A solid, rigorous exercise plan is the only way to achieve a flawless lean physique, and it generates all those feel-good endorphins. However, a solid dietary regimen accounts for roughly 80% of your results, and what they don’t take into account is the effectiveness of supplements.
If you include these 15 essential nutrients in your diet, you’ll see a boost in lean muscle development, fat reduction, and general health.
Whey Protein (No. 1)
What it is: One of the two proteins found in milk.
What it does is this: The digestibility of whey is its most notable feature, and it quickly breaks down once within the body, transferring its amino acids to muscle tissue. This is advantageous since the lean whole-food proteins we prescribe (eggs, chicken breast, lean steak, fish) digest too slowly to be effective at certain times of the day (first thing in the morning, before and after exercises). Whey, on the other hand, provides more than just protein. It includes peptides (protein fragments) that have been shown to enhance blood flow to muscles, which is especially beneficial before exercises so that muscles absorb more oxygen, nutrients, and hormones when they are needed.
Take 20 grams of whey protein (combined in water) first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before your workout, and another 20 grams after your workout. You may also have a scoop of it as a snack between meals.
What it is: Any of a range of chemicals that help raise nitric oxide levels in the circulation.
What it does: N.O. relaxes the muscles that govern blood vessels, causing them to dilate and enable more blood to flow through them and the muscles. Because blood contains oxygen and nutrients like glucose, fat, and amino acids, getting more of these to your muscles may promote higher energy generation (so you can exercise harder for longer) and faster workout recovery (which implies bigger muscles that can be trained more often). Blood also contains a large amount of water, which is pumped into muscles through the bigger blood vessels, resulting in the muscular pump you feel when you exercise. That pump stretches muscle cell membranes, which may aid you by signaling the cells to expand. Furthermore, NO may lipolysis assistance, which is the release of fat from the body’s fat cells so that it may be burnt for energy.
How to take it: Look for products that contain arginine, citrulline, GPLC (glycine propionyl-L-carnitine), or Pycnogenol as components. 30-60 minutes before your workout, take one dosage of a NO-boosting product.
Caffeine is number three.
What it is: The most widely used stimulant substance on the planet.
What it does: You probably already know it wakes you up and boosts your attention, but it’s also been linked to increased muscular strength, intensity, and fat loss during exercises. It’s very effective when used with green tea extract. Caffeine increases the amount of fat produced from your fat cells. On the other hand, Green tea increases metabolic rate, which is the pace at which the body consumes fat in circulation. Taking these substances together might provide the extra assistance needed to guarantee that the fat generated by caffeine is burnt for energy.
Take 200-400 mg of caffeine two or three times a day, with one dose 30-60 minutes before an exercise.
4. Omega-3 Fish Oil
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two important omega-3 fatty acids (DHA).
What it does: There isn’t much fish oil doesn’t do. It has also been discovered to turn on genes that boost fat burning, which may enhance general health.
Take 2g of fish oil three times every day, with breakfast, lunch, and supper.
5. Protein Casein
It’s the second of milk’s two proteins.
What it does: Even though they come from the same source, whey and casein are opposed. Casein is a slow-digesting protein that supplies a constant supply of amino acids over several hours. This makes it great for particular times of day, such as shortly before bedtime, when your body is going to go for seven to eight hours without eating. In fact, according to one research conducted by the Weider Research Group, participants who consumed casein protein before night built more muscle than those who had casein in the morning. Another study discovered that people who ingested a combination of whey and casein after exercises had better muscle gain than those who only took whey.
Take 20 grams of casein immediately before bedtime. In your post-workout smoothie, combine 10 grams of casein with 10 grams of whey.
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)
What it is: A branching molecular structure made up of three amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, and valine).
What it does: BCAAs have a unique structure that provides them with certain qualities, all of which are beneficial to the body. BCAAs can help you get more out of your exercises since they can be used as fuel by muscle tissue and may even aid in preventing exercise-induced muscle exhaustion. The BCAAs play an important role in the development of new muscle tissue, both as building blocks and as builders. Protein synthesis, the process through which muscle builds, is aided by leucine in particular.
Take 5-10 grams of BCAAs with your pre-workout and post-workout shakes.
Creatine is number seven on the list.
What it entails: A natural amino-acid-like molecule found in muscular tissue.
What it does is this: Creatine’s primary role is to assist muscles in generating quick energy during activity. Supplementing with creatine may help boost the amount of energy available to the body, resulting in enhanced endurance and strength. The chemical also pulls water into muscle cells, causing them to swell and stretch, which can result in growth.
Take 2-5 g of creatine (depending on the type) with pre-and post-workout drinks before and after your exercises.
Beta-Alanine is the eighth amino acid on the list.
What it is: An amino acid that isn’t required for life.
What it does: When beta-alanine and another amino acid, histidine, come together, a lovely molecule called carnosine is formed. Carnosine has been shown to increase muscular mass, strength, and endurance while also aiding fat reduction. It makes sense to supplement with beta-alanine since the quantity of carnosine the body can manufacture is directly proportional to the amount of beta-alanine available.
How to use it: Take 1-3 g of beta-alanine before and after your workout.
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
What it is: An omega-6 fatty acid that also happens to be healthy fat.
What it does: While other omega-6 fats aren’t very healthy, CLA is different, owing to the fact that Americans consume far too much of them. Numerous studies have found that it aids fat reduction while also improving muscle growth and strength. Its primary mechanism appears to assist a metabolic increase. It also appears to encourage fat metabolism during sleeping, preserving muscular tissue.
Take around 2g of CLA three times each day, with breakfast, lunch, and supper.
Calcium (number 10)
What it is: A mineral that is necessary for life.
What it does: While most people are aware that calcium is essential for bone health, did you realize that it is also necessary for muscular contraction? Muscles can’t contract properly if they don’t have enough calcium. This unassuming mineral may also aid fat reduction, according to a study. This might be due to the fact that calcium reduces the amount of dietary fat absorbed by the intestines and inhibits the hormone calcitriol, which is important for fat burning.
Take 500-600 mg of calcium twice a day to get the most out of it.
Vitamin D 11
What it is: Vitamin D, sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin.”
What it does is this: New research is rolling in, with the majority of them confirming Vitamin D’s numerous health advantages. Vitamin D is linked to increased muscular strength by activating genes that improve muscle strength and growth via interacting with receptors on muscle fibers. D may also aid fat reduction, particularly when combined with calcium.
How to take it: Take 2,000 international units of vitamin D twice a day, along with your calcium.
Green Tea Extract No. 12
Green tea’s active components, notably the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate, are what it’s all about.
What it does: EGCG prevents an enzyme from breaking down norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter/hormone related to adrenaline that boosts metabolism and fat burning by maintaining norepinephrine levels high. Green tea extract has also been linked to improved muscle recovery after strenuous exercises and the maintenance of good joint function.
Take 500 mg of EGCG-standardized green tea extract three times the day before meals, with one dosage 30-60 minutes before exercise.
B Complicated 100
It’s a collection of vital vitamins.
What it does is this: Consider this: B gives you a buzz. The B vitamin family plays an important role in assisting your body in obtaining energy from the foods you eat and in delivering oxygen to muscular tissue. Do you feel tired and drained? It’s most likely due to a lack of B vitamins, which is a common affliction among athletes. Riboflavin can assist the body digest and utilizing the protein you’re consuming to ensure you’re growing muscle appropriately, and folic acid is involved in NO generation in the body, in addition to being vital for fetal health.
What to do with it: Look for a B complex 100, which contains at least 100 micrograms of cobalamin (B12), folic acid (B9), and biotin, as well as 100 mg of most B vitamins, including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6) (B7).
Vitamin C (14.)
It’s what it sounds like: a vital vitamin.
What it does: If you have a tickle in your throat, you’ll most likely start mainlining the C. This is beneficial since the vitamin has been linked to improved immune system function. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is also involved in the synthesis of hormones, amino acids, and collagen. On top of that, it kills free radicals that break down nitric oxide, which is produced by exercise and other stresses. Higher NO levels may promote greater muscular endurance, a decrease in exercise-induced exhaustion, and increased support for lean muscle development and strength by sparing NO from free radicals.
Take 1,000 mg twice a day with meals to get the most out of it.
What it is: A combination of important micronutrients at appropriate levels.
What it does is this: A multivitamin/multimineral complex, to put it simply, fills up all the nutritional gaps in your diet. Even while we recommend supplementing with calcium and vitamins B, C, and D individually, you should also take a multivitamin. It may help protect against deficiency in other vitamins and minerals, which can occur as a result of reduced dietary variety or calorie consumption (read: dieting) as well as increased vitamin loss through exercise. Low energy levels and a lack of several of these micronutrients can limit muscle growth, strength increases, and fat reduction.
Taking a multivitamin is a good idea.
What to do with it: Look for a multivitamin that has at least 100 percent of the recommended value of C, D, E, and most B-complex vitamins, as well as zinc, copper, and chromium. Once a day, take it with a meal, such as breakfast.