Best Vitamins and Supplements

For Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, & Health

The supplement business has exploded in recent years. Perhaps because it’s appealing to believe we can just pop a pill and get a desired result… Also, it’s big money for supplement companies.

But that means you have to be careful with your money. Don’t be fooled by magical marketing claims. And if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is!

Instead, think of supplements as an extension of your diet. Filling in the gaps that you can’t fill with your food choices.

With that in mind, my list of recommended supplements looks less like a GNC and more like a Nutrition Label. Because all you actually need are fat, protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals!

Fat Burning

Benefit: Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are fast-digesting fatty acids that provide energy. They can also help the body burn more fat through thermogenesis.

Eat Fat to Burn Fat?

Why I Like This Brand:  Cheaper brands use palm oil which destroys rainforests and endangers orangutangs. But Viva Naturals uses 100% organic coconuts. Save our hairy orange friends!

Benefit: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a healthy fat and potent antioxidant used by millions for its fat loss potential. It occurs naturally in foods but in quantities too small to affect weight.

Why I Like This Brand: This supplement derived from safflower oil so it has the right fatty acid profile. Also, it is the most concentrated I’ve found. Meaning you can take less to get the amount of CLA that studies show can reduce body fat. And that actually saves you money!

How to Use CLA For Fat Loss

Benefit: Guarana is a natural source of caffeine. What’s more, it may work together with CLA to enhance fat loss. So instead of downing scoops of pre-workout, choose a natural stimulant instead. And you’ll get clean energy without the jitters.

Why I Like This Brand: One tablet contains the same amount of caffeine as an 8 oz cup of coffee.

Muscle Gain

Benefit: Protein powder is a convenient way to get more high quality protein in your diet. But there is a lot of junk protein supplements out there. So it’s important to find a quality brand that doesn’t break the bank.

Why I Like This Brand: Whey Isolate from Nutricost is the purest protein powder I’ve found. It contains up to 91% protein by weight. And that means the cost per gram of quality protein is the lowest out there. As an alternative, check out my list of the best tasting protein powders.

Benefit: Convenient fast digesting carbs. When mixed with protein after a workout it increases muscle recovery and growth.

Why I Like This Brand: This low cost, flavorless powder is perfect for mixing with your post-workout protein shake.

vitamins and supplements

Benefit: Creatine has extensive research verifying its benefits for improving athletic performance increasing muscle size. And creatine monohydrate reigns supreme among all the varieties.

7 Things You Should Know Before Taking Creatine

Why I Like This Brand: No frills, fillers, or gimmicks. Just pure creatine monohydrate at a good price.

Benefit: Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the three branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). They play an important role in muscle building. But you might not get enough unless you eat huge slabs of meat. So it’s important to supplement to ensure you have enough for maximum muscle gain.

Why I Like This Brand: Optimum Nutrition makes pretty solid products, and their unflavored BCAA powder is priced right.

Health & Longevity

Benefit: 1 in 3 Americans is deficient in at least one vitamin or mineral. A good multivitamin is like an insurance policy against deficiency.

Why I Like This Brand: I keep coming back to Naturelo because of the quality forms of vitamins in their products. They use the natural sources so you absorb more and pee out less. There’s also one formulated for women.

Benefit: Magnesium is important for muscle contraction and relaxation. So it’s important to get enough for hard training and deep sleep. But it’s not easy to get in your diet.

Why I Like This Brand: Again I like Naturelo because of quality. They use magnesium glycinate from natural sources. Other brands use magnesium oxide which is cheaper but not readily absorbed.

Benefit: Fish oil is the top source of Omega-3s. And the best supplement to reduce inflammation that comes with intense exercise.

Why I Like This Brand: Sports Research uses only wild caught fish which lowers the risk of toxins. In addition, it’s gram for gram one of the most concnetrated fish oil supplements. So you only need 1 or 2 sofgels per day instead of 3.

Benefit: Vitamin D is actually a hormone produced by your body in response to sunlight. It can fight disease, elevate mood, and might even boost testosterone. But if you have darker skin or live in a northern climate then you’re probably deficient. I live in Minnesota so I always include it, but I recommend it for everyone especially in winter months.

Why I Like This Brand: You can probably tell by now I’m a fan of Sports Research. I have no affiliation, just an appreciation of good quality and pricing.

There you have it. The top vitamins and supplements for fat loss, muscle gain, and overall health.

While I’ve categorized these supplements by goal, you can benefit from taking most of these all the time. Personally, I take 8 to 10 of these supplements at any given time.

Of course, consult your physician before starting any new supplement regimen. And don’t stop taking any nutritional supplements prescribed by your doctor (if any of them actually do that).