The Best Supplements for Size and Strength.
by Serious Supplements
To build a great physique and get really strong, you need a dedicated, integrated, purpose built training methodology and nutrition plan. You then need to find the motivation, inner desire and discipline to execute that plan. You need to enjoy the process of reaching your goals; the grind, the slog which is bodybuilding and power lifting, the challenge of beating your body.
Without the right mindset, inner drive, training and nutrition fundamentals you will struggle to build an above average physique or strength profile. You need to ensure that you have these things in order before you will begin to reap the benefits supplements have to offer.
Don't be mistaken though, supplements can be a very important component in improving your physique, strength and endurance; so as the title suggests, I will list what the Serious Supplements experts feel to be the best supplements for size and strength.
We all know the benefits of increased testosterone, so we won't waste your time explaining why it is important. If you wish to read more on testosterone you can do so here.
D-Aspartic Acid is without doubt (in the eyes of Serious Supplements anyway) the best natural testosterone booster available.
Human research shows that supplementing with D-Aspartic Acid can increase total testosterone production by 42% in only 12 days. (4)
Viridex XT is a D-aspartic Acid product that you will find in store.
Muscle, Strength and Endurance
Unless you are a noob to the bodybuilding game you will understand the need for elevated protein intake. Unless you have an allergy, Whey and Casein are the best. You need to be taking around 3.3g of protein per kg of bodyweight for optimal growth. Protein powder supplementation is an easy way to ensure you are getting that amount.
Take a look here for a detailed run down of Serious Supplements' protein powder recommendations.
More studies than you can poke a stick at attest to creatine monohydrate's effectiveness in building muscle mass and strength.
Despite all of the new and potentially improved creatines coming out such as Con-Cret, none can yet compare to creatine monohydrate in terms of scientifically verified efficacy and cost effectiveness.
If you want some more information on creatine supplementation read here
Scientific studies have demonstrated that BCAAs both increase protein synthesis and reduce protein degradation. This is great news for muscle growth. (8,9)
Some authors will argue that by increasing your whey protein intake (which is high in BCAAs) will provide you with sufficient levels BCAAs for muscle growth. Serious Supplements feels that although Whey Protein is high in BCAAs and is fast digesting – generally it takes at least a couple of hours before all the amino acids reach the bloodstream. BCAAs will pulse your blood levels of BCAAs almost instantly, making them perfect for sipping intra workout and immediately post workout.
Scivation Xtend is a good option here and is sold in store.
Beta-alanine (BA) is a precursor of carnosine. If you take beta-alanine, your muscle cells convert it, together with the amino acid histidine, into carnosine. Carnosine has been shown to be an important element of reducing muscular fatigue, so more carnosine in your muscle cells means heavier and more effective training sessions and less fatigue. (5).
Beta Alanine can be found in a number of good preworkout supplements such as Jack3d.
Additional information on Beta Alanine can be found here.
Betaine / TMG
A number have studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this trimethyl derivative of the amino acid glycine in improving strength and performance. (6,7)
It has the added benefit of aiding liver health as well.
You can find Betaine in a lot of the pre-workout formulations available at Serious Supplements such as naNO Vapour and is also available in Green Magnitude.
Again, you can buy Betaine individually if you desire to take it solo.
You might baulk at this product being included in a size and strength "best of" supplement list. But researchers from Canada examined the affects of stacking various supplements on size and strength in healthy young participants. Subjects were assigned to one of three groups:
- Creatine, CLA, Whey Protein (CCP) (6 g/day CLA, 9 g/day Creatine, 36 g/day whey protein)
- Creatine and Protein (9 g/day Creatine, 36 g/day whey protein, 6 g/day placebo sunflower oil),
- Protein only (45 g/day whey protein, 6 g/ day placebo)
All participants followed the same high-volume, heavy-load, periodized, free-weight strength-training program for 5 weeks. At the end of five weeks, the most important results of this study were that bench-press and leg-press strength and lean-tissue mass increased more in the group consuming all three supplements (CLA, Creatine, and protein) than in the other groups combined (i.e., consuming Creatine and protein or only protein).
- The effects of soy phosphatidylserine on cortisol, growth hormone and testosterone response to moderate intensity exercise. Starks, et al. University of Mississippi
- HORMONAL EFFECTS OF PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE DURING 2-WKS OF INTENSE WEIGHT TRAINING [Annual Meeting Abstracts] Fahey, T. D.; Pearl, M. California State University, Chic
- Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Monteleone et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1992, 42(4):385-388
- The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Antimo D'Aniello et al. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2009, 7;120
- The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with beta-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition
- The Effects of Betaine Supplementation on Strength and Power Performance. Maresh, C.M., Sarrell, M.J., Kraemer, W.J., et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2007; 39(5): S101, A-957.
- Ergogenic effects of Betaine Supplementation on strength and power performance. Lee EC et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jul 19;7:27
- Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. Norton LE and Layman DK. J Nutr. 2006; 136(2):533S-537S.
- Leucine and protein synthesis: mTOR and beyond. Nutrition Reviews. Stipanuk, et al. 2007;Mar;Vol. 65, No. 3:122-9
- Conjugated linoleic acid combined with creatine monohydrate and whey protein supplementation during strength training. Cornish SM, Candow DG, Jantz NT, Chilibeck PD, Little JP, Forbes S, Abeysekara S, Zello GA. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009 Feb;19(1):79-96