Supplements to Build Muscle and Lose Fat (Total 84)

Supplements to Build Muscle and Lose Fat (Total 84)

This monster guide pull out 82 supplements with muscle building and fat loss claims. Most of these supplements fail to prove its claims.

Those supplements are costly and backed by advertisement and popularly known as “magic pills”.

Magic pills will work only in comics, in real world there are no magic pills.

There are supplements that can support muscle growth and improve your workout performance.

Similarly there are supplements that can boost your metabolism (burn more calories), reduce your appetite (reduce binge eating), and increase your satiety (eat less food). These will lead to fat loss / weight loss.

In this supplement guide I have added proven supplements as well as magic pills.

You can filter the supplements based on claims and results.

New Bonus PDF: Get access to a free PDF version of this guide. Includes all 82   supplements, and resources. Click here to download the PDF

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1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) 




DMAA is used as a pre workout supplement to improve the athletic performance. It is also used as a weight loss supplement and as a party pill.

This study shows that DMAA is linked with higher blood pressure. High doses of DMAA may cause cerebral hemorrhage.

This study  shows that supplementation with DMAA cause an increase in glycerol and Free Fatty Acids after exercise. This may be beneficial for fat loss. Further studies are needed to support this.

DMAA is told to be natural as the manufacturers claim to be extracted from geranium oil (plant product). But this study shows that the DMAA found in supplements are synthetic.

There is not enough research on the effects of DMAA on fat loss.

There are not so many studies that shows that the supplement is safe. It is banned in different countries due to serious concerns related to safety.

FDA recommend to avoid those supplements containing DMAA .

Our Take: Don’t take this supplement, until there are ample studies to prove its benefits and safety. 





DNP is an organic compound used as weight loss drug and it works. It will inhibit the ATP production in mitochondria .

It can increase your metabolic rate and thus helps to burn more does this via various mechanisms and in short; it will make your energy production inefficient. This inefficiency will increase your metabolic rate.

This is one of those dangerous supplements you can try for fat loss.

High dosage of DNP has been associated with severe side effects, including death.

Overdose of DNP can cause hyperthermia and death. Death have been reported even in recommended daily dose.

There were 62 reported deaths due to the use of DNP; there were body builders in that list too.

They may be using DNP to lose fat without knowing the side effects.

The UK food standard agency recommends “ do not take any products that contains DNP at any level, as it is not suitable for human consumption.”

Our Tip: Do not take any supplements that contain DNP. 




5 HTP is used for sleep disorders, depression, migraine and as an appetite suppressor.

It increases the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is believed to affect depression, insomnia and sexual behavior.

5-HTP is shown to suppress your appetite. It will make you feel fuller after you eat, this helps you to eat less.

A study on 5-HTP shows that it will cause a 2% reduction on body weight even if you are not following a strict diet, and 3% reduction if you are on a diet.

The study shows that 5- HTP does not reduce your appetite, but it will make you feel satiated after eating.

This will help you to stop binge eating. 5-HTP supplementation may reduce your carbohydrate cravings.

Our Take: 5-HTP can increase your satiety which helps to reduce binge eating, carbohydrate cravings. This helps to reduce your calorie intake and leads to weight loss.

7-Keto DHEA



7- Keto DHEA is a hormone derived from DHEA. It is used as a supplement to boost your metabolism.

When you were dieting and have calorie deficit diet, your metabolism will slow down. This will reduce your calorie expenditure and affects weight loss.

The supplementation with 7-Keto DHEA is shown to increase your metabolism that has been reduced by a calorie defict diet.

This study shows that 7 Keto combined with exercise and diet can reduce body weight and fat more effectively.

Our Take: 7- Keto supplementation can increase your metabolism and leads to weight loss. The magnitude of  weight loss will increase if you combine this with exercise and diet. It is a safe supplement.

Aframomum melegueta



Aframomum melegueta or grains of paradise is a species in ginger family native to west africa.

Aframomum melegueta extract is shown to increase energy expenditure via the activation of brown adipose tissue. These fat tissues burn calories to maintain your body heat.

Aframomum melegueta will be less effective if your body has small number of brown adipose tissue.

This study shows that Aframomum melegueta extract may be used as an effective and safe fat loss supplement.

One study on rat show that it boosts testosterone levels. But there is no proof that it will cause testosterone boosting in humans.

Our take: Aframomum melegueta has been shown to increase energy expenditure and may result in fat loss. But if your body lacks substantial amount of brown adipose tissue; it’s less effective.

Anacyclus pyrethrum 



Anacyclus pyrethrum is a herb which is used as a medicine in ayurveda and is used in tradition medicine to boost fertility and libido.

28 days supplementation of Anacyclus pyrethrum has shown positive result on libido, as it cause an enhancement in penile erection.

The same study also shows that it can boost your testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels(A good indication for testosterone boosting).

But keep in mind that the study was conducted on rats. Anacyclus pyrethrum lacks human studies.

Arachidonic acid [ARA or AA]



ARA is not an essential fatty acid; it can be derived from linoleic acid in your liver. Your body will also get it through food.

Arachidonic acid causes inflammation after training.

ARA will worsen the condition if you have joint inflammation and pain .

This study shows that  supplementing with Arachidonic acid will help you to increase your muscle growth.

It’s essential for the skeletal muscle growth due to its conversion to prostaglandins .(prostaglandins modulate skeletal muscle growth)

You can get it from Egg, chicken, beef, fish etc.

Our take: The study shows the link between muscle growth and ARA. It will be beneficial to your muscle growth. Joint inflammation or injury can worsen with ARA.





Ashwagandha is used in ayurveda to treat various health conditions.

Ashwagandha will reduce your stress, as it is a good adaptogen . It will reduce your cortisol levels in blood.

Power output in both trained and untrained people had been increases by using Ashwagandha.

If you have low testosterone levels  ; taking Ashwagandha can raise your testosterone to normal levels.

The same happens with Luteinizing Hormone, It also boost your Luteinizing Hormone to normal levels (this can boost T levels).

Supplementation with Ashwagandha had shown an cause fat loss .

Our take: Ashwagandha will helps to reduce your stress and cortisol. It can help you to bring back your testosterone to normal levels.





Beta alanine can improve your muscular endurance. It will improve your athletic performance.

Beta alanine in body gets converted to carnosine which can buffer acids. Carnosine stabilize your blood ph which is released when your blood ph goes down.

Beta alanine can increase your performance during high intensity exercise . This will lead to greater stimulation for muscle growth.

Beta alanine can reduce fatigue after workouts.

Supplementing with beta alanine in older people will increase their endurance. Old people will have low levels of carnosine and supplementation will be beneficial for them.

Beta alanine works well when combined with creatine.

Vegetarians have a lower level of carnosine (50% less).They can use Beta alanine to normalize their carnosine levels.

Our take: Beta alanine is beneficial to increase your muscular endurance and helps in improving your performance in High intensity exercise. Older people and vegetarians can use it fill their nutrition gap.

Bitter Orange / Synephrine




Synephrine or P-Synephrine is a protoalkaloid compound extracted from Bitter orange. It is used in fat loss supplements along with caffeine and other compounds.

When ephedra (weight loss supplement) was banned Synephrine took its place as a weight loss supplement.

Taking 50 mg synephrine  has shown to increase the metabolic rate by 65 Kcal.

Synephrine works well with hesperidin and naringin, the combination has shown an increase of 183 kcal in metabolic rate.

The study also shows that combination does not affect your heart rate and blood pressure.

 when Bitter orange extract taken alone or in combination with other for 6- 12 weeks can aid in weight loss due to increased energy expenditure caused by an increase in resting metabolic rate.

There are health risks associated with Synephrine.

There are several cases of heart attack, chest pain and stroke on persons who have taken bitter orange extract .

Out tip: Synephrine/ bitter orange extract can cause weight loss by increasing your calorie burning. This may seem very beneficial, but don’t ignore the health risks associated with this supplement.





Bladderwrack is seaweed that can boost your metabolism.

Bladderwrack is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially iodine.

The presence of iodine can stimulate the thyroid and normalize your thyroid function.

This will boost your metabolism and can help in weight loss. It’s often taken for weight loss.

Note: if the reason for your obesity is thyroid dysfunction and low metabolism; then Bladderwrack may help you to lose weight.

Bladderwrack is anti-inflammatory and useful in rheumatoid arthritis.

Bladderwrack works well in treating thyroid dysfunction.

Avoid the use of bladderwrack if you have hyperthyroidism or cardiac problem.

Our tip: Bladderwrack is a good source of iodine and thus beneficial for underactive thyroid. Consult your doctor before using this, as you can easily overdose iodine and can worsen thyroid problems.

Branched Chain Amino Acids 




BCAA are three amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine among the nine essential amino acids. They compromise 33% of total muscle tissue .

They are stored in your muscles in large quantities and will be helpful while you were exercising.

The three have different roles in muscle growth.

Leucine activates the mTOR pathways and promotes muscle protein synthesis .

BCAA will suppress the proteins that are responsible for muscle protein breakdown.

Isoleucine enables the uptake of glycogen into your muscles. This helps you keep your muscle glycogen stores high.

BCAA when taken as pre workout can help to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.

Your mental and physical performance may improve by taking BCAA.

Our Take: BCAAs can improve your workout performance and helps to reduce fatigue, soreness and muscle protein breakdown. It also activates the muscle protein synthesis via mTOR pathway.

Bulbine natalensis



Bulbine natalensis is used in the management of sexual dysfunction among natives of South Africa .

There are no human studies that prove its role in testosterone boosting and libido.

But there are studies on rats that show that bulbine natalensis boost testosterone production in rats.

It also shows a rise in Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in rats. Both hormones are important in the synthesis of testosterone.

Enhancement in libido is observed in rats.

Our take: Bulbine natalensis is not backed by human studies, so take at your risk. It boosts libido and testosterone in rats.





A cup of coffee can boost your energy and make you active. You may have noticed this many times.

Caffeine is a compound found in coffee that cause these things.

Caffeine can boost your energy levels; it acts directly on your CNS. It increases the firing rate of neurons.

It helps you to improve endurance exercise performance. But it has less effect on exercise that use ATP as energy source (weightlifting)

It may release free fatty acids into blood stream and make your body to use fatty acids as fuel.

Caffeine can reduce your desire for food for a brief time and can increase your thermogenesis ( calorie burning). These two may help you to burn fat and cause weight loss.

Taking a lot of caffeine can increase your heart rate; can cause trouble in sleeping, nausea, depression.

Our Tip: caffeine can boost your energy level and helps to fight fatigue. This helps you to improve exercise performance.





Capsaicin is a compound found in chili, it makes the chili hot.

Capsaicin can reduce your appetite; causing fewer intake of calories.

Capsaicin can increase your thermogenesis. It will stimulate the fat burning process and may inhibit the production of fat.

After weight loss, capsaicin will help you to sustain the fat oxidation during maintenance period.

Capsaicin will increase your energy expenditure immediately following its intake.

When capsaicin is combine with green tea there is a reduction in fat is observed.

Our Tip: capsaicin helps to speed up metabolism, increase energy expenditure, and fat loss. These are proven with human studies.





Casein protein is found in milk and 80% of milk protein is casein.

Casein is also known as slow acting protein, which is digested slowly and best taken before bedtime.

Casein protein can provide a steady supply of amino acids after ingestion. Studies shows this can last for up to seven hours.

Slow acting property makes it a best protein to taken at bedtime. The steady supply of amino acids slows the muscle protein break down and promotes protein synthesis.

This study on casein shows that increase in casein in your diet can cause an increase in energy expenditure, satiety, and protein balance.

Our tip: Due to its slow acting; casein protein is best used at night time.





Citrulline is an amino acid that can improve your exercise performance. Citrulline is converted into arginine in kidneys.

Citrulline can increase your exercise performance and can delay fatigue. It will help you to reduce the muscle soreness following exercise.

If you take Citrulline along with exercise your growth hormone levels may increase .

It can improve your performance in endurance as well as lifting exercise. It helps you to do more reps per sets.

Our tip: Citrulline is an exercise performance booster, helps you to lift more with less fatigue and muscle soreness.




Clenbuterol is used to shred fat; which does its job.

The fat burning effect of Clenbuterol has been proved in many studies .

Clenbuterol helps to increase lean muscle mass.

It decreases the muscle protein breakdown. Which helps to preserve your hard earned muscles.

Food poisoning had been reported  caused by Clenbuterol. This caused from the liver residue of drugs given to animals in order to promote lean muscle mass.

Clenbuterol is currently banned in us and other parts of the world.




Colostrum is milk produced by mammals in late pregnancy.

It is nutrient rich milk which contain more protein and fats than normal milk. It’s produced to provide the new born with essential nutrients and antibodies.

It contains IGF-1(insulin growth factors)  which can easily absorbed by newborn and will be beneficial to their growth.

But study shows that as you mature your digestive system will break down these growth factors and others during digestion .

So for a grown up person like you, taking colostrums will not bring the kind of result you expect.

Colostrum will bring similar result to a whey protein for an adult.

Our Tip: Colostrum is produced for newborn with immature digestive system. As said above they will be similar to whey protein.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)



CLA is a healthy fatty acid that is widely marketed as a fat loss supplement.

CLA has many health benefits too . It is shown to help you in health conditions like asthma, tumors and insulin resistance.

Animal studies had shown that CLA helps you to loss fat and reduce its synthesis.

Human studies shows mixed results, some shows that it will cause fat loss and others shows no effect at all.

Even if it cause a fat loss; the magnitude of results are small .

You can get CLA from beef and dairy products and other sources.

Supplemental form of CLA is prepared from altered vegetable oils. Overdose of CLA can cause accumulation of fat in liver.

Our tip: Try to get CLA from plant and animal sources. It’s not a magic weight loss pill as the supplement manufactures claim.





Creatine helps to supply energy to your cells, by increasing the formation of ATP.

Creatine is produced naturally in your body from glycine and arginine.

Creatine is used by athletes and bodybuilders to improve performance and gain muscle mass.

Five to 20 gram of creatine supplementation is found to be safe. The supplementation had shown to improve performance during exercise in both men and women .

Creatine supplementation will help to increase your strength and power output .

Creatine supplementation helps to increase muscle creatine levels and thus helps to hydrate your muscles. Increase in creatine content also promotes the synthesis of ATP.

It reduces fatigue and promotes resistance to fatigue.

5 gram  , 10 gram  dosages are found safe in young as well as older adults.

Creatine supplementation is often told to cause kidney damage. There are studies that show that it is not related to kidney damage.

This study on a man with one kidney had supplemented creatine for one month had caused nothing. 

Our Tip: Creatine can improve your exercise strength and power, leading to more muscles. It’s a potent supplement for muscle growth.

D-Aspartic Acid



D aspartic acid is an amino acid that is used for boosting testosterone by athletes and bodybuilders.

D aspartic acid will increase the synthesis of Luteinizing hormone and testosterone.

Another study in infertile men showed that it will cause an increase in testosterone and sperm quality.

But this study conducted on 28 days supplementation on D aspartic acid shows that is doesn’t affects testosterone production.

This study Shows that D aspartic acid found in pituitary and testes have an important role in the regulation of Luteinizing hormone and testosterone.

Out Take: D aspartic acid can boost your testosterone and bring it to normal levels; As it has shown positive effect in infertile men.




Ephedrine promotes short term weight loss but its effect in long term use is not clear.

Ephedra will increase your metabolic rate. This study was conducted in obese people.

Increased metabolic rate causes a reduction in body weight , mostly body fat. It can reduce your appetite also.

Ephedra supplements have been banned in many countries due to health risk associated with the use.

Essential Fatty acids




Omega 3 and omega 6 are the two fatty acids that are essential for humans.

Both can’t be synthesized in human body, so you have to get it from your diet for healthy functioning of body.

Omega 3 fatty acids will be converted to EPA and DHA in your body. Omega 6 fatty acid will be converted to Gamma-Linolenic Acid or GLA , Dihomo-Gamma-Linolenic Acid or DGLA , Arachidonic Acid or AA.

The ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is very important. Your normal diet may provide many times the RDA of omega 6 fatty acids and lower omega 3 levels. (the omega 6 and omega 3 ratios are 10:1 instead of 2:1)

This can cause an imbalance between the both. You have to increase your omega 3 intake to recommended 1-2 g/day level to balance this.

Omegas 3’s are good for your heart health.

It has anti inflammatory properties, and promotes your joint health. It reduces the breakdown of cartilage and reduces inflammation in osteoarthritis.

Omega 3 had shown to reduce exercise induced muscle soreness and helps to improve blood flow during exercise.

Our take: It promotes joint health, nerves and heart health. , Try to get it from natural sources Fish is a good source of omega 3 fats

Eurycoma Longifolia 



It’s a flowering plant also known as tongkat ali. It is used traditionally to increase libido and fertility in men.

Research had shown that it can increase fertility in men.

But there is no enough studies supporting its effect on testosterone boosting and athletic performance.

Our Take: Due to lack of enough research in testosterone boosting and exercise performance; I don’t recommend it.

Evodia Rutaecarpa



Evodia is used in Chinese traditional medicine due to its body warming action similar to capsaicin.

This study on rats show that Evodiamine helps to dissipate more heat from body and produces more heat at the same time helps to burn more calories.

This study also shows that it prevent the development of diet induce obesity.

Animal study shows Evodia as a fat burner; but it lacks human studies.

Fadogia agrestis




Fadogia agrestis is sold as a testosterone booster, but it lacks human studies.

Rat studies show some positive effect on libido.

This study shows that Fadogia agrestis cause an increase in Testosterone levels in rats.





Fenugreek is used as a food ingredient in India and it’s also the largest producers.

Fenugreek cause an increase in testosterone but it can reduce your DHT levels.

For anabolic effects DHT is superior to Testosterone. DHT is 2-3 times more anabolic than testosterone. Fenugreek supplementation inhibits the conversion of Testosterone to DHT.

Study shows that fenugreek can boost your libido.

Some studies are backed by the manufactures itself and can’t trust their findings.





Forskolin is an active component derived from the roots of Coleus Forskohlii.

This study shows that a 12 week supplementation can boost testosterone levels and fat loss in obese and overweight men.

Forskolin supplementation reduced the weight gain in overweight women .

Further studies are required to support these.





Fucoxanthin is a compound similar to vitamin A which is found in Brown Seaweed.

Fucoxanthin was found useful in reducing body weight in obese people.

It can improve your liver function and reduce body and liver fat.

It also showed to increase your metabolic rate which greatly depends on supplement dose.

The study has been conducted over a period of 16 weeks. Fucoxanthin will shows best results over long period of time as it have to add up in your fat cells.

Fucoxanthin reduces the growth and proliferation of fat cells.

Recommended dosage is 2.5 to 8 mg Fucoxanthin,

“You can increase your intake of Fucoxanthin by adding wakame and hijiki to soups, stir-fries, and salads. However, it's unlikely that dietary intake of fucoxanthin will produce any significant health effects. What's more; consuming large amounts of seaweed may result in iodine poisoning and interfere with the function of your thyroid gland.” 

Garcinia Cambogia Extract / Hydroxycitric Acid




Garcinia cambogia is used in food preparation in south India. We use it here.

It’s now promoted as a weight loss magic pill.

The weight loss effect of garcinia cambogia is due to hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is extracted from fruit skin.

The studies carried out using garcinia cambogia extracts showed mixed results.

Not so many researches support its weight loss claims.

 Study shows that garcinia cambogia doesn’t helps in weight loss or fat loss.

Study shows that garcinia cambogia extract alone is less effective in producing any weight loss or fat loss.

HCA may reduce your appetite and can increase your satiety, which makes you feel fuller.

This study shows that HCA doesn’t affect your appetite and have no effect on satiety.

Use it as an appetite suppressant which helps you to take fewer calories.

Recommended dose: 500mg taken 30-60 min before meals.





I consume ginger daily through food; it is used in food preparation and ayurvedic medicines in India.

Ginger can  reduce your muscle soreness due to exercise.

Ginger will make you feel fuller and increase the thermic effect of food. Both will help you to lose weight.

Ginger also has anabolic properties. Taking ginger cause an increase in Luteinizing hormone and testosterone levels in infertile men.

Our take: Make ginger tea and drink in the morning, Grate ginger and add to foods.

Panax Ginseng 




Panax ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

It is sold as a libido booster and performance enhancer supplement.

Panax ginseng is shown to increase libido, testosterone and luteinizing hormone and FSH in infertile men. Thus it may help you to normalize your testosterone levels.

It also reduces the conversion of testosterone to DHT (more potent androgen), we have seen similar property in fenugreek.

This study shows it reduces muscle damage after training .

Panax ginseng supplementation has been shown to increase your blood flow.

Our take: Panax ginseng may normalize your testosterone levels. It can increase your blood flow and help you reduce fatigue.





Glucomannan is a water soluble dietary fiber extracted from the roots of elephant yam.

It’s an appetite suppressor and have to be taken before meals.

Glucomannan will absorb water and take up space in your stomach, which helps you to take less food.

It can slow down the emptying of stomach and reduces the absorption of fat.

These three properties can help you in a low calorie diet aiming for weight loss.

Recommended dose: 1gram X 3 times a day (15- 60 mins before meals.) Drink enough water with Glucomannan, as it can absorb 50 times its weight.

Our take: It’s not another magic weight loss pill. Taking Glucomannan before meals can reduce your calorie consumption. It will make you feel fuller and can help you to reduce snacking.

Green Tea / Green Tea Extract




It’s a herbal derivative extracted from Green Tea leves, containing green tea catechins and other phytonutrients.

The major constituent among the catechins is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is about 40%.

Consumption of green tea for 12 weeks (690 mg of catechins) causes reduction in body fat.

The EGCG in green tea can promote the breakdown of fat in fat cells. 

Green tea can boost fat burning while exercising and at rest. This study  shows 17% increase in fat loss with green tea extract.

Green tea can boost your metabolism and helps to burn more calories.

It has 2 times antioxidant properties than vitamin C  which is mainly due to EGCG.




It's sold as a fat burner. It works in the same manner as of Ephedrine.

The supplement lacks any human studies and thus not recommended.





HMB is a metabolite of leucine ( Branched chain amino acid). HMB prevents the muscle protein breakdown during exercise.

Supplementing 3g/d with HMB is shown to reduce the muscle damage due to exercise in athletes.

Unlike leucine HMB does not promote muscle protein synthesis.

HMB is naturally found in your body, Leucine is oxidized to form HMB, But only a small amount is formed by this way. Supplementation is a good option.

HMB is found effective in preventing muscle breakdown in persons with high risk muscle wasting conditions like cancer and AIDs.

Recommended dose: 3g/d of HMB

Hoodia Gordonii 




Hoodia gordonii is a leafless spiny plant which is marketed as an appetite suppressant.

The appetite suppressant property of Hoodia gordonii in humans lacks research support.

This study shows that rats when injected with an active compound in Hoodia gordonii cause them to eat less.

Horny Goat Weed 



Epimedium popularly known as horny goat weed is traditionally used to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction.

Icariin is the active compound responsible for the properties of Horny Goat Weed.

This study shows that icariin will improve erectile function.

The study also shows that it restored the testosterone to normal levels. The study has been conducted on rats.

These properties of horny goat weed lack human studies.





Iodine is an essential mineral required by your body in trace amounts.

Your thyroids can’t function without Iodine.

Deficiency of Iodine can cause hypothyroidism, this may cause fat gain and other problems.

You can get it from iodized table salt, sea foods; fish and sea weeds.

Supplementation is not needed as you will get it from the above sources.




L -carnitine is an amino acid that is found naturally in your body. Your body produces l carnitine.

It helps to transport fatty acids into mitochondria to use it for energy.

L carnitine is useful to reduce fatigue and it helps to improve strength.

L carnitine supplementation reduced the muscle damage caused by exercise. It also reduced the muscle soreness after exercise.

It can reduce your appetite.

Studies on L carnitine shows mixed results. It shows fat burning effect on people with L carnitine deficiency.

The main sources of L carnitine are meat and milk products; hence vegetarians may benefit from supplementation.

Leucic Acid (HICA)



Leucic acid is the end product in Leucine (BCAA) metabolism. DL- alpha hydroxy isocaproic acid or Leucic acid is sold as a muscle building supplement.

This study shows that Leucic acid supplementation cause a small increase in muscle mass and decrease in muscle soreness in athletes.

Further study is required to support its use a supplement.





Leucine is one among the three Branched chain Amino acids and is the most important.

The benefits of Leucine have been already explained in BCAA section.

It can increase your muscle protein synthesis.





Maca is native to Peru and is used to increase fertility.

Maca is shown to increase libido and fertility.

It has no effect on testosterone or exercise performance.

Massularia Acuminata 




Massularia Acuminata had been used by native w.africans to increase libido.

It’s been shown to increase libido in rats  . The study also shows that it boost testosterone along with libido.

While the supplement lacks studies on humans.




Meratrim is combination of two herbs Sphaeranthus indicus and Garcinia mangostana which is sold as a fat burner.

There is one study supporting its effect as a fat burner.  This study shows that 8 week use of meratrim cause fat loss and other health benefits.

Meratrim cannot be seen as a potential fat burner as there are no other studies on humans to support the claim. Even this study had been funded by the manufacturers.





Nitrate is molecule found in vegetables and processed meats. Your body will also produce nitrate.

The nitrate you consume through food get converted to nitrite and absorbed into your body and used in production of NO (nitric oxide).

Nitrate has many exercise and health benefits.

This study shows that  nitrate supplementation caused a decrease in oxygen consumption during exercise.

Nitrate supplementation can improve your exercise performance. Its shows a performance improvement in HIIT.

It increases the anaerobic and aerobic exercise performance in humans.

Nitrates also improve your mitochondrial efficiency.

Beets are a good source of nitrates.

Orlistat (Alli) 




It’s a prescription drug often available under the name as Alli. it’s used as a weight loss aid.

It reduces the absorption of fat from foods in intestine. It acts as a lipase inhibitor.

Lipase is an enzyme which breakdown the fats into absorbable form in your intestine.

When the lipases are blocked by Orlistat; fat absorption will get reduced.

This will help you to reduce your calorie intake.

But the use of Orlistat can reduce the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).

Paederia foetida 



This is a herb used in ayurveda also known as prasarini.

In ayurveda it is used to treat various ailments.

It’s used in supplements as a testosterone booster. It had shown to boost testosterone in rats.

The result shows that the aphrodisiac property of the herb depends on supplement dose.

There is no studies on humans using Paederia foetida had been done.

Punicic Acid



Punicic acid is form of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which is obtained from Pomegranate seed oil  .Punicic acid may help you to get leaner.

12 week supplementation on rats shows that punicic acid group was leaner in a high fat diet.

There are no human studies to support its effect on humans.

Raspberry Ketone



Raspberry Ketone is a molecule found in Raspberries that gave it its aroma.

It is used in foods as a flavoring agent.

Raspberry Ketone is sold as a fat loss supplement. The same you get as supplement is not extracted from raspberry, it is manufactured chemically.

As the natural extraction is costly, and require 90 LBs to get the amount for single dose.

In rat studies the raspberry ketone had shown positive results, isolated fat cells had shown increased lipolysis.

High dosage of Raspberry ketone had shown to cause low fat deposit on a high fat diet.

There are no human studies to support these effects of Raspberry Ketone.

Rhaponticum Carthamoides / Maral Root 



Rhaponticum carthamoides / Maral Root is a source of ecdysteroids. Ecdysteroids are insect steroids and are believed to promote muscle synthesis in humans.

Rat studies have shown that Rhaponticum carthamoides can reduce fat gain and increase muscle protein synthesis.

The muscle protein synthesis was most observed when the muscles are injected with ecdysteroids.

It may bring muscle building and fat loss benefits in humans, but it lack human studies.

Rubus Coreanus



Rubus coreanus is a Korean black berry that had caused a significant increase in testosterone in rat studies.

Rubus coreanus has antioxidant properties. This study  shows that Korean raspberries can cause short term anti oxidant capacity in humans.

This study on Korean men had shown that Rubus Coreanus had no effects on their testosterone levels.

Saw Palmetto



The fruit of saw palmetto is used to make medicine. It is used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate problems.

Saw palmetto is effective in treatment of BPH (enlarged prostrate).

It had not shown any positive results in increasing testosterone.

Schisandra chinensis



Schisandra chinensis is a woody vine native to forests of china and Russia.

Schisandra chinensis is used in traditional medicine to improve performance.

It is shown to increase nitric oxide in humans.





Sesamin is a lignan found in sesame seeds.

It is sold as a fat burning supplement; but that lacks human studies.

Studies on sesamin on rats showed the following.

It is a good antioxidant and it reduces the vitamin E metabolism; this helps to increase the Vitamin E level in body.

This  study shows that it can reduce fat storage in fat cells.




Tetradecylthioacetic acid is a synthetic fatty acid. It is used as a fat burning supplement. Your body cant metabolize TTA for energy.

Tetradecylthioacetic acid increases the fat metabolism in your mitochondria. This can help to control fat gain.

It enables the absorption of free fatty acids and lipoproteins into liver and muscles, which can be used for energy.

The reduction in fatty acids and lipoproteins in blood may cause a decrease in fat gain.

Studies have shown it is well tolerated, but users have reported headache and muscle cramping.

Sodium Bicarbonate




Sodium bi carbonate or baking soda is used as an antacid to treat heart burn.

Sodium bicarbonate when taken before exercise increased the performance of athletes.

Another study shows that baking soda can increase your training volume.

Sodium bicarbonate can increase your metabolism by 9% and this may help you burn fat.

As a supplement take it 60- 90 minute before exercise.

Soy Protein 




Soy protein is extracted from Soybeans. It’s a good source of potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E and full B vitamins.

It provides the 9 essential amino acids with arginine and glutamine in higher amounts.

It’s available in two forms Soy Concentrate and soy isolate.

Soy concentrate with 65% protein and soy isolate with 90% protein.

Soy protein had a bad reputation among male athletes due to the presence of Isoflavones .

Genistein and daidzein are the isoflavones which have properties similar to estrogen which may cause gynacomestia, decreased libido and ED.

Soy or milk drink taken as a post workout can induce hypertrophy and strength gains.

This study shows that protein from milk or soy can promote muscle growth and strength.




Spirulina is brown green algae which is available in tablet and powder form.

Spirulina is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

It contains 57% protein, 24% carbohydrate and 7% fat.

As a rich source of vitamins and minerals, it has many health benefits.

 Study on Spirulina shows that it reduces the skeletal muscle damage.

Spirulina increased the exercise endurance and may help you too.

Another study shows  that Spirulina can increase muscular strength while you exercise.

It’s one of the few super foods that actually worthy of that term!

Stinging Nettle



Stinging nettle and saw palmetto are used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Its effect as a testosterone booster lacks human research. This study shows that it have no effect on testosterone levels on humans.

This study shows that the lignans found in nettle root can bind to SHBG (regulates testosterone by binding with it) and thus increasing free Testosterone. Thus it may be beneficial in increasing free testosterone. There are no human researches that support this.





T3 or Triiodothyronine is one among the two important thyroid hormones. It controls your metabolism, body temperature, heart rate and other process.

It can help you burn more calories if its levels were increased.

T3 supplementation on a calorie deficit diet shows a constant weight loss. While the placebo group shows a diminishing result.

T3 will increase your Resting Energy Expenditure  ; you will burn more calories while you were resting.

This may cause weight loss, as you were burning more calories. Take T3 supplement under medical guidance

Tribulus Terrestris



Tribulus terrestris is traditionally used in ayurveda to enhance libido. It’s also sold and believed as a potential testosterone booster.

But the affect of Tribulus as a testosterone booster lacks research support.

Tribulus terrestris doesn’t increase strength or muscle gain.

This study on weight trained men had shown no increase in strength and performance.

It found useful among those that have problems with erectile functions. Supplementing with Tribulus will help them to improve their erectile function.

Trimethylglycine (TMG) 



Trimethylglycine is a betaine, which is discovered from beets. Your body synthesize Trimethylglycine from choline.

Quinoa, beets, spinach, wheat bran are good sources of betaine (TMG)

Its acts similar to creatine, it regulates osmotic pressure in your cells

This study shows that Trimethylglycine can increase your workout volume and number of reps performed.

Trimethylglycine is good for your cardiovascular system. It helps to reduce the levels of homocystine levels in blood.

TMG or Betaine will increases your muscle strength and power. It also increases your muscle protein synthesis.




Vanadyl sulphate is derived from vanadium which is believed to increase exercise performance.

Vanadyl sulphate increases the muscle uptake of glycogen; which is similar to insulin activity .

But this may benefit diabetic patients. Its effect on muscle building or strength lacks study.

Velvet Antler 



Deer velvet covers the growing bone and cartilage. It’s used in traditional medicine.

It is believed to boost performance, recovery from illness, testosterone boosting  .

But velvet antler lacks human studies to prove these claims.

This study shows that it doesn’t enhance your strength.

Velvet antler supplementation does not affect your strength or hormonal response.

Whey Protein




Whey protein is extracted from the liquid leftover during cheese manufacturing.

Whey protein is a complete protein. It contains all the 9 essential amino acids that are required by your body.

It’s easy to digest and absorbed faster in your body, making it a good option as a post workout drink. Whey protein will promote lean muscle mass.

It’s a rich source of BCAA (branched chain amino acid)- leucine, iso leucine and valine.

During fat loss, you will be in a calorie deficit diet and these BCAA will help to preserve your hard earned muscles. Its supplementation will help to reduce fat mass.

While you were trying to build muscle BCAA will support the muscle synthesis.

Its highly recommended protein and works well as a post and pre workout drink.




Yohimbine is derived from the bark of Pausinystalia yohimbe tree in Central Africa. It’s used to reverse sedation in dogs and deer.

It’s used in traditional medicine to treat Erectile dysfunction.

Yohimbine supplementation had been shown to increase your fat loss.

It inhibits the regulator that suppresses fat loss mechanism in your body.

It works well in a fasted state; if you want to supplement it take it in a fasted state .




Zinc is one of the minerals that are required for proper functioning of your body.

Zinc has testosterone boosting  properties. It’s added with most testosterone boosters.

It will also increases your DHT levels , it’s the more potent form of testosterone. Your body converts testosterone to DHT.

This study shows that it can increase your Luteinizing Hormone levels .

Its effects are prominent in peoples with zinc deficiency. If you are deficient in zinc, then its supplementation will cause an increase in testosterone levels.




ZMA is a combination of Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin B6.

It’s first introduced into the market as a sleep aid and for faster recovery. It helps you to get deep sleep.

Testosterone levels will increase after strength training combined with magnesium supplementation.

This study showed that ZMA will improve anabolic hormone profile of athletes.

But this study shows that ZMA supplementation had no effect on testosterone unless they are deficient in testosterone.

This study also  shows that ZMA will not increase testosterone levels and strength gains unless you are deficient in zinc and magnesium.

Do not take ZMA along with calcium, as calcium blocks the absorption of Zinc.

A large population is under magnesium and zinc deficiency, so its supplementation will benefit you to increase T levels.




It reduces blood glucose and improves insulin sensitivity .

This rat study shows that Cyanidin improves obesity and triglyceride metabolism.

It increases fat burning mechanism and decreases fat storing mechanism.

Rat studies has shown that it helps to keep your muscles fuller due to the increased uptake of nutrients into muscles. It also helps to burn fat and build more muscles. There are no human studies to support its claim.

Chromium Picolinate 




Chromium is an essential mineral which regulates insulin sensitivity.

Chromium Picolinate can control your appetite. This will reduce your cravings for food and may lead to weight loss.

This study on obese women using Chromium Picolinate supplementation on 8 weeks found that it reduces the cravings for food. This can lead to weight loss. [STUDY]

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)



Alpha lipoic acid is a fatty acid found in mitochondria which is involved in its energy metabolism. It’s a good antioxidant. Your body can synthesize ALA.

Alpha lipoic acid supplementation cause modest weight loss in obese people.

This study on Alpha lipoic acid shows that it cause a decrease in weight and waist circumference.

Alpha lipoic acid has a positive effect on glucose transport.

ALA increases the uptake of glucose and other nutrients into your muscles. ALA supplementation can increase creatine levels in your muscles.

Alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC)



Alpha-ketoisocaproic acid is the ketoacid of amino acid leucine.

KIC is often combined with other supplements to improve performance and other benefits.

This study shows that KIC supplementation had no effect on HIIT performance.

Alpha-ketoisocaproic acid when combined with HMB  can reduce the exercise induced muscle damage. The study was done for 14 days.

Alpha-ketoisocaproic acid is anti catabolic  , as exercise is catabolic activity KIC has great importance among athletes and bodybuilders.

Alpha-ketoisocaproic acid reduces the muscle degradation, but it does not promote muscle protein synthesis.

It stimulates insulin secretion and promotes the uptake of glucose and amino acids into muscles.

Glycine-arginine ketoisocaproate (GAKIC)




It’s a supplement combination found by university of Florida by combining Glycine, Arginine and Alpha Ketoisocaproate.

The combination will increase your overall muscle performance by delaying fatigue . It also helps to sustain the muscle force during intense exercise.

GAKIC can attenuate the drop in power on repeated bouts of an exercise.

But this study shows that it has no effect on high intensity exercise performance.

GAKIC may improve your exercise performance.





Glutamine is an amino acid found in your body. This is a conditionally essential amino acid , your body can synthesis glutamine as it needs.

You have to get it through diet while your body is under stress, like recovering from muscle injury, post operation recovery. During stress your body requires more glutamine.

It’s the most abundant amino acid in your muscle (60 % ).

Glutamine inhibits the breakdown of muscle.

Acute elevation of glutamine will not increase muscle protein synthesis .

This study shows glutamine supplementation had no effect on exercise performance and body composition.

These studies show that glutamine can be beneficial for those recovering from critical illness, muscle injury, burns etc.

Whey and Casein protein are richest sources of glutamine.

Phosphatidylserine (PS)



Phosphatidylserine is a chemical compound found in your body. It can improve your cognition function.

Your body can synthesize Phosphatidylserine, you also get it through diet.

Studies have shown that it can reduce exercise induced stress  , it does so by inhibiting the exercise induced release of cortisol.

It promotes a desirable hormone balance and helps to reduce the damage caused by overtraining.

It can increase the time taken for exhaustion during exercise. [study]

Further research is needed to support these.





Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid. Your body can synthesize arginine from Citrulline.

This study shows that arginine supplementation cause an increase in growth hormone release.

But arginine combined with exercise attenuates the growth hormone response.

This study also shows arginine supplementation cause an increase in growth hormone response. The doses used are 5g and 9 grams. The GH rise started after 30 mins and reached peak after 60 mins post ingestion.

Arginine will increase your nitric oxide levels and increase the blood flow.

It further helps you to extend the time to exhaustion during intense exercise.

Arginine had shown to reduce oxygen consumption.




Pyruvate or pyruvic acid is formed when your body breakdown glucose through glycolysis.

Pyruvic acid supplies energy  to your cells when oxygen is present.

It is sold as a weight loss supplement. But its claim as a weight loss aid lacks research support.

Pyruvate supplementation does  not affect body composition, exercise performance during training. It will negatively affect your blood lipid levels.

This study shows that it is ineffective as a fat loss strategy. [study]

But this study shows a slight decrease in body weight and fat.





Taurine is a conditional essential amino acid found in your body.

Taurine is added to energy drinks. Unlike other amino acids, Taurine is not involved in protein synthesis. It has an antioxidant like role, cellular protective properties in your body .

It also helps to improve athletic performance. It can increase the time to exhaustion during exercise.

This study shows that Taurine containing energy drink can cause a positive result on your hormones which leads to better performance.

Running performance was also increased by Taurine supplementation .

Gamma Aminobutyric acid (GABA)



GABA is a chemical synthesized in the brain. It acts as a neurotransmitter in brain by inhibiting nerve transmission.

GABA is sold as a growth hormone booster. Rat studies shows that GABA when injected into brain causes an increase in growth hormone.

GABA is synthesized in your brain, and GABA taken externally cant cross the blood brain barrier.

Thus the effectiveness of GABA taken externally need to be further studied.

GABA intake caused an increase in two growth hormone isoforms in resistance trained men. [study][ study]

The effect of GABA on muscle hypertrophy is not measured in these studies. The action of these GH isoforms on muscle hypertrophy needs to be studied  .





Choline is a water soluble nutrient that is found throughout your cell. The neurotransmitter acetyl choline is synthesized from choline.

If the choline levels drop too low, the synthesis of acetyl choline can be in trouble .

This will affect your exercise performance.

Choline levels are found to drop during strenuous exercise like full marathon.

Your choline levels can fall too low during marathon. This will reduce the synthesis of acetyl choline and can affect endurance or performance.

Study shows that choline rich foods are essential for proper muscle function.

Choline is an essential nutrient; you will get it from your diet. Supplementation will benefit if you plan for a full marathon.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)



Triglycerides are made up of fatty acids attached to a glycerol. In Medium chain triglycerides those fatty acids contain 6- 12 carbon atoms.

MCTs are easily absorbed into your body and burned in mitochondria to release energy.

They are often prescribed to people with malnutrition and malabsorption.

MCT can increase your energy expenditure, increase fat oxidation, reduce body weight and increase satiety.

Weight control is observed when long chain fatty acids are replaced by medium chain fatty acids in diet.

They can suppress the effect of fat accumulation.

MCTs do cause weight loss and increase energy expenditure but the magnitude of results are small.

Ornithine-alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG)



OKG is made up of ornithine and alpha keto glutarate.

OKG is the precursor of glutamate and ornithine. Your body can synthesize glutamine, arginine and proline from these two.

By using OKG you can reap the benefits of glutamine and arginine. As both are conditionally essential amino acids you will benefit them during traumatic condition like recovering from burn or surgery.

OKG supplementation can help people for faster recovery from burn and surgery.

Here’s How to Get The Most From This Guide

I put together a PDF version of this guide to help you get the most from today’s guide.

That way you can refer back to it whenever you need.

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Arun Kumar T

Arun is the founder @workoutable. He is Learning different ways to transform his body from fat to fit. Himself as a crash test dummy, experimenting with his body. He is trying to help people to transform their body.

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