If you are you looking for the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain, the 11 supplements on this list are exactly what you need.
Over the course of my basketball career, I have used a variety of natural supplements to improve my physical conditioning, build lean muscle mass, and lower my body fat percentage.
In my opinion, the 11 best supplements for muscle gain and weight loss are (in no particular order):
- Citrulline Malate
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
- Beta Alanine
- Fish Oil
- Protein Powder
Throughout the article, I will also provide suggestions for each of these products which I have used before or believe to be the best quality, for the best price. Although I do earn affiliate commissions for these items, I only suggest them to you because I believe they are the best options. Feel free to check out my suggestions!
If you are interested in learning more about each of these weight loss and muscle building supplements, keep reading below!
The Best Supplements for Muscle Gain and Weight Loss
Although there are some specific supplements which combine a few of these ingredients, I do suggest buying many of these products separately. That way, you can easily purchase the best supplements for your needs.
Also, there are many dietary supplement providers to choose from, and it is often confusing which are the best or worst to purchase. Check out Health Kart Club to learn more.
However, for each person, it is important to bear in mind that the supplements your body needs or responds to best is also always relative. No one body is the same as any another, and the demands we make on our bodies change regularly over time.
If you decide to use all of these supplements (which I do suggest), I am confident you will see a significance difference in your ability to gain muscle, lose body fat, and develop an aesthetic physique!
Although citrulline malate is one of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain, it is still relatively unknown.
Citrulline malate creates vasodilation, which is when your blood vessels dilate and allow for better blood flow throughout your body. Due to this, citrulline malate increases human growth hormone (HGH) production, increases the flow of nutrients throughout your body, and stimulates better responses from your circulatory system.
Studies have shown that taking citrulline malate before training increases your work capacity and decreases muscle soreness after training.
The best options for using citrulline malate are about 30-minutes before your training sessions, or about 1-hour before you go to sleep.
In my opinion, the best citrulline malate product is:
L-carnitine is generally known only as a weight loss supplement, but it is useful for building muscle as well. In fact, l-carnitine is one of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain.
According to a study published in the journal Current Drug Metabolism,
“L-carnitine transports the chains of fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix, thus allowing the cells to break down fat and get energy from the stored fat reserves.”
Due to this, L-carnitine is useful for both building muscle and losing weight. In fact, it is one supplement which helps you build lean muscle mass and burn body fat nearly at the same time!
L-carnitine also helps your body feel stronger and more energized, which will help you have more successful workouts.
Personally, my favorite l-carnitine product is:
Outside of whey protein powder (which you might be surprised to not see on my list) creatine monohydrate is probably the most widely used of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain.
Creatine monohydrate increases your muscle size and helps you have more energy for training by drawing additional water into your cells and improving your conversion of energy.
According to a study published in the International Sport Med Journal,
“Creatine supplementation may alter skeletal muscle directly, by increased muscle glycogen and phosphocreatine, faster phosphocreatine resynthesis, increased expression of endocrine and growth factor mRNA, or indirectly, through increased training volume.”
Creatine is a relatively easy supplement to use, and most people have excellent results simply taking 5 grams of creatine per day with a source of carbohydrates. Although you can take creatine specifically before or after training, the effect is relatively similar no matter when you take your dosage.
After a course of 6-8-weeks, you will notice the lean muscle mass building and fat loss properties of creatine!
There are many good creatine monohydrate products, but I prefer:
Unlike many other supplements marketed for weight loss and muscle gain, the science behind glutamine is quite simple.
Being the most abundant amino acid in your body, glutamine is produced in your muscles and distributed throughout to your organs and other places in your body which are in need of it by your bloodstream. Glutamine is well-known to boost your immune system, digestive system, and many other essential processes of the body due to its ability to negate physical and mental stresses.
Glutamine supplies your body with the ability to fight back against many various threats, thus making your body stronger overall.
Since nitrogen is essential in the process of repairing wounds and keeping vital organs functioning, glutamine plays an immediate and substantial role in regulating nitrogen supplies so they can successfully work to help your body. In situations where the body needs to use more glutamine than it is capable, muscle wasting may occur as the body will preferentially use glutamine for the most substantial stress in your body.
GLutamine is one of the best supplements for gaining muscle mass and losing weight because it helps with muscle recovery and allowing you to train more frequently than you’d be able to otherwise.
For example, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, when combined with the amino acid alanine,
“Taken together, the results suggest that chronically supplemented Gln protects against exercise-induced hyperammonemia depending on exercise intensity and supplementation duration.”
Furthermore, as stated by a study published in Cell Biochemistry and Function,
“We concluded that supplementation with free L-glutamine and the dipeptide LL-alanyl-LL-glutamine represents an effective source of glutamine, which may attenuate inflammation biomarkers after periods of training and plasma levels of CK and the inflammatory response induced by prolonged exercise.”
There are a lot of glutamine supplements, but none are a better deal than the Bulk Supplements L-Glutamine Powder.
I have used this product for years and always liked the results.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Of all the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain on this list, BCAAs are probably the most traditional muscle building and weight loss supplements.
Branch chain amino acids are essentially just grams of extremely easily digestible amino acids. Unlike complete proteins, these amino acids do not need to go through your stomach to be digested. Instead, they are absorbed directly through the blood stream to your muscles.
You can drink BCAAs before, during, or after your training sessions to help build more lean muscle mass and lower your body fat percentage.
According to a study produced in The Journal of Nutrition,
“BCAA supplementation before and after exercise has beneficial effects for decreasing exercise-induced muscle damage and promoting muscle-protein synthesis; this suggests the possibility that BCAAs are a useful supplement in relation to exercise and sports.”
BCAAs help your body avoid wasting muscle while you are training, so you can build more lean muscle mass overall!
As stated in a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,
“Ingestion of a supplement containing BCAAs while following an 8-week resistance training program resulted in a greater decrease in percent body fat, an increase in lean mass, and 10-RM strength gains on the bench press and squat vs. ingestion of a whey supplement or a sports drink.”
Furthermore, neurotransmitters during workouts signal to the brain that muscles are experiencing fatigue; and BCAA’s slow down the cause of fatigue by slowing the uptake of tryptophan in your brain.
This reaction gives you numerous benefits including energy to do extra workouts and perform better in various physical activities.
According to a research study published in the journal Amino Acids,
“The results indicate that ingestion of BCAA reduces the perceived exertion and mental fatigue during exercise and improves cognitive performance after the exercise. In addition, in some situations ingestion of BCAA might also improve physical performance; during exercise in the heat or in a competitive race when the central component of fatigue is assumed to be more pronounced than in a laboratory experiment.”
Although there are many excellent BCAA products, without a doubt my two favorite products are:
Read More: Best BCAAs for Women
Beta alanine is another muscle mass building and weight loss supplement which helps your body through increasing your workout capacity.
Beta alanine is especially effective because it buffers lactic acid build-up within the body, increasing your ability to do intense anaerobic workouts. Over time, you will develop much more lean muscle mass because you will be able to lift more weight and perform longer workouts.
Studies have shown that taking 3.2 grams of beta alanine per day is the optimal dose, and you should split this dosage up throughout your day.
In my opinion, the best beta-alanine supplement is:
Whether you drink a pre workout drink, coffee, or green tea before your workout, caffeine is one of the best supplements for muscle gain and weight loss.
There are many benefits of caffeine intake, including:
- Improved Focus and Concentration
- Increased Motivation for Training
- Increased Fat Oxidization
- Less Connection with Fatigue Receptors
- Reduced Soreness Following Training Sessions
Taking caffeine before a workout is directly beneficial for increasing your strength and training capacity, as well as your metabolic rate and fat burning.
Honestly, caffeine is one of the most important supplements to use before working out!
Although there are tons of pre workout products which can help you both build muscle and lose weight, my favorite is:
In my opinion, there is no doubt that l tyrosine is one of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain, although it is entirely different than the other supplements on my list.
According to a study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research,
“Tyrosine is used by the body to make the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. Noradrenaline is believed to be in short supply in the brains of people who are depressed. Tyrosine may help athletes avoid overtraining, due to its ability to offset fatigue.”
Since L-tyrosine is a pre-cursor of dopamine, usin an L-tyrosine supplement can:
- Heighten Mental Alertness
- Increase Feelings of Well-Being
- Decrease Feelings of Depression
- Combat Physical and Mental Fatigue
Along with being an amino acid itself, l-tyrosine will also help you build muscle and lose more weight through keeping your body physically and mentally “fresh.”
I believe the most cost-effective L-tyrosine supplement is:
Fish Oil is a substance composed of Essential Polyunsaturated Fatty-Acids, an Omega-3 Fatty Acid.
Although most people consider fish oil as a supplement for joint health, it is also one of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain! Fish oil is excellent for helping you both lose weight and build lean muscle.
According to a study published in Diabetologia,
“DHA/EPA (from fish oil) and rosiglitazone exerted additive effects in prevention of obesity, adipocyte hypertrophy, low-grade adipose tissue inflammation, dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance, while inducing adiponectin, suppressing hepatic lipogenesis and decreasing muscle ceramide concentration. The improvement in glucose tolerance reflected a synergistic stimulatory effect of the combined treatment on muscle glycogen synthesis and its sensitivity to insulin.”
In other words, fish oils helps your body work more effectively through improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin and improving muscle glycogen synthesis. Both of these effects are excellent for your health, and for creating an aesthetic body!
When you are looking for a fish oil supplement to use, the main characteristics to look for are the content of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Also, I highly suggest you choose a product that is specifically labeled “no fish burps” because those are extremely unpleasant!
Amongst numerous other benefits (which I will discuss below), fish oil contains squalene and other sterols which offer health benefits such as antioxidant and cardio-protective actions.
Fish Oil supplements are usually made from mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, halibut, mackerel, cod liver, and whale blubber. Supplements often also include small amounts of Vitamin-E to optimize the conservation of its formula.
Fish oil is also effective in reducing the level of triglycerides (fats that are related to “bad” cholesterol) or blood pressure level. There is scientific evidence that suggests that it is possible to lower these high triglyceride levels with the supplementation of fish oil.
According to one study produced in the Annals of Internal Medicine,
“findings indicate that relatively small amounts of fish oil can have beneficial effects on plasma triglyceride levels in hypertriglyceridemic patients.”
Furthermore, fish oil supplementation also appears to prevent several health issues, such as:
- Heart disease and stroke risk can be reduced by approximately 27% through moderate consumption of fish according to research. However overly-large quantities of fish consumption appear to double the risk of strokes! So make sure you are only eating a controlled-steady diet of fish, but eat enough to obtain its many benefits!
- High blood pressure is effectively regulated with fish oil supplementation, as well as those with mild and moderate forms of hypertension.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Menstrual pains
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD) both can be treated to a certain extent with fish oil supplementation.
- Kidney Problems
- Various Eye Diseases
- High Cholesterol
An important part of fish oil is taking it at the right time. Taking your fish oil supplement at the proper time ensures you get the full benefits out of your omega-3 product. You can learn here the best time to take fish oil.
The most important part of obtaining all of these benefits is that you must find a quality product.
Fish oil, in any form that is not overwhelmingly pure, can have minor yet annoying negative side effects, and will not provide nearly as many benefits as it otherwise would.
I have tried tons of different fish oil supplements, but my all-time favorite is Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Capsules.
One of the issues with different fish oil supplements is that they can cause “fishy burps.” It is an obnoxious issue and one you don’t want to experience.
The Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Capsules don’t cause that- or at least they never have for me!
Outside of the Optimum Nutrition fish oil product, I believe the best fish oil supplement is:
One of the most surprising of the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain on my list is melatonin!
Melatonin is the only true “sleep” supplement on this list, and it helps you lose weight and build muscle by improving your nightly sleep. However, that isn’t the only benefit of melatonin!
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone within the human body, although with years humans are producing less and less of it. Due to this, we have a much more difficult time sleeping well each night, and we are consistently piling up “sleep debt.”
Along with improving your health through improving your nightly sleep and overall sleep cycle, melatonin stimulates growth hormone production which helps with increasing your basal metabolic rate, improving muscle recovery, and stimulating muscle growth.
As stated in a study published in Clinical Endocrinology,
“Our data indicates that oral administration of melatonin to normal human males increases basal GH (growth hormone) release and GH responsiveness to GHRH through the same pathways as pyridostigmine.”
Additionally, according to a study published in the Journal of Pineal Research,
“muscle inflammation and oxidative stress resulting from exhaustive exercise were less severe in the muscles of melatonin‐treated animals than in the muscles of control animals. Thus, melatonin treatment may reverse exercise‐induced skeletal muscle inflammation and stimulate growth factor synthesis.”
For melatonin, it is normally more important to consider the dosage than the brand. Most melatonin products are equally effective (in my opinion), but the dosage is very important.
For most people, 1-3mg of melatonin each night is all that is necessary to make a positive impact. Although melatonin does not cause addiction or severe dependency, you still don’t want to overuse the product. There are many products that contain 5-10mg of melatonin, but I personally don’t ever use that much per night.
In my opinion, the best melatonin supplement is:
Protein helps with building muscles; most people understand that fact.
For bodybuilders or athletes who are regularly training and going to the gym, protein powder is a must to get enough protein in their diet each day. As the name implies, protein powder is protein in powdered form.
The advantage is you can take protein powder nearly anywhere with you (even to the gym), and it is a quick source of fuel for your muscles
Your overall intake of protein depends on your age, weight, and goals, but nearly anyone can use protein powder. Protein powders come in various flavors and forms, and there is a protein powder for nearly everyone!
Whey protein is the most common form of protein powder for gaining muscle and weight loss, and there are four main types of whey protein. They are:
- Whey Protein Concentrates
- Whey Protein Isolates
- Whey Protein Hydrolysates
- Native Whey Protein
Unlike the other types of whey protein, whey protein concentrates have a relatively low (although still significant) level of fat and cholesterol. Furthermore, compared to the other forms of whey protein, whey protein concentrates also have a higher amount of carbohydrates (in the form of lactose), and they are 29%-89% protein “by weight.”
I am slightly lactose intolerant and I can use some whey protein products without an issue, but I have trouble digesting whey protein concentrates.
Contrarily, whey protein isolates are processed to fully remove the fat and lactose. Whey protein isolate products are over 90% protein by weight, but they do have a slightly milky taste or texture.
Whey protein isolate products are generally easier to digest for me, but I still do not use them regularly. For more information and a quality example of a whey protein isolate product, checkout Xwerks Grow Whey Protein Isolate.
Hydrolysates are a type of whey protein which are “pre-digested” and “partially hydrolyzed” for easier metabolizing by your body. However, there cost is generally much higher.
If I am going to use a whey protein product, I will usually use only whey protein hydrolysates. These products cause less stomach discomfort or other similar symptoms for me, which is why they are the only whey protein I can comfortably use.
Lastly, native whey protein is a whey protein which is extracted from skim milk, and not the by-product of cheese production. Native whey protein is produced as both a concentrate and an isolate, but I do not have any experience using these products.
According to a study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition,
“Despite higher-magnitude increases in blood leucine concentrations with native whey, it was not superior to WPC-80 (Whey Protein Concentrate) concerning effect on muscle protein synthesis and phosphorylation of p70S6K during a 5-h post-exercise period.”
This study shows that although native whey protein is a lesser-known product, it is similarly as effective as other options.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can easily choose hemp protein or other vegan protein powders!
The most traditional use of protein powder is after a training session. Drinking protein powder after a workout can help your muscles recover so that they grow larger and strong. According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,
“Isometric knee extension strength was significantly higher following Whey Protein Isolate (WPH) supplementation 3 and 7 days into recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage compared to Carbohydrate (CHO) supplementation. In addition, strong tendencies for higher isokinetic forces (extension and flexion) were observed during the recovery period following WPH supplementation, with knee extension strength being significantly greater after 7 days recovery.”
Another useful way that you can use a protein supplement is to take one serving before a training session. Not only is drinking protein powder before a workout beneficial for improving your lean muscle mass strength and development, studies have shown that it can help you reduce your body fat percentage and develop an aesthetic physique as well!
According to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,
“Timing Protein Supplementation (PRO) before Heavy Resistance Training (HRT) may be a simple and effective strategy to increase energy expenditure by elevating Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) the day after HRT. Increasing REE could facilitate reductions in body fat mass and improve body composition if nutritional intake is stable.”
Aside from these conventional uses, another great time to take a whey protein supplement is during breakfast, or even in replacement of your breakfast. Whey protein is great for morning use because the grams of protein provide long-lasting and efficient energy.
You can mix whey protein with other superfoods such as spinach and kale for a well-rounded breakfast.
Concluding Thoughts – The Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
Although I have tried hundreds of different natural supplements, I know I can always count on these 11 to give me the results I am looking for, which is why i believe they are the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain.
One of the biggest problems with the dietary supplement industry is that many people are scammed by fancy marketing, and they never get to use products which will actually help them.
Choosing to use these 11 muscle growth and weight loss supplements will help you make positive changes to your body, because the research and evidence says they will work!