My Powerful Supplement Stack for Burning Fat, Building Muscle and Boosting Energy

By on February 19, 2018

There are endless numbers of great nutrients and supplements out there that can potentially help to increase energy levels, fat loss, mood, well-being and more. As someone who is into all this stuff, I’m constantly experimenting with different examples of these in various combinations. Every now and then I land on a combo that just seems to work wonders. Whether it’s purely down to the supplements in question, some confounding variable like changes in my training regime, or even just a placebo is often hard to tell. All I know is that when I find that winning stack, I tend to stick with it and not mess with any variables until my goals change, it stops working or something else comes along.

Right now, I am doing a ‘recomposition’. That means I’m doing a lean bulk – trying to add muscle while stripping away fat (which is never easy and some people even claim is impossible). To that end, I’m using a stack designed to help me burn fat deposits while maintaining muscle mass. The great thing is that supplements that burn fat also often improve energy levels and brain function. And make you feel great. Which is what I’ve been finding lately.

Physique update: I believe that this stack helped me grow my arms and pecs while bringing my abs out!

So yeah, this stack has been working pretty darn well. I feel particularly energetic and my abs look the best they have in a long while – despite an increase in calories and muscular development elsewhere. In other words, I’m having a particularly easy time of body recomposition and I can only put it down to the involvement of these supps. I’ve also been super productive, and I’ve had loads of energy in the gym – lately I’ve been raring to go when I arrive, which isn’t usually the case seeing as I train at 7.30am many mornings.

So, who knows if this stack will work the same for you, but it should on paper, and I thought I’d share so you can pick and choose if you like the sounds of anything here. And if you should wish to follow suit, you’ll find that this combo is actually pretty cheap and easy to come by. Which is really important if you actually intend on sticking with a stack for any given time.

So here it is…

My Lean Bulk/Energy Stack

BCAAs

BCAAs are branch chained amino acids. Specifically, they are iso-leucine, leucine and valine. These are amino acids that the body can convert into glucose or use as intermediates in the production of ATP, and as such, they can help provide a buffer against the breakdown of muscle. By helping the body to better use carbs, they might also be effective in helping you to lean out.

And, because BCAAs provide a source of energy, they can also help increase mental alertness and sharpness.

Some people snort at BCAAs as they claim they can get them in their diet. I do believe they’re making a difference for me though when it comes to leaning out in particular.

Inositol

I talked about inositol in my post on Bruce Lee’s diet. I’ve been taking it since then because it seems to really help with my motivation and potentially with weight loss. Inositol can strengthen cell walls and improve the transportation of lipids to prevent the body from storing fat. Bruce Lee was pretty ripped, so I’m inclined to take his advice on this stuff. What I’ve since learned, is that it also increases the density of neurotransmitter receptors (study) – specifically for serotonin and dopamine. This can improve mental focus, mood and even sleep quality. I’ve often talked about the importance of being able to switch between mental states and perhaps this supplement could enforce that. In fact, inositol appears to be connected to the beneficial effects of tDCS (study). Not disproportionately increasing one neurotransmitter; but increasing receptivity to all of them. I take choline+inositol with lecithin for a three-pronged attack.

Creatine

This isn’t particularly exciting or original, but I do believe that creatine belongs in any stack like this. Of course, creatine works by recycling used ATP to provide that tiny bit more energy during sets and reps. That energy also benefits the neurons, and studies have shown that it can actually increase IQ scores as a result. But what’s more is that it also encourages water retention inside the muscle, thereby increasing fullness. Unless you are a ‘creatine non-responder’, you should find that this is a guaranteed way to add a bit of size even with all other things being equal.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Omega 3 fatty acid has a laundry list of benefits from improving cell membrane permeability (thereby improving the communication between cells) to enhancing myelination (improving long-term potentiation and aiding neural plasticity). Omega 3 fatty acid also reduces inflammation, which could reduce brain fog and tiredness. Omega 3 also enhances insulin sensitivity, which in turn can increase energy levels during workouts and aid with fat burning. It also enhances blood flow to the muscles improving performance in the gym along with recovery. For the best results, take a combo of DHA+EPA.

Multivitamin

Finally, I recommend that anyone take a multivitamin. Yes, yes I know that you absorb vitamins and minerals from your diet better and if possible, that’s where you should be getting them.

But most of us fail to meet our requirements daily and using a supplement (if it is well formulated) is a second best. And getting a nutritionally balanced diet makes a big difference. Increasing vitamin C will boost your energy levels, your serotonin (which plays nice with inositol), and your recovery. In fact, I think a lot of people will feel a difference in their overall wellbeing by finding a source with a big helping of vitamin C.

Vitamin D meanwhile is also important. This really works more like a prohormone than a conventional vitamin, meaning it can enhance sleep, improve testosterone levels, aid fat burning and more. And the rest: magnesium, B complex, zinc etc. are all beneficial in a range of different ways too.

Whey Protein

Duh.

Extra Credit

Supplementation is expensive and as much as we might like to, we can’t consistently take every pill that’s supposed to boost energy or help us lose weight. Like I say, it gets expensive and it gets impractical.

But that said, here are a bunch of supplements that you can add to this stack for extra benefit, that I also recommend, or that I’m planning on looking into more in future.

Curcumin

Curcumin is particularly effective for improving insulin sensitivity and comes highly recommended for anyone with diabetes or prediabetes. It is also particularly effective as an anti-inflammatory agent and as a weight loss aid (thanks to its ability to increase beta-oxidation and reduce the storage of fats). There is also some evidence to suggest that it might be effective at lowering cortisol levels.

This is the most recent addition to my stack and I’m only just seeing the impact it can have on my energy levels and body composition. Early signs are promising though.

Lutein

Lutein boosts energy levels and has been shown to increase energy levels in mice, to help them burn fat through activation of the ‘marathon enzyme’. More recent studies also suggest it can boost brain function in infants and improve their performance in school. This appears to translate to adults too!

Cordyceps

Cordyceps sinensis is a mushroom that grows out of the heads of caterpillars in the Himalayas (obvs) and that appears to be effective in improving our ability to use ATP (making it a good one to pair with creatine) and preventing adrenal fatigue. I wrote a whole post on it in fact.

Raw Cacao

Finally, raw cacao could also be perfect to add to this stack. That’s because it contains -epicatechin, which increases blood flow to the brain (by acting as a vasodilator) but also reduces myostatin (via follistatin) to avoid muscle break down. On top of this, raw cacao could also boost the number of satelite cells to enhance hypertrophy.

I just eat dark chocolate. Read more here.

Forskolin

This is in the post and will be the next nootropic/supplement I delve into in detail. I’m interested in its ability to improve thyroid function for greater fat loss/energy production, as well as its possibly very potent ability to improve neuronal signalling AND long-term potentiation (brain plasticity) via cAMP.

Stay tuned!

But for now, try out the basic lean-bulk-energy stack if you’re interested and let me know how it goes for you: BCAAs, inositol, creatine, omega 3, multivitamin.

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About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

3 Comments

  1. Great recommendations!

    Could we get some Amazon links? There’s quite a lot of variance in quality, after all.

  2. Aaron says:

    How do you take these throughout the day? All at once, or at different times?

  3. Louis says:

    great article, sources seem good. However, i am already struggling with finding the appropriate product. From what i understand, the NO2 supplements should contain L-arginine + L-citruline, but most of what im finding is just L-arginine on it’s own. Is mixing both ideal? it’s hard to find details on this online.

    Could you perhaps share the ingredients list of your supplement of choice or something? even just amazon links with a disclaimer would be really helpful.

    thanks

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