Regardless whether you're using a simple workout plan or a method like Body for Life, if you want to add muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn, while making sure your diet is balanced. Likewise, if your goal is to melt that belly fat and see those abs, you need to burn more calories than you eat – again, while keeping the foods you eat healthy and balanced in fat, carbs and protein.
Keeping that in mind, there are some great products out there that will help you stay on target while providing you with nutrition, recovery, energy and enhanced fat burning. There is a great deal of hype for (and against) the vast majority of supplements – which are worth your money?
Note: There are no magic bullets. These products only help if you also follow a program of exercise and nutrition. Anything (including vitamins) used incorrectly or with pre-existing conditions can cause side effects. Read data, be aware of potential side effects and listen to your body.
Supplements You Want
1. Protein Powder
Use: Because eating eight burgers a day would be bad.
Recommended: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. It's cheaper than most proteins, and it also tastes better (see below).
What it is: It's food. Made from either whey or soy, protein powder comes in various flavors. More expensive proteins include casein, a slower-digesting protein that's ideal to take before bedtime or if you're planning a long gap between meals. Unless you're vegan, use whey protein: it's low in lactose, and soy protein doesn't make the trip to your muscles quite as well. There are brands that cram in multiple substances besides the protein – some of which you'll see in the list of supplements you don't want. Ask for 100% protein.
Tips: You may want to sample a smaller-size container of various brands until you find one that tastes good to you, because 5 lbs. of powder is a lot to get through when you can't stand the flavor. Mix the powder with milk or water, or for more flavor and nutrition, blend it with milk and either a handful of frozen strawberries, or ice, a banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Use: Helps you to lift that little bit more. It may also positively affect mental function.