In general, the dietary supplements market as a whole was worth $151.9 billion in 2023. The predicted annual growth rate of the market is 8.9% per year. A large part of this market is sports and weightlifting supplements.
With so many weightlifting supplements hitting the market now, it’s becoming a real challenge for aspiring bodybuilders to figure out what they should choose. You can type in a simple search phrase on the matter on Google, and countless reviews and opinions will be there telling you opposing info.
In this guide, we’ll cut right to the heart of the weightlifting supplements market. We’ll look at all the main options you can consider and explain how some of them work.
Let’s get started with some of the go-to core supplement options that any weightlifter should be thinking about taking. Then we’ll explore some new and exciting options where gym-goers are reporting some impressive results!
Whey protein is a stable supplement option for anyone that wants to develop more lean muscle mass and power in the gym. It’s widely available and makes getting your day’s macros much easier than if you were to consume the same amount of protein from foods.
While casein is a milk-related protein option you can take, whey protein is superior because you can absorb it more quickly. That being said, the slow-release aspect of casein means it can be beneficial to take before you sleep at night, so you get a steady intake of protein into your body as you sleep.
Taking whey protein directly after a weightlifting session is the optimum time for the best absorption. Your body will be clawing at taking any protein it can get to repair the damage you just caused.
Keep in mind that there is no point in taking any more than 30g of whey protein at a time as most people will not absorb much more than this. Instead, stagger out your protein intake throughout the day, ideally with a mixture of food-based proteins and whey protein for convenience to hit your macros.
One way to take your whey protein is three times a day. Have one 20-30g hit in the morning when you wake up, one 30 mins before a workout, and then one within 30 minutes after your workout.
Creatine Monohydrate is a supplement you can take to enhance your power in the gym. With more power, you can lift heavier and longer than normal, meaning you can achieve lean muscle mass gains more quickly.
You gain more power due to the creatine increase in the muscles that the supplement provides. Such bodybuilding supplements will give your muscles more phosphocreatine, which will help keep your energy levels up during intense exercise like weightlifting. The supplement may also help you recover faster in between sets.
So here’s a rudimentary example of how creatine can help you. Imagine you can do three sets of 10 reps with an 80kg barbell on the bench press. After taking the recommended creatine doses for a while, you might soon be able to load the barbell to 85/90kg while keeping to 10 reps and three sets. Or it may be that you can handle more than 10 reps each time within the three-rep routine.
Branch-Chain Amino Acids
If you want quicker recovery times during and after your workouts, you should look into using branch-chain amino acids (BCCAs). You can get them easily in liquid form and sip on the solution in between your sets if you want. Or you can just take BCCAs after your workouts for quicker recovery times.
Some BCCAs such as leucine help to promote protein synthesis. So, it makes sense to BCCAs with a protein shake after your workout. Many protein powders and premade shakes you can buy now contain BCCAs as standard.
Glutamine is a supplement that supports muscle recovery in certain ways. You can see it as a good supplement to stack onto others for better overall recovery times.
This supplement helps you recover by removing excessive ammonia amounts in your body. Ammonia does build up in your body when you carry out intense exercises.
Some symptoms of excessive ammonia include excessive sleepiness, disorientation, confusion, and a change in your feeling of consciousness. So if you feel these types of symptoms after training hard during the week, you might want to consider taking glutamine to help you out.
If you feel fatigued when weightlifting regularly, citrulline malate can alleviate some of that feeling for many. The relief can be in a physical sense as much as a mental one when you take this supplement.
However, now many believe that this supplement also has performance-enhancing effects. It may increase ATP production, which gives you energy for muscle contractions. In general, the longer and harder you work out, the more ATP you are going to use.
Nitric Oxide Boosters
There are several pre-mixed sports supplements available these days with natural juices in them that aim to boost your nitric oxide levels. It is thought that increasing your nitric oxide levels can increase your skeletal muscle blood flow and reduce soreness after training.
Look for supplements that contain pomegranate and beetroot juice extracts to serve your nitric oxide levels. Then you may feel the benefits we’ve just described.
Getting omega-3 fatty acids into your diet can be a real challenge sometimes when you have a busy lifestyle. But you shouldn’t all the benefits you could gain if you started taking fish oil supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
When you train a lot in the gym, you experience inflammation more than usual. You may also create more toxins in the body that you should aim to flush out. Fish oils have anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory properties which can help you reduce too much inflammation after exercise and keep your body in better overall health after the stresses of exercise.
SARMs as an Anabolic Steroid Alternative
We’ve now run through the various gym supplements you can expect entry-level weightlifters and bodybuilders to explore. They are great for muscle gains and faster recoveries to an extent. Yet, there is a whole new world of bodybuilding supplements you can look into that are not anabolic steroids but can share some of the positive effects that anabolic steroids can deliver to bodybuilders.
SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators. They work like steroids in one way in the sense that they modulate androgen receptors (or other similar receptors), yet they are selective in what they modulate. This means that with SARMs, you can gain some of the benefits associated with steroids and bypass the negative effects, such as the ones associated with the prostate, for example.
We’ll now take a look at some popular SARMs or SARM-like products that you can get hold of on the market today. We can introduce you to these products, but it’s down to you to carry out further research to see if they might suit your needs or not.
Ostarine, otherwise known as MK-2866 is a SARM that has been around for a while now. There are probably more studies that have been conducted on this substance, and it’s one of the mildest SARMs out there.
Thus, beginners interested in testing out SARMs in a small way may be attracted to Ostarine. Also, it’s an affordable SARM compared to others making it a great choice for a wide range of gym-goers on a budget.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Ostarine is an excellent SARM for fat cutting. It could help bodybuilders who have difficulties achieving their goals in their cutting phases. Others may benefit from this SARM if they have belly fat that stubbornly won’t shift!
Some will say that you can get healthy lean muscle gains with Ostarine even when you experience calorie deficits. This is great for gym-goers who worry about losing muscle when they are trying to look leaner.
After you do a cycle with Ostarine, it’s a good idea to do post-cycle therapy (PCT). Although Ostarine is one of the weaker testosterone after-cycle suppressants, PCT should keep your hormone levels more balanced in the long run.
Testolone can go by the name RAD 140, and it’s pretty new as SARMs go. Since it is newish on the market, there is limited research on the substance, although plenty of anecdotal talk about it.
Many bodybuilders might say that it is one of the most effective SARMs available to develop lean muscle mass. They may also say that it’s excellent for building better muscle endurance.
After a few doses of RAD 140, you could see impressive muscle gains and improved strength. However, due to this SARM being so potent, people who use it should always do PCT. If you don’t, you could see a dramatic suppression of your testosterone levels after a cycle.
Here you can buy RAD 140 from a trusted seller.
You can also refer to Ligandrol as LGD-4033. Ligandrol is a SARM that people take to fat burn and cut weight.
It’s another potent SARM like Testolone that many bodybuilders use as part of a SARMs stack. A common SARM that bodybuilders will pair this SARM up with is Ostarine. The reason for this is it seems to complement Ostarine well for weight cutting and developing lean muscle.
After taking Ligandrol, you should go on an appropriate SERMs cycle. SERMs stands for selective estrogen receptor modulator. The reason for this is to stop HPTA suppression from occurring.
Andarine also goes by the name S-4 and is another SARM that’s fantastic for losing weight while maintaining and developing lean muscle mass. This is a SARM that prevents water retention and bloating in your body. So combining this SARM with one that focuses on the “fat” side of your weight issue can be super effective.
Again, like most SARMs, you need to do a PCT. This will ensure that Andarine doesn’t suppress your natural testosterone levels after you’ve done a cycle with it.
Ibutamoren has the name MK-677 as well. It is one of the SARM-like products we were talking about at the beginning of the SARMs section. Instead of modulating the androgen receptors as SARMs do, Ibutamoren modulates your growth hormone receptors.
So Ibutamoren is becoming ever more popular for people who want to bulk up with more bone density and muscle growth. You’ll find your energy levels may increase along with your appetite when you take MK-677, perfect for bulking.
If you still want to take SARMs, then you should take them first on a cycle. After that cycle, you can use MK-677 for PCT. This is because it doesn’t interact with your estrogen or testosterone production. Keep in mind that MK-677 isn’t the most powerful PCT option out there, so you should think about only using it after taking weaker SARM types like Ostarine.
Last, we have Cardine which you can call GW-5015516. it too is not a SARM but it projects SARM-like results so bodybuilders often put it in the same category. If you want to build lean muscle super fast, Cardarine is an excellent choice.
Instead of modulating androgen receptors, Cardarine enhances your protein receptors. So when you take Cardarine, you may be able to take in more protein for quicker muscle gains. Plus, since your protein receptors regulate your body’s glucose levels, when you take Cardarine you can expect an increase in your energy levels.
Weightlifting Supplements Explained
We’ve run through a plethora of weightlifting supplements for you to consider. There are standard go-to options for anyone wanting to build muscle like whey protein, creatine, and BCCAs. Then there are various SARMs and SARM-like supplements on the market now such as Ligandrol and Cardarine.
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