This is me… 5 years ago!  Smiling on the outside while living with pain from injuries that were causing aches and pains in my 38 year old body and making walking unbearable!  Making me gain weight and feeling more and more defeated everyday!!!  I was completely miserable!!!

It took a long time to change this but Beachbody helped and I now swear by both the workouts and the Performance Line because I now don’t live life without either one!!!

How Can I Use Beachbody Performance to Support My Weight Loss Regimen?

One of the many cool aspects of BBP is its adaptability. The five products in the line—Energize, Hydrate, Recover, Recharge, and Creatine—can be put together in different arrangements called “stacks” to suit your needs. Keep in mind that Beachbody recommends specific stacks for our various programs that might differ slightly from the advice I’m giving here. Those recommendations were created to best serve most people doing those programs; what I’m offering in this article are more “sub-suggestions”—specific adaptions that work within the general recommendations to suit your individual goals.

How to Use Energize

The three key ingredients in Energize are caffeine, quercetin, and beta alanine. The fatigue-delaying effects of beta alanine tend to kick in after about a month of use while the energy-increasing benefits of quercetin typically can be felt in one to two weeks. Caffeine, however, has an “acute” effect, meaning that a single dose can give you an exercise-enhancing energy boost—although you probably don’t need a bunch of science to know that.

My advice is to take Energize whenever you work out. It’s a 15 to 30 calorie investment (dose depends on bodyweight) in kicking butt. The entire point of this supplement is to give you energy so that you can work out harder—and if you work out harder, you can burn more calories. Working your muscles and cardiovascular system more intensely can also boost your overall strength and aerobic fitness. And stronger, fitter bodies tend to have faster metabolisms, meaning that you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not working out.

How to Use Hydrate

When you work out, you sweat. When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes. Hydrate is formulated to replenish both as effectively as possible while throwing in a few carbs to facilitate absorption and provide a little bonus blood sugar.

Dehydration can inhibit your performance—and (at the risk of sounding redundant) performance is key to results. In long, intense situations, Hydrate will be more effective than just plain water in offering balanced rehydration. But is it more effective during shorter workouts? If it’s a sub 30-minute, low intensity workout, probably not. If it’s 30 to 60 minutes and higher intensity, it can play a role, but you’re probably okay drinking straight water, unless you are a little dehydrated or find yourself bonking (running out of blood sugar [glucose] and glycogen) in the middle of your workout.

A well-fed person should have enough blood sugar and glycogen (the stored form of glucose) to squeak through 90 minutes of exercise—although probably not at peak performance without additional hydration and, potentially, feeding. If you’re eating a low calorie diet, you might run into fueling issues in even less time. Sipping Hydrate can help.

How to Use Recover

The main goal of Recover is to help your muscles recover faster, so you can get you back to working out again as soon as possible. Your muscles like to repair themselves after you exercise. Scientists call this process the “post-exercise muscle protein synthesis response,” and drinking Recover right after you finish a workout provides the building blocks (amino acids) your muscles need to make the most of it.

Post-workout protein supplements—particularly whey protein—have been an athletic staple for years. Recover starts with whey, but dials things up by including casein and pea protein, which break down slower to extend the release of amino acids and optimize recovery. It also features pomegranate extract to help with exercise-induced muscle soreness and muscle strength recovery. As a result, Recover allows you return to peak power and strength sooner, helping you not only crush your workouts, but also minimize the time between them.

Should you use it if you’re focused on weight loss? I certainly think you should have a tub at-the-ready when you need it. As for taking it after every workout, that really depends. If you’re using it as a delicious, chocolatey (or orangey) reward for completing a workout, then I don’t recommend taking it. Food rewards—the idea that you deserve a decadent treat because you made a good choice—just aren’t a good strategy if you’re struggling to re-invent your relationship with eating. But if you’re using Recover as a tool to facilitate more working out, better recovery, and optimal muscle growth, then great.

Here’s another way to tell if you might benefit from it: You’re sore. If you start a program and wake up the next morning feeling worse for wear, odds are you could use Recover in your corner. But you don’t need to wait for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) to set in before you decide to give it a try. If you pushed your limits in your workout, you very well could experience some level of DOMS, as well as weakness that might limit how hard you can push yourself during your next workout. Recover can help mitigate that issue before it becomes one. I like to tell people that if they have a hard time reaching for the tub and opening it, they’ll most likely benefit from this supplement.

How to Use Recharge

Recharge accomplishes basically the same goals as Recover, but it takes advantage of the overnight muscle-building window instead of the post-workout one. If you’re working out at an elite level or if fat loss is just part of a larger mass-building goal, as might be the case if you’re doing a program like Body Beast, then you’ll want to add Recharge to your stack. However, if you’re focused mostly on weight loss, doing an entry-level program like Country Heat or 21 Day Fix, and already using Recover, you probably don’t need Recharge yet. But don’t worry—once you reach your weight loss goals and start focusing on other ones, like building muscle or enhancing athletic performance, Recharge will quickly become a staple of your stack.

How to Use Creatine

Creatine is one of the few proven ergogenic (performance-enhancing) aids. Studies show that it can delay fatigue, boost muscle growth, and accelerate recovery (both between sets and workouts). While creatine has no negative impact on fat loss, one occasional side effect is temporary water retention—which can be demoralizing when you step on the scale. If that’s going to stress you out, you might want to hold off on taking it until you’ve hit your weight loss goal and want to really focus on increasing muscle mass. Also keep in mind that it takes a while (typically between a week and a month, depending on your daily dose) to build up enough creatine in your system to notice its performance-enhancing effects.

What About the Extra Calories?

As logical as all of this advice sounds, the liquid calories in BBP might still raise a red flag for those trying to lose weight. If you follow the guidelines above, you shouldn’t worry. The targeted nature of these calories means they’ll be used to help you achieve your goal. For example, Recover has 130 calories per serving, but if you’re too beat down from your last workout to exercise properly during your next one (something Recover can help prevent), your caloric burn during that second workout could easily take a 130 (or more) calorie hit.

In Beachbody’s nutrition programs, we recommend you drink BBP in addition to your recommended caloric intake. Don’t be tempted to cheat this and pull proteins out of your meal plan to make room for Recover—especially if you’re on a low calorie plan. Yes, we recommend making Shakeology part of your recommended caloric intake since it can play a more flexible role in your eating plan, but BBP products play such a specific role that we elected to treat them differently.

Also keep in mind that Beachbody nutrition programs are designed for a little caloric wiggle room, which allows for the calories in BBP. Consume them properly and they should help you get even more out of your workouts. And the more you get out of your workouts, the better your results will be. In other words, think of Beachbody Performance as an investment not just in your next workout—but in your overall fitness.

Article courtesy of: Beachbody on Demand