One look through any bodybuilding magazine and you will quickly notice an abundant amount of advertisements for supplements that promise to get you big and ripped like your favorite bodybuilders. Choosing the correct supplements for your goals is essential to building the physique you are striving for.
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Protein is the building block for muscle so it's no surprise that protein powders, most notably whey, are the largest consumed supplement in the bodybuilding realm. Available from a variety of sources and in a variety of flavors, this product has become a mainstay in the supplement world.
The supplement company ProSource rated CytoSport's Muscle Milk as the top-rated protein, with ProSource's Vectron coming in a close second. However, both Bodybuilding.com and SupplementReview.com rated Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey at the top.
Creatine has been extensively studied since its release as a supplement in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It helps you increase muscle size and get stronger. As of May 2010, it was difficult to find pure 100 percent creatine products on the market. Most have added ingredients such as sugars and amino acids. When choosing a creatine, you will have to decide whether you want pure creatine or creatine with added supplements. The pure creatine products tend to be cheaper.
ProSource's top two rated pre-workout supplements are creatine products. Taking first place was BSN's N.O. Xplode, and the runner-up was Gaspari's Superpump 250. Bodybuilding.com named the best creatine products as USP Labs' Jack3d and Higher Power's Micronized Creatine.
In order to put on quality muscle, you must consume more calories than your body needs so that those extra calories will be used to make muscle. But there is a delicate balance between the calories needed for muscle growth and the amount needed for fat gain. So over-consume within reason, perhaps only 500 calories at most over the amount you need.
Among weight-gaining supplements, ProSource gave its best in class to Prosource's NytroGainer, with the runner-up being BSN's True Mass. Bodybuilding.com's best-rated were CytoSport's CytoGainer and Optimum Nutrition's Serious Mass.
These products contain high amounts of carbohydrates and protein with usually low to moderate amounts of fat. Some products contain 1,000-plus calories per serving, so consider taking half-servings.
These supplements are legal ways of boosting testosterone, as opposed to illegal steroids. Increasing the amount of testosterone the body produces has been shown to increase muscle mass.
ProSource rated its top two testosterone boosters as ProSource's AndroTest Extreme and ProSource's ZMA. The zinc in ZMA increases testosterone production in men, but only in those who are zinc-deficient before they start supplementation.