Let's say you're looking to lose a little fat and pack on some muscle. You've already got a healthy diet, a steady cardio routine, and some reliable weight-training workouts, so you head down to the nutrition store to pick up some new supplements—only to be stopped in your tracks by aisles and aisles of unpronounceable tubs filled with who knows what. How's a guy supposed to know where to start?
No worries, dude: Here are six research-backed supplements you should strongly consider on your quest to reach physical perfection.
6. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Do you find yourself experiencing muscle soreness and fatigue, but still not seeing the fat loss results you expect? If so, consider taking BCAAs. Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK recently found that study participants who took BCAAs before and after exercise had a significant reduction in muscle soreness. A Brazilian study took it a step further and revealed that BCAA supplementation helped reduce fatigue and burn more fat in glycogen-depleted participants.
Want to build strength and lean muscle mass? Try creatine. A group of Canadian researchers conducted an eight-week study and found that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I), which is known to produce anabolic effects in adults, increased by more than 20% among participants who supplemented with creatine and performed resistance-training exercises. Just be sure not to take excessive amounts, as various side effects have been reported. According to the European Food Safety Authority, creatine supplementation of three grams per day is a safe amount.