If you’ve done some research online about supplements, chances are you’ve seen the following three ingredients. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, recover faster or improve your performance, CLA, Coconut Oil and aminos are some of the most popular and well-known ingredients out there.
Keep reading to discover the benefits of each:
Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA, is a fatty acid found in meats and dairy products. Numerous studies have shown that CLA helps to burn stored body fat for fuel while increasing lean muscle mass. When combined with weight training, it’s also beneficial for those trying to increase strength. One study found that after just six weeks, participants supplementing with CLA experienced an increase in body mass and leg press ability compared to those taking a placebo.
CLA appears to be most effective when consumed as part of a low-calorie or low-fat diet, and should be taken for at least 12 weeks for the best results. Take 1-3g with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Coconut oil is made up of about 60-65% MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides. Your body absorbs and metabolizes the shorter chain length of MCTs much more quickly than the long-chained triglycerides found in vegetable oils and animal fats. The result may be an increased energy expenditure and a boost in metabolism. Healthy fats can also help support cardiovascular health and cognitive function.
To maximize these effects, substitute coconut oil for an equal amount of the LCTs already in your diet. By doing so, you’ll burn slightly more calories while eating slightly fewer calories.
Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) are those amino acids not produced by the body, and therefore, must be added to your diet via food or supplementation. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and regular supplementation can help you build lean muscle, improve muscle recovery and prevent muscle loss, even on a diet.
Out of the nine essential amino acids, three play a particularly important role in lean muscle building and recovery: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three are the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs. Study after study has shown that BCAAs help prevent muscle loss on a cut. When glucose is low due to rigorous exercise, amino acids provide the energy your muscles need, effectively preventing catabolism.
BCAAs are also helpful for those looking to lose weight. In a 2009 study, lifters taking BCAAs lost about twice as much body fat as those taking whey protein without added BCAAs.