What are The Different Types (Levels) of SUPPLEMENTS for FAT LOSS and MUSCLE GAIN?
Updated: Nov 12
What are the different types of supplements that we can consume for FAT LOSS and MUSCLE GAIN? How to make our SUPPLEMENT regime most effective using the SUPPLEMENT PYRAMID? Using the power of science, let's uncover the various Levels of Supplementation comprising of MACRO SUPPLEMENTATION and MICRO SUPPLEMENTATION and when to progress from Basic to Advance levels.
What are MACRONUTRIENTS?
MACRONUTRIENTS are the nutrients that are required in large amounts in the diet. Nutrients that the human body needs in amounts greater than 10 grams in a day are classified as MACRONUTRIENTS.
What are MICRONUTRIENTS?
MICRONUTRIENTS are the nutrients that are required in small amounts. Nutrients that the human body needs in amounts less than 10 grams in a day are classified as MICRONUTRIENTS.
Supplements are supposed to complement our diet when we are unable to obtain the required quantity or quality of nutrients from food alone.
Supplementation Progression Types (Levels):
Type 1/ Level 1:
MACRONUTRIENT form the basis or type 1/ level 1 of the supplement progression levels. That means, before moving on to the higher levels, it’s critical to ensure our MACRONUTRIENT quality and quantity is adequate to meet our body demands.
Type 1/ Level 1 supplements include:
Pure protein supplements like whey, casein, egg etc.
Weight gainer supplements.
Meal replacement: As the name suggests, it not only supplements our meal but also has a full potential to replace it.
Pure fat supplements like flaxseed oil, fish oil etc.
Pure carb supplements like waxy maize starch, vitargo etc.
Type 2/ Level 2:
MICRONUTRIENTS form type 2/ level 2 of the supplement progression levels. We should be at this level, ideally after ensuring all our MICRONUTRIENTS needs (quality and quantity) are fulfilled.
Type 2/ Level 2 supplements include:
Vitamin supplements like vitamin C, vitamin E, multivitamins etc.
B complex supplements.
Magnesium, zinc, iron supplements.
Trace elements or minerals like selenium, chromium, manganese, molybdenum etc.
Type 3/ Level 3:
Standalone amino acids form type 3/ level 3 of the supplement progression levels. We should be at this level, ideally after ensuring all our MACRONUTRIENTS, and MICRONUTRIENTS needs (quality and quantity) are met. Type 3/ Level 3 supplements include:
BCAA or Branched Chain Amino Acids (LEUCINE, ISOLEUCINE and VALINE): The human body is incapable of producing these. Hence these are called essential amino acids. We are entirely dependent on food and supplements for all three branched-chain amino acids.
L-Glutamine: The human body can produce this but in limited quantities. Hence this is categorised as a conditionally essential amino acid.
L-Arginine: The human body can produce this but in limited quantities. Therefore, this too is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid.
When we workout, conditionally essential amino acid needs of the body increases. The body may not be able to produce conditionally essential amino acids in higher quantities. That is when we need to supplement with conditionally essential amino acids.
Type 4/ Level 4:
ERGOGENIC SUPPLEMENTS form type 4/ level 4 of the supplement progression levels. These supplements enhance performance by stretching limits to Supraphysiological Levels. We should be at this level ideally after ensuring all our MACRONUTRIENT, MICRONUTRIENT and standalone amino acid needs (quality and quantity) are fulfilled.
Type 4/ Level 4 Supplements include:
Beta Alanine etc.
Type 5/ Level 5:
Thermogenic supplements form type 5/ level 5 of the supplement progression levels. These are intended to reduce body fat in a variety of ways. Some help in curbing appetite while others help in promoting fat to be used as fuel.
Type 5/ Level 5 Supplements include Fat Burners.
Importance of the levels of the SUPPLEMENT PYRAMID:
Not many people follow a scientific approach to supplementation. It results in poor results or no results at all. For example, if a beginner who is deficient in Macronutrient(s) has a Fat Burner, it may result in very little or absolutely no fat burn. It may take us years to reach level 5. The point is to be at the correct level considering our lifestyle.
Also, supplementation doesn’t mean an excess of nutrients. Excess of anything, including supplementation is wrong. Supplementation refers to the correct dosage of nutrients to overcome the deficits.
We need to scientifically plan our approach to SUPPLEMENTATION using the SUPPLEMENT PYRAMID.
Consuming SUPPLEMENTS of a higher level at a lower level may not result in MUSCLE GAIN or FAT LOSS.
The key is to correctly assess the level we are on and then progress to the next level.
Using the SUPPLEMENT PYRAMID correctly we can maximise the results and ensure optimum return on investment in terms of time, effort and money.
Now we understand the different types/ levels of supplements that can be consumed for FAT LOSS and MUSCLE GAIN, how to assess which level we are on and how to make the most of our SUPPLEMENT regime using the SUPPLEMENT PYRAMID.
What level do you think you are on? Do use this pyramid to assess your current and next level of supplementation.