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Supplements to Build Size and Strength

Updated on January 22, 2015

What Supplements do I need to Bulk Up?

In order to build that great physique you want and get you really strong, you need an integrated and dedicated training methodology and nutrition plan. The amount of BS on supplement marketing has gone overboard. It doesn't also help that the market is flooded with products all claiming to be the best at what they do. Truth be told, it’s a global multi-billion dollar industry, with just about everyone wanting to bulk up. But you want something that will work for you. Here are the most popular, and highest rated supplements for size and strength out there. So let's get right to it.

Protein Powders

Of course they've made it to the list. Protein powders are the first supplements that should be on your mind. They have the sole purpose of adding protein to the diet. Besides, you won't be building anything without any protein in your system. Protein supplements ensure that you get the right amount of protein at the right time. Some of the best protein powder supplements out there in the market include:

i. Milk based protein-They take quite some time to digest compared to the other protein powders. So it you know you'll be about to go for a long period without any protein intake, these are a good option (for instance, when you're about to sleep).

ii. Whey Protein isolates-these one are the purest form if whey. They come with between 90-95% protein with very little quantity of fat or lactose.

iii. Whey Concentrate-They aren't as pure as their isolate counterparts, but they digest faster. This is due to presence of the hydrolyzed whey. The protein content for the whey concentrate varies from one product to the next

iv. Metamyosyn Protein Blends-These are relatively new in the market. They are based on a concept of using a blend of fast and slow proteins (the speed refers to the rate of digestion, absorption and assimilation). The blend is composed of whey and casein.

The thing with protein is that you're pretty much guaranteed to make zero gains without it. So go for it. And while you're at it, pick the brands and products that work best for you.


When talking about mass builders, creatine has to feature. Hundreds of studies support it, thousands of reviews praise it. Its effectiveness in boosting muscle strength and size is undoubted. How does it achieve this? Through a number of mechanisms: it boosts energy levels of the muscle cells and increases the quantity of muscle cell water. The former gives you more stamina, while the latter leads to long term muscle growth as a result id stretch receptors in muscles. Creatine also bumps up the insulin-like growth factor and decreases myostatin levels. Consequently, one gains muscle in a relatively short time.

However, there are those who are nonresponsive to creatine. This is more of a kinetic issue, and not as a result of components in the supplement. You can tell your responsiveness to creatine by taking high doses, such as 20g everyday for 5 days, and assessing your increase in water weight gain.


It's an amino acid that fuels rapid division of cells, enhances hypertrophy and boosts the immune system. Intense training and heavy workouts significantly deplete the body’s glutamine levels, hence the need for these supplements.

Glutamine enhances glycogen resynthesis, reduces soreness and inflammation after workouts and helps in injury recovery. This enhances the rate at which your muscle mass is built. The brain also uses the amino acid as a source of energy (particularly useful when you're dealing with high-carb food cravings or transitioning to a low-carb diet).

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

These are the 3 amino acids: valine, leucine and isoleucine. They are basically the most important amino acids you require to increase muscle growth. They 'turn it on' per se. The BCAAs, (especially leucine) are the prime regulators of the rate in which food results in muscle-protein synthesis.

In addition to enhancing muscle build-up, the BCAAs prove to be an important source of energy during workouts.


Yes, you've read that right. Some caffeine in your system will go a long way. It’s the world's most popular cognitive enhancer. It's mostly marketed to athletes but there's no reason you can't go for it too. It does to important things: increases power output and prevents fatigue from setting in as you work out. However, it does require a dosage of about 600mg for those people that aren't caffeine tolerant.

Fish Oil

This is another supplement heavily marketed to athletes. Fish oil is made up of the EPA and DHA omega-3 fats. It increases glucose uptake and enhances leucine signaling in your muscle tissue. It’s so effective that 4 grams of fish oil a day increases protein synthesis in middle age adults by 30%. It's best taken after workouts as it also reduces muscle soreness and inflammation.

Mass Gainers

Are you a hard-gainer? These are likely to be the choice you make. (By the way, hard gainers are persons who find it difficult to gain mass, usually because of under-eating)

Mass gainer supplements are primarily focused on muscle gain, but also enhance your mass. They are basically protein powders with extra calories.


This is an amino acid needed for a muscle building process. It's a short process: beta-alanine combines with histidine (you guessed it-another amino acid) to form carnosine. Carnosine is the compound you want-it increases your muscle strength and power, and enhances muscle size. This result is seen more when used with creatine.


Yes, you need them. Multi-vitamins ensure that you get enough nutrients that your body needs to function. They also ensure that your body absorbs all the other nutrients seamlessly, to enable you get the maximum return you require from them. In fact, they are just about as important as protein powder supplements. So when you're out shopping for protein supplements, don't forget these beauties.

Remember, without the right mindset and inner drive, in addition to the nutrition and training fundamentals, you will struggle to reach your goal. Get in tune with this to help you reap the benefits that the supplements have to offer. Get the right supplements for size and strength to bring out the Hulk in you.


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