Supplements make it much easier to get the necessary nutrients to build muscle and lose body fat, and they can give you an advantage and enhance your training when taken the right way, combined with a good diet.
  However, using supplements without a good diet is like using amazing motor oil for your car, but forgetting to put the fuel in.
  Choosing supplements can be an absolute minefield, with so many products, brands and choices being available today that it’s easy to go wrong when making a selection. I’ve narrowed it down to the absolute essentials that I have used with thousands of clients over the years and which are the most scientifically backed in the market.
  The key point to remember when buying supplements is to look at the ingredients and not the brand. There are hundreds of great brands and some not-so-great brands out there, but as long as the product you’re looking for has the ingredients below in the correct dosage, they should work well for you.
  Furthermore, you should always choose your supplements based on your goals and not your gender. If you are a man or a woman looking to lose body fat, the same supplements will support you, but the dosage may be different.


 1. Whey protein

  The numerous benefits of whey protein include increase in muscular strength and size, decrease in body fat and a faster recovery time.
  Muscle protein synthesis is a scientific phrase thrown around a lot, which basically means that this synthesis enables muscle growth and is an important process for increasing muscle size and strength.
  Resistance training alone can increase rates of protein synthesis. However, it also increases rates of protein breakdown. For muscle growth to occur, you need to tip the scale in favour of protein synthesis while trying to minimize the breakdown.
  Consuming whey protein post workout can substantially increase muscle protein synthesis. Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that enters the bloodstream rapidly. This allows it to get to your muscles faster and create a bigger spike in protein synthesis compared to food sources.
  Dosage: The amount you use can vary depending on your body weight and protein requirements, but 25–50g per serving for men and 10–25g per serving for women 30 minutes after exercise is a good starting point.

 2. Creatine

  Creatine is the most scientifically researched supplement on the planet. Without going too much into the science, creatine plays a vital role in cellular energy production, as creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine), by regenerating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in skeletal muscles. ATP is what allows your muscle to contract when you work out.
  One of the main functions of creatine is to pull water underneath the muscle. This works similar to filling a plastic water bottle – if you press down hard, the bottle will bend and crack, whereas if you fill it with water, it becomes much harder to bend and crack it. The presence of creatine in muscles has a similar effect.
  If you have more water underneath the muscle, as creatine allows, your muscle becomes more durable, meaning you can push or pull more weight or do the same weight for more reps, leading to more fibre tears, which in turn can lead to more lean muscle growth.
  There are many forms of creatine, monohydrate, ethylester and tri-malate just to name a few, but they’re all essentially creatine, with or without a different ester attached.
  Dosage: Depending on the form, a good starting point is 3–5g pre- and post-workout for men and 1.5–3g for women.

  3. Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

  The BCAAs are made up of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are essential because the body is unable to produce them from other amino acids, so they must be ingested through food or supplements.
  A large percentage of dietary amino acids are oxidized and wasted even before reaching the circulatory system. The exceptions to this pattern are the BCAAs: over 80% of dietary content of leucine, valine and isoleucine reaches circulation.
  Whey protein is naturally high in BCAAs, but adding another 3–10g depending on your bodyweight before, during or after your workouts can tremendously improve your recovery.
  Dosage: The dose varies depending on your bodyweight and training program, but a good starting point is 5–10g pre- or post-workout for men and 3–5g for women.


  Fat burners can effectively aid fat loss when used properly. You must have heard of fat burner pills that can make fat melt off your body. Unfortunately, they don’t actually work that way. Fat burners are supplements. They’re designed with ingredients that can give you an extra boost to help burn fat. However, they can’t replace a good nutritional strategy.
  Think of fat burners like a scope on a sniper rifle, only in this case you’re trying to shrink fat cells. Diet is the gun, the heavy artillery, and exercise is the firepower. Fat burners may help you aim a bit better and kill fat more efficiently. However, fat burners don’t work to their best effect when they’re used improperly. They’re the figurative ‘icing on the cake’. So, which fat burners should you use?

 1. Caffeine

  Caffeine is a staple ingredient in many popular fat-burning and pre-workout supplements. It primarily helps you lose body fat in two ways:
  By boosting your metabolism: Ingesting caffeine jump-starts the process of lipolysis, which is when your body releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream to be used for energy. In other words, caffeine boosts your metabolism and can help you burn fat.
  By giving you an energy boost: If there’s one thing that everyone knows about coffee and caffeinated drinks or pills is that caffeine is a pretty strong stimulant. It increases alertness and wards off drowsiness temporarily, which means you can perform certain tasks more efficiently for longer on caffeine.
  This applies for physical tasks as well as mental tasks. This means a little shot of caffeine can give you the energy you need to give 100% during your workout. And giving 100% in the gym means you’ll get the results you want more quickly.
  Dosage: If you don’t regularly ingest a lot of caffeine, a couple of hundred milligrams or a strong cup of black coffee will likely produce noticeable effects. You may want to start with 100mg to see how it goes and then up your intake to 200mg. You can then increase the dose by 50mg if you’re still not experiencing any effects. Do be careful not to overdo it as the side effects of a caffeine overdose can range from anxiety and insomnia to death.
  Take 30 minutes before your workout to release free fatty acids to be burnt while you train and to increase physical and mental alertness. However, be aware that caffeine has just over a five-hour half-life so if you take it too late at night, it can negatively affect your sleep. This means that if you consume 200mg of caffeine at 12 midday, 100mg will still be in your system at 5pm.

 2. Green tea extract

  Green tea extract is probably my favourite fat-burning supplement. It has a low-to-moderate dose of caffeine, and it has another ace up its sleeve – polyphenols. These incredible polyphenols are vital for any person trying to get lean.
  In the scientific community, polyphenols are more commonly known as flavanols or catechins.
  The main catechins in green tea are epicatechin, epicatechin—3-gallate, epigallocatechin, and the one with the highest concentration, epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG.
  EGCG at a level of 45% or more (the percentage is on the ingredient list of every green tea extract supplement) has the ability to:
  increase 24-hour energy expenditure, burning more calories throughout the day;
  increase the body’s key fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine, increasing the rate of fatty acid mobilization;
  prolong thermogenesis, increasing core temperature to burn more calories;
  provide powerful antioxidants; and
  support a healthy immune system, stopping you from getting sick.
  Dosage: For both men and women, taking between 500 mg and 1000 mg of green tea extract (with 45% or more ECGC) first thing in the morning or 30 minutes before training will support fatty acid mobilization and increase metabolism for the rest of the day.

 3. L-Carnitine tartrate

  L-carnitine plays an essential role in transporting fat into mitochondria – the furnace of the cell, where it can be burnt for fuel, which basically means it moves fat from the back of the queue to the front to be used as an energy source.
  Without adequate L-carnitine, most dietary fats can’t get into the mitochondria and be burned for fuel. This is one reason why L-carnitine is considered a ‘conditionally essential’ nutrient – your body produces it, but if it doesn’t produce enough, your fat loss can get seriously affected.
  Supplementing with L-carnitine alongside caffeine and green tea extract can dramatically speed up your fat-loss goals without having too much of a ‘negative’ effect on your central nervous system. If you think of your metabolism as a fire, caffeine and green tea extract make the fire burn brighter, and l-carnitine pushes the fat into the fire to be burnt as fuel.
  Dosage: For both men and women, taking between 1000mg and 3000mg of l-carnitine tartrate first thing in the morning or 30 minutes before training can work very effectively.