Are you looking to put on muscles quickly? We listed the essential supplements for bodybuilding that will help you build muscle.
If you’re exercising regularly, you should make sure your lifestyle supports your hard work in the gym. Your diet plan, gym routine, and supplementation schedule should work together to help you achieve your goals.
There are countless must-have bodybuilding supplements to help you achieve your dream physique. But how do you know which, how much, and when to take them?
Keep reading for seven essential supplements for bodybuilding to take you to the next level.
Table of Contents
Creatine occurs naturally in our muscle cells. It’s a primary source of cellular energy that helps us power through our daily movements. It’s also one the supplement for bodybuilding that is most studied.
Creatine has been shown to support increased in both muscle strength and size. It’s excellent for people looking to boost their lean muscle mass as well as their strength gains.
How to take it: We recommend two to five grams of creatine monohydrate before the gym. This ensures your muscles will be able to produce the rapid energy you need to get through your workout.
You can take another two to five grams post-workout, too. The creatine will then be used by the muscles to help further growth.
2. Whey Protein Powder
There’s only so much red meat and chicken breasts you can eat before you get sick of it. Thankfully, whey protein powder help boost your daily protein intake without firing up the oven or grill.
Whey powder will digest quickly, allowing your muscles to get the nutrients they need to build muscle. It also has peptides that help to increase blood flow to your muscles. This is why it’s so essential to have whey protein immediately after you’ve finished your workout.
How to take it: Most bodybuilders know to take 20-30 grams of whey after the gym. But this supplement can be as effective pre-workout, too. You can even take a scoop first thing in the morning to ensure rapid uptake of protein upon waking.
You shouldn’t rely on powders as your primary source of protein. You need to be getting most of your protein macros from food sources.
3. Casein Protein Powder
Every bodybuilder knows the importance of whey, but not everyone knows the benefits of casein protein.
Casein has a prolonged digestion rate, making it an excellent option for before bed supplementation. This protein will help to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during sleep by digesting slowly.
How to take it: Look for a powder that contains micellar casein as it’s the slowest digesting casein on the market. Take 20 to 40 grams before bed to maximize its effects.
A recent study showed that mixing proteins makes them more effective than taking them on their own. Try mixing casein and whey to see if it leads to better muscle growth.
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid. You can find it in meat, fish or poultry or through supplementation.
It manages the pH of your muscle’s cells, increasing your strength and muscle’s endurance. You’ll be able to hit the gym for longer and harder.
Beta-alanine is beneficial for athletes looking to increase their strength, power, and muscular endurance. It’s been shown to be most effective for high-intensity training.
How to take it: Take two to five grams of beta-alanine per day. You’ll need to take it regularly to reap its benefits, so be consistent.
You may notice your body tingling after taking this supplement. If this side effect bothers you, take a couple of smaller doses throughout the day instead of a full dose at once.
5. Branched-Chain Amino Acids
BCAAs contain valine, isoleucine, and leucine. These are the three most essential amino acids for repairing and growing muscle tissues.
How to take it: We recommend taking anywhere between four and 10 grams before your workout. You can also reap the benefits further by including some BCAAs during and after your workout.
Glutamine is one of the most plentiful amino acids found in the body. Though it naturally occurs in our bodies, supplementing is beneficial. There may be times when your other body tissues need access to glutamine, taking away this amino from your muscle stores.
Glutamine can help to decrease the muscle fatigue that can sometimes hold us back from progressing. It can also help you to recover faster after your workout.
How to take it: We recommend taking five to 10 grams split between your pre- and post-gym protein shakes.
Omega-3 fatty acids provide the health-boosting benefits of eating fatty, cold-water fish in a pure and concentrated way.
Supplementing with Omega-3 fats can help decrease post-workout muscle soreness. They can also reduce the inflammation you may face after exercise.
Some studies suggest that Omega-3s can assist with weight loss. They’ve been shown to increase satiety after eating, making it easier for you to stick to your diet.
How to take it: You can get your recommended amount of Omega-3s by eating 12 ounces of fish twice a week. If you prefer supplementation, aim for around three grams per day. Take up to six grams if you’re athletic and looking to cut back on muscle soreness.
How to Stack Your Essential Supplements for Bodybuilding
Stacking your supplements can feel like a guessing game. It can be challenging to discern when and how to take your supps for the optimal desired effect.
Some online storefronts sell complete stacks to help take the guesswork out of supplementation. Search for stacks designed to help you reach your fitness goals.
Options like BCAAs, weight gainers, and creatine are great for muscle growth. Supplements found in this cutting stack are optimal for fat loss.
Don’t Rely on Supplements
Supplements, as their name suggestions, are meant to supplement your diet and exercise regimen. No amount of protein powder will help you unless your nutrition and training are under control.
The essential supplements for bodybuilding above are a great jumping-off point for beginners. You may wish to add more supplements as you progress in the gym. Check out our site for more supplement ideas and reviews to help you achieve your dream physique.