Issue 138

February 2016

The eight supplements you need to fuel your fight camp so you can train harder for longer and prime your body for five rounds

Hundreds of hard miles on the road, relentless rounds of sparring and ceaseless sets pushing pounds in the weights room are all integral parts of being a professional fighter. And you need all that hard work to get you into peak condition to fight for 25 minutes. But to make your time in the gym count you might need some extra support, and supplements could be your ideal training partners to help you push through plateaus and niggling injuries to get optimum results from every session. Here are your eight Octagon essentials.

Championship rounds


When to take: Pre and post workout  

Creatine is ideal for developing plateau-killing lean muscle because it gives you a short-term energy boost, which is great for high-intensity exercise. A California-based study found the body converts creatine to phosphocreatine, which gets stored in your muscles and serves as fuel. Ideal for those championship rounds.

Suplex machine

Whey protein 

When to take: Pre and post workout  

If you want to explode and get the best of grappling exchanges, you’ll need to mold muscle. Whey protein delivers amino acids used for constructing that muscle tissue. Researchers at Baylor University, Texas, found supplementing with 14g of whey and 6g of amino acid twice a day for 10 weeks resulted in significant size and strength gains.

Easy weight cut

Green tea extract

When to take: Morning   

Green tea extract is an indispensable ally when it comes to cranking up your metabolism. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found it activates your body’s thermogenic fat-burning and in just 12 weeks people who took it decreased their waist circumference and overall body fat.

Sparring partner


When to take: Morning and afternoon   

It’s found in pre and post-workout supplements and this product will increase mood-boosting hormones, which will allow you to train with greater intensity. It can also help to increase strength. Research at Ithaca College, New York, found 2.5g in a 20oz sports drink will help improve the quality of your workouts. 

Knockout power


When to take: Pre, intra and post workout  

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks of muscle-crafting protein. They also aid in ATP (energy) production, promote protein synthesis and elevate your growth hormone levels, all while putting the blocks on any loss of muscle density. Your multi-discipline all-rounder. 

Lean and mean


When to take: Morning, noon and evening   

The closest thing you can get to a magic potion for fighting fat. L-carnitine is a helps to morph your fat into energy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A deficiency in this compound will significantly affect your fat-burning efforts. Avocado is also rich in this pure pump supplement.  

Eating clean


When to take: One hour before a meal or two hours after   

A 15–20mg daily zinc fix may help you to increase lean body mass and combat the amount of fat your body stores. Zinc increases hormones like leptin, which makes you feel fuller for longer, therefore inducing a calorie deficit, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

No pain still gain

Thermogenic boosters

When to take: Mid-morning   

The main ingredient of this type of supplement is caffeine, which helps crank up your body temperature so you burn more calories throughout the day. Research at the University of Illinois found people who took 5mg of caffeine per 2lb of bodyweight one hour before training also experienced a reduction in muscle pain during exercise.