The world of supplements can be very confusing and for good reason: there are so many different options out there, figuring out where to start isn’t easy. So if you’re a fitness newbie, you probably have tons of questions on your mind.
Which supplements do I take and when? Which are the best weight loss supplements for women? Do I need to take them all? Which ones do what? Do they have side effects?
I get asked so many questions, so I thought it was about time that I gave you a basic guide to supplements.
Don’t worry—supplements don’t mean you’ll bulk up. Instead, they can actually help you get lean if you use the right ones the right way. Here are a few of my personal favorites you’ll want to incorporate into your daily routine
BEST FITNESS WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS – FOR WOMEN WANTING TO GET LEAN AND TONED
1. WHEY PROTEIN
Most females struggle to reach their required daily protein intake so my first recommendation would be whey protein.
It’s made by separating out whey from dairy milk and, when dried, turns into an easy-to-use powder that you can add into smoothies and shakes easily.
It is one of the best protein powders for protein synthesis because it contains a lot of essential amino acids.
Protein is made of essential amino acids and because these cannot be created by our body, we need to add them through our diet.
And since our muscles are made of protein, it’s hard to build muscle without having enough protein in your diet.
WILL EATING MOR PROTEIN MAKE ME BULKY?
I know that some women avoid eating protein because they think eating protein will make them bulky.
However, this is not true. Eating enough protein won’t make you bulky.
What actually causes your muscles to bulk up is the type of workout that you do, NOT your normal protein intake.
Protein just helps our muscles repair after exercising (workout make our muscles tear and high protein diet helps your muscle repair faster).
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WHY PEOPLE USE WHEY
Whey is an easy-to-digest milk-based protein that helps you build muscle. Remember, you cannot get that lean and toned look if you don’t build muscle.
Also eating more protein will help you regulate your appetite and burn calories faster. Whey protein contains an amino acid which releases certain chemicals (peptides) into your body that help with appetite regulation.
This means that, if you eat enough protein, you are less likely to overeat.
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WHEN TO USE IT
You can take the whey protein before your workout, after your workout, or during the day as a snack.
If you take it before your workout, you’ll have more energy during your training.
If you take protein after your workout, your muscle will start recovering faster.
And if you have trouble getting your required protein intake, you can also have it during the day as a snack.
Though the benefits of whey protein make it one of the most popular supplements to add to your routine, you should always exercise caution when you’re starting out.
If you have a sensitivity to dairy or follow a strict vegan diet, you’ll want to avoid whey protein.
It’s made from milk and that means it might cause you some digestive upset if you’re not careful.
You’ll also want to be wary of the types of whey protein you choose. Some mixes include high-sugar flavouring agents and other ingredients that add calories to the mix. Read the label and make sure you’re comfortable with the ingredients inside.
2. THERMOGENICS (FAT BURNERS)
Thermogenic supplements are more commonly known as fat burners. These supplements are quickly becoming one of the most popular supplements on the market, especially for women looking to slim down quickly.
Most supplement companies create blends of certain fat-burning compounds that often include the following:
- Green tea extract
- Garcinia Cambodia
However, as far as I know, caffeine is the only supplement that actually works on human whne it comes to weight loss and fat burning.
WHY PEOPLE USE THERMOGENICS
The main purpose of thermogenic supplements is to get rid of excess fat in your body. The supplements work by kicking your metabolism into gear to help you burn fat stores without forcing you to dramatically change your workout routine.
Most people use them to jumpstart weight loss, but there’s a right and a wrong way to start taking the supplement.
HOW TO USE IT
Before you start taking thermogenic supplements, you’ll need to make sure you’re choosing high-quality products. Don’t order them from television ads or online retail outlets without researching the company. You need to make sure the supplement is safe for use before you buy it.
Once you find a product you’re confident in, follow the suggested dosage on the label. Don’t take more than recommended because you could end up hurting yourself.
Instead of buying a thermogenic, you can supplement with drinking coffee .
Most women prefer to take thermogenic supplements in the morning before their workout.
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The benefits of thermogenic supplements come down to one main thing: enhanced fat burning and weight loss. Since the supplements help stimulate your metabolism, you’re better able to burn calories and fat stores contributing to your weight gain.
The unfortunate thing about most thermogenic supplements available in stores is that the results aren’t proven to be consistent for everyone that takes them. Some people respond well to fat burners while others see absolutely no change in their weight.
Also, if you exercise in the evenings, drinking coffee before your evening workout might not be the best idea. It could mess up your sleep and make you feel restless and jittery.
4. ACETYL L-CARNITINE AND L-CARNITINE
Acetyl L-carnitine and L-carnitine are amino acid supplements that help your body convert fat to energy. The components of L-carnitine are naturally occurring and acetyl l-carnitine is derived from natural L-carnitine.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE IT
It doesn’t necessarily burn fat the same way that thermogenic supplements do. Instead, it gives your body the tools it needs to turn fat into energy that your body can use to improve the quality of your workouts and mental focus.
If you’re looking to improve your energy levels without resorting to caffeine, these supplements can help you do just that.
HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY
These supplements come in both tablets and powders. For best results, you’ll want to consult your doctor to figure out the right dosage for your needs.
Acetyl L-carnitine and L-carnitine supplements have shown great promise in helping improve memory function, increase energy levels, and even alleviating symptoms of depression.
Keep in mind that most people use it just for energy boosting, so if that’s the only effect you notice, don’t panic.
L-carnitine is surprisingly safe when taken orally either with a tablet or as a powder.
However, some people can experience nausea, headaches, upset stomach, and increased feelings of anxiety. It all depends on the amount you take and the way your body responds to the supplement.
5. BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA)
BCAA’s are L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. These are essential amino acids that will help your body with protein synthesis (i.e. building muscle!).
When you’re trying to lose weight, you actually need to build muscle because the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism gets (i.e. you’re able to burn more calories).
WHY YOU SHOULD USE IT
Most people use branched chain amino acids to help improve muscle growth. Don’t worry—it won’t make you bulk up as long as you’re doing the right types of exercises.
These amino acids also help speed your recovery times after your workouts. They can reduce muscle soreness and fatigue every time you work out.
HOW TO USE IT
Most branched chain amino acid supplements come in powder form. This means you can mix in the right amount to your preferred beverage.
Most people prefer to take it during workouts either in water or a low-calorie electrolyte beverage.
The primary benefits of branched chain amino acids come in the form of workout recoveries and muscle building.
The amino acids act as building blocks for your muscles to grow the way you want them to without getting as fatigued as they would on their own.
There are some downsides to branched chain amino acids and it all comes down to how much you use. If you take more than you really need, you risk nausea, headaches, and intense fatigue.
As long as you take the recommended amount, you should be able to avoid most of the severe side effects.
WHICH SUPPLEMENTS DO YOU REALLY NEED?
Now that you know the most popular fitness supplements most people rely on, let’s figure out which ones you actually need.
If you’re completely new to supplements and don’t want to waste money, stick to the essentials. These are the ones I recommend and use myself:
- Whey protein (or some other protein if you don’t eat dairy)
- Caffeine (if you already drink black coffee, you’re already set)
If you invest in high-quality versions of those supplements, you’ll give your body the perfect building blocks it needs to reach your goals easily.
YOU STILL NEED TO BE ACTIVE
Supplements can be a great addition to your overall wellness routine, but they’re not a substitute for a healthy diet and a dedicated workout routine.
You need to eat a variety of foods, focusing on lean proteins, leafy greens, and unprocessed foods to give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.
You’ll also need to commit to a clear workout routine if you want to stay on track with your weight loss.
Remember, supplements do just that…they supplement your body’s ability to burn fat and tone your muscles. They’ll never be a full replacement for a healthy diet or a good workout regimen.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can my Lean Legs Program and let me guide you through the easiest way to establish good habits that will help you get the weight off and keep it off for good.