1. Gain Muscle Mass
In a world that's focused on weight loss, most bodybuilders are more concerned with weight gain. A pound of muscle is harder to build than a pound of fat, and there are only so many steaks you can eat in a single day. To make up the difference, the average bodybuilder turns to protein supplements. Whether they enjoy post-workout shakes or a steady stream of sports bars, your athlete is almost definitely looking for more ways to cram protein into their daily diet. What to Use: Whey Protein For centuries, concerned mothers have told growing kids to drink plenty of milk. That's because dairy products are a good source of whey protein.
Whey protein is easy to consume and contains a ton of essential amino acids. Although you can get a decent amount of whey by eating dairy products, taking it as a direct supplement will let you maximize your protein intake.
Product to Try: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
The best way to consume whey protein is as a protein powder. Every bodybuilder has their favorite protein shake, but if you're looking for a place to start, try Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder. The ingredients are simple, and you can get it in chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla.
2. Improve Perfomance
Most bodybuilding supplements promise that they can enhance your performance. This vague term might refer to increasing your strength, improving your resilience, or giving you more energy so that you can keep working out for longer.
Obviously, there's no substitute for training and hard work. But it turns out that a few select supplements actually can make your performance better - assuming that you take them regularly and keep up your training regimen.
What to Use: Creatine
Since the 1990s, creatine has been the shining star of the supplement industry. Creatine is one of the few supplements with effects that have been corroborated by clinical studies.
Creatine is naturally produced by the body and plays an important role in muscular health. Creatine increases the amount of energy that your muscles are able to produce; this lets you lift more and work out for longer periods of time.
It's worth noting that there's such a thing as creatine saturation. When you first start taking creatine supplements, most manufacturers recommend that you take a "loading dose" for the first few days. After the loading period, you can greatly decrease your intake while maintaining the same effects.
Product to Try: MuscleTech Platinum Creatine Monohydrate Powder
MuscleTech's Platinum Creatine Monohydrate Powder is a simple and flavorless supplement that you can add to your normal protein shakes. The powder has been micronized, which makes it fluffier and easier to consume.
3. Repair Muscle
Everyone who's worked out has experienced that sore-muscle feeling the next day. Pushing yourself past your limits causes damage, and the process of repairing that damage results in stronger muscles that can handle more the next time around.
The normal remedy for muscle damage is rest. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to convince a passionate bodybuilder to stay out of the gym for a day or two. Muscle-repairing supplements can help speed up the recovery process, reducing the chance of injury and letting your dedicated athlete get back to their favorite activity.
What to Use: Glutamine
There are a ton of supplements that promise to help with muscle recovery, and they usually contain one key ingredient: glutamine.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the muscles in your body. Amino acids are the building blocks that proteins are made from. When you have damaged tissues or organs, your body automatically sends glutamine through the bloodstream to help repair those areas.
Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids found in the body, but that doesn't always mean there's enough. Bodybuilders are constantly damaging and repairing muscles, so taking a glutamine supplement can be a good way to increase their internal stores.
Product to Try: Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Caps
If you're looking for a no-frills glutamine supplement, we recommend Optimum Nutrition's Glutamine Caps. Each of the 120 capsules contains a full gram of pure l-glutamine. The only other ingredient is magnesium stearate, which acts as a release agent.
4. Unleash IGF-1 for Max Health Benefits
One of the struggles of bodybuilding is the daily grind. It's hard to find the energy and motivation needed to push past that wall and go to the gym for yet another day in a row. Even athletes who love their craft might find themselves burnt out and exhausted, especially if they aren't seeing the gains they've been looking for.
Many nutrition supplements strive this problem by promoting healthy energy levels. The reasoning is that if you aren't as tired, you'll be more motivated. An additional health benefit of deer antler velvet and IGF-1 is that it promotes hormone balance and can help with muscle rejuvenation.
What to Use: Deer Antler Velvet
Deer antler velvet has been used in natural medicine for hundreds of years, but it's only recently been marketed as an athletic supplement. As the name suggests, this product is shed from the antlers of deers right before mating season every year. The shed velvet contains a variety of proteins and hormones that are thought to provide performance-enhancing effects.
Deer antler velvet contains a growth hormone called IGF-1. Although the science isn't fully out, existing studies have shown that IGF-1 can help encourage cellular regrowth. Some athletes have reported feeling stronger and more energetic after taking regular deer antler velvet supplements; others use it to assist with muscle repair.
Product to Try: Pure Velvet Extracts - Premium Antler
We recommend our best selling deer antler velvet supplement - Pure Velvet: Premium Antler. The top selling supplement contains 2000mg of pure deer antler velvet. It's optimal strength and price point make it the best choice on the market.