Are you currently taking the best bodybuilding supplements and witnessing astounding results? Or are you wasting your hard-earned dollars on powders and pills that are ineffective for your needs?
The plethora of different types of bodybuilding supplements, combined with the hundreds of brands, makes choosing the optimum way to boost results confusing.
You’re with me on that, right?
Truth is, when simplified, it’s actually quite easy. It’s just a case of drilling down into the detail to see what each supplement can achieve.
And that’s exactly what this article does.
No fancy speak, no hyperbolic statements—just the hard facts.
It will take away any mystique behind these bodybuilding supplements and provide you with the knowledge required to make the ultimate gains from every workout.
Table Of Contents:
Best Bodybuilding Supplements – Top 10
Here are the top 10 bodybuilding supplements available.
This compound is found in foods such as chicken, fish, and beef, and is also synthesized in the human liver. It’s ideal for bodybuilders wanting to boost muscle gain, raise stamina and increase endurance.
How Does Creatine Work?
For muscles to contract (and therefore to lift weights), they require adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The issue is, the body does not have a limitless supply of this chemical. Once it’s exhausted, it spells the end of training. 1
Want to know the best part?
Creatine helps to replenish ATP stores, therefore increasing endurance. Meaning the longer and harder you lift, the more muscle you will build. 2
What Results Should I Expect From Creatine?
- Increased strength. 3
- Improved endurance levels. 4
- Lower levels of myostatin—responsible for muscle loss. 5
- Elevated fat-free mass. 6
Want to find out what the best creatine on the market is?
Read our article on the Top 7 Creatine supplements.
2. Testosterone Booster
These products are generally considered the most versatile bodybuilding aids—probably because they are bodybuilding supplements that work like steroids.
Testosterone boosters are excellent at improving the muscle to fat ratio—giving you the most ripped physique.
How Do Testosterone Boosters Work?
Firstly, these bodybuilding supplements do not contain the hormone testosterone—the original steroid. 7
Instead, through their natural ingredients, they stimulate the body into creating more of this essential hormone. Not ingestion, just stimulation.
What does this mean?
For the bodybuilder, this is a godsend. Not only does raising testosterone levels improve results, but it also may be required by the body. After the age of 30 years, T-levels rapidly decline, meaning there are insufficient amounts to build muscle. 8
What Results Should I Expect From Testosterone Boosters?
- Increased muscle mass through protein synthesis. 9
- Raised bone density. 10
- Lowered fat content by increasing lipolysis. 11
- Improved strength.
- Raised libido. 12
To find out more about testosterone boosters read our article on the top 5 testosterone boosters in 2018.
3. Whey Protein
Made as a by-product from cheese production, this protein is one of the best supplements for muscle growth. 13
How Does Whey Protein Work?
For the muscles to build, the body requires protein. Normally, this dietary requirement is satisfied through food intake. However, this is often insufficient for serious resistance training.
Whey includes branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). One of these, leucine, kick-starts muscle protein synthesis—allowing the muscles to repair, recover and grow larger. 14
But that’s not all.
The remaining proteins “feed” the muscles post-exercise. Make no mistake, if you lack protein, muscles will not build—however hard you push yourself in the gym. Whey is definitely the best protein supplement for muscle gain.
What Results Should I Expect From Whey Protein?
- Elevated muscle mass. 15
- Reduced appetite. 16
- Loss of fat through thermogenesis. 16
- Definition through muscle to fat ratio improvements.
- Increased vascularity.
Find our more in our article on the best whey protein powders in 2018.
4. Multi Vitamin
If you go to any bodybuilding supplements store, you will see guys reaching in numbers for the whey and creatine supplements. Less so for the multivitamins.
This is a shame. These supplements can provide the body with minerals and nutrients. Thus creating the perfect conditions for muscle gain, endurance, and fat loss.
How Do Multivitamins Work?
When bodybuilding, we place extra demands on the body. Vitamin intake through diet is often inadequate to meet these needs. These bodybuilding supplements redress that balance.
The best bodybuilding multivitamins should include:
- Vitamin C—essential for muscle collagen production. 17
- B vitamins—enhances cell regeneration and muscle repair.
- Folic acid—required for red blood cell creation. 18
What Results Should I Expect From Multivitamins?
- Increased energy and positivity.
- Faster recovery times.
- Improved results from training.
- Enhanced stamina and endurance.
5. Pre Workout
Normally consumed around 30 minutes before training, these are the best bodybuilding supplements to ensure you achieve the maximum returns on every session.
They push you harder, increase endurance and speed up recovery.
How Do Pre-Workouts Work?
Pre-workout bodybuilding supplements contain ingredients which allow your body to function harder and longer. Look for those which contain:
- L-citrulline/l-arginine—increases nitric oxide production which in turn improves oxygenation. 19
- Theanine and caffeine—caffeine acts as a stimulant, while theanine counteracts crashes and improves mood. 20 21
- Creatine—improves endurance.
What Results Should I Expect From Pre-Workouts?
- Increased mental focus.
- Raised mood and determination.
- Lowered muscle fatigue.
- Increased stamina.
- Impressive muscle pumps.
- Elevated post-training recovery.
- Improved oxygen delivery to the lungs and heart.
Want to know what the best pre workouts on the market are?
Read our article on the best pre workout supplements available.
6. Beta Alanine
This amino acid, naturally occurring in poultry and fish, helps to prevent muscle fatigue during exercise.
How Does Beta-alanine Work?
During resistance training, the muscles can become starved of oxygen. This can lead to an increase in lactic acid—which eventually results in acidosis, the pain felt in the muscles knocking out those final reps.
In conjunction with histidine, beta-alanine produces carnosine—shown in studies to reduce the amount of lactic acid buildup. 22
The cool thing is.
By limiting lactic acid, pain is reduced and endurance increases. The more you work out, the larger the muscles will grow.
What Results Should I Expect From Beta-alanine?
- Less “burn” during high-intensity training.
- Longer workout sessions.
- Increased strength.
- Faster muscle gain.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. 23
While whey protein contains these amino acids, additional supplementation can result in impressive muscle gains, making them one of the best bodybuilding supplements.
How Do BCAAs Work?
Each of the BCAAs has their own particular importance in bodybuilding:
Leucine—acts as a signal to begin the muscle building process, boosts growth hormone and reduces appetite. 24 25
Valine—provides muscles with energy.
Isoleucine—increases muscle oxygenation through raised hemoglobin production. 26
What Results Should I Expect From BCAAs?
● Faster muscle gain.
● Improved muscle size.
● Enhanced definition.
● Fat loss.
● Improved endurance through muscle oxygenation.
Read our article on the top 7 BCAAS supplements on the market.
One of the best bodybuilding supplements 2018 to ensure that your hard-earned muscle is not lost.
This amino acid enhances protein synthesis and helps the muscles to utilize BCAAs. 27
How Does Glutamine Work?
During intense exercise, such as resistance training, the body’s level of glutamine rapidly decreases.
Supplementing with glutamine helps to ensure that the muscles remain in an anabolic state.
What Results Should I Expect From Glutamine?
- Maintenance and growth of muscle mass.
- Improved results from BCAA and whey protein supplementation.
- Enhanced immunity. 30
9. Fish Oil
Extracted from the tissue or livers of oily fish such as mackerel and herring, these are one of the best bodybuilding supplements. Not just for impressive gym results, but also for overall health.
How Does Fish Oil Work?
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids—especially DHA and EPA— docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid. 31
Here’s the thing.
It’s important to have the correct balance of omega-3 to omega-6 acids. If the omega-6 is in too high a concentration, this can lead to serious inflammation issues, including heart disease. 32
Many western diets can result in this unwanted imbalance. Supplementing with fish oil can restore the ideal ratio with remarkable results.
What Results Should I Expect From Fish Oil?
- Reduced body fat, leading to an enhanced definition. 33
- Lowered inflammation resulting from resistance exercise. 34
- Increased muscle mass due to improved muscle protein synthesis. 35
- Improved mood and determination.36
10. Casein Protein
We’ve already looked at whey supplements, which account for 20 percent of milk protein. Casein makes up the other 80 percent. 37
Casein, like whey, is high in amino acids. However, while whey acts as a muscle builder, casein is more of a muscle retainer.
How Does Casein Protein Work?
Casein is a slow digesting and acting protein supplement. It does not cause leucine spikes like whey. This means that it’s not one of the best supplements for muscle gain and strength.
Now get this.
Studies have shown that this bodybuilding supplement remains in the body much longer than whey, providing amino acid support over a longer period of time.
This helps to continually “feed” the muscles, ensuring that they have sufficient stores of amino acids and do not enter a catabolic state. 38
What Results Should I Expect From Casein Protein?
● Increased muscle mass.
● Faster recovery time.
● Maintained muscle.
Bodybuilding Supplements Side Effects
Generally speaking, as long as the above products are taken as described by the manufacturer, there should be little to no bodybuilding supplements side effects.
As they are all natural, they don’t possess the dangers associated with synthetic steroids.
Think about it this way.
Just as some people have unwanted reactions from consuming foods, the same may apply to supplements. If you do find you suffer adversely to a supplement, cease use immediately and consult your health practitioner.
Probably the only supplement with a distinctive side effect is beta-alanine. Some people find they experience a “tingling” feeling in their hands after consumption, known as paresthesia. 39
While it may feel a little strange, this sensation usually subsides within thirty minutes and has no health implications.
Choosing the ideal bodybuilding supplements doesn’t have to be difficult.
This article has laid out the facts on the best bodybuilding supplements available today.
Here’s the key:
Choose the results you are looking to achieve—whether muscle mass, increased endurance, faster recovery or a combination. Then, choose the perfect supplement(s) to meet these goals.
When combined with resistance training and a sensible diet, they will provide tenfold rewards on your effort.
“What Are the Best Supplements for Beginners?”
If you’re starting on the supplement route, one of the best to begin with is a testosterone booster.
This is due to their ability to provide numerous benefits, including increased mass, enhanced definition, raised vascularity, and weight loss.
“What Are the Top Supplements for Muscle and Strength Gains?”
Whey protein, with its high BCAA content, will provide the best results for both muscle and strength gains. Consider combining with creatine to push the muscles even harder in each workout.
“Do You Need Supplements to Build Muscle?”
Not necessarily, although they will help build muscle larger, faster and with improved recovery times. Diets often lack sufficient nutrients for impressive muscle building.
“What Is the Best Protein for Muscle Growth?”
For fast and substantial muscle growth, choose whey protein made from 100 percent isolate.
“What Is the Best Training Program to Build Muscle?”
Building serious muscle mass is not just a case of knocking out some reps. It’s a combination of:
- A sensible and progressive workout program—take advice from a gym professional or seasoned bodybuilders.
- Diet—formulated to meet both energy requirements and muscle building needs.
- Supplementation—to make sure every rep receives the results it deserves, and more.
“Are Supplements Dangerous?”
Taking natural supplements, such as those listed above, will not cause any adverse effects—as long as the supplier’s dosage instructions are followed.
Avoid illegal and synthetic drugs, such as steroids, which can lead to health issues.
“When Is the Best Time to Take Supplements?”
This depends upon the supplement. Refer to the supplier’s recommendations before use.
For example, multivitamins can be taken at any time, pre-workouts before you hit the bench and casein protein post-workout.
“What’s the Best Supplement for Strength?”
It depends on the definition of strength. If you’re looking for explosive power, it’s a pre-workout, if you want to power through longer, its creatine. But, if you want an all-round, hulk-like ability, take whey protein.
“What’s the Best Supplement for Fat Loss?”
If you want a fat loss supplement that will help shed pounds while gaining muscle, the best bodybuilding supplements are whey protein and testosterone boosters.
“How Fast Can You Build Muscle?”
There’s no set time. It’s sometimes suggested that around 1-2 pounds of muscle can be gained per month. However, in real terms, it depends upon:
- Genetics—studies have illustrated that guys following the same resistance program achieved differing results. 40
- Recovery time.