People ask me all the time whether or not supplements can truly increase results and performance, particularly when embarking on a mission such as the RH Challenge. My answer to that question is, you need to know what you're looking for. To be totally honest, many of the supplements you'll find out there are total junk. In any industry, there's going to be companies whose only interest is making money, not the well-being of their consumers. However, their are supplements with scientifically proven effectiveness that are staples of almost any true bodybuilder's routine. The best way to attack this issue is to identify some basic supplement types that are staples of a complete regiment. Then identify the companies that offer the highest quality versions of these supplements. Fortunately for you, I've got that already prepared for you below. I interviewed a local personal trainer, certified nutritionist, and manager of "Complete Nutrition" Joe Brown, to help me identify the best supplements along with their function in the body.
Protein is a macronutrient that the body needs large amounts of. One of its most vital roles is repairing muscles and bones after times of stress. Exercise, particularly lifting weights, is a form of muscular stress, thus indicating that a healthy quantity and quality of protein is necessary for those seekings to build muscle. Even if you are not necessarily trying to gain muscle, and instead are just trying to lose fat, this is also a great regiment addition. Increased muscle quantity in the body speeds up the metabolism which results in further fat loss.
In regards to protein powders, avoid the cheap stuff. Look for protein isolates, hydrolyzed whey, casein, and protein powders derived from food sources such as soy. It's best to take fast absorption proteins (such as isolates) before and after your workout. Whereas slower absorption proteins (such as casein) should be taken at night before bed for people trying to gain muscle
Some of my favorite brands include:
BCAA's are essential amino acids meaning we need to acuire them through diet because our body doesn't produce them naturally. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and play roles in energy production as well as preventing muscle breakdown. Branch chain amino acids are exceptional to take before, during, or after a workout to ensure that your body does not enter a catabolic state (in which it would burn muscle).
To this day, my favorite BCAA supplement that I've ever used is "Amino Linx" by ProSupps.
There is an insurmountable number of fat burners out there, each promising pristine results in fat loss. However, they can work in many different ways, and can possess combinations of MANY different ingredients. The main way they work is by speeding up the body's metabolism. Once the body has burned its carbohydrates it can burn fat. There is also a class of fat burners called thermogenics which burn fat by increasing the internal body temperature, which in turn raises metabolism. I personally have not used fat burners for a while, so I wouldn't be able to recommend my favorite ones. Though the companies I recommend below, in my opinion, have some of the best quality fat burners on the market.