Last Updated: Feb 3, 2018
The world of health and muscle-building/fat-loss supplements can be very confusing and if you don't know the science behind it all you can easily get marketed into buying some crappy product that you don't even need.
Everywhere you look in the bodybuilding industry you will see endless ads of "revolutionary magic pill" supplements that will transform you in a week or make building muscle a breeze.
This industry is such a massive multi-billion dollar arena and clever marketing is sucking in SO many people who wouldn't know what's best for themselves.
You need to be a little smart about it, and a little research and learning upfront can save you much time and effort in the long-run.
No, the honest truth is that MOST supplements are not worth your time and money, but there definitely ARE some great types of supplements that have been proven to help you reach your muscle-building goals faster and that will also make sticking to a nutrition plan much more convenient.
Before I reveal to you the very best types of supplements that are worth including in your daily routine, I firstly want to get something straight: Whether your goal is to gain weight and build muscle fast, or to get ripped, remember that NO supplement in the world will get you there by itself.
Supplements are to be used, just as the name implies, as a supplement to a great training program and effective nutrition plan. Nothing can replace the basics, so only add in supplements once you've mastered the basics and have a solid routine in place.
Ok, let's take a look at the most effective, proven types of muscle building supplements out there that have stood the test of time and are worth investing in:
Eating enough protein every day to build muscle can be difficult for some people if you purely stick to whole foods. Remember you should be aiming to consume a minimum of 0.8 to 1.5 grams of protein for every pound you weigh.
That's where protein supplements can come in SUPER handy.
Specific supplements like whey protein, meal replacement supplements that contain a decent serving of protein, and other protein-based supplements like protein bars or balls can all be used as a very conveninent substitute once or multiple times per day to ensure you meet your daily protein consumption to enable muscle gain.
See Also: Ultimate Creatine Beginner's Guide
Creatine is a substance produced by the body to supply our muscles with energy. It can be found in fish and red meat, but in small quantities. You would need to eat a lot of these foods to produce significant creatine to gain more muscle, so that's why using creatine supplements is very popular amongst bodybuilders and athletes.
Using creatine supplements will increase muscular endurance and therefore increase your muscle gains. It has been proven time and time again to be a safe and highly effective muscle building supplement.
See Also: Multivitamin Guide for Weight Trainers
For us weight lifters who train intensively trying to gain muscle, you may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals that you need each day since you will be placing a lot more stress on your body.
Taking a high-quality, potent multivitamin everyday is like a backup plan in case you don't get enough of each vitamin and mineral throughout each and every day.
See Also: Glutamine Supplement Guide
Glutamine is an amino acid used in the body to prevent muscle breakdown. After heavy weight training, the body will lose glutamine and will break down muscle tissue in order to raise those glutamine levels back up. So by supplementing your muscle gain diet with glutamine, you can effectively prevent muscle breakdown.
Essential fatty acids are known as the "good fats" and are very helpful in the muscle building process. They can improve matabolism and increase testosterone levels, as well as having positive effects on your overall health.
Some great EFA supplements to take are flax seed oil and Udo's Choice Oil Blend. You can read more about EFA's here.
Including a high quality fish oil is also a great idea for overall health and well-being. There are many benefits to doing this such as better skin, more energy, better brain-function etc.
To finally put aside the skinny-guy excuses and start actually transforming from scrawny to your own version of superhero over the next few months to really level up your life, you essentially have two options:
Learn everything you need to know about planning the best well-balanced, science-based, all-natural mass building program for your specific goal and workout/diet preferences with our pillar 7-step comprehensive guide to creating the ultimate training, eating and supplement program for max results as a skinny hardgainer.
Don't want to spend hours creating and fine-tuning the perfect program and rather follow a highly effective, plug-and-play program that's already been proven to work for countless other hardgainers (including me)? These are my hand-picked, highest recommended pre-made muscle gain programs as of 2018 that can save you time, help you avoid mistakes creating your routines, and stack the odds of success in your favor.
Whichever path you take, good luck future warrior and remember this: no matter what anyone tells you, your physique destiny is 100% in your own hands. Don't fall victim to the illusion that being a hardgainer or [insert excuse] will hold you back, because it won't if you have smart strategies and stick to them for the long term. You CAN overcome average genetics and become the powerfully strong, highly muscular, super-ripped & healthiest version of yourself. I, along with so many others before me, have done exactly that and it's my wish for you too.
To your success,
Natural Bodybuilding & Health Author Since 2008
Mad-Scientist of Hardgainer-to-Hero Transformations for 12 Years & Counting
Last and Definitely Least: Certified Fitness Instructor (Australia)