Last update: June 11, 2024

7 minute read

Best Supplements for Building Muscle

Maximize your muscle gains with the best scientifically backed supplements for muscle growth, recovery, and strength.

Stephanie Wright

By Stephanie Wright, RN, BSN

Edited by Dr. Jacquie Leone, NMD, HN

Learn more about our editorial standards

Looking to boost your muscle-building game with the right supplements? Discovering the best supplements for building muscle can be a big help in your fitness journey. These supplements can significantly improve your muscle growth and recovery efforts. In this guide, you'll learn about top supplements backed by science to help you achieve your goals.

Key takeaways

  • Protein powders, creatine, and omega-3s are great supplements for muscle growth
  • Each supplement plays a unique role in improving muscle strength and recovery
  • Supplements can also help your dietary deficiencies, supporting your overall health

    What are the best supplements for building muscle?

    Some of the most effective supplements for building muscles are protein powders, creatine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, beta-alanine, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). They’re all helpful tools that make your muscles stronger and help them recover faster.

    Adding these supplements to your routine helps support your goal of building muscles. For example, protein powders help build your muscles, and omega-3 fatty acids help them recover. By using these supplements, you give your body the extra help it needs to build and recover muscles better and faster.

    How does protein powder aid muscle growth?

    Protein powder shines as a muscle-building champion thanks to its high concentration of necessary amino acids. As the building blocks of muscle, getting enough protein is key for repair and growth.

    Protein powders come in many forms—concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates—with separates and hydrolysates being absorbed the fastest by muscles.

    • Protein concentrates: contain around 60-80% protein, with the remainder from fat and carbs.
    • Protein isolates: have more fat and carbs filtered out, making them about 90-95% protein.
    • Protein hydrolysates: undergo further processing with enzymes, leading to quicker absorption.

    What is the role of creatine in muscle building?

    Creatine is an amino acid compound naturally made by the body and stored in muscles. When you take creatine supplements, it can boost both the strength and size of your muscles.

    It works by increasing the levels of creatine, phosphocreatine, and water in your muscles, which helps maintain energy and hydration, especially during activities that require a lot of strength, like lifting weights. Creatine helps support your muscles to perform and take on challenging activities better.

    VitaRx Tip

    Creatine supplements can give your muscles an extra boost in situations where you need a lot of power, especially during intense workouts.

    Can omega-3 fatty acids improve muscle recovery?

    Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your health, especially your heart and brain. But did you know they're also super important for helping your muscles recover?

    These fatty acids help make more muscle proteins and stop proteins from breaking down too much. This double action gives your muscles what they need after you've been working out.

    The specific omega-3s your muscles need for repair are called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). You can get these omega-3s from fish oil supplements.

    Ones rich in EPA and DHA are great for your health. Adding these supplements to your diet doesn't just make you healthier overall, it also helps your muscles recover better after exercise. Omega-3 supplements are a win-win for your body!

    What is the importance of vitamin D for muscles?

    Vitamin D supports your muscles and bones, helping with energy storage and use. It's super important for exercise and helps repair muscles.

    If you don't get enough vitamin D, your muscles can get weaker, and you might not have as much endurance. It's not just about keeping your bones strong.

    You also need vitamin D for your muscles to work well and repair themselves. Many people might not have enough vitamin D.

    While sunlight is good for vitamin D, taking a high-quality supplement can ensure your levels are protected. It's like giving your body an extra boost when sunshine is not an option!

    How does beta-alanine support muscle endurance?

    Beta-alanine is good for making your workouts last longer. It does this by increasing carnosine levels in your muscles, which fights acid buildup during intense exercise.

    And that's not all – it also helps reduce the fatigue post-workout. So, if you want to push through your workouts with more energy and less fatigue, beta-alanine is a great helper. It's like giving your body the extra strength it needs to go the extra mile.

    VitaRx Tip

    Adding beta-alanine to your routine can really make a difference in how you feel during and after your workouts.

    Why should BCAAs be part of your supplement stack?

    Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), like leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are essential for making proteins and repairing muscles. Your body doesn't produce them on their own, so you need to get them from either food or supplements.

    Leucine is the leader of the BCAAs, especially good at starting the process of building muscles. Isoleucine and valine are like helpers that keep your blood sugar levels in check and give you energy.

    Taking BCAAs regularly is a great way to help your muscles recover and make your workouts even better. It's like giving your muscles the support they need to bounce back, making your exercise routine more effective. Adding BCAAs to what you eat or as a supplement can really make a positive impact on your muscles and overall fitness.

    Dos and dont's of supplementation for muscle growth

    Dealing with muscle-building supplements can be tricky. Consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily regimen to ensure it’s safe. It's also important to know what to do and what to avoid for the best results and safety. Here's a short table to help guide you.


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      Start with a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet.

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      Hydrate properly before and after supplementation.

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      Follow supplement instructions closely.

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      Pair supplements with good exercise routines.


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      Neglect whole food sources of nutrients.

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      Go beyond recommended dosages.

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      Use supplements to replace meals.

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      Take supplements with incompatible meds.

    Advantages and disadvantages of supplementing for muscle growth

    Supplements can improve muscle growth and recovery when used correctly. Let’s dive into what makes them beneficial and look at some potential drawbacks.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about supplementing for muscle growth.

    Final thoughts

    We're here to help you on your muscle-building journey. We're not just about selling supplements, we're about giving you a personalized experience that fits your fitness goals. Just a reminder, supplements work best when you also have a good diet, exercise well, and take care of yourself.

    Sources and references


    Stephanie Wright avatar

    Stephanie brings over 13 years of diverse nursing experience to the table, having honed her expertise in critical care, mental health, and utilization management. Her journey as a registered nurse across these various healthcare sectors underscores her adaptability and deep commitment to patient care.

    Fact checker

     Dr. Jacquie Leone avatar

    Dr. Leone holds a BA in Psychology, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and board certification in holistic nutrition. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Leone has developed and currently teaches science and nutrition courses for a nationally accredited institution. She specializes in chronic illness, gastrointestinal dysregulation, inflammatory conditions, and mental health. Her unique approach combines the wisdom of Eastern medicine with the technology and science of Western medicine, offering an integrative approach heavily focused on functional medicine.

    At VitaRx, we're not just passionate about our work — we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

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