What do you do when a supplement knocks on your door?
Well, you ‘invitamin.’ Cheesy jokes aside, the average American takes at least one dietary supplement each day growing the already inflated dietary supplement industry.
From preventing osteoporosis, to boosting immunity, to building muscle; the best supplements for men seem to be the magic bullet for just about anything. But should you even be taking these multi-colored pills?
There’s a lot of controversy on the matter but there is a common theme that stands out from this debate. From what we can gather, dietary supplements are meant to be just that, supplements.
Some of the best supplements for men were designed to provide essential nutritional requirements that may be lacking in our diet.
But with a variety of options to choose from- from BCAAs, to creatine, to whey protein, what ’s a guy to do?
Whether you’re a noob who’s just joined the gym or a veteran powerlifter, here are our top picks for the best supplements for men.
Like your bench press workout buddy, they’ve got your back from cutting weight, to building muscle to boosting your energy levels.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Powder
- 0.2 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
- 0.3 Nutricost Caffeine Pills
- 0.4 XTEND Original BCAA Powder Recovery Drink
- 0.5 Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Gainer
- 0.6 Men’s Daily Multimineral Multivitamin Supplement
- 0.7 BulkSupplements Beta Alanine
- 0.8 Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil
- 0.9 Fish oil is perfect for the endurance athlete
- 1 3 Things to Consider when Supplementing
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Powder
Creatine is best for muscle growth
Our first supplement, Creatine – aka methyl guanidine acetic acid is one of the best supplements for muscle growth. It’s normally produced by the body by the liver, kidney and pancreas and is mainly found stored in brain and muscle tissue.
It’s made up of a chain of three amino acids i.e. methionine, arginine and histidine and can also be found in meat, fish and a variety of other animal products.
Creatine is considered to be a safe and effective supplement that is great for building muscle mass and strength training albeit surrounded by a lot of controversies, myths and misconceptions.
Some of the myths surrounding it purport that it ruins your kidneys and causes dehydration. According to Greg Nuckols, an expert coach and a world renowned powerlifter at StrongerbyScience, this a load of B.S.
However, you shouldn’t expect to look like a vintage Ronnie Coleman overnight. But how does it work in gaining muscle?
Basically, your muscle tissue requires energy in the form ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) for you to be able to power through your workout sessions.
The ATP is broken down to ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) through the loss of a phosphate group which provides the energy for muscle contraction.
However, your muscles require energy in the form of ATP, which is where creatine saves the day.
By acting as a reservoir for phosphates group, Creatine aids in the reconstitution of ATP by providing the required phosphate groups for the formation of ATP from ADP.
But that’s not all creatine does, by helping to regulate the Ph. inside your muscle cells, Creatine delays the onset of fatigue. Which means that you will be able to work out a little bit harder and last a tad bit longer at the gym.
By allowing you to recover much quicker between sets and giving you the energy to squeeze in a few more reps in a set, Creatine helps improve strength and muscle gain over time making it one of the best workout supplements for men.
However, you’ll only be able to reap these benefits if you’re giving it your all in every workout session.
Creatine increases the water content in muscle tissue
Creatine is also known to increase the water content in muscle tissue which causes your muscle cells to slightly swell up and this produces signals for inducing muscle growth in the body.
What’s more, creatine is known to increase the hormonal levels of hormones involved in growth and development.
Overall, creatine is great for improving your performance at the gym which translates to bigger gains in muscle growth and strength.
Earning it’s spot on our best supplements for muscle growth.
- Increases muscle strength
- Boosts muscle growth
- No health risk
- Pretty affordable
- Promotes water retention in the body
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
When it comes to protein supplements, there are two main garden varieties i.e. casein and whey protein which both come from milk. Casein and whey are slow and fast digestion proteins respectively.
However, there are other plant-based vegan protein powders available on the market.
Example of a plant-based protein supplement is pea protein powder
One good example of a plant-based protein supplement is pea protein powder which is loaded with BCAAs and – according to preliminary research, is as good as whey protein in building muscle.
Others vegan protein supplements include soy bean products such as edamame, tofu and tempeh, lentils, peanuts etc.
Proteins are the basic building blocks of life and are typically made of long chains of amino acids which make up the structures and functions of each cell in the body.
Which means they are essential to build muscle mass.
If you’re not getting a healthy dose of proteins to supplement your workout, then you might as well be going to the gym to mime.
Whenever you hit the gym- especially resistance training, it stresses your muscle cells and even damages them. To repair the damage, your body uses amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins.
Research on the effectiveness of protein supplements have yield mixed results. One study done in Brazil to evaluate the effectiveness of protein supplementation in resistance training found that it had no effect on increasing strength or muscle mass but there was fat-free mass increase in older adults.
Conversely, a journal published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that dietary protein supplementation in resistance training led to significant growth in muscle size and strength.
The verdict? Overall, there is strong evidence that suggests protein supplementation is effective in gain muscle across all ages.
Most health and nutrition expert recommend dietary protein supplementation first before using protein powder. Most protein-rich foods can be easily sourced such as dairy, meats, and legumes and have a variety of other nutrients and vitamins to boot.
However, if you’re lead a busy lifestyle and really can’t make the time to sit down and each a bunch of food, then protein supplements are for you. There is a huge variety of protein supplements online from protein bars to protein shakes.
- May contain all the essential amino acids the body can’t manufacture
Nutricost Caffeine Pills
Our next supplement is one which is found in a variety of drinks that we consume on regular basis. That’s right fellas, caffeine is one of the best workout supplements for men out there and hell of a lot cheaper to boot.
Putting aside its psychostimulant effects for one minute, caffeine is a natural stimulant and most people use it to stay alert. But what most people don’t know, is that it can help improve work out performance.
First off, caffeine, which can be found in your typical cup of coffee or tea is an ergogenic supplement much like creatine.
Ergogenic comes from the combination of two words “ergo” which means work and “genic” which means to produce or generate which translates to a performance enhancing substance.
There are a variety of studies that have concluded that caffeine can improve the performance of athletes in a variety of sports including swimming. However, finding around the effectiveness of caffeine to build muscles have yielded unclear results.
One such study, concluded that there was a positive correlation between caffeine supplementation and exercise performance.
Another study found evidence to suggest that consuming about 3mg per Kg of bodyweight could help improve your bench press and squat performance.
Eeffectiveness of caffeine on muscle performance
The common theme on research studies on the effectiveness of caffeine on muscle performance is that it does help making it one of the best energy supplements for men.
- Improves muscle performance
- Gives you an energy boost
- Boosts metabolism
- Can cause insomnia
XTEND Original BCAA Powder Recovery Drink
These refer to a chain of three amino acids namely; Isoleucine, Valine and Leucine. Like we’ve mentioned before, proteins are made of a chain of amino acids.
Branched Chain Amino Acids – BCAAs for short, can be found in most protein-rich food sources but animal products such dairy, eggs, fish, meat are particularly rich in BCAAs.
Branched Chain Amino Acids plays a role the process of muscle growth
In powder form, BCAAs are believed to play a key role in the process of muscle growth making them one of the best supplements for building muscle for men.
In fact, a review published on The Journal of Nutrition, concluded that branched chain amino acids are involved in the activation of key catalysts involved in the process of protein synthesis after a workout session.
However, a review published on The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness concluded that BCAAs don’t enhance performance but improve immunity and muscle recovery.
Another study to determine the effects of combining heavy resistance training while supplementing with BCAAs followed 19 study participants for 8 weeks and found there was no significant effect on muscle performance and body composition.
While nearly everyone gets a daily dose BCAAs from food, they are quite popular as supplements albeit with mixed results. However, if you’re not getting the recommended protein requirement in your diet then you could supplement your meal with BCAAs.
Overall, there’s not much evidence to suggest that adding BCAAs supplements in an already protein rich diet is helpful but they do play a role in muscle growth.
- Helps prevent muscle damages as a result of exercise stress
- Promote muscle growth and development
- May cause fatigue issues – a paradox
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Gainer
These are typically loaded with calories and are one the best supplements for muscle gain. Weight gainers or mass gainers – their popular name, are designed to give you a higher dose of calories and protein.
Weight gainers are designed for individual who have a hard time building muscle mass. Believe it or not, but there are some people who hard a time gaining muscle even on a high-calorie diet and rigorous strength training.
While the calorie content for weight gainers typically varies, it wouldn’t raise an eye brow if each serving had over a 1000 calories.
Additionally, sorry to burst your bubble, while most people think – even hard core gym buffs, that the calories in mass gainers come from protein, they actually come from carbs.
Some of them even come from cheap easy to find but nutritionally poor sources such your plain ol’ sugar. What’s more, each serving is typically has 20-60 grams of protein with the lion’s share being take up by carbs i.e. between 70 and 300 grams.
Consequently, the term “mass” gainer can be considered a tad bit misleading. Since they only stuff you with a bunch of calories to help you add weight.
However, weight gainers can also be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the additional weight has the potential of becoming muscle – obviously with the right training regimen.
On the other hand, it can become fat if you’re a couch potato or if you consume more calories than is required for muscle growth.
It’s worth noting that while gainers are one of the best supplements for building muscle and can help you load up on the extra calories, there’s nothing special about them.
In fact, a study done on adults who led a sedentary lifestyle showed that if you suddenly switched to a high-calorie diet and ate enough proteins you could potentially increase your lean muscle mass.
However, another study on male adults who regularly engaged in resistance training and were on high-calorie diets such as weight gainers did not contribute to increasing lean muscle mass.
While weight gainers may be one of the best supplements for men for building muscle they also come a hefty price tag.
They may look cheap since they come in a big bag, but when you compare the price of making your own weight gainer to buying one, its definitely expensive.
Its hell of a lot cheaper to whip up your own, all you need is oatmeal, protein powder and peanut butter and you’re good to rumble.
You’ll get something that’s way more nutritional and healthier than the sugar-packed weight gainers.
So who is It for? Well, if you’re having a hard time chowing down real food and are looking for an alternative, then you should definitely consider stocking up on some mass gainers.
- High-calorie composition
- High-calorie composition – easy to go overboard
Men’s Daily Multimineral Multivitamin Supplement
Time for a flash back people, remember back in the day as you were growing and mommy insisted you eat your veggies? Oh, broccoli, my old sworn enemy. Well, if you didn’t get the message now you will.
Turns out, fruits and vegetables are the main sources of multivitamins. But like most people’s diet, we tend to have proteins and carbs take the spotlight while making fruits and vegetables retreat to the shadows in vampirical fashion.
But don’t take my word for it. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only 12.2 percent of the American adult population consume the required fruit intake while a 9.3 percent consume the required vegetable recommendation.
Where the minimum intake—according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1.5-2 cups of fruits each day. And from the numbers above, it’s easy to see the gap multivitamin supplements are designed to fill.
However, most people like to take multivitamins since they’re not a fan of eating fruits and vegetables. But that doesn’t mean you can substitute your fruits and veggies for multivitamins, it doesn’t work that way.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a pill that has the same nutritional composition as a balanced whole foods diet. Real food has a lot more stuff in it and can’t be reduced to only a source of mineral and vitamins.
But like we’ve mentioned before, they’re were made for the busy guy who’s always on the move.
When shopping for multivitamins, as a man or for a man, be sure to get one that doesn’t have extra iron. Unless you have condition that causes you to lose significant blood, you have no business taking iron supplements.
This is because excess iron levels in the body could put you at risk of developing hemochromatosis – a heart disease.
- Poses no health risk
- Pretty affordable
- Helps reduce risk of developing heart disease
- May be unnecessary in a well-balanced healthy diet
- Don’t contain all essential nutrients
BulkSupplements Beta Alanine
Beta- alanine is an amino acid categorized as a non-essential amino acid. This means it’s not required or used by your body in the manufacture of proteins.
However, when combine with histidine it promotes the production carnosine. Carnosine is subsequently stored by your skeletal muscles.
Therein, carnosine helps to reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles when working out which effectively increases your athletic ability and performance. Using beta-alanine has been shown to increase the levels of carnosine in muscle cells by up to 80%.
By helping reduce the accumulation of lactic acid, beta-alanine helps reduce overall workout fatigue. What’s more, it also increases your endurance levels and performance especially in high-intensity workouts.
In addition, beta-alanine is also known to promote an increase in lean muscle mass provided you’re following the right workout program.
In fact, a study done on college football players and wrestlers showed that taking a mere 4g of beta-alanine every day for two months could increase your lean muscle compared to a placebo.
Moreover, another study also concluded that supplementing your high-intensity workout with beta-alanine supplements each day for six weeks could potentially increase your lean muscle mass by about one pound more compared to a placebo.
But these benefits only scratch the surface. The increase in carnosine brought about the beta-alanine supplements come with several other health benefits.
There is evidence to suggest that carnosine has anti-aging, immune-strengthening and antioxidant properties but these were found in laboratory and animal models.
Furthermore, laboratory studies on carnosine revealed that it increases the production of nitric oxide which is significant in antiaging studies. Studies have also shown it also improves skeletal muscle function individuals on the mid-higher end of the age bracket.
These benefits alone make beta-alanine not only the best supplements for men but also our best supplement overall.
- Boosts your immunity levels
- Increases endurance
- Improved time to exhaustion
- Tingling skin sensations
Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil
The last supplement on our list is fish oil. From joint pains, to metabolic syndromes, to inflammations to soreness; fish oil seems to do it all.
What’s more, there’s evidence to suggest that it reduces the risk of developing cardiac diseases.
This all thanks to fish oil being rich in omega-3 fatty acids which play a crucial role in maintaining your heart beat, triglyceride levels and blood pressure within the normal levels.
Fish oil is perfect for the endurance athlete
They are also essential in reduce the oxidative stress on your muscles which makes your muscles less sore after your workouts making it one of the best energy supplements for men.
Fish oil is perfect for the endurance athlete, think long-distance runners, because of their higher oxidative stress levels.
Eating fatty fish such tune, salmon and sardines, kale, chia seeds etc. should get you your omega-3 fatty acid fix.
However, if you’re an endurance athlete, these sources won’t cut it and you’ll need to include some fish oil supplements in your diet.
The average recommended dose for a man each day is about 1000mg but those who consider themselves endurance athletes should probably double down on the dose.
- Maintains a healthy heart beat
- Maintains triglycerides level within the normal range
- Slows down atherosclerosis
- The fishy burp is hard to get over
- It’s a blood thinner, to be avoided by people on blood thinners
3 Things to Consider when Supplementing
It’s worth noting that many supplements contain active ingredients which can potentially cause adverse side effects in your body.
With that in mind, here are few things you should consider before dosing up on your colored pill.
#1 Supplements are not food substitutes
Hate or love it, but you still have got to eat. Unless you’ve got a condition that makes it hard for you to eat, then you should always go for dietary nutrients, vitamins and minerals first, before dietary supplements.
If that’s unavoidable, remember what we said. Supplements are designed to be just that, supplements.
#2 Supplements are not medicines
Some of you may be tempted to substitute medicine with supplements or use supplements together with medicine without the approval of your GP. I recommend you don’t do it, you may not like the consequences.
For instance, Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners which are medications for preventing blood clots. Blood clots have been known to strokes and heart attacks.
#3 Natural doesn’t mean safe
Some of the best supplements for men come with a label that says natural. Natural doesn’t always mean it’s safe.
The safety of a supplement is determined by everything from its chemical compositions, to its action in the body, to the dosage amount, to how it was prepared.
As far as improving performance, endurance, muscle growth, immunity, the aforementioned best supplements for men should help you achieve your health goals.
Thanks for get this further, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Cheers!