You're a student of bodybuilding, which means you know the best multijoint lifts, how many chicken breasts you should eat each day, and which supplements support muscle gains and enhance your performance in the gym.
But what if you're on a budget? What are the best ways to maximize your gains while minimizing the hit to your wallet? Here are my picks for the most effective supplements every bodybuilder should have in their stack.
Not only can creatine help you increase muscle strength and size, it can also help you recover between sets faster. This allows you to train longer and with more intensity, ultimately leading to greater gains.1-3 Hundreds of studies support the benefits of this supplement.
Your body produces a small supply of creatine. However, if you want to maximize stores and reap the full benefits of creatine, you'll either have to eat 2-3 pounds of meat a day or take a supplement. With red meat costing $4.00 per pound in many places, you'll definitely save money by choosing the latter.
Not only can creatine help you increase muscle strength and size, it can also help you recover between sets faster.
There are two common methods for maximizing creatine stores in your body. One way is to do a short-term creatine load, where you ingest 20 grams of creatine a day for 5-7 days. This is followed by a low-dose maintenance phase of 3-5 grams per day. This overconsumption helps to flood the muscle with creatine and has been shown to increase creatine pools in the muscle faster.2
If you're not in any sort of rush to maximize creatine stores, you can opt for a continuous low-dose protocol, consuming 5 grams of creatine per day. Although it'll take around four weeks to maximize creatine stores, you're less likely to experience any weight gain with a low-dose protocol.
Recommended dose: 20 grams for 5-7 days followed by 3-5 grams for maintenance
Price per serving: $0.10-$0.70
The numerous benefits of protein include increases in muscular strength and size, decreases in body fat, and a faster recovery time. This makes it a staple in any bodybuilder's diet.