Supplement Guide for Endurance & Stamina
When it comes to health and fitness, our efforts are often focused on building strength, hitting our best time, or reaching our goal weight. We don’t often think about increasing endurance and stamina as a main goal of fitness, but in reality, it should be. Our endurance affects our workout performance, which in turn affects the results we see and the way we feel. If we want to reach our true potential, we should focus more on improving our own personal stamina inside and outside the gym.
Now, doing this is easier said than done. There is no magic pill to take, no switch to flip, to immediately improve our endurance. However, there are certainly some things we can do to help. For one, you should combine cardio exercises with your traditional strength training routine. Even if you consider yourself to be primarily a strength athlete, don’t forget to add cardio days! Beyond proper exercise habits, there are certain supplements and health products that can help you increase your endurance. In this guide, we’ll talk about the best supplements for stamina and what they can do for you.
What are Supplements for Endurance and Stamina?
There is a whole class of fitness supplement aimed at increasing stamina and endurance. These effective endurance building supplements achieve their goal in a number of different ways. Some target common nutritional deficiencies, helping to support overall health and improve the body’s natural ability to perform well. Others seek to boost energy levels, allowing for more intense and lengthier workouts. Still others seek to support muscular performance, allowing you to perform better, for longer.
Again, there is no magic pill that will make you a marathon runner overnight, nor is there some magic supplement that will give you epic stamina. However, there are many good supplements for endurance building that can help give you a competitive edge. You’ll definitely still have to put in the work, but the best endurance supplements can help you reach your goals faster.
How Can Supplements Help Build Endurance & Stamina?
Top supplements for stamina can help support your overall health, leading to better physical performance and endurance. They can also target specific aspects of physical performance, such as muscle contraction. Here are some of the ways that good endurance supplements can help improve your stamina:
- Improves energy levels
- Improves endurance
- Increases stamina
- Slows the onset of exhaustion
- Supports proper muscle contraction
- Supports proper nutrition
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps prevent nutritional deficiencies
- Keeps your body running smoothly
- Improves nutrient absorption
- Improves exercise performance
- Helps you reach your fitness goals faster
- Supports overall health
Each supplement works in a different way, and some products even use a blend of different ingredients to produce optimal results. The best supplements for endurance building will not only temporarily improve your ability to perform physically, they’ll also help you naturally increase your body’s ability to perform for long periods of time.
Why Should You Take Supplements to Increase Endurance?
If you’re reading this guide, chances are you already have some desire to try out a good endurance supplement. With that said, there are various reasons that you may want to take these products, some of which you may not have considered before.
Endurance is key to success in fitness training – regardless of which type of physical fitness you prefer, good endurance is key to success. If you like running, being able to push out that extra mile is key to progressing along your goals. If you like weightlifting, being able to knock out that last set is key to building more muscle and hitting your goals.
Good endurance doesn’t come easy – increasing your physical endurance is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort – and this is the case even with the help of strong supplements for stamina. However, every little bit of help is beneficial in reaching your goals, and these supplements can definitely help give you a push in the right direction.
Nutritional deficiencies may cause low endurance – while building great endurance is difficult, sometimes it’s nearly impossible due to certain nutritional deficiencies. For instance, look at iron. Iron deficiency can lead to many health concerns, including fatigue and difficulty with physical performance. These types of deficiencies are also quite common. Luckily, most of these conditions can be remedied by changing your diet, or simply by adding a supplement to your existing diet. Iron supplements rank as one of the best supplements for endurance, simply because a lack of iron in the diet often contributes to difficulty building up your stamina.
Many good endurance supplements can give you extra energy – while the focus of top supplements for endurance is of course to improve your performance at the gym, many of these supplements can also give you a helpful energy boost in general. Having more energy can help you stay productive and efficient, both in your work life, home life, and “gym life”.
Many top stamina supplements are also beneficial for overall health – some of the supplements we recommend for folks looking to increase their physical stamina can also benefit other aspects of your health. This is a win-win, really, as it allows you to increase your endurance and reach your fitness goals, while also improving your general health.
10 Most Effective Supplements to Build Endurance and Raise Stamina
Now that you have some background info on this class of supplements, it’s time to get right into it! Below, we’ll go over the details of the best supplements for building endurance, breaking down each option into an easy-to-understand guide. Enjoy!
What is Iron?
Iron is a common mineral that is found in some foods, in dietary supplements, and in the human body. In our bodies, iron helps transfer oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. It’s also a key component of metabolic health, and helps to support energy levels, proper growth and development, and more. It’s a key component of overall health, however, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in many countries. The symptoms of iron deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, headache, and more.
How Iron Helps Increase Endurance
With an iron deficiency, it can be very difficult to maintain proper endurance levels. Fixing this deficiency can have a huge positive effect on your ability to perform physically. Here are some of the ways iron helps increase endurance:
- Improves physical endurance
- Increases stamina
- Improves energy levels
- Prevents iron deficiency
- Improves metabolism
- Reduces feelings of fatigue and weakness
- Supports healthy development of muscle tissue
- Supports overall health
Iron can be beneficial for many people, however, if you already get a lot from your diet you may not experience much benefit from adding an iron supplement. Good food sources of iron include meat, dairy, and dark leafy greens. If your body is even slightly low on iron, improving those levels can have a profound effect on your physical endurance, which is why we consider iron to be one of the best endurance building supplements.
How to Take Iron
Iron comes in tablet/capsule form, so you’ll just need to follow the instructions found on the product you’re using. In general, it’s best to take iron with a meal to improve absorption. Follow proper iron dosage instructions, and you’ll be good to go!
Iron Side Effects
When taken as directed, iron does not generally cause any serious side effects. When side effects are experienced, they typically include gastrointestinal issues like stomach discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, etc. To reduce these effects, take your iron supplement with food. There may be more serious side effects associated with taking too much iron, so be sure to follow dosage instructions or speak with your doctor if you have concerns.
Go To: Top 10 Iron Supplements
What are Cordyceps
Cordyceps are a type of fungus, and are considered to be a medicinally beneficial species of mushroom. Fascinatingly, this class of fungus only grows in certain mountainous regions, and generally grows on certain types of bugs, including caterpillars. What is actually a parasite for these mountain-dwelling critters can be quite beneficial to humans, in a variety of ways. And while cordyceps have been used for generations in certain traditional medicines, they are just starting to gain popularity in the general public and in Western medicine, largely in thanks to their beneficial anti-aging and performance-boosting characteristics.
How Cordyceps Helps Increase Endurance
Cordyceps have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for ages. Today, they are often used by runners and endurance athletes as a way to boost endurance. Primarily, these positive effects are due to cordyceps’ ability to increase the speed of transfer of oxygen from red blood cells to mitochondria, as well as increasing the amount of oxygen in the lungs. This helps boost athletic performance and extend endurance. Here are some of the benefits of cordyceps:
- Powerful energy booster
- Improves exercise performance
- Enhances physical endurance and stamina
- Speeds up oxygen transfer
- Supports immune health
- Increases oxygen supply to the lungs
- Supports proper respiratory function
- Helps regulate cholesterol levels
- Supports heart health
- Helps detoxify the body
- Anti-aging properties
- Improves overall health
Really, the cordyceps benefits listed here are just a sample of the effects that this new supplement can have. In clinical trials, cordyceps have been found to be particularly effective in boosting exercise performance, but really, their benefits extend far beyond that – from boosting immune health to fighting the effects of aging, this supplement does a whole lot. We look forward to the results of future clinical trials in evaluating the efficacy of cordyceps for various purposes.
How to Take Cordyceps
Cordyceps comes in capsule form, so you’ll want to take it as directed by the manufacturer (or by your doctor). As for the cordyceps dosage, most supplements contain between 500 and 1500mg per serving, and most clinical trials have looked at dosages in the 1,000-3000mg range.
Cordyceps Side Effects
Cordyceps do not typically cause side effects, so long as the supplement is taken as directed. Some people report minor issues like dry mouth, nausea, and diarrhea. With that said, there is a lack of clinical studies that have looked at the long-term health concerns of this supplement, so at this point we do not recommend taking cordyceps for extended periods of time.
Go To: Top 10 Cordyceps Supplements
What is Eleuthero?
Eleuthero, known formally by its scientific name of eleutherococcus senticosus, and more commonly as Siberian Ginseng, is a herb that has been used in traditional medicine for generations. In various cultures, eleuthero has been used to fight and prevent fatigue, and preliminary modern clinical trials have shown promising results in this regard. Eleuthero is an adaptogen compound, which essentially means that it has properties that help to combat the effects of stress on the body.
How Eleuthero Helps Increase Endurance
As an adaptogen, eleuthero can strengthen the body during times of stress, helping to boost athletic performance and endurance. The herb can help increase oxygen uptake, lung capacity, and physical performance, while also helping to reduce post-workout recovery times. Here are some of the benefits of eleuthero:
- Improves stamina
- Increases endurance
- Improves lung capacity
- Increases oxygen uptake
- Reduces the effects of stress on the body
- Reduces post-workout recovery time
- Useful for endurance athletes
- One of the strong supplements for endurance
Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. More modern trials need to be conducted on the herb before definite conclusions can be made, but for now, many trials have shown positive results in regards to the herb’s ability to increase endurance. With that said, some studies have also shown little to no effect from the herb, so clearly, more research is needed.
How to Take Eleuthero
Typically you’ll find eleuthero supplements in the form of root/stem extracts, packaged in capsules. Leaf extracts are also available, but they are less common. Dosages vary, with many products offering 300-1200mg, but more traditional values landing in the 2000-4000mg range.
Eleuthero Side Effects
Side effects of eleuthero are rare, but when they do occur, the most common are drowsiness, anxiety, mood changes, and muscle spasms. Speak with your doctor if you experience any noteworthy side effects.
4.) Energy Gels
What are Energy Gels?
Energy gels are popular fitness products that allow for a quick burst of nutrition mid-workout. They are packaged in small packs that are easy to squeeze into your mouth, making it possible to use them during exercise – whatever exercise that may be. Typically, they contain a blend of carbohydrates, amino acids and other helpful nutrients that help you keep pushing toward your goals. Some gels also contain caffeine. Energy gels are effective stamina boost supplements to use during your workouts.
How Energy Gels Help Increase Endurance
Essentially, energy gels give you extra energy during your exercise sessions, allowing you to push out that extra mile or extra set. They do this mostly by providing energy (in the form of carbohydrates) and by restoring glycogen levels. They are designed to be very easy to take, even if you use them while in the middle of your exercise. Here are some benefits of energy gels:
- Provides extra energy
- Easy to use while exercising
- Digests rapidly
- Restores glycogen levels
- Provides easy-to-digest carbohydrates
- Extends endurance
- Improves physical performance
- Takes effect within 3-10 minutes
- May contain caffeine
- The best stamina boost supplement for immediate use
Energy gels are a good tool to have, particularly for endurance athletes. Some that include bonus ingredients like amino acids are especially useful, but for the purpose of boosting energy levels mid-workout, most energy gels are effective. They are small enough that you can just keep one in your pocket when you head out for a run or bike ride, and convenient enough to use without even stopping your exercise session.
How to Take Energy Gels
Energy gels are designed to be taken mid-workout, as needed. They take anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes to absorb, so keep that in mind in regards to timing your dose. Beyond that, it couldn’t be simpler: just open the package and squeeze the gel into your mouth, and you’re good to go!
Energy Gel Side Effects
Energy gels are essentially food products, and do not typically cause side effects. With that said, there’s always the chance of an allergic reaction or another sort of negative reaction to an included ingredient. Also, some energy gels contain caffeine, and as you likely know caffeine can cause some side effects such as trouble sleeping, jitteriness, etc. Check the label of your energy gel for caffeine – if it does contain it, avoid using the gel at night or in the late afternoon to avoid trouble sleeping at night.
Go To: Top 10 Energy Drinks & Gels
5.) Pre-Workout Supplements
What are Pre-Workout Supplements?
Pre-workout supplements are a class of supplements designed to be taken immediately before your workout. They aim to increase energy levels, focus, and drive, leading to better, longer workouts. Typically they will contain a blend of ingredients, including stimulants such as caffeine, plus amino acids and other performance-boosting ingredients. Pre-workouts are some of the most popular fitness supplements out there, second only to protein powders.
How Pre-Workout Supplements Help Increase Endurance
Pre-workout supplements can help you push your exercise performance to the limit. They can give you more energy, sharpen your focus on the task at hand, reduce the perception of effort, and more. Here are some benefits of pre-workout supplements:
- Increases energy
- Improves focus
- Reduces the perception of effort
- Improves workout performance
- Boosts endurance
- Allows you to exercise harder, for longer
- Provides a variety of helpful ingredients
- A good stamina boost supplement
Pre-workout supplements are effective for a number of reasons, but one of their primary ingredients is often caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to improve athletic performance, and can also help with your endurance levels. Basically, these products can help you get the most out of your workouts, while also reducing the perception of effort. They can make it easier – both physically and mentally – to perform for longer periods of time.
How to Take Pre-Workout Supplements
As the name implies, pre-workout supplements should be taken before working out. They generally take 10-30 minutes to take affect, so ideally you’ll want to take them shortly before you begin your workout. For extended workout periods, some people like to take a half-dose before they begin, and slowly sip on the remaining dose throughout the workout.
Pre-workouts typically come in powdered drink mix form, but capsules are also available. If you’re using powders, you’ll want to mix them thoroughly with water and drink them shortly before you begin exercising. You can also mix them into shakes and other liquids. They are strong supplements for stamina, and are quite effective when used as directed.
Pre-Workout Supplement Side Effects
Pre-workouts can cause some minor side effects, mostly due to the caffeine content. Caffeine can cause jitteriness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, etc. It’s best to avoid using pre-workout supplements in the evening, as the caffeine content can make it difficult to fall asleep. Some pre-workout supplements can also cause a tingling sensation under the skin, which is a normal reaction caused by beta-alanine.
What is L-Carnitine?
L-Carnitine is an amino acid-like compound that is involved in the natural process of energy metabolism and mitochondrial protection. It can be naturally synthesized in the body (through the combination of key amino acids), and it can also be gained via foods and supplements. In supplement form, L-carnitine is often used by athletes and by dieters alike. It’s also a top supplement for endurance, and we’ll explain why below.
How L-Carnitine Helps Increase Endurance
L-carnitine is primarily thought of as a weight loss tool, but it can also be used to boost athletic performance. L-carnitine can reduce fatigue and keep energy metabolism running high, allowing you to exercise for longer periods of time. Here are some key benefits of L-carnitine:
- Helps convert fat into energy
- Supports a healthy metabolism
- Improves endurance
- Stimulates muscle growth
- Good weight loss tool
- Supports the immune system
- An effective supplement for building endurance
L-carnitine is a great supplement for athletes for a variety of reasons. Not only can it help you improve your endurance, but it can also help boost your weight loss efforts, help you gain sharper muscle definition, and more.
How to Take L-Carnitine
L-carnitine is available both in powdered form and in capsules. Neither form is necessarily any better or worse than the other, so it’s mostly up to personal preference. The important thing is to follow the instructions on the product packaging, to ensure that you don’t take too much (this goes for any type of supplement).
One thing that is important to note is that L-carnitine needs to be taken with food. It does not absorb well on an empty stomach, so try to take it around mealtime for best results.
L-Carnitine Side Effects
As long as L-carnitine is taken as directed (and not on an empty stomach), it doesn’t usually cause side effects. Most of the side effects that are sometimes reported are gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, upset stomach, etc.
Go To: Top 10 Carnitine Supplements
What is Eurycoma?
Known formally by the scientific name eurycoma longifolia or by the common name of siberian ginseng (or tongkat ali), eurycoma is a herbal remedy that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Mostly used in Southeast Asia, eurycoma has been hailed as an energy-booster and as a way to reduce the effects of physical stress on the body. In western medicine, it is less studied, but it is gaining popularity as a stamina boost supplement.
How Eurycoma Helps Increase Endurance
Eurycoma helps regulate the natural levels of two important hormones in the body: testosterone and cortisol. Keeping these levels in balance leads to optimal performance, particularly in regards to athletic activities. Here are some of the benefits of eurycoma:
- Regulates cortisol and testosterone levels
- Keeps hormones in balance
- May help to improve energy levels
- Improves athletic endurance
- May help improve libido in males
- An effective endurance building supplement
In the Western world, eurycoma is actually mostly used as a male enhancement herb, mostly because of its positive effects on testosterone levels. However, those same effects that can help improve male libido can also help to improve physical endurance. Eurycoma needs to undergo more clinical trials before we can definitively say that it will improve your endurance, but the initial results are promising.
How to Take Eurycoma
Eurycoma comes in capsule form, usually containing the powdered root or stem of the herb. It’s best taken with food, and dosages are usually in the 200-300mg range. Follow the dosage instructions on the product you choose for best results.
Eurycoma Side Effects
Eurycoma does not usually cause side effects, so long as it’s taken as directed. Some people do experience minor gastrointestinal discomfort. You should take the supplement with food to reduce the risk of side effects.
What is Rhodiola?
Known formally by its latin name of rhodiola rosea, rhodiola is a herb used in traditional Chinese and Scandinavian medicine as a way to improve physical and mental vitality. In modern medicine, some clinical trials have concluded that rhodiola is effective at reducing fatigue in prolonged stressful situations, which includes exercise. Rhodiola is one of the best stamina supplements out there, and it’s quickly gaining popularity.
How Rhodiola Helps Increase Endurance
Rhodiola has been used for generations by Chinese and Scandinavian herbalists as a way to improve vitality. Today, it’s often used by athletes as a way to boost endurance. Rhodiola is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body fight the damaging effects of stress. Here are some benefits of rhodiola:
- Helps prevent fatigue
- Helps reduce the effects of stress
- Improves oxygen delivery
- Adaptogenic properties
- Antioxidant properties
- May improve libido
- Neuroprotective properties
- Reduces the fatigue associated with intense exercise
- A good supplement for building endurance
Rhodiola is an interesting herb. In traditional medicine, it’s been used for thousands of years, but it’s just starting to become popular in Western medicine. We expect this to be one of the herbs that is studied greatly over the next few decades.
How to Take Rhodiola
Rhodiola comes in capsules, so it’s simple to take – just follow the instructions on the product you’re using! Most products include around 500mg per dose, although some evidence suggests that smaller doses can be effective, as well. It’s best to take this supplement with food.
Rhodiola Side Effects
Rhodiola side effects are rare, and generally mild when they do happen. The most common is dry mouth, which can be avoided by increasing fluid intake when you’re using the supplement. Some people have reported dizziness and trouble sleeping, but these effects are rare.
What is L-Arginine?
L-arginine is an amino acid that is used for a wide variety of functions within the body. It helps heal injuries, regulates waste, supports the immune system, and more. It also plays an important role in the production of nitric oxide, which in turn helps increase blood flow and can have a positive effect on exercise performance.
How L-Arginine Helps Increase Endurance
L-arginine serves many purposes in the human body. It’s considered semi-essential, and although the body can produce it on its own, we generally do not have optimal levels of arginine in our system. Supplements can help provide the following L-arginine benefits:
- Allows for longer workouts
- Improves endurance
- Increases nitric oxide production
- Increases blood flow
- Increases human growth hormone production
- Helps improve athletic performance
- Reduces inflammation
- Supports heart health
- Helps with post-workout recovery
- A strong supplement for stamina
L-arginine may also help to support a healthy heart, which also ties in with improved performance. Really, this amino acid serves tons of different roles in the body, so it’s an effective endurance supplement as well as a great overall health-booster.
How to Take L-Arginine
L-arginine typically comes in pill form, although powders are also available. For best results, follow the directions on the product you’re using. L-arginine doesn’t need to be taken with food, but generally supplements do absorb better when taken with a meal.
L-Arginine Side Effects
When taken in recommended amounts and no more, L-arginine generally does not cause side effects. It can interfere with certain preexisting conditions, however. You should speak to your doctor before beginning this supplement if you have low blood pressure, asthma, herpes or cirrhosis.
Go To: Top 10 Arginine Supplements
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a natural compound and antioxidant that is a key component of many superfoods. Some might say that it’s what makes superfoods “super”! Quercetin has been linked to increased longevity, improved heart health, increased endurance, stronger immune health, and more. Possessing strong antioxidant properties, quercetin is also useful for detoxifying the body and helping protect against cell damage.
How Quercetin Helps Increase Endurance
Essentially, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that is found naturally in foods such as kale, red wine, green tea, and others. In supplement form, the compound is isolated and put into capsules for convenience. Here are some of the benefits of quercetin:
- Improves endurance
- May increase longevity
- Potent antioxidant
- Protects cells from damage
- Reduces inflammation
- May help improve athletic performance
- Supports heart health and circulation
- Improves exercise capacity
- Improves skin health
- A good endurance building supplement
Quercetin is found naturally in many foods that are already considered to be very healthy, such as apples, kale, citrus, cranberries, red wine, green tea, and others. Now, some evidence has suggested that one of the key reasons that these foods are so healthy is because of their high quercetin content! By taking it in supplement form, you can get a concentrated dose to receive all the benefits of quercetin, without having to make major changes to your diet.
How to Take Quercetin
Quercetin comes in capsules, and it’s best to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. There is no official recommended daily amount for this compound, but supplements tend to offer around 500mg per dose. It’s possible to experience benefits from taking smaller doses, but again, since the FDA does not have official recommendations for this compound, it’s best to stick to the dosage recommendations listed by the supplement manufacturer.
Quercetin Side Effects
Quercetin is food-derived, and generally does not cause side effects when taken as directed. Do note that there have not been many long-term studies looking at extended use of the compound (more than 3 months), so there’s not much evidence to support a lack of long-term side effects. If taken at high doses, quercetin can cause headaches and tingling skin in some people.
We hope that now, after reading our guide to the best stamina supplements, you feel prepared to make a purchase and take the first step on your path to better physical performance! There are a variety of good supplements for building endurance naturally, and a variety of good stamina boosting supplements – finding the best one for you is just about considering your own individual needs and preferences.
If you’re curious about other types of supplements, we’d also like to encourage you to explore the rest of this site. We have guides on just about every other type of supplement out there. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!