In sports and fitness there are too many options and bogus information. I have been spending some time to understand how we can apply this to our diet and if we need to.
The basic idea behind any extra ingested source is to give us better energy during and event or better recovery after. For those of us that do endurance events the main use will be glucose energy from bars, gells, or drinks. This 'instant' boost to a depleting quantity of glucose stored in the muscles from our previous carbohydrate meals. I'm not going to get into fat sources and diets here but we can see that one use is based on carbs.
What about recovery, there is a window of time post training that can be used to restore both carbs and water and protein and we may want to try a protein based shake. We have all seen or used these powders mixed with water, using fruit juice can push the carbs up too much and with skimmed milk is ok but ingests slower, but what is really in this powder? The purest form of protein is whey as in curds and whey but then it is treated to add other elements that 'help' recovery. As a basic guide then if you are not lactose intolerant, whey products are ok but if you are intolerant then look for Isolate meaning that the whey has been heat or cold treated to reduce/remove the lactose.
Personally I like to get into the kitchen and make a second breakfast, that covers all, protein and carbs then I know what is being ingested. The reason I say this is most supplements have less control than normal food products and it also is real food meaning that it's something you can do anywhere you don't have to rely on getting that specific bottle.
One supplement that is going in my diet right now is black garlic. You may not have heard of it or tried it. Basically it is fermented to make it soft and sweet, and this process increases its vitamin E, good for our immune system. It is also claimed to be anti inflammatory and many other things, whether that is true who can really say but I don't think anyone would dispute garlic being beneficial for our health.
So my top-tip is keep it natural and try the black stuff.