With the huge array of supplements available in today’s stores, many of you are probably confused about which supplements you should take. When making that decision, the factors that matter are credibility of the supplement company’s claims, safety and cost effectiveness. Thus, ideally, a supplement you would want to take must have dozens of research with positive results backing it up, is safe and cost little in relative to the benefits it provides. With that in mind, here are the supplements I recommend for all bodybuilders to take. These supplements are suitable for both men and women and will help you with your fitness goals whether you’re trying to build muscle or burn fat.
Do note that all these supplements can be purchased from www.iherb.com. the largest and cheapest online supplement store in the world. They ship worldwide affordably (sometimes FREE) so wherever you are, do check out www.iherb.com. And if you’re a first time buyer, use coupon code NFP654 for $10 off your purchase!
In a perfect world, we’ll all be consuming copious amounts of various vegetables and fruits and get all the vitamins and minerals we need for optimal body function. However, recent surveys have shown that most American adults consume an average of only 2 to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, far below the recommended intake. Thus, taking multivitamins is a safeguard to ensuring we get all the micronutrients we need.
Recommended: Nature’s Way Alive! Multi-Vitamin, No Iron Added
Why: Nature’s Way Alive! Multi-Vitamin contains not just the vitamins and minerals you need but also herbs, green foods, enzymes and amino acids that will further boost your general health, physical and mental performance and recovery! And all this for just 50 cents per day! Take 3 tablets per day.
Fish oil (and the Omega-3 fatty acid it contains) is probably the supplement with the widest range of benefits. Fish oil has been shown to lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels, prevent heart disease, combat depression and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reduce swelling and much more.
Recommended: Now Foods Omega-3
Why: Now Foods Omega-3 is molecularly distilled and is tested to be free of potentially harmful levels of contaminants (i.e. mercury, heavy metals, PCB’s, dioxins, and other contaminants). Thus, it gives you all the benefits of fish oil without any fear of poisoning. And it’s just 25 cents per day! Take 4 to 6 softgels per day, depending on your body weight.
Creatine monohydrate is the number one selling performance-enhancing supplement in the world for very good reasons – it works amazingly, it’s safe and it’s very cheap. Creatine monohydrate is also the most studied supplement, with dozens of researches and trials backing up its effectiveness. Creatine monohydrate increases power, strength which leads to muscle gain.
Recommended: Jarrow Formulas Creatine Monohydrate
Why: Jarrow Formulas gets its creatine monohydrate from Creapure, which is a creatine manufacturer based in Germany. Creapure has the reputation of creating the purest and highest quality creatine manufacturer in the world. Several supplement brands carry Creapure, but since they are all from the same source, I’ve decided to recommend the cheapest. In fact, each serving only costs 11 cents! Take one teaspoon (5g) with your post-workout protein shake.
Pre Workout Formula
Even though bodybuilding is an aesthetic sport instead of a performance sport, your performance in the gym will determine how you look. Simply said, more weights, more reps and more sets equals to more muscle. Thus, a good pre-workout formula can help you achieve that by enhancing your focus, buffering lactic acid, increasing muscular pumps and optimizing energy output.
Recommended: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
Why: Gold Standard Pre-Workout contains a comprehensive formula with everything you want in a pre-workout. Caffeine to combat fatigue. creatine monohydrate to boost strength and power, acetyl l-carnitine to enhance focus, vitamin-Bs to optimize energy output, l-citrulline malate to create muscular pumps and much much more. And for the amount of ingredients in a serving, they are actually more affordable than other formulas! Just take 1 or 2 scoops before working out, depending on your energy needs and caffeine tolerance level.
Whey Protein Isolate
How can anyone not have whey protein in their supplement stack? It’s the most anabolic, biologically active, convenient, fastest absorbing and cheapest protein source available! Among all the types of whey protein, whey protein isolate and hydrolyzed whey protein are the purest and fastest-absorbing. And thanks to bulk manufacturing, prices of these ingredients have gone down in the past several year. Whey protein isolate can be used anytime of the day, especially post-workout to provide the protein we need to repair and build muscle. You could use it as a protein source during meals too.
Why: In recent years, the controversy of “protein spiking” (adding cheaper and less useful amino acids to whey protein to increase the protein content) has been in the news. BPI Sports ISO HD are among the few whey protein formulas which are ChromaDex quality verified. This means it is free from protein spiking and you get the best of whey protein. And each serving is affordable too! Take a serving as your post-workout protein shake or use it as a protein source for meals.
A research has shown that even a short intense 30-minute workout is able to drain 30 to 40% of muscle glycogen stores. Another research has shown that a group of weight trainers were able to maintain their performance better throughout a workout when they consume fast digesting carbs in between sets. Thus, fast digesting carbs can come in handy when you’re trying to maintain your workout intensity or to replenish muscle glycogen after your workout. Other than that, post-workout carbs will spike insulin, which shuts down cortisol release, the hormone that catabolizes muscle. Sip a drink with 30g of fast-digesting carbs during your workout and add 50g to your post-workout drink.
Why: Now Foods Carbo Gain is 100% pure maltodextrin. It’s a tasteless, fast-absorbing carb source. Even though it is classified as a complex carbs, it goes into the bloodstream as fast as simple carbs. Plus, it’s cheap. Most of the time, Carbo Gain will suffice as a carbohydrate source during and after workouts. However, if you’re in a calorie deficit low-carb diet and need a fast and sustainable boost, try Karbolyn. Karbolyn is a modified starch that enters the bloodstream much faster than anything else and lasts in the body for more than two hours. It really is the best carb source for during and after workouts. However, it costs A LOT more than maltodextrin.
Branched Chain Amino Acids with Glutamine
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which comprises of leucine, valine and isoleucine, are the three most important amino acids in your diet if you aim to build muscle and stay lean. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is often depleted during times of physical stress. By supplementing with BCAAs and Glutamine during your workout, you prevent muscle breakdown, enhance endurance and shorten recovery time. Leucine in particular has shown to activate muscle building pathways in muscle cells, prompting them to grow.
Recommended: Scivation Xtend
Why: Scivation Xtend doesn’t just contain BCAAs and Glutamine. It also has Citrulline Malate, which enhances muscle pumps and an electrolyte blend to prevent you from cramping. Plus, it tastes great and it’s sugar free! Add one scoop of Xtend to your intra-workout drink and sip on it throughout your workout.
Daily Supplement Routine
Now that you know which supplements to add to your stack and why, here’s how your daily supplement routine should look like:
3 Alive! Multivitamins tablets & 4-6 fish oil capsules
1-2 scoops Gold Standard Pre-Workout
1 scoop Xtend & 30g fast-digesting carbs
1 scoop ISO HD, 50g fast-digesting carbs, 5g creatine monohydrate
And there you have it! A complete bodybuilding supplement stack that will provide you with all the nutrients you need to build maximum amount of muscle in the shortest time possible! Remember, all these supplements can be bought at unbeatable prices from the world’s biggest online supplement store, www.iherb.com. IHerb delivers worldwide for very little (sometimes FREE). Remember to us Rewards Code NFP654 during your purchase for $10 off!