs through food alone, particularly active individuals.

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3. Creatine

Feeling like your fitness progress has plateaued? Meet what I like to call “the extra boost.” Creatine is a well-researched supplement known for its performance-enhancing benefits. Creatine is naturally occurring in the body and can be found in small amounts (not enough to provide performance-enhancing benefits) in foods such as meat and fish. It can increase power output during resistance training, leading to increased lean body mass and reduced body fat. Notably, creatine has shown no significant side effects in research studies.

Recommended for: Anyone who consistently weight trains at least three times per week (yes, you should all be taking creatine).

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4. EPA & DHA (Fish Oil)

These fatty acids play a crucial role in regulating important biological processes in our bodies such as brain function, inflammatory response, and mood. EPA and DHA are essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. Taking a fish oil supplement containing EPA and DHA has been shown to lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure.

Recommended for: Individuals who don't consume fatty fish daily and want to support overall well-being.

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5. Probiotic

Ever hear that our gut is our “second brain?” Gut dysfunction can affect our digestion, immunity, and mental health. Our gut needs “good” bacteria (probiotics) in order to perform optimally. While probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are beneficial, a probiotic supplement can provide specific strains and quantities for optimal gut health.

Recommended for: Individuals who do not consume probiotic-rich foods regularly and want to support healthy gut function.

Buy it here.

Full disclosure, I am affiliated with the supplement brand Thorne. After years of searching for a company that’s committed to using only the cleanest ingredients, without questionable fillers, I found Thorne. As a dietitian who believes in endorsing only compounds that have extensive research to back their claims, I would only recommend the highest quality products.

While these five supplements are my top recommendations based on research and my professional experience, it's essential to remember that individual needs may vary. I would advise talking to a dietitian or coach for specific recommendations. We’re here to help you reach your goals!


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