This story is part of our end-of-year series This Year in Gear, rounding up the most notable releases of 2022.
To create and sustain a worthwhile fitness journey, you need to have a proper nutritional plan as well. From keeping your muscles fueled, to maintaining focus and energy, there’s a lot of products that go beyond your basic daily meals (as important as those are, too).
There are a number of nutritional powders, pills and other products that can boost your wellness in a number of ways, and this year saw a great deal of inventive, effective releases within the space. From high-octane pre-workouts, to sustainable meal replacements, gut-boosting dailies and more, here are some of our favorites that made healthy living a little more approachable in 2022.
Natreve Mooless Animal-Free Whey Protein
Whey protein is a foundational supplement, but for those following animal-free diets for health or moral reasons, this pivotal powder has been off-limits for years. That is, until Natreve shook up the supplement industry earlier this year with the launch of Mooless, a first-of-its-kind animal-free whey protein powder that utilizes microflora for the sake of creating tasty, nutritious shakes. The microflora, courtesy of Perfect Day, are given an exact copy of the DNA sequence corresponding to cow's milk protein, allowing for a more sustainable manufacturing process that cuts back on water consumption, greenhouses gas emissions and energy usage.
Momentous Collagen Shot
Prime for on-the-go supplementation, these all-new single-serving packets from Momentous can make taking care of your joints, hair, skin and more a breeze. We like the convenience of the gel pouches, allowing for quick pickup that doesn’t require you to mix a shake or tote around a hefty pill bottle. Plus, the flavor is nice, albeit after you get used to the gel consistency. Each box contains 15 individual packets delivering 10 grams of collagen peptides, which is a respectable dosage, too.
Huge Supplements Wrecked Enraged
The original Wrecked from Huge Supplements is our go-to pre-workout for sparking up our focus and energy before training. Still, though, there are days where you need a little more stimulants in your mix to power through your circuits. Enter Wrecked Enraged, the brand’s high-stim pre-workout boasting 200mg of caffeine per scoop. Available in two tantalizing flavors, this pre-workout also comes in a 40-serving tub, which can be great for stocking up for over a month’s worth of high-octane training.
Every time you stress your body, you cause damage to your cells. And as the wear-and-tear piles on with age, you become less able to fight off new stresses, whether they come from a taxing workout or late night out on the town. This is the exact dilemma Mikra’s CELLF aims to target, using clinically-tested formulas with the goal of preventing cellular breakdown. Single-serving packets make daily supplementation much easier, and the effects can be recognized rather quickly over routine use. If you’re looking for an innovative way to repair your cells for the sake of improved cognitive function, boosted energy, better sleep and more, this is the nutritional add-on for you.
Everlywell Multivitamin Gummy
Adding a multivitamin to your daily routine can help you ensure you’re getting adequate doses of necessary vitamins and minerals. One of the newest additions to this supplement category comes from Everlywell, a brand best known for its at-home test kits covering food allergies, food sensitivity and other nutrition-based inquiries. Each chewable gummy contains hearty doses of key micronutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, biotin, folate and more. Plus, each bottle contains enough doses for a month’s worth of flu-busting goodness.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant Based Protein Powder
Serving as one of our favorite vegan protein powders for muscle-boosting support, this latest product from Optimum Nutrition is a great addition to the brand’s “gold standard” lineup. Per serving, you can expect to take in 24 grams of protein, plus 8.4 milligrams of iron — an often difficult vitamin to acquire through a vegan diet. 150 calories is also a decent meal replacement for those unable to sit down for a more prepared dish. We recommend mixing with oat or almond milk to give each sip an enjoyable nutty taste.
Gatorade has long been a trusted source for keeping our bodies fueled and ready to go for a bevy of physical activities. But earlier this fall, the brand dove a little deeper into that notion with the launch of two Gatorade Gummies. These tasty chewables were formulated with scientists from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute to deliver key vitamins and nutrients, each with their own performance benefits. The cherry-flavored Recovery Gummies feature hearty doses of tart cherry powder and vitamin D to help with post-workout cooldowns, while the citrusy Immune Gummies deliver helpful notes of vitamin C and zinc, ideal for flu season and supporting your body’s defense system.
Athletic Brewing Athletic Lite
Okay, so beer might not be the most health-oriented beverage, but don’t tell that to the innovators over at Athletic Brewing Company. The brand’s lineup of tasty non-alcoholic concoctions has been on our radar for a while, but we were really intrigued with the recent drop of the all-new Athletic Lite. Serving as a great NA alternative to your favorite cheap beer, this brew is intended to be a go-to daily option with clean, crisp flavor notes and just 25 calories. As the trend of reducing alcohol intake continues with each passing year, we’re more than happy to sit back and relax with this tasty sipper for a well-deserved reward post-training.
Price: $14 (6 pack)
Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier+ Probiotic Kombucha
Staying hydrated is a key factor to living a healthy lifestyle, and so is maintaining a proper microbiome. There are many ways you can target your gut health, but why not let a convenient, on-the-go supplement multitask for you? Liquid IV — makers of some of our favorite hydration-boosting powders — can tackle all the above thanks to the brand’s newest lineup of Hydration Multipliers containing probiotic-filled kombucha. These latest packets rely on a synergistic blend of 1 billion colony forming units (CFU) of the trademarked BC30 Probiotic as well as fermented tea vinegar powdered kombucha to deliver tasty beverages that can quench your thirst and boost your gut on the fly.
While kombucha-filled powders can be a great way to supplement your gut health, we understand they’re not for everyone. Yet, there’s still nutritional alternatives out there, like Ritual’s latest innovation — Synbiotic+. These daily capsules require zero refrigeration, which makes storage more convenient, and the probiotic blend contains 11 billion colony forming units from two of the world's most clinically-studied strains of microbe: BB-12 and LGG. Plus, Ritual stands behind its product and outlines each and every ingredient with transparent, detailed information, even down to the supplier and the ingredient's final location of manufacturing.
Verb Caffeinated Snack Bars
Need a quick boost but don’t want to fire up the espresso machine or shake up a pre-workout powder? These new, all-natural, plant-based snack bars from Verb can provide the same amount of caffeine as your normal morning cup of Joe, with the added perks of protein, carbohydrates and a mix of helpful vitamins. Available in a number of mouth-watering flavors, these can be a great alternative to finding energy throughout the day, especially for those wanting a different source from a traditional pot of coffee.
Zoa+ Pre-Workout Energy Drink
With 200mg of natural, clean caffeine from green tea extract and green coffee per can, this canned concoction from the people’s champion can really lay the smackdown to your tired, sluggish state. Our favorite canned pre-workout is also convenient for traveling athletes, as there’s no shaker or tub required to reap the benefits of this tasty beverage. Plus, Zoa+ also delivers B Vitamins, Gingko Biloba, 3,000 mg of performance-lifting L-citrulline and vitamins C and D for a slew of fitness-related benefits. So, whether headed to the gym, the track or the squared circle, consider this concoction for a clean boost of energy and focus.