Pre-workout? Post-workout? Pre-sleep? These terms don’t have to be confusing. Learn about workout supplements for women to fuel your next gym session.

The skyrocketing popularity of CrossFit has better connected female fitness fanatics to Olympic and power lifting. No longer are women taught that small weights and high reps is the best and the only way to strength train.

If you’ve developed an affection for the barbell, pre- and post-workout supplements can add to your gains in the gym. Here’s a guide on how pre-workout and protein can improve your performance, physique, and recovery.

Energy Pump for Pumping Iron

At 5 a.m. before sunrise or after a long day at work, hitting the gym can feel like a death sentence. You’ve ditched your morning workout again and all the motivational Instagram posts in the world can’t get you to drive to the gym. If tiredness or fatigue holds you back from working out, introduce a pre-workout supplement to your fitness routine (preferably 30 minutes before your workout).

A pre-workout gives you a boost of energy and extra push in the gym. With the “surge of motivation” and “animalistic intensity” that a pre-workout gives you, you can supercharge a killer training session, rather than mindlessly reach your goal of 30 minutes on a cardio machine. What kind is right for you? Reference this pre-workout guide by that lists ingredients, doses and benefits.

Recommendation: NLA for Her Uplift creates a mentality makeover, rush of energy and focus—available at nlaforher.

Greater Gains, Greater Results

It seems like you’re not truly part of the elite group of gym junkies unless you top off your workout by guzzling protein in a BlenderBottle. Drinking a whey protein shake after heavy lifting or an intense workout does more than add credibility to your gym image. Taken within the 45 minute window after a workout, whey protein refuels and preserves muscles, maximizes muscle recovery, increases lean mass and muscle strength, curbs hunger and can even be a stress-relieving mood booster.

Combining whey protein with creatine, a naturally produced amino acid, can aid in your strength-training program. Taking creatine 30 minutes before AND after your workout supports the anabolic, muscle-building state and then helps prevent muscle breakdown, or catabolism. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a mixture of various isomers of linoleic acid, can also be added to increase metabolic rate, enhance muscle growth, reduce body fat and lower cholesterol, to name just a few benefits.

Recommendation: PEScience Select Protein satisfies taste buds with delicious flavors such as frosted chocolate cupcake, cookies ‘n cream and snickerdoodle—available through BodyBuilding.

Pre-Sleep Nutrition

Eating protein before bed helps build muscle as your body goes into fasting mode while you’re asleep. The reduction of amino acids, which help build and repair muscle tissue, during this period prevents an increase in muscle protein synthesis. You can actually build muscle and strength faster by eating protein prior to overnight sleep.

Casein protein is a slow-digesting protein that promotes protein synthesis for hours throughout the night, which enhances recovery and results. Casein slowly and steadily delivers amino acids all night. Studies show that taking pre-sleep casein protein supplementation can increase strength and benefit hypertrophy, which is the process of muscle growth as a result of strength/resistant training. Along with protein synthesis, strength and hypertrophy, casein protein aids in increased metabolism. In other words, protein consumption has been shown to create a greater level of resting energy expenditure.

When it comes to how much protein to consume before bed, Muscle for Life suggests 30 to 40 grams of high-quality protein, which is enough to maximally promote protein synthesis and optimal muscle growth.

Recommendation: XS Sports Protein Powder includes 2.5 grams of leucine, the amino acid in protein that initiates protein synthesis—available through Amway.