The supplement industry has grown exponentially since the earlier years of bodybuilding and fitness sports. While a wider variety of options is great for athletes and the consumer, it also poses a new set of problems. Most notably – how do you know which products and brands to trust? It seems that nearly anyone can start up a supplement company these days. That doesn’t mean they are all going to be best for your supplementation.
That’s why we are happy to announce the first annual Generation Iron Supplement Awards. A comprehensive breakdown recognizing the best, most innovative, and most effective supplement companies and products. Reviewed and chosen by our panel of experts taking the guess work out of which supplements stand above the rest.
We’ve broken the Generation Iron Supplement Awards into 16 distinct categories aimed at brining the most specific amount of detail to what you may (or may not) be looking for in a supplement. At a glance our chosen categories include: best protein powder, best pre-workout, best post-workout, best fat burner, best vegan product, best tasting product, best female product, best mass gainer, best ready-to-drink, best new brand, best health & fitness product, best testosterone booster, best breakout product, best overall brand, and best workout product.
Each category highlights a desired result and lists the top products that will achieve the best outcomes. Every category has one distinct winner of the year followed by a selection of runner ups for those looking to get a wider variety of options to consider.
Generation Iron referred to our growing team of GI Experts in order to create the most comprehensive list of supplements – ultimately deciding on a universal winner for each category. Efficiency, ingredients, value, and taste were all key considered components in deciding which products to nominate and ultimate award the winning decision.
Check out our list of categories below for the best bodybuilding and fitness supplements of the year.
Best Protein Powder: Performance Lab SPORT Protein
This protein from Performance Lab comes in as one of the world’s cleanest and most effective protein powders around. Made with organic brown rice protein, it enhances strength, growth, and performance by performing as effective as whey while also being vegan friendly. The ultramodern design allows for quality, cleanliness, and taste with no added synthetic processing or flavors.
Clinically shown to be as effective as whey, this protein will work to enhance all aspects of your performance while also supporting natural appetite control and weight management. Naturally flavored and sweetened, you can be sure this great tasting protein is only working for your benefit.
Best Pre-Workout: National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready Pre-Workout
National Bodybuilding Co. is relatively new to the game but has produced an amazing pre-workout that has left us impressed. With some of the best ingredients around, their formula is dosed just right to provide for energy levels, huge muscle pumps, and increased focus to keep you working harder and longer.
Any great pre-workout will work to enhance your overall performance and Stage Ready Pre-Workout will push you to that next level. While it does have a slightly higher price tag, that should comfort you knowing the ingredients are top quality, it mixes easy into any liquid, and the Fruit Punch flavor tastes great to give you all the benefits of a solid pre-workout.
Any fat burner worth its word will help you shed unwanted fat while keeping on lean muscle to give you that shredded physique. Fighters Core does just that. By aiding in increased energy, promoting solid fat loss, and enhancing muscle growth, Fighters Core deserves the title of best fat burner. Since all the ingredients are natural, those who are vegan or vegetarian can find comfort in knowing there is a fat burner right for them.
With a powerful and potent formula of scientifically-backed natural ingredients, this fat burner will help you see weight loss in rapid time. Natural ingredients means very limited, if any, side effects so that stubborn fat will finally leave and you can be left with your desired physique.
Performance Lab SPORT Protein uses Oryzatein brown rice, a key vegan ingredient to make this an all-around great protein product and one great for everyone. Able to absorb better than leucine in whey protein, this is a much cleaner protein powder than others on the market today.
With 20 grams of protein and only 100 calories, this protein is naturally flavored with organic cocoa, vanilla bean, and Ceylon cinnamon to provide for a great taste with maximum health benefits. For those dairy-intolerant, vegan, or allergic to soy or gluten, Performance Lab has amazing protein product for you.
Best Protein Bar: GNC Total Lean Layered Protein Bar
This layered protein bar from GNC is a great way to satisfy hunger and provide for lean protein support for whenever in your day. As a gluten free option, it fits well with everyone and provides for all the great flavors you love without the guilt of a sweet treat. There is even a Girl Scout cookies flavor with Thin Mints that is naturally flavored and really does taste like a thin mint.
At 190 calories per bar with 16 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 14 grams of carbs, this bar is measured out nicely with the perfect ratio of all three macronutrients. This is great fuel for a pre-workout pump, perfect for recovery with the right ratio of protein, carbs, and fats, or just a bar to eat anytime to satisfy hunger and those sweet tooth cravings while also getting all the health benefits.
Best Women’s Product: Performance Lab NutriGenesis Multi For Women
Finding a good multivitamin can be challenging, but Performance Lab NutriGenesis Multi For Women makes finding this essential supplement easy to promote overall health and wellness. Designed for women to aid in overall health and optimal peak performance, their NutriGenesis process incorporates the natural process from the comfort of their lab to provide great ingredients and easy bioavailability.
Specifically calibrated for women’s needs, this multivitamin contains 17+ ingredients of high quality to maximize absorption so all of those vital nutrients get into your body. The innovative technology, top tier ingredients, and reputable company standards makes this multivitamin the best in terms of price and benefits.
Best Post-Workout: National Bodybuilding Co. Pro Contest BCAA
National Bodybuilding Co. Pro Contest BCAA has created this product with a science-backed 2:1:1 ratio of naturally sourced BCAAs to be effective with enhancing overall performance, aiding in muscle growth, and preventing fatigue and muscle degradation. While many BCAAs are hard to absorb, this product is bioavailable so all of those nutrients get into your body.
It has a rich but not overpowering taste and mixes well while going down nice and smooth to make your supplement experience enjoyable. The benefits of this and the ability to really enhance your overall performance makes this the best post-workout supplement from a rising company.
Best Muscle Building Product: Enhanced Labs Anabolic IV
Enhanced Labs Anabolic IV is a powerhouse combo of BCAAs and EAAs that you don’t often see in a supplement. The importance of this is that BCAAs ignite the process of protein synthesis but EAAs are required for muscle to actually grow. For this reason, Anabolic IV is the best muscle building product.
With five powerful blends, this will work to build muscle, improve endurance, and provide for quick and effective recovery. This blended cocktail includes a nitric oxide blend, non-stimulant nootropic blend, electrolyte blend, B-vitamin blend, and a fat oxidation and muscle insulin sensitivity blend. A complete formula, this product is sure to help those muscles grow.
Best Ready To Drink Product: Reign Total Body Fuel
Reign Total Body Fuel is exactly what you need to enhance pre-, mid-, or post-workout performance. As the ultimate fitness beverage, the blend of BCAAs, CoQ10, electrolytes, and caffeine will boost your workouts to new heights. With high quality ingredients from a reputable company, you can’t go wrong with Reign.
This product keeps fitness folks in mind and is really designed to optimize performance. While it does have a healthy dose of caffeine, it is a top tier energy drink and the ultimate choice for performance beverages.
National Bodybuilding Co. is a brand new company, and we mean brand new, to the supplement game. Only a couple of months old, this company has impressed consumers with clean and effective products geared towards those who are serious about getting more fit and more healthy. With serious dedication to each formula, they ensure quality and effectiveness for everything.
With only four products currently, they provide a pre-workout, BCAA, protein, and multivitamin to round out a world class group of supplements. By looking at their labels, you can tell the ingredients are pure and that a lot of thought was put into each and every one. The future for National Bodybuilding Co. looks bright as they continue to thrive with high quality supplements.
Best Health & Wellness Product: National Bodybuilding Co. Bodybuilder’s Multivitamin
A good quality multivitamin can really boost performance and keep you healthy overall and that is exactly what National Bodybuilding Co. Bodybuilder’s Multivitamin does. Designed to optimize recovery, aid in muscle growth, and increase focus, this multivitamin will pump you full of nutrients to really see big gains.
With the best combination of ingredients, this multivitamin is at the forefront of bodybuilding focused supplements. While many are focused on products centered around workouts, National Bodybuilding Co. knows that to see great gains, it requires overall health and wellness.
Low testosterone can be disappointing and really hurt your overall gains and confidence, but Centrapeak has come to your aid. With natural ingredients to optimize and re-charge your hormones, this testosterone booster will work to give you more energy, better focus, and more confidence to be stronger and better than before.
As a premium testosterone booster from a reputable company, you are really getting a top of the line product with CentraPeak. Proven results with muscle size and strength, enhanced power and focus, and increased fortitude and virility are just some of the benefits CentraPeak has to offer.
Best Breakout Product: National Bodybuilding Co. Stage Ready Pre-Workout
As a brand new product, this pre-workout from National Bodybuilding Co. is already making waves in the supplement world. With some of the best ingredients, this product will boost energy levels, increase motivation and focus, and allow for serious muscle pumps. Although decently priced, it is a high value supplement that mixes easily and tastes great to pump you full of pre-workout benefits.
Relatively new to the sports nutrition market, Performance Lab has really made a name for itself with excellent products and serious confidence in what they produce. With innovative technology, like their patented NutriGenesis process, they create safe and effective supplements for all consumers. Clean ingredients are matched with effective dosages to offer a wide variety of high-quality supplements that are worth adding to your regimen.
Best Workout Product: Harbinger 4-Inch Nylon Weightlifting Belt
Weightlifting belts offer great benefits to your workouts by providing solid support and Harbinger brings this great belt to the mix. A high quality, yet flexible belt, it provides for support and stabilization with the bonus of comfort and flexibility. The support strap adds a level of lower back and abdominal support to stabilize your body for big lifts.
Durable and reliable, this belt promotes growth and proper form so you can increase performance and your overall strength. From a reputable company, this belt will keep you safe and allow for efficient workouts without being a bother to your performance.