Carb Cycling is an extremely effective nutrition strategy to burn fat fast while maintaining or even building muscle. Carb cycling is fairly simple from a high level perspective. You go a few days low carb, high fat, high protein, followed by a day of high carb, low fat, high protein. The amount of days you go low carb vs high carb will vary from person to person but I think you get the idea. For a more in depth discussion on how carb cycling works be sure to check out my video: Carb Cycling For Extreme Fat Loss.
So as with any nutrition program there are a few support supplements that you can take that will help you accelerate and maximize your results. Here’s my list of must have supplements while carb cycling to help you maximize your efforts.
Whey Protein Isolate
A whey protein isolate is a dietary supplement and food ingredient created by separating components from milk. Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. Whey can be processed to yield whey protein in three forms: whey isolate, whey concentrate, or whey hydrolysate. Whey isolates contain the higher percentage of pure protein and can be pure enough to be virtually lactose free, carbohydrate free, fat free, and cholesterol free.
So as you can see, whey isolate is a perfect complement to the carb cycling lifestyle. Since it’s very high in protein and practically carbohydrate free you can use this protein pretty much everyday to help you meet your protein requirements. Whey isolate is fairly inexpensive when you consider the amount of protein you get per serving making it very budget friendly as well.
Casein is one of the two types of proteins in milk. It carries the same amino acid profile as whey but is absorbed differently. This means it offers a full array of amino acids to help your muscles achieve protein synthesis rather than protein breakdown. Micellar Casein is created from fresh skimmed milk to reduce lactose and fat but offer a full profile of slow release proteins.
Casein protein is another great protein source while carb cycling. Again it’s high in protein, low in carbs, and low in fat which means you can drink it daily. Casein is also digested very slowly which helps to keep you full longer while slowly releasing protein to your body over an extended period of time. It’s best taken mid day or right before bed. Just like whey protein, casein is fairly inexpensive when you consider the amount of protein you get per serving making it very budget friendly as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugar from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made. The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol. In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid – the main active compound in vinegar.
There are many health benefits to drinking apple cider vinegar but the reason it’s great for carb cycling is that it can help regulate and lower your blood sugar levels. Why is this important? When you eat, especially carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise which causes your body to release insulin taking your body from fat burning mode and putting it into fat storing mode. Drinking apple cider vinegar with meals has been scientifically proven to lower blood sugar levels by 17-34%. This is huge! Just by taking a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with meals can help you get back to fat burning mode much faster than not drinking it. This would be a perfect complement for your higher carb days.
Glucose Disposal Agents
Glucose Disposal Agents (GDA) are supplements that help your body digest carbs and direct them towards muscle glycogen storage. They enhance the power of insulin by improving insulin sensitivity in muscle cells, ensuring the carbs you do eat go towards replenishing glycogen and supporting muscle growth rather than building up your fat stores. In a sense, GDAs enhance your body’s response to exercise, thereby supporting better performance, recovery, and body composition.
Glucose Disposal Agents are a great supplement to take on your high carb days. If you take them with your higher carb meals you are pretty much guaranteeing that your body will use the carbohydrates for fuel and prevent them from being stored as fat. Another great supplement for the carb cycling lifestyle!
Digestive enzymes are special proteins your body makes to help break down the foods you eat into smaller, absorbable nutrients. When digestive enzymes are in short supply, your body cannot fully digest or absorb nutrients in food.
Adding a digestive enzyme supplement to your supplement stack is a wise choice, especially when your protein intake is high. These enzymes will help make sure that your body can digest the food that you’re eating allowing more of the nutrients to be absorbed and used to promote recovery. Even if you don’t think you have digestive issues adding these to your stack can help your body absorb even more nutrients than it is without them. Anytime you can give your body some help to do certain biological tasks is a win!
Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the body. It helps the body produce energy. Acetyl-l-carnitine is proving to be a remarkable nutrient for rejuvenating the ability of a cell to make energy, with direct implications for better metabolism and brain function.
As we age, this problem within cells increases, even from normal energy production. If we add stress, toxins, and poor quality diet to this equation, then the issue can be magnified rather dramatically. This leads to loss of energy, calories that aren’t burned well and so pile up as fat, as well as a decline in brain function.
By adding Acetyl-L-carnitine to your supplement stack you are helping your body at a cellular level to produce energy. This supplement will not only leave you looking good, but it will leave you feeling good as well. Being in a positive state of mind during any type of dieting is critical to your overall success.
Multivitamins are a combination of many different vitamins that are normally found in foods and other natural sources.
Multivitamins are used to provide vitamins that are not taken in through the diet. Multivitamins are also used to treat vitamin deficiencies (lack of vitamins) caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, and many other conditions.
Everyone should supplement with a quality multivitamin regardless if they’re carb cycling or not. They guarantee that you get your daily dose of micro nutrients and minerals. Micronutrients and minerals are just as important, if not more important than your macronutrients. They help your body function properly on every level. Being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals can cause fatigue, a slower metabolism, even anxiety and depression. Multivitamins are often overlooked and not really seen as a critical supplement but they are critical to keep your body functioning as optimal levels.
Let’s face it. I’m not pointing fingers but a lot of us could do better at eating more vegetables. I know I could. Since I find it very hard to get in my daily dose of vegetables I supplement with a super greens supplement. These supplements contain a wide array of vegetables. Once scoop usually contains your days worth of vegetables from a variety of sources. Vegetables are very important in helping us get a lot of our vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also help with the digestion of our food. If you find yourself struggling to get in your daily dose of veggies I would highly recommend taking a super greens supplement. One scoop and you got your days worth of veggies. Very nice!
If you are looking to start out on a carb cycling journey or are looking for an extra boost to help you with your fat loss efforts than adding any of these supplements will be extremely beneficial to you. If you are interesting in learning more about carb cycling or how you can transform your body in as little as 12 weeks, be sure to check out my coaching page and shoot me a message. I would be thrilled to help guide you on your fat loss journey. I hope you found this article helpful and as always, happy carb cycling!