In the interest of making strength and muscle gains, supplements are often turned to. You can build muscle and get stronger without taking supplements as long as you have a good diet. But by taking supplements, you will have more control over your nutrient intake and better be able to optimize your results.
Supplements also can help balance your hormones, increase your energy, lower stress and catabolic hormones, improve recovery, and increase testosterone. All of these benefits make supplementation worthwhile to someone interested in getting the best results from their training.
Protein is the single most beneficial supplement to be taking for strength and muscle gains. Your body requires protein to perform protein synthesis after training which is needed for any kind of muscle growth to occur. This is the best supplement to take as a weightlifter because your body requires higher amounts of protein to repair muscles than someone who doesn’t lift.
Research has shown that of the various types of protein, whey isolate protein is the best. This is because it is the protein which is best utilized by the body for repairing muscles and has the best anabolic effect when compared to other protein supplements. Protein isolate has a higher protein content with less carbohydrates when compared to protein concentrate making it ideal for supplementation.
You only really need to take 20-30g of protein when taking a protein supplement in oder to maximize protein synthesis. The best time to take protein is actually before a workout, not after, since your body will still be digesting and able to use any protein consumed prior to a workout after the training is done.
The best source of whey isolate protein is at Bulk Supplements. They offer 500g of whey isolate protein which is enough for 1-3 months of using protein. They also have other amounts available but 500g is going to be the best value unless you want to stock up for half a year to a year in which case buy a larger amount.
Following protein, creatine is another very effective supplement to take for gains.
There have been many studies done on creatine which prove that is effective for performance in the gym, recovery, muscle growth, and increased strength. Some of these studies are this one, this one, and this one.
Creatine supplements work by increasing creatine phosphate which has a very positive effect on the ATP (energy supply) available for the body to use during training and recovery.
The best source of creatine is 250g of pure creatine HCI at bulk supplements. Creatine HCI is the most easily absorbed and used form of creatine with the least amount of side effects when compared to other forms of creatine such as creatine monohydrate.
The third best supplement to take is a multivitamin. This is because many people develop nutrient deficiencies due to a poor diet or lifestyle. Vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium are all common deficiencies to have and are vital for normal hormonal levels and gains.
By taking a multivitamin you ensure that there are no gaps in your vitamin intake and that you are in the healthy ranges for all nutrients. It is best to only take a multivitamin supplement 2-4 times a week because more than that could lead to higher amounts of vitamins and mineral than your body needs, causing a negative impact on health.
The best source for a multivitamin supplement are the multivitamin softgels at Bulk Supplements which will last you 3-6 months depending on the frequency that you take them at.
4. L-Citrulline DL-Malate
Adding on to protein, creatine, and a multivitamin, L-citrulline is also a great supplement to take for gaining strength and muscle. This supplement will help performance and recovery in the gym by improving blood flow and nitric oxide levels in the blood.
The recommended dose for L-citrulline is 3-6 grams daily. The best source of L-citrulline DL-malate is at Bulk Supplements. They have 500g of L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 available, enough to last more than 4-6 months of use.
5. Fish Oil
Next, fish oil is very beneficial to take for general health as well as making gains. Omega 3 deficiencies are very common and taking fish oil is a great way to correct them. Another way would be to increase your fish intake but that tends to be more costly and is less convenient than merely taking a supplement.
Fish oil has been shown to help with recovery and reduce soreness after workouts due to its EPA and DHA content. EPA and DHA also support healthy brain function, immunity, heart health, and mood.
The best source of fish oil are the 300 fish oil softgels at Bulk Supplements.
Adaptogens can be very effective at helping build strength and muscle. Adaptogens are naturally occurring herbs and mushrooms such as tongkat ali, ginseng, and cordyceps that work with your body to help rebalance hormones and overall function.
Adaptogens vary in what they actually do and how they work but many of them have proven to be very effective at optimizing hormones and giving a boost in making gains.
Overall, the best individual adaptogens to take are tongkat ali, ashwagandha, and panax ginseng. Tongkat ali has been proven in multiple studies to increase your testosterone levels 20-30% by binding to SHGB. Ashwagandha has been proven to lower your cortisol which is a catabolic hormone and can negatively impact gains. And ginseng has been proven to lower stress and boost energy.
The best sources of pure powder for all the adaptogens are at Bulk Supplements. They offer 100g of tongkat ali, 250g of panax ginseng, and 250g of ashwagandha. They offer many other adaptogens in addition to these. The supplies they offer are enough to last months and are affordable.
Finally, shilajit is another supplement that can provide several benefits for building muscle and strength.
This study found that supplementing with shilajit for 90 days resulted in an increase in testosterone. This is likely due to the large amount of trace minerals and micronutrients shilajit provides.
Shilajit also can improve gut health and may be able to aide in the absorption of other vitamins that are taken along with it.
The best source to buy shilajit is 30g of pure shilajit resin on Amazon.
Overall, the best supplements for building muscle and strength are protein, creatine, a multivitamin, L-citrulline DL-malate, fish oil, adaptogens, and shilajit. These are numbered in the order of importance and adaptogens and shilajit are more complimentary than essential. None of these supplements are needed but they can all improve the overall results from training.