Are you at the beginning of your bodybuilding journey? Are you trying to find something to boost your energy and muscle mass? Maybe you already heard about supplements, but don’t know how they work, where to start and what to take? Don’t despair. We’re here to help you. Here’s a complete guide for the best and most essential workout supplements for every newbie in this field. Let’s start!
Beginners Guide to Supplements
Once you’ve established your nutrition and training programs, having a solid supplement plan that will accompany your workouts will only raise your chances to get stronger, bigger and leaner. Although the supplement industry is huge today and there are lots of hypes and misinformations swirling around the internet, you need to be careful and know the basics before you fall for some random supplement some “fitness guru” recommends.
First and foremost, growing muscles is a process that lasts and supplements should never replace proper everyday nutrition. They’re here to help cover for nutrient gaps and complement your diet, plus supplements ensure that your body gets everything it needs to reach the best and highest performance.
Everyone has its own goals and reasons why they want to start using supplements and no matter what your reasons are, taking the right supplements will surely improve your look, performance and health. Of course, you should be aware of what you’re taking inside your body, so make sure you don’t take anything you don’t understand.
In order to help you build a solid supplement base (assuming you’re already taking multivitamins), we suggest starting with protein supplements (casein, whey, fish, eggs, plant), fish oil, BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), glutamine proteins such as pure micronized glutamine and creatine.
Below you will see that we explained two of the most popular supplements for beginners – protein supplements and creatine supplements.
Protein Supplements for Beginners
The most obvious step in order to get enough of protein on a daily basis (recommended 20 – 30 % intake of protein in your daily caloric plan) is through food intake, preferably through meat as by eating white meat you’ll get complete protein sources. This can be quite expensive and time-consuming to eat every two to three hours preparing for a meal is something that not most people can follow that schedule while some simply don’t want to eat that often during the day.
This is where protein supplements help. They enable you to affordably and comfortably meet your daily protein intake goal and act fast, even if you’re at work, busy. Sometimes, after a hard workout, protein supplements can have more benefits for your body than some protein based food and this is ‘cause whey protein is digested more easily and quickly than some protein based food which makes him ideal for the post-workout drink.
There are five protein based supplements:
And each one of them works best as powder supplement for beginners.
Creatine for Beginners
This supplement is one of the most studied supplements today and most researchers would say that it’s more effective that can be found on the market today. Recent researchers confirmed that creatine is able to increase the mass of your muscles by approx ten pounds and more than 10% of your muscle strength. Maybe you heard it before, but we have to mention this again – creatine increases the weight of the water in your muscles and pulls more fluid into the body cells. This particular fluid places a membrane stretch to signal an increase in the synthesis of muscle proteins, resulting in long-term, real muscle growth.
Don’t listen to some friend who knows-it-all when he says that creatine just increases water weight, this is simply not true. It provides critical energy that fuels your muscle cells to contract during hard workouts. Having more energy will make you complete more exercises which will, at the end, lead to increases in muscle size and strength.
Dose: Since it’s the first time you’re taking creatine, it really depends on the form you’re using, but we suggest you take it mixed with whey protein, around 1 to 5 grams before and after your workouts. If you opt for creatine monohydrate, we suggest you do the “loading phase”, for the first seven days. In order to do the “loading phase” you should take 5 grams of creatine monohydrate 4 to 5 times a day. On workout days you can make 2 or 3 doses before and after your workout, on the days you don’t plan to workout take the protein with meals. After the “loading phase” is done, we suggest you stick to the five grams intake before and after workouts.
Best Supplements for Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Beginners
When it comes to bodybuilding supplements for beginners, it’s best that you stick with supplements that are well researched and supported by scientists. Keeping that in mind, we made a list of the best supplements for bodybuilding beginners and reasons why these particular supplements should be your number one choice if you’re starting your bodybuilding career:
- Protein – As we mentioned above, protein supplements are the most used and safest supplements on the market. From beginners to pros, everyone uses them. In addition to that, hundreds of studies have proved that adding protein supplements to your nutrition will help in improving your muscular strength and size in a shorter period of time.
- Greens – Green supplements are great for bodybuilding beginners as they will minimize all the negative effects that can happen when on a diet, especially if you lack in veggies and fruits. Please keep in mind that we don’t suggest you replace the real fruit and veggies with supps, but only to minimize the damage that lack of this produce can cause.
- Fish Oils – Well known as the “Super supplement” and we don’t know anyone (in the bodybuilding industry) who’s not taking fish supplements. They are great because they have this anti-inflammatory effect which is great, especially for the beginners who are just starting with bodybuilding and usually end with cramps and inflammations. You don’t have to eat ibuprofen like candies every day, turn to quality fish oil and you’re good to go.
- Carbs – Yes, carbohydrate drink is particularly important for those who just started with hard workouts as it will help your muscles build, energy replenishes and body recovery.
- Creatine – Definitely one of the top supplements for bodybuilding beginners. For more info check out our previously published articles or go back to the previous paragraph on creatine for beginners.
Best Pre Workout for Beginners
Before you even start thinking about pre workout supplements, it’s important that you exactly know what you’re looking for in a pre workout. You need to know what it is and what are you hoping to get out of pre workout supps.
Here are some common options you need to consider before deciding on buying:
- You want to burn more fat
- You want to build more muscle
- You want to increase your strength
- You want to get a pump
- You want to increase your energy
- You want to increase the strength of your body
- You want to increase endurance
Now that you have considered all the factors mentioned above, you can come to the conclusion what type of pre workout supplement will work best for you.
When it comes to beginners, we would recommend that you use caffeine based supps (100 – 250 milligrams per day) to boost your energy and prepare your body for burnout.
Muscle Building Supplements for Beginners
When it comes to muscle building supplements we recommend that you go with those that are proven to work:
- Whey Protein – These are key signals in triggering new muscle growth
- Creatine Monohydrate – It’s scientifically proven that creatine monohydrate and water increases your muscle volume.
- Omega 3 – Helps burn calories and fat faster, making your muscles bigger and stronger.
- BCAA’S – It increases the protein synthesis rate, therefore helps in maximizing muscle recovery.