Get Shredded: The Best Supplements for Muscle Gain and Fat Loss
Want to shed fat and get shredded without sacrificing your precious muscle mass? You can!
The right supplements can help you achieve all your fitness goals, especially when they’re paired with a well-planned diet and exercise program.
Not sure what to take? Listed below are some of the best supplements for muscle gain and fat loss. We’ll also share some bonus tips to help you get strong and get lean at the same time.
Top Supplements for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, supplements won’t do the work for you. However, they can give you an extra edge. Here are a few effective options to include in your daily regimen:
Creatine is a compound naturally produced by the body in small amounts. It provides the muscles, as well as other tissues, with energy.
Supplemental creatine can boost muscle creatine levels by up to 40 percent. This leads to a significant increase in energy and stamina during your training sessions.
If you have adequate energy every time you walk into the gym, you’re going to have an easier time pushing yourself to the limit and squeezing out those last few reps. All of this, in turn, helps you to make progress faster.
Creatine also supports muscle recovery by decreasing the breakdown of muscle proteins. Proper recovery is necessary if you’re trying to build muscle while also losing fat.
Protein powder provides you with the amino acids your body needs to build muscle.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays an important role in supporting fat loss. It’s also known as the most satiating macronutrient.
When you make it a priority to hit your daily protein goal (most experts recommend aiming for around 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight), you’ll find that you are more satisfied, less hungry, and less inclined to give in to cravings. Eating a sufficient amount of protein also ensures that you’re not sacrificing muscle mass while eating in a calorie deficit.
Can you get all the protein you need from whole foods? Sure.
However, for many people, especially busy gym-goers, protein powder provides an easy way to fill in the gaps and ensure you’re eating enough protein each day. With protein powder on hand, there’s no excuse not to take in enough even on days when your schedule is packed.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (or BCAAs for short) are popular supplements among folks who are trying to maximize muscle gain or prevent muscle loss.
There are three BCAAs: Leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids have a unique structure and play critical roles in muscle growth and muscle protein synthesis.
BCAAs are most commonly found in animal proteins like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Many protein powders also contain an effective dose of BCAAs.
If you eat a plant-based diet, you might not get enough BCAAs from your diet alone. Most plant-based protein sources are incomplete, meaning they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids that the body needs to build muscle and function properly. This is where taking a BCAA supplement can come in handy.
Supplementing with BCAAs will help to fill in the amino acid gaps in your diet. It will also help to reduce muscle loss while you’re in a calorie deficit and trying to lose body fat.
L-Carnitine is a popular fat loss supplement that has also been shown to help with muscle retention. If you want to get lean without losing muscle mass, this is an awesome supplement to include in your stack.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid derivative. It supports fat loss by helping to transport fatty acids into the cells, where they’re processed for energy. By increasing your energy supply during workouts, L-Carnitine can help you push yourself harder, which sets you up to see results sooner.
On the muscle gain side, L-Carnitine also increases blood flow to the muscles. This provides more oxygen and nutrients, removes waste more efficiently, and offers a nice post-workout pump. It can help to increase testosterone levels post-workout, too, which allows for more muscle growth and better recovery.
If you’ve ever thought about using steroids to help you gain muscle and lose fat, you may want to consider SARMs instead.
SARMs, short for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, are similar to steroids in that they bind to the androgen receptors and increase muscle growth. However, SARMs are tissue-specific. This means they target the muscles, specifically, without causing as many side effects as steroids (hair loss, acne, poor prostate health, etc.).
SARMs are legal and easy to buy online. They’re available in liquid and powder form at a variety of strengths. Many people who use them see great results, and they don’t deal with any of the lasting side effects that steroids produce.
Peptides are another option that is similar to SARMs.
A peptide is a compound that consists of at least two amino acids. The simplest form would be a dipeptide (two amino acids), followed by a tripeptide (three amino acids), a tetrapeptide (four amino acids), etc.
Peptides don’t stimulate the androgen receptors specifically. However, they do trigger a variety of chemical processes in the production of human growth hormone, which is necessary for muscle growth and proper post-workout recovery.
Peptides generally aren’t considered to be as effective SARMs. They can still be a good supplement to include in your routine to maximize the recovery process, though.
How to Get Shredded While Gaining Muscle
Using the right supplements can help when you’re trying to build muscle and get lean. There are some other steps you can take to reach your goals, though, including these:
Eat Enough Protein
Eating enough protein is key if you want to build muscle and stay satiated while dieting. As we mentioned above, experts recommend that you aim to eat between 0.7 and 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, shoot for 126-180 grams of protein per day.
If you struggle to fit in a sufficient amount of protein each day, protein shakes can help. Many people also find that it’s easier to hit their daily goal if they “front-load” with protein. This means eating a high-protein breakfast so that you knock out a significant portion of protein right away and don’t have to play catch-up later.
If you want to build muscle, you need to strength train. You can pound all the protein you want, but if you’re not also lifting weights and progressively overloading your muscles, you’re not going to see the kinds of results you’re hoping for.
Keep in mind, too, that strength training and building muscle will speed up your metabolism. This, in turn, helps you to burn more calories at rest and during your workouts. It’s much easier to lose fat and get lean when your body is burning calories efficiently.
Proper recovery plays an important role in helping you to gain muscle, lose fat, and achieve any other fitness goals you might have. If you want all of your training and careful dieting to pay off, you need to make sure you’re giving your muscles time to repair themselves after your workouts.
Supplements like creatine, protein, and SARMs can all help with recovery, for sure. However, it’s also crucial that you don’t neglect the basics like good sleep and stress management.
If you fail to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, your body will struggle to produce the hormones and chemicals it needs to facilitate muscle recovery.
The same is true if you’re constantly stressed out and anxious. If your body is in “fight or flight” mode all the time, it can’t carry out the processes needed for muscle growth, such as digesting all the protein you’re consuming.
Cut Calories Gradually
To lose fat, you need to eat in a calorie deficit. This means you eat fewer calories than your body burns. Keep in mind, though, that immediately and dramatically slashing your calories won’t help you on your journey to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
If you cut your calories too low, you might see the number on the scale drop initially. However, there’s also a good chance you’ll lose muscle mass.
If this happens, it will hurt your metabolism and cause you to burn fewer calories at work and at rest. As a result, you’ll be more likely to hit a plateau and need to cut your calories even lower to continue losing weight.
Start Using the Best Supplements for Muscle Gain and Fat Loss
At first, the idea of gaining muscle and losing fat might seem impossible. If you follow these strategies and include the best supplements for muscle and fat loss in your daily routine, though, you will see great results.
Have more supplement questions? Need additional guidance to help you decide which products to include in your stack? Head to the Supplements section of our site today for more helpful articles.