Supplements is a great way to build lean muscle mass, which is a bodybuilders main goal. Doing this involves having a balanced diet, have an exceptional workout plan, and be well rested every night.
Assuming you do all of those, the next step is taking supplements. Finding the right supplements that actually work before you decide to empty your wallet is a difficult task.
That is why we give you our guide to The Top 5 Best Bodybuilding supplements backed by actual science.
1. Pre-Workout Supplements
Pre-Workout proves to provide an excellent boost to muscle training and to push harder during your workouts by reducing muscular fatigue. This can result in massive boosts to lean muscle growth.
In a 2022 study, they found that in the moment pre-workout reduced muscular fatigue. Applying this result to bodybuilding it will, in fact, allow us to push harder during our workouts and maximize growth.
The ingredients of pre-workout have also shown to have benefits to improving muscle mass long-term.
The following is contained in Nutricost’s pre-workout that benefits bodybuilding shown by studies:
- Niacin or Vitamin B3 (benefits found in a 2014 study)
- Vitamin B6 (benefits found in a 2017 study)
- Vitamin B12
- L-Citrulline Malate (benefits found in a 2018 study)
- Beta-Alaine (benefits found in a 2018 study)
- Taurine (benefits found in a 2017 study)
- Agmatine Sulfate
- L-Theanine (benefits found in a 2008 study)
- Huperzine A (benefits found in a 2020 study)
Note: these ingredients were only contained from one pre-workout as each pre-workout will contain different ingredients or similar ingredients.
For more available pre-workouts checkout: The BEST Pre-Workouts we’ve Tried for you in 2022
The most common ingredient found in pre-workout which is Caffeine is also shown to have one of the biggest benefits in Pre-workout,
Caffeine drives significant boosts to stamina and recovery [S].
Creatine is an amino acid is a naturally occurring chemical in our bodies but it can also be taken as a supplement or found in foods such as red meat and seafood.
This supplement is largely used in bodybuilding to help build lean mass.
According to a study done in 2017, they tested whether creatine had an affect on lean muscle mass. The results proved to be successful.
By looking at the study done we learned 3 important details that creatine proves its successfulness in bodybuilding:
- Increases of upper and lower lean tissue mass [S]
- Allows for better recreation of ATP [S], which ATP serves the purpose of muscle contraction and construction of proteins [S]
- Creating more water retention in muscles which allows for better use of proteins [S]
No doubt, creatine is an exceptional supplement and tool for bodybuilders.
Is Creatine Safe?
Multiple claims about creatine’s apparent ‘bad side effects’ do not hold up to the truth. Studies have shown that the only side effect of creatine is weight gain due to water retention.
Do not worry about these alleged claims of Kidney damage, balding, or acne.
While Creatine is safe in healthy individuals, there were studies done that it can worsen present kidney problems. It is not suggested to take creatine if you have any past kidney damage.
BCAA short for Branched-chain amino acid’s is an excellent supplement for bodybuilders to take.
The reason BCAA’s are so important is because our bodies do not produce them making them an essential amino acid. And since our bodies cannot produce them, we must get from our diet or taken as a supplement.
The two major benefits that BCAA’s provide is as listed:
- Protein requires amino acids to significantly increase protein production [S]
- Increased muscle stamina by allowing proteins to flow back into the muscle quicker [S]
- Decreased muscle soreness by allowing more proteins to be used properly [S]
Overall BCAA’s are highly suggested when bodybuilding due to its benefits. Provided that it is an essential amino acid, it is completely safe.
4. Protein Isolate
Protein isolate is straight protein because it has been through more processing collecting just protein. This is much better because it has lower calories than whey protein.
Receiving enough protein is absolutely essential for any bodybuilder. Our diets, sometimes, cannot give us the amount of protein we need to support our muscle mass and muscle recovery.
Supplementing protein using protein shakes have proven to provide its significant benefits to growing lean muscle mass.
Protein, of any kind, provides benefits in these simple main points:
- Increasing muscle mass [S]
- Increasing muscle growth
In addition, a study done in 2020 on whey protein showed significant increases in lean body mass and strength.
5. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin, also known as vitamin b3, is highly suggested in bodybuilding due to its increase of lean muscle mass and possibly muscle strength.
Infact, a study done in 2013 showed Niacin to increase the number of slow twitch muscle fibers, which can result in higher lean muscle mass.
It increases lean muscle mass because slow twitch muscle fibers are smaller in size physically, than fast twitch muscle fibers.
In another study done in 2022 for muscular disease it showed that increases strength, however, it is unclear whether it will increase strength in a healthy individual.
Is Niacin Safe?
Taking Niacin in a smaller dose is a much better option than larger doses. Common side effects of taking too large of a dose is:
- Red flushing of the face
- Irregular heartbeat
However, if you wish to get it naturally to be sure to avoid any side effects you can eat fish and chicken to naturally consume Niacin in much smaller doses.
Supplements for bodybuilding
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These supplements have been chosen based off what we think is best for bodybuilding: