You can eat all the protein, pound down all the complex carbs and lift all the weights your heart desires, but unless your energy levels are near their peak, you’re not going to maximize your physique potential. In short, low energy equals middling gains. High energy equals notable ones. Reason enough to boost your energy? We thought so.

FLEX has compiled a list of seven of our favorite energy-boosting supps, along with recommendations for implementing them into your bodybuilding regimen. All of them are to be taken prior to exercise rather than throughout the day. The idea is to create a targeted spike in energy when you need it most, rather than taxing your physiology throughout your waking hours.

A protein shake on a gym bench.

The Best Supplements for Beginners

Here are seven must-have items to build serious muscle.

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