SupLEANments for Beginners

Sup-LEAN-ments for Beginners

Getting started with supplements can sometimes be confusing, time-consuming, and overwhelming, especially for beginners! When walking into a supplement store, we are faced with a TON of different options, from a TON of different brands, and they are ALL supposed to be good for us! With all these options, it is super important to go into that store with a basic knowledge of what you want, but most importantly WHY, so that you are sure you’re getting the right products for you!

Although MOST supplements serve a purpose, buying the RIGHT products for your body, and goals can help you save a ton of money and time!

In today’s blog, I will be breaking down some basic supplements to help you get started and gain some basic knowledge of each product!



Branch-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)

What is it?

Before understanding what BCAA’s are, let’s first look at the last 2 letters in the abbreviation,  Amino Acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein - in other words you need amino acids in order for your body to create protein and you need protein to build muscle. There are a total of 9 different amino acids, BCAA’s are made up of 3 essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine. Our body does not naturally produce BCAA’s, therefore we need to get them from an external source in order to create protein and build muscle.

What does it do?

Muscle Growth - Since your body needs the 3 essential amino acids in order to build muscle, consuming BCAA’s can help you grow your muscles FASTER!

Muscle Soreness - BCAA’s have been proven to help the healing process of your muscles after a workout, therefore they can help reduce workout induced muscle pain.

Fat Loss - Taking BCAA’s can help keep your metabolism in overdrive and in turn can help you burn more fat, have more energy, and increase glucose tolerance. Since BCAA’s can help with both balancing hormones in your body and replenishing nutrients, they can prevent you from feeling hungry and can therefore prevent overeating.

How and when to use it

In terms of how MUCH (or many) BCAA’s to use, many brands have different dosages, so it is best to follow whatever instructions are provided on the label.

There is no particular time which you should take BCAA’s but I like to use them during a workout as it can help you get more out of your workout session. You can also choose to take it before or after your workouts, and on days you do not workout, you can take it in the morning or night.

Most importantly, check the label and make sure you are taking the right dosage for the day!

As a side note to all the intermittent fasters out there, BCAA’s WILL break your fast!


What is it?

Pre-workout is just as it suggests, a supplement you take BEFORE your workout. It usually comes in powder form and depending on what brand you use, combines different ingredients which help give you energy. Most commonly, pre-workouts are caffeine based, but can also include other energy enhancing ingredients such as beetroot juice or creatine monohydrate.

What does it do?

Pre-workout is usually used to help increase energy specifically for working out. An increase of energy can help you get more out of your workout, and can help give you that boost you need to push yourself harder and get more done throughout your workout!

How and when to use it

Again, since all pre-workouts really range in ingredients, it is important to read and follow any dosage instructions for the specific product you have.

Pre-workout should only be used before a workout, and should not be used at night time as it can prevent you from sleeping.

Pre-workout is DEFINITELY NOT a MUST HAVE supplement — I don’t personally use any, there is often a TON of sugar in pre-workouts which is NOT LEAN. I prefer to take a green tea extract or drink a coffee which I find to be much cleaner energy with no crash!


What is it?

Protein powder is a popular supplement which comes in many different flavours and types, some types include whey, isolate, vegan, and casein, to name a few. Protein is essential for muscle growth and supplementing protein is a great (but not 100% necessary) way to reach all your daily protein intake needs.

What does it do?

Protein powder helps with muscle building and recovery. Like I previously mentioned, protein is ESSENTIAL when building lean muscle! If you are not getting enough protein in your diet (especially on days you workout) your body will not be able to grow as much muscle. Since you are replenishing the protein levels in your body, it can help your muscles recover faster.

Sometimes when it comes to protein intake, without tracking macros, figuring out the amount of protein you need in a day can get tricky. With a LEANSQUAD plan, you will be SURE to get the proper amount of protein daily, catered to any of your dietary needs!

How and When to take it

Again, dosage is very dependent on which product you choose to buy, so go by that exact products dosage instructions.

Protein powder is most commonly taken after a workout. After your workout, your body is looking for a protein source to help feed the muscles which you just worked hard building. Of course, you can also get protein from food sources such as meat, eggs, nuts and beans - but protein powder is a quick and easy supplement for protein rich foods. This is especially helpful for vegans, sometimes it can be hard to get in your full dosage of protein without meat or eggs in your diet, so protein powder is a great alternative. Not ALL PROTEIN POWDER IS VEGAN! Make sure to check the label, and find a plant based formula.

As important as it is to get enough protein, it is just as important to not have TOO MUCH protein, so make sure you are reading the dosage instructions and also considering what other proteins you will be consuming that day.


What is it?

L-carnitine is an amino acid which is naturally produced in our bodies. Your bodies ability to produce sufficient amounts of l-carnitines depends on the amount of vitamin C you have in your body, as it is crucial in the production of l-carnitine. Other then supplementation, you can also find small amounts of l-carnitine in some meats and fish.

What does it do?

L-carnitine is another supplement which can help with energy levels and weight loss. In order to produce energy, l-carnitine is unique in that it brings the FATTY ACIDS in your body straight to the mitochondria which turns it into energy. L-carnitines can also be help with your stamina, and muscle recovery.

How and when to use it?

Again for dosage instructions, check the label on the product you have purchased.

L-carnitine is good to take for anyone looking to lose weight quicker in a healthy way. In order for l-carnitine to get into your muscles, you must have higher insulin levels. The insulin levels in our bodies get higher when we eat, so in order to get the benefits on l-carnitine, it should be taken with food. It is even more beneficial when taken with a post workout meal. Due to its energy producing abilities I would suggest taking this supplement in the morning or during the day.


What is it?

Probiotics are good live bacteria. You can find probiotics in foods such as yogurt, cheese and kimchi, to name a few. Probiotics make up some of the many different bacterias that live inside our bodies - the most being present in our gut and digestive track.

What does it do?

There are a ton of different kinds of probiotics that work differently, but generally speaking, they help keep the bacteria in your body balanced. We have both good and bad bacteria in our bodies, taking probiotics can help prevent the bad bacteria from causing any kind of stomach ailments, and can help keep your immune system strong and healthy. Probiotics can also help with weight loss or weight maintenance.

How and When to use it?


Since all probiotics are different and the amount of probiotics present in each pill will differ depending on which product you buy, dosage will vary. Many probiotics are measured in billions, representing the amount of bacteria in each capsule. I personally take probiotic pills which measure 50 billion, I would recommend any probiotics between 50-100 billion to get the maximum benefits. I would suggest adding probiotics to your daily routine and taking them first thing in the morning!

Do you Need Supplements to see Results?

When it comes to supplements, the answer is NO you DO NOT NEED them to see results! Taking supplements can help you see results faster, but before deciding if a specific supplement is right for you, it is important for you to assess yourself. The first thing you should look at is your diet. If you have unhealthy eating habits, try making adjustments to your diet before trying out any supplements. The next think you should look at is your workout sessions verses your results. If you are seeing little to no progress and are consistently pushing hard and getting your workouts done, then supplements may be a good choice for you! And finally, look at your recovery time after a workout. If your muscles are constantly sore for days after a workout, then supplements may be a good choice.

There you have it Squadies! Some information on a few basic supplements! With your #90daymealplan, you will also get an EXCLUSIVE supplement guide PDF which includes all these supplements AND MORE! Sign up for your #90dayleanplan HERE