7 Best Muscle Building Supplements

Here are 7 of the best muscle building supplements. Taking supplements well will help you build muscle quickly. I'm taking these too!

Here are some of the most essential muscle building supplements and how to take them.

I spent a whole day researching what the best muscle building supplements are, and I am actually taking most of them.

With supplements, you can quickly increase muscle mass and vitality. And it can go a long way toward helping you achieve your goals, like staying healthy.

However, there are many exercise beginners who are struggling because they do not know which supplement to take when and how. I made a list of supplements for them.

Here are the 7 best muscle building supplements:

#1 Arginine, or L-Arginine
#2 Creatine
#3 Whey Protein
#4 HMB
#5 L-Glutamine or Glutamine
#6 Multivitamin
#7 Fish Oil

#1 Arginine, or L-Arginine


Arginine is a type of amino acid that is rapidly converted to nitric oxide in the body.

Arginine has two benefits. The first advantage is that it neutralizes toxic substances produced by protein metabolism. The second is to relax the blood vessels. The second advantage is closely related to exercise. As blood vessels relax, blood flow increases, making it easier to get the muscle pump during exercise. In addition, it provides more easily the oxygen and energy needed by the muscles. So it helps you to exercise for a longer time. Therefore, if you take arginine, your muscles will not get tired easily, and you will be able to exercise in good condition from start to finish.

However, the absorption efficiency of arginine in our body is low. That’s why it’s usually better to consume products that contain Alpha-Ketoglutaric acid. Because Alpha-Ketoglutaric acid increases the absorption rate, it increases the efficiency of arginine.

Arginine is one of those supplements that are generally known to be safe. But that doesn’t mean it’s a completely safe product. There are three main side effects of arginine.

The first is diarrhea. Arginine is highly likely to cause diarrhea if consumed more than 10g at a time, especially on an empty stomach. Because it promotes the excretion of water and minerals.

The second is the herpes virus. People who get blisters on their lips when they are tired should avoid taking arginine. One study found that arginine can activate the herpes virus. [1]

The third is asthma. In asthmatics, arginine can make the symptoms worse because it causes bronchoconstriction. So asthmatics should avoid arginine.

Other than these, the side effects of long-term ingestion cannot be known with certainty due to the lack of research results. No matter what supplement you take, if you feel any abnormality in your body, it is best to stop immediately and take a break.

  • How to take : 1~3g on an empty stomach in the morning or before exercise

#2 Creatine


Creatine is also an amino acid that provides the fastest energy available during weight training. In addition, it increases the water retention of the muscles, making them bigger and stronger. As a result, it increases exercise performance and helps a lot in muscle growth.

To put it simply, creatine is a type of energy that is primarily used during exercise. People often think that eating food like bread gives us energy right away, but that’s not the case. Just like the hammer needs to smelt iron ore to do its job, food needs to be processed to become energy. ATP is what our body processes so that it can be used directly as energy. When this ATP is used, it becomes ADP that cannot be used for energy. Creatine converts this ADP back to ATP.

Recently, people are really interested in the stability of exercise supplements. Creatine is considered safe. Most of the creatine supplements available on the market are creatine monohydrate(CM). Creatine monohydrate has been recognized as safe by the FDA and is classified as a dietary supplement. That means it’s relatively safe in the current situation where there are a lot of unknown supplements.

However, there are many reports that creatine has side effects. Let’s take a look at what the side effects are.

First, weight gain. It is known to gain weight. It’s true that you gain weight. However, it is not fat that is gained, but water in the muscles increases due to the effect of creatine, which attracts water. The phrase “to be fat” is incorrect.

Second, there is a saying that it has a bad effect on the kidneys and liver. This is only true for people who have problems with their kidneys and liver. So, if any of you have kidney or liver problems, consider taking creatine carefully.

And there are people who say they have indigestion after you take creatine. In such cases, it is usually due to excessive intake of creatine. One study found that consuming more than 10 grams of creatine at a time was associated with an increased risk of diarrhea.

Creatine is a supplement I take on a regular basis. Consuming creatine on a regular basis will help increase muscle energy and maximize performance.

  • How to take : 3-5g before or after exercise

#3 Whey Protein


Whey protein is one of the most basic and essential supplements. It is also the most used supplement. It is true that protein from meat and fish is better. However, whey protein is a high-quality protein that can be consumed quickly and easily anywhere, anytime. It has the advantage of being able to provide the body with the amino acids it needs at a much faster rate of absorption than the protein ingested from a meal.

Protein Supplements Intake Guide

I’m going to talk a little bit more about taking protein supplements. What kind of protein should I eat and how much?

Proteins can be broadly classified into plant-based proteins and animal-based proteins.

The most common animal-based protein supplement is the well-known whey protein. It absorbs quickly and has a high absorption efficiency. Not only that, but it also has additional benefits, such as reducing appetite. So it’s great for people who are trying to lose weight and people who are working out alike.

And among plant-based proteins, there is soy protein. Many people believe that eating tofu or soybeans adversely affects muscle growth because a female hormone called Isoflavone in soy protein can act similar to estrogen, but that is not true. There is one rather interesting fact. In one study, when the same exercise was done, one group consumed whey protein and the other group consumed soy protein. Those who took the whey protein developed fast-twitch muscles, and those who took the soy protein developed slow-twitch muscles. In other words, soy protein did not adversely affect muscle growth, but rather focused on improving muscle endurance.

If you want to increase muscle strength, I recommend eating whey protein. And if you want to increase muscle endurance, I recommend eating soy protein. If you want to grow both, eating both is a good way to go.

So, how much protein should you eat and how often should you eat it? It is better to consume the number of grams multiplied by 1.6 to 2.2 by your own weight in kilograms over four meals. For example, if you weigh 100kg, it is better to eat 160 to 220g divided into 4 meals. In fact, in an experiment on muscle synthesis, the best results were obtained when consumed at intervals of 3 hours. 

I don’t recommend eating too much protein all at once. This is because if you consume an excessive amount at once, there is a possibility that amino acids are oxidized as well as that urea production can be promoted. So, it is best to divide it into 4 meals whenever possible.

#4 HMB


Perhaps even people who have been exercising for a long time may not be familiar with HMB. Besides whey protein and soy protein, there is an amino acid known to be more helpful for muscle growth and energy production, and that is an amino acid called BCAA. BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids and refers to the three essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.

HMB is a metabolite of leucine, the most essential amino acid among BCAAs, and is known to be more effective than conventional leucine. HMB prevents muscle breakdown and aids in the process of muscle growth and fat loss. Several studies have shown that HMB is a supplement that has a greater effect on muscle growth and strength gain for beginners than for experts.

  • How to take : 1g each with breakfast, before or after exercise, and before bed

#5 L-Glutamine or Glutamine


Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. It not only helps muscle growth and recovery, but also relieves fatigue that occurs during high-intensity training. So, it helps to proceed with more intense training during exercise. In addition, it is known to play an important role in normal digestive function and immune function in the body.

  • How to take : 2~5g each with breakfast, before or after exercise, and before bed

#6 Multivitamin 


I prefer to take it separately by setting the dosage for each type of vitamin according to my needs. But for most people it is not easy to do so. Therefore, it may be more effective to simply take it with a multivitamin.

No matter how healthy and balanced you are, it is difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. However, various minerals and vitamins are very important for muscle growth. Therefore, it is important to pay more attention to vitamins and minerals the more skilled you are in high-strength training.

It is recommended to take a multivitamin as the most basic, and to take additional vitamins as needed. 

You can take it 2 times with a meal. I recommend taking additional vitamins C and D if possible.

#7 Fish Oil


Omega-3 fatty acids, also called ‘fish oil’, helps prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as prevents muscle breakdown. It also aids in the regeneration of muscle and joint tissue and promotes body fat loss. If you eat a lot of fish like salmon, you can get enough omega-3’s. However, keep in mind that eating large amounts of fish can cause heavy metal poisoning. Fortunately, a recent study found that most fish oil supplements had no problems with heavy metals.

  • How to take : 1-2g each with meals

What to do Next?

muscle building supplements

Please use the above mentioned intake method and dosage for reference only. I recommend that you adjust the type, dosage, and frequency of supplements to be taken according to your body weight, exercise intensity, and daily eating habits.

It is very important to focus on nutrition as much as possible, but remember that it is also important to do your best with exercise and rest.

If you want to make your muscles more effective, check out our article on 7 fundamentals to gain muscle.

Steven Kim

Steven Kim

Steven is a huge fan of home gym. He started making his first home gym in 2016 and now does most of his workouts at home. He founded NEO Home Gym with the best team members and provides various exercise advice.
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