If you're serious about getting results from your time spent in the gym, then you're already doing all the "basics" required to support muscle growth (e.g., eating right, training hard, getting enough sleep, etc.).
You’ve likely heard that supplements can further augment your progress and results, but you might not be sure what are the best supplements to take for bodybuilding.
That’s where this article comes in!
Here, we’ll discuss the top 5 supplements to take for bodybuilding to help you train harder, recover faster and build more muscle.
Put, if you're trying to find the best supplements to take for bodybuilding, then you need to look no further than creatine monohydrate.
It is, unequivocally, the “king” of muscle-building supplements.
Creatine has been shown time and again to enhance muscle building as well as athletic performance. It's been found to aid recovery and cognitive function, too!
Creatine does this through a variety of mechanisms, including enhancing ATP production (which helps you lift more weight and complete more reps) as well as cell volumization (FYI, cell swelling/volumization is a contributing factor to hypertrophy).
Lastly, don’t be fooled by “designer” creatine blends. Creatine monohydrate, the same kind used in SteelFit® Crepure® Creatine Monohydrate, remains the undisputed king of creatine. Other forms of creatine are wrapped up in fancy marketing terminology, but they are no better or more effective than good old creatine monohydrate.
When it comes to timing, that's largely irrelevant. The more important thing is to take it consistently day in and day out. We like to mix our serving of creatine into our post-workout shake.
Speaking of post-workout shakes, the foundation is protein powder...whey protein powder, specifically.
Whey protein is derived from cow’s milk and is rapidly digested and high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), making it ideal for the post-workout anabolic window.
Whey protein has been a staple of bodybuilding nutrition plans for decades, and for a good reason -- it's affordable, convenient, and high in protein. In decades past, whey protein wasn't the best tasting, didn't mix all that well, and invariably led to GI upset.
That's all been taken care of thanks to modern manufacturing processes, which removes the impurities, leaving a powder high in protein, easy on the stomach, and friendly on the macros.
SteelFit® Steel Whey® uses WPC-80 -- the highest quality whey protein concentrate -- to boost protein synthesis, support lean muscle growth, aid metabolism, and enhance recovery.
Steel Whey® is available in FIVE delicious flavors and can be used any time of day, including pre-workout, post-workout, and before bedtime!
Branched Chain Amino Acids
Our muscles are made of protein, and protein is made of amino acids.
There are over 20 amino acids found in the body, some of which our bodies can make from other amino acids (termed nonessential amino acids). Others our bodies cannot make, meaning they must be obtained through the diet. These amino acids are called essential amino acids.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a subclass of the essential amino acid family that have been heavily investigated for their role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and reducing muscle protein breakdown (MPB).
This is especially important for bodybuilders as muscle growth is determined by the body balance of protein synthesis versus muscle protein breakdown. If protein synthesis is greater than the rate of protein breakdown, the body is in an anabolic environment, whereby it can repair and build muscle.
Supplementing with BCAAs can help promote a more favorable environment for building muscle. In addition to muscle growth, BCAA supplements have also been found to support increased athletic performance, aid recovery, and reduce muscle soreness. They can be used anytime, including intra-workout, post-workout, or with a meal to increase the overall amino acid content.
Steel Fuel® supplies a full 5,000mg of BCAAs in the research-supported 2:1:1 dose in every serving. We’ve also included key electrolytes, minerals, and other hydration-supporting agents to help the body perform better and recover faster!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been prominent for years. Most often associated with fish oil, the truth is that omega-3 fatty acids can be found in various foods (salmon, walnuts, mackerel, flax seeds, etc.).
So, what’s the deal with omega-3s?
Well, they are known to possess anti-inflammatory activity and support cardiovascular health, joint health, and cognitive function.
However, for a variety of reasons, many individuals don't utilize fish oil. There's also concern about the quality of many fish oil supplements on the market that is rotten due to poor manufacturing and storage. This reduces the quality of the fish oil as well as many of its potential benefits.
Ahiflower® represents a sustainable, plant-based option to help increase your omega-3 intake.
Ahiflower® provides the most abundant plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids around! Ahiflower® oil contains a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid that converts far more efficiently (4x more efficiently than ALA!) in the body to EPA and DHA than other plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.).
Furthermore, since it is derived from plants, Ahiflower® doesn't have the fishy taste, smell, or "other" effects (e.g., fish burps) common with typical omega-3 supplements derived from fish.
One of the unsung heroes of muscle building (and overall health & wellness) are micronutrients -- vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols.
While these molecules may not contribute to your total daily energy expenditure, they most certainly impact every aspect of physiology, from muscle growth to fat loss to basic ATP production!
However, many individuals (particularly active individuals) lack one or more essential minerals, such as magnesium -- which is involved in over 300 biological processes!
Mineral deficiency (and vitamin deficiency) can lead to feelings of lethargy, fatigue, brain fog, cramping, and many other unwanted events.
In theory, it's possible to consume sufficient quantities of essential micronutrients through the diet. Still, most individuals walking the planet aren't consuming the best diets, which opens them up to micronutrient deficiencies. Even if you eat ample amounts of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats every day, modern farming practices have robbed many foods of their micronutrient payload.
Supplementing with a quality multivitamin/multimineral supplement, such as Steel Multi-V®, may help you increase your overall micronutrient intake and shore up any gaps in your nutritional profile.