If you want to know what supplements actually work (and which ones I take), pay close attention to this strictly no B.S. article.

If you want all the help you can get to build muscle and lose fat, this is for you. I’ll also help you save some cash by telling you where to get them cheaply.

 

free-supplement-guideHey, before I get into the full list, did you get my free supplement guide that I brought out recently?

It details the supplements that work, the ones that don’t…and the ones that are dangerous. You can grab it free below. You don’t have to go to your email to click a confirm link; the download link will appear immediately after you enter your email. Enjoy! 🙂

 


NOTE: Please be aware that MuscleHack readers are entitled to 10% off their orders at MyProtein – not just 1 order, but every time you buy (MyProtein is where I get my own supplements).

All you have to do is use the discount code: MUSCLEHACK when checking out. Use these links to go there…

GO TO MYPROTEIN UK/EUROPE      |      GO TO MYPROTEIN USA


I’ll do this in 4 sections:

  1. The biggest, most important supplements
  2. Pre-workout supplements
  3. Micro-supplements
  4. Fat-burners

 

(1) THE BIG ONES

 

whey-proteinWHEY PROTEIN

It’s just protein. While there’s nothing magical about it, and you can get all your protein from food, whey is the highest “bio-available” protein source, and it’s extremely convenient for meeting your daily protein needs (about 1g protein per pound of body weight). It’s also perfect for your post-workout protein fix when the last thing you want to do is eat a couple of chicken fillets.

Where To Get It:  (1) USA – Optimum Nutrition Whey (2) Europe – Impact Whey from MyProtein or  â€śNaked” Whey from The Protein Works (if you want an all-natural whey)

How To Take It: Simply take when needed to hit your daily protein target. Ideally, take 40g in your post-workout shake.

 

CREATINE

CreatineIt works [1] [2] and it’s safe [2]. Forget the hype surrounding other forms of creatine. The real research shows that monohydrate is the far superior form [3] [4].

Where To Get It:   In America, you can get a high-quality, cheap Creatine here. If you’re in Europe, you can get a fantastic (and cheap) Creatine here.

How To Take It: Take 5g in your post-workout shake – just add it to your whey. I do recommend “loading” with creatine first before this maintenance phase (get details on how to load here).

 

L-GLUTAMINE (optional)

Consider glutamine supplementation optional. Many people aren’t fans, citing a lack of research.

However, the more intensely you train, the more glutamine your body needs. Low glutamine levels can lead to muscle loss, and protein synthesis levels (the rate that you build muscle) are proportional to muscle glutamine levels.

If you’ve got the money, go for it. But I would prioritize the other supplements in this article first.

Where To Get It:   (1) USA – Great & Cheap Glutamine. (2) UK/Europe – High Quality & Cheap Glutamine.

How To Take It: Simply put 5g in your post-workout shake along with your whey and creatine, as stated above. So a great post-workout shake to kick-start the anabolic process is 40g whey, 5g creatine, 5g glutamine.

 


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(2) PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS

Want massive energy, drive, and awesome pumps? Ofcourse you do! But you don’t need to pay megabucks for pre-workout formulas that include loads of filler ingredients.

In fact, this formula will last you anywhere between 6 months to a year for a measly $43!! (See this article for more.)

pre-workout-supplementsAs stated in my popular Homemade NO-Xplode Knock-Off article, the 3 active ingredients in these supplements are:

  • L-Arginine AKG
  • Caffeine
  • Beta-Alanine

Nitric Oxide supplements claim to work by increasing blood flow to working muscles and increasing mental and physical energy during your workout.

The Arginine AKG (AAKG) increases nitric oxide production – the whole basis that these pre-workout nitric oxide supplements are marketed on. The blood vessels dilate meaning more blood can reach muscle tissue, giving you bigger PUMPS and providing more nutrients and hormones responsible for muscle growth.

There is solid research regarding the efficacy of Beta-Alanine and it SHOULD play a regular role in your supplementation. This study [5] showed beta alanine supplementers gained an extra 1lb of muscle over 8 weeks as compared to the placebo group.

Lastly, I’ve already stated in a previous post that pre-workout caffeine works.

Where To Get It: USA CHEAP LINKS – Caffeine | AAKG | Beta-Alanine

UK/EUROPE LINKS –Caffeine | AAKG | Beta-Alanine 

How To Take It: Mix 4g of AAKG with 2g of Beta-Alanine in water (or whatever you like) and wash it down with 200mg caffeine 30 minutes before your workout. You’ve got yourself a very POTENT cocktail!

(3) MICRONUTRIENTS

If you want to maximize results, your body needs to be healthy and to be able to recuperate at optimal levels. Most of your micronutrient needs should be met with diet, but lifting creates extra demand on the body. I take all my micronutrients together first thing in the morning.

vitamin-dVITAMIN D

There are a number of  health benefits of supplementing with Vitamin D. But 2 studies, one on mice [6] and one on humans [7], show that it indeed may help accelerate muscle growth. 

Where To Get It: USA – Cheap High Quality Vitamin D. UK/Europe – Vitamin D from MyProtein or shop around for ‘Healthy Origins’ Vitamin D3 (10,000 IU).

How To Take It: If you don’t live in a sunny climate, take 5000 IU (international units) to 10,000 per day.

FISH OIL

Again, there are a number of health benefits associated with fish oil supplementation.

Where To Get It: USA – Cheap Fish Oil. UK/Europe – High Quality Great Value Fish Oil

How To Take It: Take 1 – 3 1g capsules per day

ZMA (or just magnesium)

zma

Optimal magnesium levels can lead to increased strength and shows a show a correlation with protein synthesis levels [8].

Where To Get It: USA – Cheapest US ZMA. UK/Europe – Cheap ZMA

How To Take It: Take up to a max (no more) of 500mg of magnesium per day. For ZMA, it’s usually 1 capsule per day.

GOOD MULTIVITAMIN

Should be fairly self-explanatory. Hacking into our muscle tissue 3-5 times a week places a greater demand on our bodies than for ordinary folk. Make sure you’ve got all bases covered with a high quality multivitamin.

Where To Get It: USA – Animal Pak or Centrum. UK/Europe – Alpha Men Supermultivitamin

How To Take It: See packaging for details.

(4) FAT BURNERS

I just don’t recommend these. They’re complete rubbish and unnecessary. What you really need is the optimal diet and workout for fat loss.

ephedrine-caffeine-stackYes an ephedrine and caffeine stack works, but ephedrine was made illegal as a fat loss supplement a few years ago.

However, clinical research has consistently verified the effectiveness of E/C on fat loss over placebos.

Ephedrine/caffeine doesn’t just speed up your metabolism, it also helps suppress hunger. Furthermore, you’ll still have the energy (physical and mental) to power through your training make gains. As such, it’s no wonder ephedrine used to be an integral part of a bodybuilder’s supplementation when cutting.

Where To Get It: I’ve been told that over-the-counter products like Bronkaid of Primatene contain ephedrine. Apart from that, I don’t know how you’d get a non-fat-loss ephedrine. Century supplements in Canada used to carry it. If you know, please leave some info in the comments section below.

How To Take It:  25 milligrams of ephedrine and 200 milligrams of caffeine to be taken together 3 times daily. In total the daily dose is 75 milligrams of ephedrine and 600 milligrams of caffeine. The caffeine has no real effect on its own, but worked to enhance the effectiveness of the ephedrine. But even 1 dose of 25mg E/200mg C will help with your workouts when cutting down below 10% body fat.

Train With Intensity!

Mark

REFERENCES:

[1] Creatine: a possible stimulus skeletal cardiac muscle hypertrophy. Recent Adv Stud Cardiac Struct Metab. 1975;8:467-81.[2] International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. “Creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.”[3] Kre-alkalyn® supplementation has no beneficial effect on creatine-to-creatinine conversion rates. Tallon MJ and Child R[4] Creatine ethyl ester rapidly degrades to creatinine in stomach acid. Child R, Tallon M: Abstract presented at 4th annual conference of the ISSN 2007.

[5] Effects of β-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. Kern BD, Robinson TL. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jul;25(7):1804-15.

[6] Vitamin D3 stimulates myogenic differentiation by inhibiting cell proliferation and modulating the expression of promyogenic growth factors and myostatin in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.
Garcia LA, King KK, Ferrini MG, Norris KC, Artaza JN. Endocrinology. 2011 Aug;152(8):2976-86. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

[7] Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. Wehr E, Pilz S, Boehm BO, März W, Obermayer-Pietsch B. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 Aug;73(2):243-8. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

[8] Effects of magnesium and zinc deficiencies on growth and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and the heart. British Journal of Nuwition (1991), 66, 493-504

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