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Top Supplement Types for Bodybuilding

Updated on September 23, 2012

It is not easy to achieve the looks, strength, and physical ability of a top-notch bodybuilder. Along with the physical conditioning and mental focus, diet and nutrition are the two most important factors in shaping the body’s physique . For the most part, the body builder needs to meet extremely strict dietary requirements. These requirements include a delicate balance of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Supplements have definitely made acquiring these nutrients into our diets much easier. No longer do we have to consume the massive amounts of food and drinks needed for optimal body sculpting. This article will feature some of the Top Supplement Types for Bodybuilding including proteins, creatines, fat burners, and prohormones; as well as explaining why these are important in the diet.

Benefit of Supplements

Body builders can enjoy the benefits of using supplements when taken regularly and as advised. Supplements can help nutrition in two ways. The first is that they contain essential nutrition that naturally be found in foods that we eat. Supplements, in this way, can help fill in the holes of one’s nutrition without adding the fat and calories. The second way that supplements can help nutrition is by providing the body with chemically engineered supplements. These are non-essential nutrition that gives added nutrition for a variety of needs.

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements come in various forms—powders, concentrates, nutrition bars, and drinks—and provide essential nutrients needed for ample energy and extra boost for exercise. There are four basic types of protein supplements:

  • Whey Proteins
  • Casein Proteins
  • Soy Proteins
  • Egg Proteins

Whey Proteins are the most popular types of protein supplements on the market. Whey protein is a branched-chain amino acids structure, meaning that it contains the amino acids that the body will use to build protein naturally. This type of protein is recommended both before and after workouts. When using before a workout, it is important to mix whey proteins with some sort of carb to insure insulin levels do not spike during a long workout. Using whey protein after a workout will ensure that any nutrients or glycogen levels are replenished.

Casein Proteins are the slowest digesting protein. Therefore, this type of supplement stays in the body for a long time. For the longer work out, or a day of several sessions, casein proteins are essential because it helps the body release a constant supply of amino acids into the blood, keeping the body anabolic. The best time for casein proteins is during the length of the workout. Milk is the largest supplier of casein protein. Mixing milk with other proteins is a good way to make your supplement taste better and provide a time-release element to your supplement regimen.

Soy Proteins comes from soy beans and contains no fat, cholesterol, or lactose. It does not come from animals like other proteins do, which is an optimum choice for vegetarian body builders or those vegetarians who need a protein supplement in their diet. It is also a good choice for those with milk allergies or is lactose intolerant. Soy proteins are a medium digesting, flexible protein—making it a good choice for before and after workouts.

Egg Proteins , like soy, is free from fat and cholesterol. Like the name suggests, it is derived from eggs whites. It contains all eight necessary amino acids, making it ideal for weightlifters and athletes alike. Also like soy proteins, egg proteins are suitable for people for milk allergies because they contain no lactose. The one disadvantage of egg protein is the cost; however, when looking at the benefits of such a supplement, it could very well be a very important source of nutrients.

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Creatine Supplements

Creatine Supplements are found in red meat. Bodybuilders and athletes use this supplement to develop muscle mass as they are gaining strength. There are five main types of creatine supplements:

  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Creatine Phosphate
  • Creatine Citrate
  • Creatine Malate
  • Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine Monohydrate is the most well-known of the creatine supplements. It comes in standard and micronized form. Micronized creatine monohydrate is soluble in water, making it easy to mix with water or sports drinks. The standard form is more common, but has a lower absorption rate, which can cause stomach unsettling when taken too close to the start of a workout.

Creatine Phosphate is expensive because of the process it undergoes in creation. Creatine phosphate is created when phosphates combine with creatine molecules. Because this type of creatine supplement is usually only about two-thirds actual creatine, it is often considered weaker than other creatines.

Creatine Citrate is created by mixing creatine with citrate molecules. It is highly water-soluble, which makes it more and more popular. It is widely used by body builders and athletes even though it is only 40 percent creatine and quite expensive.

Creatine Malate is created by mixing malic acid and creatine malate. Due to its high water-soluble nature, it absorbs rapidly into the bloodstream. However, it dissipates just as quickly, making it one of the least effective of the creatine supplements. Though it may be the least common form of creatine supplements, the ultimate test is trying it yourself.

Creatine Ethyl Ester is predicted to become the number one choice for creatine supplementation in body builders and athletes. This is because joining ester molecules with creatine helps the creatine to easily penetrate cell membranes—which makes it a much more effective form of creatine than its counterparts.

Fat Burners

Fat Burners are supplements essential to body builders since the idea is to decrease fat percentage and replace it with muscle mass. Fat burners speed up the fat loss process much more quickly than diet and exercise alone. There are several different types of fat burners on the market. Here a few that you may have already encountered:

  • Thermogenic Fat Burners
  • Appetite Suppressants
  • Carb Blockers

Thermogenic Fat Burners are the most popular on the market. These help burn fat by elevating body temperature and metabolic rate. Prolonged use, however, is not recommended because it can cause stress to the nervous system. Appetite Suppressants are good for those who tend to have problems controlling their appetite. Like the name suggests, appetite suppressant contain ingredients that will produce a reduction in appetite. Carb blockers block the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. Foods containing a lot of carbohydrates tend to leave people craving more and making them hungrier later. Carb blockers will help the body get rid of the carbs before the body can absorb them.


Prohormones are supplements that increase the levels of testosterone and 19-nortestorsterone in men. The metabolic precursors in prohormones are transformed into active hormones when taken responsibly. Prohormones can raise energy and mood levels and are a great way to aid in developing a lean body and increasing mass and strength.

Whenever following a supplement regimen, it is very important to identify the potential benefits and risks associated with such nutrients. Some are needed before workouts, others are recommended for fat-burning. Always read the label and ask a doctor whenever possible. When used correctly along with diet and exercise, body building supplements can help you achieve the muscle mass and trim physique you are looking for.


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    • CandleBags profile image

      Lewis Sellers 5 years ago from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks @florajohns for the comment! :)

      Yeah, there are a few links above to related websites who have more information that's helpful to the market!

      Glad you enjoyed.

    • florajohns profile image

      florajohns 5 years ago

      Hey great hub in detail information is provided here. Supplements are important part of body building but many times we cant get which supplement is good in market. You provide the nice information. Thanks for sharing.