If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know by now that I take a no BS approach to fitness. There are a lot of supplements out there touting claims from extreme fat loss to extreme muscle gain. No supplement is going to give you these drastic results. I don’t care if they have study after study proving it. As I’ve said before, studies can be used to prove just about anything. If you are going to put your faith in a study’s claim, make sure it wasn’t funded by the supplement company itself. Look for independent studies from reputable sources like pubmed.
All that being said, I do take some supplements myself, and I’m going to show you which ones I do take. But first, I want to explain what a supplement is supposed to be, because over time they have started to be used as a replacement for good nutrition. If you are going to use supplements as a crutch, you will fail. If you use supplements for what they are supposed to be used for – to supplement a good diet, they can greatly complement your fitness program.
The Top 3 Best Supplements to Lose Fat and Build Muscle
|The first supplement on the list is protein powder. I use whey protein once a day immediately after working out in my protein shake. Whey is a fast digesting protein with an outstanding amino acid profile. It will get the muscle rebuilding process started immediately.
I personally drink pure unflavored protein powder, but I realize that’s not ideal for everyone. Over time, try to wean yourself off of the flavored protein powders. As I talked about in The Only 2 Essential Macronutrients, protein and fat (specifically essential fatty acids) are the only two macronutrients that our bodies cannot manufacture, and need to be ingested from our diets. Which leads me into the next supplement on the list.
|Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are the second item on the list. And as the name suggests, they are essential. Too many people lack the proper amount of omega 3s in their diets. You must be eating EFAs if you want to maintain your health, let alone optimize your fat burning potential. I like getting my EFAs from animal products because they contain DHA and EPA. Your body converts the EFAs it gets from plant sources and converts it to the longer chain fatty acids – DHA and EPA. I like to go ahead and skip this conversion process and jump right to the end product, because some people are inefficient at converting ALA into DHA/EPA.
Confused? Don’t be. Just understand that most people are deficient in essential fatty acids, and supplementing is an easy way to get what’s required. I specifically use Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil. I find that it’s the best on the market, and it has a lemon taste. I take 1 tbsp everyday, and then I eat immediately after.
|Last but not least on the list of top supplements are vitamins/minerals. So simple, yet so effective. More than likely your diet is lacking in valuable nutrients. Make sure you are taking your vitamins with meals. Many vitamins are fat soluble and need food in order to be fully assimilated. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored for a period of time, however, water soluble vitamins need to be ingested or supplemented daily because they are not readily stored.
Thanks to commenter Stacey for pointing out that Centrum vitamins actually contain hydrogenated oils and food dyes! I still think a good multi vitamin/mineral is a good idea, but be sure to check the ingredients to make sure there are no added chemicals.
So there you have it, my no BS guide to the top 3 supplements for losing fat and building muscle. These are products I use myself, and I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t think they were valuable additions to your fitness program.
You’ll notice there are no fat burner pills, or special muscle building powders on this list. I don’t believe in these products. Maybe they work, or maybe they don’t, but they are not needed to achieve your results, and many of them can cause more harm than good.
The supplement industry is unregulated in the sense that they don’t need to show proof that there isn’t any harm caused to your body over time. So don’t take any chances, save your money, and stick to the supplements that your body needs, and use proper diet and exercise to achieve your wants.MUST READ: The Definitive Guide for How to Lose Weight
FREE EBOOK: The 10 Forgotten Rules of Weight Loss