When it comes to getting the body you want, muscle building supplements are a way to get you there in a shorter amount of time. At least that’s the theory, and the promise made by almost every single company promoting their products.
But in an industry filled with a lot of hype in the form of massively ripped models next to tubs of powdered mystery miracle muscle builders, it can be hard to know what will actually give you results, as long as you put in the effort to earn them.
It is essential to keep a level head while you browse through the different options available to you. This is because it is easy to get caught up in the idea of having the perfect body quickly and easily, with little involvement on your part. You have to understand that it is going to take hard work and dedication, even with supplements.
Muscle Building Supplements Review Recaps
We’ve gathered together some of the best selling, and most popular muscle building supplements on the market. We’ve put them through our proprietary review process so that you can get a quick idea of whether or not to go with them. We suggest browsing through these recaps and coming up with your own short list of products that have caught your eye. From there you can delve further into our full review and have a pretty solid idea of whether or not you should buy it.
Cellucor C4 Recap
Cellucor C4 is an experience unto itself. Once you take it you should start noticing changes in the way you feel, including a strong urge to get in the gym and push it like you’ve never pushed it for. It is that get up and go feeling that can push you through any plateau you’ve been stuck on, and can push you past your comfort zone so that you can get the results you want.
If you take a high-quality protein shake after the workouts you do with C4 you will be giving your muscles the one-two punch they need to grow to their full potential.
See our full review of Cellucor C4
MusclePharm Assault Recap
MusclePharm Assault got our Solid Try recommendation because of the high ratings and positive user feedback it gets. Just keep in mind that a lot of the results will depend on you, and how hard you push it in the gym once to take this. This should give you a boost in your energy so that you can lift with more intensity and push past your previous limits.
But just remember that there is no magic solution out there, and you will always be at the foundation of whether or not something works. The magic is inside of you, so don’t depend on outside sources to get you there. These products can help, but in the end you have to be the one to lift the weights.
See our full review of MusclePharm Assault
BSN Syntha 6 Recap
BSN Syntha 6 is the whey protein you’ve been waiting for: great tasting, produces results, and helps your muscles to heal after an intense workout. If you’ve had your fair share of horrible tasting protein shakes in the past, you might be once bitten twice shy. But you shouldn’t let the past stop you from trying new things in the now.
The beauty of protein supplements like this is that it’s a consumable product. That means you can try it out, measure the results and only buy it again if you are happy with what you see. If not, you simply try something else.
See our full review of BSN Syntha 6
Nitrocut goes against the conventional delivery methods of shakes and drinks and puts the ingredients you need into a pill form, making it easier to get it into your system with less mess. You might wonder if a pill can really help you build muscle, or get cut. There are a lot of testimonials, and the guys that are in them look cut, not bulky like a bodybuilder.
If you are going for that lean, cut look over getting bulky with huge muscles, this might be one product you should try out for a month or so.
See our full review of Nitrocut
Dymatize ISO 100 Recap
Dymatize ISO 100 gets the ISO part of their name by being a whey protein isolate. This means that they isolate the whey protein molecules from everything else and have cut out all of the excess filler that you find in other competing products. What’s left is very pure protein that won’t make you fat, and won’t upset your stomach if you have lactose intolerance issues.
Getting the body you want is all about experimenting with what’s out there, and seeing what gels with your body. It does take some trial and error so go boldly in the direction of your goal.
See our full review of Dymatize ISO 100
BSN True Mass Recap
BSN True Mass earned our Solid Try rating if you are trying to add mass to your body, but not if you are trying to get a lean look, or if you put on muscle easily. This is for guys that have trouble adding mass to their body no matter how much food and supplements they take in.
If you’ve always been trying to lose weight this might seem like a strange product, but there are plenty of guys out there that have a supercharged metabolism and can’t seem to put on the weight they want in order to get the body of their dreams.
See our full review of BSN True Mass
Dymatize Elite Whey Recap
Dymatize Elite Whey is a good option for those looking to cut down on the amount of carbs they take in. If you are following one of the diets that produces a catabolic state, this would be a way to give your muscles the fuel they need without adding to your total net carbs.
People had mostly good things to say about this, which is all you can hope for in the bodybuilding industry as far supplements go. You’ll never find something that everyone can agree on, so we’re just looking for a product that gets it right for most people.
See our full review of Dymatize Elite Whey
BSN NO Xplode Recap
BSN NO Xplode uses nitric oxide as the basis for helping you be able to lift more in the gym. This is a pre-workout supplement that a lot of people have said is producing the results they want. If you currently don’t take any supplements for your workouts, you should notice an immediate difference when you start taking them.
It is important to follow up with a post workout recovery shake, usually a protein shake works best. Compared to not taking any supplements of all, you should notice a big difference when you introduce them into your ordinary workout regimen.
See our full review of BSN NO Xplode
Cellucor Super HD Recap
The social feedback coming in on Cellucor Super HD is pretty positive, and this is a way to get a lot of different benefits from one product instead of several. This is a way to cut the fat so you can see the muscle underneath it, as well as helping you to build muscle, stay focused, and concentrate better.
If you have been having trouble losing that last five or 10 pounds, this might be the product that helps you shred yourself the way you want, and reveal your underlying muscle foundation. It has been said to work especially well on those pesky spots that just won’t lose the fat.
See our full review of Cellucor Super HD
MusclePharm Combat Recap
The time released nature of MusclePharm Combat puts it in a class by itself, and the positive reviews it is getting only add to the likelihood that this will be something that is effective for you. When you think about it, your muscles need to be fed regularly, so taking something that only has short-term effects doesn’t make too much sense.
By time releasing this you are making sure that your muscles have what they need for an extended period of time so that they can rebuild to the best of their abilities and potential.
See our full review of MusclePharm Combat
Cellucor P6 Recap
The thing we like about Cellucor P6 is how open they were with all of the ingredients it contains, and breaking them down one by one telling you why they included them. A lot of products out there are pretty secretive about what they contain, and then aren’t very descriptive of why they are in there.
When you combine that with the number of reviews that have come in saying that this works well, you might have a winner on your hands. We definitely suggest trying this out for yourself to see what sort of results you get.
See our full review of Cellucor P6
At this point, Myoplex is one of the old school protein supplements that was made popular by Body for Life and Bill Phillips. The way this was recommended was as a post-workout recovery shake after an intense lifting session following their program.
It was also suggested that this could be a meal replacement shake since they wanted you to eat six times a day and it isn’t really feasible for most people to cook that many meals. A lot of the hype has died down, but it still maintains regular sales, and gets decent reviews.
See our full review of Myoplex
CB-1 Weight Gainer Recap
The interesting thing about CB-1 Weight Gainer is that they’ve done their best to make it is all natural as possible. You don’t usually see this when it comes to weight gainers, most of them are filled with all sorts of things to try to bulk you up. By going with all-natural ingredients they are making this one of the safer products you could try.
If you have trouble putting on weight, no matter what you eat, this would be a good way to supplement your eating efforts and set the foundation for real muscle and quality weight gain.
See our full review of CB-1 Weight Gainer
Muscle Warfare Recap
Muscle Warfare products definitely suggest that you should push her body to new limits if you plan on using their lineup. They even give suggested workouts so that you can get more explosive gains, and maximize the time you spend in the gym. It definitely wouldn’t make much sense to buy these, use them, and then not give it all you’ve got.
If you are basically looking for a whey protein supplement to recover from a moderate workout, these would not be recommended. This is more of an extreme supplement for like-minded individuals.
See our full review of Muscle Warfare
Muscle Milk Recap
Muscle Milk is an outrageously popular protein supplement that is sold at most GNC and other health food locations. It is meant to be a post-workout recovery drink, but you could also use it before your workout so that your muscles have protein to use while they are being pushed.
But on closer inspection, it is interesting to note that there are just as many disgruntled people as there are those that say this helps them with their muscle gaining goals. It definitely merits further investigation before blindly going into it.
See our full review of Muscle Milk
Optimum Whey Protein Recap
Optimum Whey Protein is one of the staples at most every single supplement store. It is easy to recognize because it comes in a black tub container with a big label on it that says whey protein. It comes in a lot of different flavors and varieties, including an all-natural version that cuts out a lot of the synthetic ingredients used in the original blend.
As far as taste and efficacy goes, these shakes will give you the protein that they claim on the label, but as far as being something that will help you push past your limits, there are other products that can help you build muscle faster.
See our full review of Optimum Whey Protein
Creatine got a lot of attention about a decade ago, and it was thought that this is something that is used by elite athletes to help their muscles and tendons recover from an intense athletic performance. So of course all the average Joe’s out there decided to start taking it as well in order to get the same sort of results.
Creatine definitely produces results, but there are plenty of side effects and other reasons why you might want to consider going with other alternatives. Our full review goes more in depth as to who would want to use this, and what else is out there that can get you the same sort of results.
See our full review of Creatine
RipFire has shown signs of working, but compared to some of the other products that are out there, it just doesn’t live up to the competition. There are products you can take before and after your workout that will get you the energy needed to lift heavy weights, and give you the proteins and amino acids you need to repair your muscles after an intense workout.
You might want to consider this as a backup, but in all honesty it’s something that you can pass over in favor of other supplements.
See our full review of RipFire
Force Factor Recap
The interesting thing about Force Factor is that they haven’t rested on their laurels, and have come out with new versions of their best-selling products, as well as expanded their product line to include other offerings.
It’s one thing to come up with a winner, but quite another to constantly improve on it and introduce new products that are designed to give different results that either supplement or complement their flagship product. Rather than being a one-hit wonder, they are trying to increase their number of users by making sure they’ve covered all of the bases.
See our full review of Force Factor
Muscle Building Supplemements FAQ
This is an industry full of a lot of hype, misinformation, and ulterior motives. That’s why it’s important to get your information from a reliable source, either from a nutritionist, or a personal trainer that doesn’t have a vested interest in the products that they are recommending to you. We’ve assembled some of the more frequently asked questions about how to build muscle, and what these supplements actually do. If you have further questions, please ask them in the comments at the bottom of the page we would get to them as soon as we can.
What Are Muscle Building Supplements?
Muscle building supplements come in many different forms, but the overall goal is to help you build more muscle in less time. Don’t confuse these with steroids, as most of them are using pretty natural ingredients such as protein, amino acids, and other naturally sourced ingredients in order to fill in any nutritional gaps that may exist by eating a conventional diet.
How Do Muscle Building Supplements Work?
Each one is a little different as far as how they go about helping you build muscle. Some use similar ingredients as each other, but they will change the amount of each ingredient so that it’s essentially different. The overall strategy is either pumping up your muscles so that they can lift more than they usually could, or fueling your muscles with the nutrients they need in order to repair themselves after a workout.
Are Muscle Building Supplements Bad For You?
Some are. It really depends how far down the rabbit hole you want to go with them, because some of them contain ingredients that will stimulate your heart rate, causing heart palpitations, jitters, and other side effects. A case can also be made that lifting extremely heavy weights is not something that the body was made to do on a regular basis, carrying around such a large frame filled with muscles is not healthy, and is putting a strain on your heart, other organs, joints and bones.
Are Muscle Building Supplements Healthy?
If you are talking about true health, then no, they can’t be thought of as being healthy. Your body needs things that are all-natural, and most of these supplements contain synthetic ingredients to some degree, and high concentrations of unusual herbs, so they are not really doing you a huge favor as far as your health goes. They are usually taken as a way to create an aesthetic look in the form of larger muscles, but the body does not naturally need such exaggerated muscles.
Are Muscle Building Supplements Necessary?
There are bodybuilding competitions out there that stipulate that you can’t take any supplementation, and the guys that are in those competitions are still ripped and cut. So technically, they are not completely necessary. But if you are frustrated with your current progression towards the body you want, you might want to consider adding a supplement to your routine to see if you start getting better results.
Are Muscle Building Supplements Safe?
This really depends on which supplement you go with, as some are more extreme than others and some contain controversial ingredients while others play it more safe. If you want to be totally safe, it is a better idea to just avoid them altogether, and stick to whole food sources like lean meats for your protein intake. You’d also want to keep your exercising to a level that doesn’t cause you to overexert yourself.
Do Muscle Building Supplements Cause Hair Loss?
As long as you’re steering clear of steroids and testosterone boosters you shouldn’t have any trouble with hair loss. This is not a side effect commonly associated with whey protein, nitric oxide, or other all-natural ingredients. However, a common misconception is that since these products are trying to build muscle, and since steroids have been known to cause hair loss, the two get intertwined and people think that muscle building supplements will cause hair loss, but they don’t.
Do Muscle Building Supplements Stunt Growth?
You might be thinking that by taking muscle building supplements you will be stunting your growth. A lot of people think that if you are young and start lifting weights you will not be able to grow as tall or as big as you would otherwise. This is something you want to discuss with your doctor if you are still growing. You definitely don’t want to compromise your height for muscles at an early age.
Going Without Supplements
You can try building muscle without taking any supplements, but you are putting all of the pressure on the foods that you eat, and making it so that you have to eat a ton of whole food proteins like chicken breast, beef, tuna, cottage cheese, and other high-protein, low-fat sources. Most people can’t imagine buying, preparing, and cooking that much food, let alone finding the time to eat it all.
Also, it can be hard finding natural energy to get you to the gym and get you motivated to lift the weights as hard as you need to in order to get the results you want. It is kind of like the saying that you can’t eat your cake and have it to. You can’t have a muscular body without lifting heavy weights enough times, and your muscles won’t grow as well if they are not given the proper amounts of protein and amino acids, the building blocks they need in order to grow.
Is the Industry a Sham?
Some people think that the entire industry is just one big sham and that the results people get from using the products amount to nothing more than a parlor trick, or legalized steroids. But the industry caters to a very select crowd of people that want to see the results, and don’t really care about how they get there, and what they are doing to their bodies in order to produce the right look.
Of course, within this industry there are a lot of shady companies that are producing products that amount to nothing more than filler and cheaply produced chemicals. However, it is our belief that there are about a dozen or so companies that are trying their best to help people build real muscle through a combination of hard work and proper nutrition. It is easy to let a few bad apples spoil the bunch, but it is unfair to these companies that are doing the best they can to produce quality products.
Our Muscle Building Supplements Recommendation
The first step in determining what sort of muscle building supplements you want to use is figuring out the exact body you want, and then picking a path on how to get there. This might involve the help of a nutritionist, or a personal trainer. Once you’ve mapped out the journey, you can make a better decision as to what sort of supplement still need to get you there, and how long you have to take each one.
Shooting from the hips on this is not a good idea, and just choosing products at random based on their sales pitches is going to lead you down the road you probably don’t want to go down. Without a solid game plan guiding your purchasing decisions, you are left to the expert copywriting that takes place at most of the pitch pages for these supplements. A solid plan helps you cut through all of the hype and BS and choose products that are in line with your goals, helping you decide on the muscle building supplements that would get you from point A to point B the quickest.