The Best Supplements for Strength Athletes and Bodybuilders

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted: 1 September 2016 

Whether you are looking for explosive strength or more endurance during your training, Nutrients Direct has created a list with the most effective supplements for strength athletes and bodybuilders, which are bound to help you reach your fitness goal. Read on to discover the excellent supplements that could help you achieve your goals quicker and easier!

Whey Protein Concentrate

When it comes to muscle growth, everyone has heard about whey protein concentrate  and its benefits. Whey Protein Concentrate is a great protein supplement to use after your training as well, because it helps your muscle recover faster than other protein powders such as casein or soy.

A recent study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” again proved the benefits of whey protein concentrate for muscle growth. The study showed that the prolonged use of a whey protein concentrate supplement caused a greater increase in muscle mass and strength, especially when compared to athletes who do not take advantage of any whey protein concentrate supplement. 

Creatine Monohydrate

Another very effective supplement for muscle growth is creatine monohydrate, which is mainly known as a power enhancer with multiple benefits. Upon consumption of the supplement, creatine monohydrate will help the athlete to maintain energy during heavy training sessions, but also increase the availability of PCr that may aid muscle recovery between your workouts.

Studies have also indicated that the long term use of creatine monohydrate could enhance your resistance training abilities, with muscle gains up to 15%. However, in order to get the most out of creatine monohydrate, athletes should follow a loading method, which comes down to 20 grams of the supplement daily for a week. After the loading period, athletes can continue with a normal maintenance phase with 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day.


Caffeine is a rather common compound often found in energy drinks, cola, coffee and tea. It is a stimulant, which gives you a temporary boost of energy as well as more focus. Therefore, it is no surprise that caffeine can be used to enhance endurance as well as high-intensity training.

Studies have shown that caffeine could be helpful to reduce fatigue and change your perception where effort is concerned. These two benefits contribute to more effective workouts, providing athletes use a maximum of 300 milligrams before the workout.

Please note that the use of caffeine supplements is not advised when you suffer from anxiety. Caffeine is a stimulant, so people suffering from panic attacks and similar problems may experience a serious increase in anxiety from caffeine.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Supplement manufacturers can also offer you a supplement filled with branched chain amino acids, considering these compounds are so full of benefits you simply cannot say no to adding them to your training routine.

Branched chain amino acids include leucine, isoleucine and valine. These branched chain amino acids are best used by athletes who lack protein in their diet, or need more nutrients because of heavy training. Branched chain amino acids supplements will promote muscle synthesis and increase the amount of muscle you can create over time. The use of branched chain amino acids can also reduce fatigue in people who are just starting to exercise again.

Citrulline Malate

The Citrulline Malate supplement was known across the globe for its excellent anti-fatigue properties, considering this supplement was prescribed by physicians to fight mental and physical fatigue about forty years ago. However, times have changed and the supplement is now used for more things than just combatting fatigue, since Citrulline Malate is now used for performance enhancement. 

One of the reasons why Citrulline Malate is so effective, is the combination of L-Citrulline and malate, substances that help to increase ATP levels during exercise and training. The high levels of PCr are also useful, since these will aid recovery after your exercise routine as well.

Nitric Oxide Enhancers

When you want to boost your physical fitness, and your abilities in the gym, it can be a good idea to have a look at foods with the ability to boost the production of a substance called nitric oxide. Foods such as beet root and pomegranate have shown effective for the increase of skeletal muscle blood flow, muscle soreness reduction, and general performance improvement.


Even though glutamine on its own is not as powerful as a blended mix of nutrients in one supplement, this nonessential amino acid still packs a serious punch where muscle recovery and repair is concerned. Glutamine is a substance that removes excess ammonia from the body, a compound that can be created during intense exercise. Through the removal of excess ammonia after intense exercise, glutamine is able to regulate your body’s acid-base balance.

To get the most out of glutamine, athletes should use 20 – 30 grams of the supplement each day, with approximately 10 grams of glutamine after your workout. The supplement will also have the most effect for athletes doing intense exercise on a regular basis, or athletes on a diet who sometimes struggle with a calorie deficit.

Fish Oils

What you eat definitely influences your muscle growth, and there are small ingredients that can help you along the way. Fish oils are a good example of that, because these oils are rich in substances called omega-3 fatty acids. 

Athletes focussed on muscle mass gain or bodybuilding should use fish oils for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, considering heavy exercise and strength-orientated exercise may cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. Tears can easily lead to muscle damage and inflammation, putting a serious hold on your muscle gain. 

Recent studies have indicated that omega-3 fatty acids could have a positive effect on the muscles after training. The substances are able to reduce muscle soreness, but also increase the recovery process of the muscles. In other words, the use of the supplement will make sure you will be a hundred percent next time you hit the gym for an intense training sessions.

Data based on vanilla flavour ND Total Whey WPC ND Mass Muscle WPI Calcium Caseinate
Protein per serve (g) 22.2 23 26.2 26.7 28.1
Take For
Type of protein/s Whey Whey Whey & Casein Whey Casein
Carbs per serve (g) 3.4 4.2 26.5 1.9 0.8
Fat total per serve (g) 1.3 1.3 1.6 0.6 0.2
Sugars per serve (g) 3.2 3.2 10.4 1.4 0.3
Serving Size (g) 35 30 60 30 30
Serves per kilo 28 33 16 33 33
Additional Premium Ingredients Amino blend, colostrum, creatine, glutamine   Amino blend, carb blend,colostrum, creatine    
Notes Complete muscle-building formula The least processed budget powder Ultimate Post workout bulking powder Fast absorbing powder Slow release high density powder
Flavours Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural

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