The question I am asked more than any other is What muscle building supplements should I use. I find this disconcerting because it indicates an over-reliance on supplements. You should know up front that even if you follow my supplement recommendations below to the letter, you will not see any gains in muscle or strength without a scientifically-designed training and nutrition program to complement them. I know that many of you will ignore that last sentence, but at least you cant say I didnt warn you.
Just as a good training and nutrition program lays the foundation for supplements to work, it is important to have a foundational level to your muscle building supplement program.
I recommend that your foundational level include a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral (cheap drugstore brands are useless), greens powder, protein powder, and a high-quality fish oil. I consider these supplements to be almost an extension of your nutrition plan. They serve to eliminate any nutrient deficiencies you might have, which help your body function at the highest level possible to enhance your strength and muscle mass.
The Second Tier
Most people tend to skip the Foundation and move directly to the second tier. This will not give you optimal gains. Again, I know many of you will ignore that last sentence, but I had to say it anyway.
The second-tier is made-up only of muscle building supplements that have been proven to enhance strength and muscle mass. The main supplements to include at this level are a post-workout shake, creatine, and a pre-workout stimulant. All of these have been shown without a doubt to enhance your progress.
The Third Tier
If you havent spent all of your money on supplements with the Foundation and Second Tier, you can move on to the Third Tier. This is where supplements that give smaller benefits as well as new and unproven supplements fit in. This would include things like creatine esters and nitric oxide supplements.
Unfortunately this is where most people spend all their money. I hate to see people caught-up in the supplement company marketing blitz, spending all their money on the latest supplement. These supplements should be last on your list, and should only be used if you are using the supplements in the Foundation and Second Tier. After all, why would you spend money on unproven supplements when there are supplements out there that have been proven to work?
I want to reiterate that even the scientifically-proven supplements alone wont make any difference in your strength or muscle mass levels. A whole tub of creatine wont enhance your strength or size one bit without a well-designed and training and nutrition program.
So the next time you are considering buying muscle building supplements, ask yourself if you wouldnt just be better off with a new training and nutrition program.