The best supplements for bodybuilding

The best supplements for bodybuilding

The weight rooms bring together different types of practitioners: those who want to become more muscular, some who wish to lose weight, and others who seek to develop a specific physical quality.
In the world of fitness and bodybuilding, nutrition is at the heart of all attention. Indeed, these are the 3 main groups of nutrients that allow muscles to develop: to become larger, or more efficient in a given discipline. Thereby, dietary supplements are also fundamental, essential to progress and achieve your goals. In this article, we propose to take stock of the best dietary supplements for bodybuilding.

What is bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is a sport in which loads are manipulated (dumbbells, bars, pulleys, devices) in order to stimulate the muscle fibers and develop them.

A cosmetic sport

A physical preparation tool

The goal of bodybuilding is to stimulate and develop muscle mass: for cosmetic purposes as bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts do, or to improve a physical ability. And indeed, the most evolved methods of physical preparation always include a high percentage of weight training because it allows, in addition to developing muscles, improve absolutely all physical abilities. Renowned coach throughout the world and preparer of the FNL teams, Charles Poliquin claimed, already in the 90s, the benefits of hypertrophy on the development of physical abilities. Strength, stamina, explosiveness and stamina can be enhanced by hypertrophy.
Thus, all athletes who practice bodybuilding must follow the basic nutritional rules:

  • Focus on protein intake
  • Choosing the right energy sources
  • Choose the right food supplements

Proteins: Essential!

The whey

Whey comes from milk, of which it is the liquid part. It is very fluid, easy to digest, fast to assimilate and very rich in essential amino acids EAA and BCAA. It is recommended primarily for muscle development because it is of incomparable versatility :

  • It promotes muscle gain
  • It improves recovery
  • It can be used for mass gain, for muscle building and for weight loss
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There are different types of whey : the concentrate, the isolate and the hydrolyzate. These three proteins have similar effects on muscle gain, but their lactose content and protein concentration differ slightly. People who are lactose intolerant are generally advised to go for whey isolate.


It constitutes the solid part of milk and, unlike whey, it is rather thick and long to digest. However, it contains an aminogram similar to whey and effectively promotes muscle development. Casein is generally recommended for people who want to lose weight, because it takes a long time to digest and considerably reduces the appetite. Also, it diffuses its amino acids for long hours, which supports muscle anabolism: ideal for both muscle building and cutting, because the more amino acids the muscles are supplied with, the more calories they burn. Also, casein is recommended at bedtime because it helps support protein synthesis even during sleep, which radically reduces muscle wasting caused by nocturnal catabolism.


A gainer is a food supplement specifically intended for mass gain because it contains a lot of calories from proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Gainers are generally recommended for complete beginners and ectomorphs, or more generally people who have trouble gaining muscle mass even with regular and high calorie intake. Each shaker provides between 450 and 1000 calories, ideal when it is difficult to consume enough food to gain weight and mass. Also, gainers can be very useful for boosting muscle recovery, especially creatine-enriched gainers.

Amino Acids: To optimize your muscle building


The essential amino acids, or EAA, group together the 9 essential amino acids. The body does not know how to synthesize them and they must absolutely be provided through food or food supplements, otherwise any muscle development is impossible. EAA supplementation is a great asset for people who train with frequency and intensity, because they are easily assimilated and, icing on the cake, they can make the other 11 non-essential amino acids. For this reason, EAAs are also recommended for people who have difficulty consuming enough protein or who cannot take protein powder (digestion difficulties or allergy to dairy products).

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BCAAs contain 3 branched chain amino acids, l-leucine, l-isoleucine and l-valine. Leucine is the amino acid that initiates protein synthesis and therefore has a priority place in the aminogram: without leucine, no muscle development is possible. Isoleucine and valine support the anabolic value of leucine, but also increase its anti-catabolic power: BCAAs considerably reduce muscle catabolism, which occurs naturally after physical exertion or after a long period of fasting. It is for this reason that BCAAs are recommended after each weight training session. Finally, BCAAs are amino acids which are directly assimilated by the muscles and which do not clog up the digestive system. Thus, they are extremely effective during training, because they allow the muscle fibers to exert more effort and for a longer period of timemore effectively than carbohydrates!

Training Boosters: For more effective sessions


It is the most studied and effective training booster to increase performance. By accelerating ATP resynthesis in muscle fibers, it makes it possible to renew explosive and short-term efforts more effectively. Creatine is by far the most effective supplement for all strength and functional sports:

  • Bodybuilding
  • CrossFit
  • Weightlifting
  • Powerlifting

Although creatine is generally used in sports where one wishes to develop muscle strength, the latest studies on this ergogen seem to suggest that it also increases muscular endurance capacities.

The Pre-Workouts

Very popular since the early 2000s, pre-workouts are essentially composed of arginine, citrulline, beta-alanine and caffeine. They are thus intended for promote oxygenation, congestion, and increase muscle volume. Indeed, arginine, citrulline and nitrates are precursors of nitric oxide, a gas that dilates the walls of blood vessels. This dilation increases blood flow to muscle fibers, as well as nutrient synthesis. Muscles, better nourished and better oxygenated, can withstand more intense efforts, which greatly optimizes hypertrophy. Also, the presence of caffeine or other stimulant promotes the release of neurotransmitters that increase energy levels, alertness and concentration.

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Hormonal stimulants: To prepare the ground

Fat Burners: For optimal muscle definition

Thermogenic burners

Thermogenic fat burners burn fat by increasing metabolism. The body temperature increases slightly, which induces increased fat burning and higher calorie expenditure, even at rest. Thermogenesis takes place under the action of a central nervous system stimulant such as caffeine or green tea, and the mobilization of fat leads to rapid weight loss by encouraging the body to use energy from fat as a usable source of energy. The ingredients of a thermogenic fat burner all stimulate thermogenesis and facilitate weight loss by also acting on the main cause of weight gain: appetite.

Lipotropic burners

Lipotropic fat burners do not contain stimulants and can therefore be used by all types of people. They usually contain l-carnitine or cla, two active ingredients that transform fat into energy. Also, CLA reduces the accumulation of new fats and reduces the risk of regaining weight. As for l-carnitine, research on this amino acid demonstrates its effectiveness in using mobilized fat to increase energy levels. Thus, carnitine is a supplement commonly used by long-distance runners and triathletes because it increases muscular endurance capacities thanks to this mobilization of body fat.

Also read:

The basics of bodybuilding

The best bodybuilding program

How to choose your food supplements?

Dietary supplements to gain mass

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