Best Supplements for Bodybuilders – Increase Muscle Size & Strength

So, you want to get BIG and Strong and want Results. You heard that supplements can maximize your training sessions and tweak your nutrition to make it happen. That leads us to this question. Which are the best supplements for Bodybuilders?

What do you take? How much do you take? When do you take them? I am going to answer these questions in this article.

If your goal is to get big and strong, these are bodybuilding supplements you need.

Creatine Monohydrate (1)

An extremely safe supplement that builds muscle and brings on the power in the gym. Creatine Supplementation works by increasing the amount of creatine and phosphocreatine (PCr) within the muscle, greatly increasing muscle endurance and energy output during high-intensity workouts.

Another huge benefit is the increase of availability of PCr, which speeds up recovery time.  This may increase workout frequencies as an added benefit.

Results– Long term creatine supplementation yields 5-15 percent gains in both strength and performance.

Recommended Dose: Loading Method

20 grams daily for 7 days, followed by the standard dose of 5 grams daily.

Special Considerations: A lower 5 grams for 28 days will load creatine stores, but will eliminate 2-4 pounds weight gain due to the loading protocol.

Caffeine (2)

We know you love it. Caffeine is one of the most widely used stimulants on the planet. Caffeine simply decreases fatigue and improve effort during high-intensity, and higher volume workouts. In other words, if give you a little boost before hitting the weights.

The results are mixed when it comes to strength. We find there are little strength benefits. I take prior to a workout to get that mental pump, so I can get it done in the gym.

Recommended Dose:

150-300 milligrams – 60 minutes prior to workout.

Special Considerations- Heart Rate may increase substantially, so I like to take 1 hour before.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (3)

We love us some BCAA’s – Branched Chain Amino Acids. A must on every bodybuilders list of supplements. Yes, they even taste great. A must have to speed up recovery and significantly decreases muscle soreness. BCAA’s let you train hard and often.

BCAA’s like leucine via protein synthesis regulate protein metabolism, while suppressing protein degradation. In other words, this process rapidly improves the muscles damaged during resistance training and all workouts.

Recommend Dose:

6-1- grams pre-workout and during workouts.

Special Considerations– Must have.

Citulline Malate (4)

The original “anti fatigue” supplement. Citulline Malate (CM) was originally prescribed to treat mental and physical fatigue, post surgically. Today, its used to boost performance. The supplementation of CM combines L-Citrulline and malate to increase ATP during exercise. Furthermore, phospocreatine (PCr) increases leading to faster muscle recovery after exercise.

Citulline Malate can be beneficial in improving performance during upper and lower body resistance training for men.

Recommended Dose:

8 grams of CM taken 60 minutes before exercise

Nitric Oxide (No) Boosters (5)

One of my favorites, as I get older and something I wish I took when I was younger. Super Beets, radishes, and pomegranates all naturally boost the production of nitric oxide. People are now taking for hypertension and cardiac benefits.

Bodybuilders may benefit from NO boosters to increase blood flow to the skeletal muscles and reduce muscle soreness, which improves strength and performance. There is more research to do. However, I would highly recommend Nitric Oxide booster to anyone, not just bodybuilders.

Recommended Dose:

500 milligrams of beet root juice. Lately Super Beet Juice has hit the market and we are currently testing it in the gym. Take 30-60 minutes prior to workout.

Whey Protein (6)

When crushing the weights, you need post-workout supplement that will improve your muscles’ ability to adapt and recover after high-intensity workouts. Is it better than casein and Soy. Studies have shown whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis at a higher level.

Bodybuilders for a long time, know that Whey Protein, after prolonged use with weight training leads to big increases in muscle mass and strength. You want to be a bodybuilder or get big, then Whey is the way.

What about blends? Meaning, the combination of Whey and Casein. Whey is fast digesting and Casein is slower digesting, so the protein stays in the body, for a longer time, and keeps the rate of protein synthesis ramped up, and minimizes muscle breakdown.

So blends may be a good choose over straight Whey.

Try it and record your results.

Recommended Dose:

25-30 grams of whey or whey/casein blend). Combine with a higher-glycemic carbohydrate for post workout optimization.

Gluatmine (7)

Recovery, Recovery, Recovery.

Glutamine works by removing excess ammonia that accumulates during workouts. Glutamine regulates the Bodies PH acid-base balance.

Glutamine supplementation may benefit bodybuilders who train, two-a-day splits or lowering their caloric intake.

Recommended Dose:

20-30 grams a day (10 grams post workout)

Fish Oil (8)

You got Omega-3 fatty acids? You better get some. Inflammation is what we do as bodybuilders. Heavy Lifting or injuries can cause microscopic tears in muscle fibers, which equal inflammation and muscle damage. We want some inflammation, but too much will hurt our recovery process after intense workouts.

Stack Omega-3 fatty acids with BCAA’s, carbs, which can increase protein synthesis rates, thus leading to greater gains in muscle mass.

Recommended Dose:

2 grams per day, with a meal.

Increase Muscle Size & Strength.

In this article,  we discussed the Best Supplements for Bodybuilders. How much to take, what to take, and when to take it .  Supplements for Bodybuilding will help you optimize and enhance your workouts and get those results you are seeking.

Of course, supplements aren’t magic pills. Lifestyle nutrition and training are the big gorillas in the room and something I will be writing about in future articles. So, target the correct supplemental stack for your needs.

Happy Lifting,

Jeffrey Cording, IFBB-Physique Pro


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