What Supplements Do I Need to Start Bodybuilding?

 Bodybuilding Supplements for Beginners

Bodybuilding is a sport that requires dedication, discipline, and hard work. It also requires proper nutrition and supplementation to support muscle growth, recovery, and performance. However, with so many supplements on the market, it can be confusing and overwhelming for beginners to choose the right ones. In this article, we will discuss the top five supplements that are most suitable for beginners in the gym.

1. Protein

Protein is the building block of muscle tissue and is essential for muscle repair and growth. Protein supplements can help you meet your daily protein needs, especially if you struggle to get enough protein from whole foods. Protein supplements can also provide a convenient and fast-digesting source of amino acids, which are the subunits of protein that stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS), the process of building new muscle fibers.

There are different types of protein supplements, such as whey, casein, soy, egg, pea, and others. Whey protein is one of the most popular and effective protein supplements because it is rapidly absorbed and has a high leucine content, which is the key amino acid that triggers MPS. Casein protein is slower-digesting and can provide a sustained release of amino acids over several hours, which may be beneficial for preventing muscle breakdown during long periods of fasting or sleeping.

The recommended dosage of protein supplements varies depending on your body weight, activity level, and goals, but a general guideline is to consume 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, divided into 4-6 servings throughout the day. You can take a whey protein shake before, during, or after your workout to boost your MPS and recovery, and a casein protein shake before bed to prevent muscle catabolism.

Some examples of high-quality protein supplements are:

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed

MuscleTech Nitro-Tech

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

Dymatize Elite Casein

2. Creatine

Creatine is a natural compound that is found in meat, fish, and eggs and is also produced by our bodies in small amounts. Creatine helps our muscles produce energy for short-duration, high-intensity activities, such as lifting weights or sprinting. Creatine supplementation can increase our muscle creatine stores, which can enhance our performance, strength, power, and muscle mass.

Creatine has been extensively researched and proven to be safe and effective for most healthy adults. Creatine can also have other benefits, such as improving recovery, reducing fatigue, increasing lean body mass, and preventing muscle loss.

There are different forms of creatine supplements, such as creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride, and others. Creatine monohydrate is the most widely used and studied form of creatine and is equally or more effective than other forms.

The recommended dosage of creatine supplements is 3-5 grams per day for maintenance. You can also do a loading phase of 20 grams per day for 5-7 days to saturate your muscles faster, but this is not necessary. You can take creatine at any time of the day, but some people prefer to take it before or after their workout to maximize its effects.

Some examples of high-quality creatine supplements are:

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine

Bodybuilding.com Signature Creatine Monohydrate

3. Multivitamins

Multivitamins are supplements that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for our health and well-being. Vitamins and minerals play important roles in various bodily functions, such as energy production, immune system, hormone regulation, bone health, antioxidant defense, and more. We can get most of our vitamins and minerals from our food, but we may not always get enough of each one due to factors such as poor diet quality, food processing, soil depletion, stress, medication, and others.

Multivitamin supplements can help us fill in the gaps in our nutrition and prevent deficiencies that can impair our performance, health, and recovery. Multivitamins can also provide some extra benefits, such as improving mood, cognition, skin health, and metabolism.

The recommended dosage of multivitamin supplements depends on the product and your individual needs, but a general guideline is to follow the label instructions and take one serving per day with a meal. You can choose a multivitamin that is tailored to your gender, age, and goals, as different groups may have different nutritional requirements.

Some examples of high-quality multivitamin supplements are:

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women

Bodybuilding.com Signature Multivitamin

4. Fish Oil

Fish oil is a supplement that contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats that our body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, and antioxidant properties that can benefit our cardiovascular, brain, joint, and skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids can also support muscle growth, recovery, and fat loss by enhancing insulin sensitivity, protein synthesis, and hormone balance.

We can get omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, but most people do not consume enough fish in their diet. Fish oil supplements can provide a convenient and concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids that can help us meet our daily needs and optimize our health and performance.

The recommended dosage of fish oil supplements depends on the product and your individual needs, but a general guideline is to consume 1-3 grams of combined EPA and DHA per day. EPA and DHA are the two most important types of omega-3 fatty acids that have the most benefits. You can take fish oil at any time of the day, but some people prefer to take it with a meal to improve absorption and reduce fishy burps.

Some examples of high-quality fish oil supplements are:

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Softgels

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Fish Oil

Bodybuilding.com Signature Fish Oil

5. Pre-Workout

Pre-workout is a supplement that contains a blend of ingredients that are designed to boost your energy, focus, endurance, and strength during your workout. Pre-workout supplements can help you overcome fatigue, boredom, and plateaus by enhancing your motivation, performance, and intensity. Pre-workout supplements can also improve your blood flow, oxygen delivery, and nutrient uptake to your muscles, which can support muscle growth and recovery.

There are many different types of pre-workout supplements, with different formulas, flavors, and effects. Some common ingredients in pre-workout supplements are caffeine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, creatine, BCAAs, taurine, and others. You should choose a pre-workout supplement that suits your preferences, goals, and tolerance level.

The recommended dosage of pre-workout supplements depends on the product and your individual response, but a general guideline is to start with half a scoop or less and assess your tolerance before increasing the dose. You should take pre-workout 15-30 minutes before your workout to allow the ingredients to kick in. You should also cycle off pre-workout every few weeks to prevent dependency and tolerance.

Some examples of high-quality pre-workout supplements are:

Cellucor C4 Original

MuscleTech Vapor X5 Next Gen Pre-Workout

Bodybuilding.com Signature Pre Workout


These are the top five supplements that we recommend for beginners in the gym. They can help you enhance your nutrition, performance, muscle growth, and recovery. However, remember that supplements are not magic pills that will do the work for you. You still need to train hard, eat well and rest enough to achieve your goals. Supplements are just tools that can make your journey easier and faster.

We hope this article has helped you understand the basics of bodybuilding supplements for beginners. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. Happy lifting!

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