Supplements To Build Muscle And Burn Fat At The Same Time

Written by Tihomir Stefanov, M.S.(C), PT

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If you’ve ever been to a gym, you know there’s one thing that everyone can agree on: the pursuit of building lean muscle and burning fat. 

Whether it’s for vanity or simply for health and wellness, everyone has their own goal in mind – but with so many options out there between fad diets and supplements, how do you choose what’s best? 

We can help break it down. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the supplements you should consider if you aim to build muscle and burn fat, and we’ll also answer commonly asked questions, such as:

1. Which supplement is best for muscle gain and fat loss?

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2. Can you take a fat burner and gain muscle?

3. What are the best supplements to build muscle and burn fat? 

Let’s get to it already!

Why Build Muscle?

Are you tired of feeling weak and puny? Are you ready to transform your body into a muscle-bound masterpiece? 

Then it’s time to start building some muscle, my friend! 

Not only will it make you look like a total beefcake, but it will also boost your strength, improve your athletic performance, and even increase your metabolism. 

Plus, think of all the cool stuff you’ll be able to do once you’ve got some extra muscle mass, like lifting heavy objects, performing impressive feats of strength, and flexing in the mirror for hours on end. 

Jokes aside – building muscle is perhaps one of the best decisions you can make for your health, well-being, and… your casual bath-time mirror flex.

But let’s face it – it can be tough, especially if you are a natural athlete.

Muscle Growth Fundamentals

Building muscle can be a difficult goal to achieve, but not an impossible one. 

With the right knowledge, you can make progress on your quest for bigger muscles. 

Knowing the basics of muscle building is essential for success. 

It’s also important to have realistic goals of what you can achieve and not give up when faced with obstacles, as results might take a while to be gained. 

By following these principles over time, you will have the satisfaction of gaining those bulging biceps you have been working so hard for.

Now let’s have a look at what we mean by fundamentals!

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Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is an essential principle that has been used by bodybuilders and athletes alike to help maximize their muscle and strength gains. 

It involves gradually increasing the body’s stress levels to challenge and sort of  “push” the muscles into growth. 

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Whether it’s weightlifting, calisthenics, or HIIT, if performed correctly, progressive overload can be implemented in any form of training. 

All other principles rest upon progressive overload as its fundamental cornerstone – making it a vital and irreplaceable component of any healthy fitness journey.

In traditional weight training, there are a few ways to progressively overload:

1. Gradually increase the weights used

2. Gradually increase the number of sets

3. Gradually increase the number of reps

4. Decrease rest times between sets

5. Slow down your movement pace to create more tension

6. Utilize a greater range of motion

Protein Intake

Protein intake plays an integral role in the process of muscle building. 

When determining the right amount to consume daily, it’s essential to consider one’s weight. 

Generally speaking, for optimal muscle gains, that figure falls within a range somewhere between 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. 

It is important to note that even with this daily measurement, there can be wide variations in results. 

However, this is a good reference mark to aim for when starting any dietary regimen focused on building muscle and strength.

Besides the total amount, you should consider the sources of protein – broadly speaking, the majority of your protein intake should come from animal sources due to the fact animal food has higher quality protein content.

If, however, you are plant-based, you should ensure a variety of different foods, due to the fact that most plants have incomplete protein profiles, and by combining different plants, you can make up for it.

Caloric Surplus

Building muscle requires a strong commitment and dedication, that’s a fact. 

And while protein is truly essential, there is something else that is also important, in the context of nutritional requirements for muscle gains.

Eating in a surplus of calories is a crucial part of the muscle-building process since muscles need to be adequately fed in order to grow. 

A surplus simply implies consuming more calories than you need to maintain your body weight.

Why is it that important? Well, think about it – you want to add extra mass to your body… mass that doesn’t exist.

In order for it to exist, you need to build it out of excess energy.

Can you build muscle without a surplus? Yes, but likely at a suboptimal rate.

What Happens When We Train?

Now, last but not least, let’s have a look at what happens when we take the body close to its limits while training.

This can, perhaps, give us a hint into what the best muscle-building supplements are.

First off, as you learned, working out has many advantages, and an important one is that it strengthens muscles. 

During regular exercise, the muscles are subjected to physical strain, which causes the muscle proteins to break down (called muscle protein breakdown, shortly MPB) and then rebuild stronger (called muscle protein synthesis.)

So here’s the first hint – you need to feed the process of muscle protein synthesis somehow…

Besides MPB & MPS, what the body also does, is it uses the muscles’ creatine reserves to grant energy for muscle contractions.

Yes, you heard that right – creatine is not just a supplement. 

It’s a naturally occurring compound that the body uses during intense activity of our muscles.

That’s for your second hint.

Now let’s talk a bit about fat loss.

Why Burn Fat?

Carrying excess body fat can have severe negative impacts on your health. It can increase your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. 

Losing fat can help to reduce these risks and, improve your overall health, well-being, and make your daily life much easier. 

In addition to the potential health benefits, losing fat can also improve your physical appearance and self-confidence. 

This is why most people strive to lose those extra pounds – it just makes sense.

Fat Loss Fundamentals

When it comes to weight loss, having an individualized approach tailored by a professional dietitian or health coach is certainly the most effective route. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get started without one. 

It’s important to understand the basic principles of fat loss in order to make small but impactful changes that eventually create sustainable results. 

Taking a step-by-step approach and focusing on slow progress over immediate gratification is key to lasting success. 

Let’s see what these fundamentals are, shall we?

Caloric Deficit

Achieving weight loss requires a specific nutritional plan that includes a caloric deficit. 

This means that when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals, consuming fewer calories than you burn is essential. 

Unlike muscle building, which typically involves consuming more calories than you need.

Eating fewer calories is the underlying principle for successful weight loss. 

Overall, reducing your calorie intake and increasing exercise are two of the most reliable and sustainable ways to create this deficit.

But are there supplements that can help along the way? We’ll find out soon enough… keep reading!

Protein Intake

Losing weight is a serious undertaking that requires hard work and dedication. 

It’s not just about cutting calories and exercising more – it’s also important to remember that when we lose weight, we naturally lose muscle mass as well. 

Consuming enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and protect against muscle loss during weight loss. 

To avoid this side effect of dieting, make sure your diet plan emphasizes lean proteins like fish, beef, and chicken, plus other sources like nuts, dairy, eggs, and legumes.

The optimal daily protein intake forms, again, at around 0.8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Resistance Training

Besides consuming sufficient protein, including resistance training during a period of weight loss is one of the best tools to maintain muscle mass and vitality.

By incorporating this type of exercise into your daily routine, you can retain your muscle, and slow down the naturally occurring metabolism slowdown. 

Resistance training during a period of weight loss can be an invaluable tool in achieving overall health goals.

Best Muscle Growth & Fat Loss Supplements

Alright, now, we’ve covered the basics, so let’s summarize in a couple of bullet points, and reveal the conclusions that may tell you exactly what your supplement stack needs to do:

  • Progressive overload is key to gaining muscle – therefore, you need to have a supplement that can boost your performance in the gym.
  • Protein intake is crucial both during muscle-gaining and fat-loss phases – therefore, a supplement that provides quality protein can be useful.
  • A caloric deficit is mandatory for weight loss, but it may bring about the feeling of hunger – therefore, natural, herb-based appetite regulators may be useful, besides sufficient protein intake from food.

Here’s our list of the top 3 supplements to build muscle and burn fat.

Creatine

Creatine is a safe and effective supplement for athletes looking to increase their sports performance. 

It can be useful during both muscle-gaining and fat-loss phases for individuals engaged in strenuous physical activity. 

There is a lot of data to suggest that creatine monohydrate supplementation provides athletic benefits when taken at daily doses of about 5g.

Because of the fact that creatine can optimize training performance, it may be a worthwhile supplement choice for people pursuing increased sports performance, muscular gains, or fat loss.

Protein

Protein supplementation has been long used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to improve their results. 

Properly utilized, protein can be a powerful and effective tool to accelerate recovery as well as build/maintain strength and muscle mass. 

During both the muscle-gaining and fat-loss phases, protein is a valuable supplement that helps with satiety, curbs cravings, and muscle retention. 

While it’s important to maintain a balanced diet for optimal health, adding extra protein from supplementation may provide the ideal micronutrient balance needed to enhance your results during any phase of your fitness journey.

Especially if you mostly eat plants!

Caffeine

The idea of adhering to a caloric deficit to lose weight can be daunting and energy-draining. 

This is where caffeine supplements come in handy. 

Containing natural stimulants, such as green tea extract, guarana, and yerba mate, these supplements provide an extra edge at the gym, increasing alertness and energy levels so that you feel mentally and physically invigorated. 

After all, feeling energized translates into better and more efficient exercise performance. 

Even for those not strictly looking to lose weight, cycling on caffeine supplements provides a healthy source of clarity, sharpness, and improved cognitive focus throughout their day-to-day activities. 

Making this addition to your workout routine could be the spark you need to achieve your desired fitness goals, regardless of whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain muscle mass.

What About Fat Burners?

There are plenty of questions regarding fat burners, such as – Can you take a fat burner and gain muscle? Do you need fat burners to lose weight?
And well, the truth is… quite simple.

For the most part, fat burners are useless, and you’re probably best off without them.

Enough said.

Conclusion

So there you have it! While gaining muscle and losing fat require special attention to your habitual life, there are supplements that can help you along the way.

But which supplement is best for muscle gain and fat loss?

Creatine is a great way to increase performance, making it ideal for gaining muscle.

Nevertheless, it can also be viable during weight loss, as improved performance likely means better muscle retention.

Protein, on the other hand, is a great way to get high-quality protein into your nutrition plan without cooking.

Last but not least, caffeine can give extra focus and a performance edge to individuals who are trying to gain muscle, but it is even better for people on a weight loss journey, where low energy is a daily thing.

What are your favorite supplements to build muscle and burn fat? Comment below!

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