Due to the difficulty of losing weight and gaining muscle, you may wish to use supplements to help you reach your goals. Even if you use such supplements, you will still need to dedicate yourself to proper training techniques and a healthy diet, as both factors are vital when attempting to gain muscle or lose weight. In addition, you should consult a doctor before using supplements of any kind.
BCAA, or branched chain amino acid, pills, contain three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Although all amino acids are involved in building muscle, the BCAAs appear to have distinctive anabolic effects, and may aid in fat loss as well. Nineteen days of BCAA supplementation combined with exercise may improve muscular strength and reduce body fat.
Creatine is naturally found in a variety of meat products, but nutrition research indicates that supplementation of creatine may aid in improving body composition. Creatine is available in pill and powder form, and a study from International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that creatine use significantly increased levels of insulin-like growth factor one, a hormone that helps build muscle.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea has been used in traditional medicine in many cultures for centuries as treatment for a variety of diseases, but scientific evidence for many claims is lacking. However, supplements containing green tea extract may aid in your weight loss goals. Research from the Obesity journal found that 90 days of green tea supplementation reduced body weight and abdominal fat in study participants.
MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, are a distinct type of fatty acid found in coconut oil and several other foods. Although MCTs provide dietary fat, research suggests they may help you lose fat and weight. Research from the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition indicates that medium-chain triglycerides may increase fat burning and improve body composition. The authors of this research note that some studies have indicated exercise performance improvements from MCTs, but that results are inconsistent on that matter.
- "International Journal of Sports Medicine"; Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite; A Mourier et al; January 1997
- "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism"; Effect of creatine supplementation and resistance-exercise training on muscle insulin-like growth factor in young adults; DG Burke et al; August 2008
- "Obesity"; Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition; H Wang et al; April 2010
- "International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition"; Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance; ME Clegg; November 2010