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Top 8 Supplements for Natural Bodybuilding

In natural bodybuilding, achieving your fitness goals requires dedication, consistency, and a solid foundation of training and nutrition.

While nothing can replace the foundation of a well-rounded diet and disciplined training regimen, certain supplements can boost you along the way

In this article, we’ll dive into the top eight supplements you should embrace as a natural bodybuilder as you embark on your journey to achieve your fitness goals.


What is Natural Bodybuilding?


Natural bodybuilding is a form of bodybuilding in which you focus on building muscle, strength, and physical aesthetics without using performance-enhancing drugs or substances. Instead, you rely on a combination of structured resistance training, a balanced diet rich in whole foods, and adequate rest and recovery.


Despite the efforts to maintain a balanced diet, obtaining all the essential nutrients from food can be challenging in natural bodybuilding. Therefore, natural bodybuilders use selected supplements to get additional nutrients that may be lacking in a regular diet to enhance workout performance, promote muscle recovery, and support overall health.



Top 8 Supplements for Natural Bodybuilding


Supplements do not substitute for a natural bodybuilding balanced diet and structured training program, but certain supplements can complement your efforts. Here are some commonly used supplements in natural bodybuilding.


1. Whey protein Powder


Whey protein is a fast-digesting supplement highly recommended for muscle growth. It contains all nine amino acids, making it suitable for natural bodybuilding.


There are two types of whey protein supplements: whey protein concentrate, which contains low levels of fat and carbohydrates, with protein content ranging from 70-80%, and whey protein isolate, which has been further processed to remove more fat and lactose, resulting in a higher protein content of around 90% or more.


Both whey protein supplements are similar in protein quality, but whey protein isolates are more quickly absorbed than whey protein concentrate supplements.


Whey protein supplements help stimulate muscle protein synthesis and promote muscle repair and growth. Because they mainly contain protein, whey protein is also satiating. It can make you feel fuller for longer, potentially reducing overall calorie intake, an essential consideration when cutting weight.


Whey protein is the ideal post-workout supplement when muscles are damaged after intense exercise. It speeds up muscle recovery by being rapidly absorbed by the body and providing the nine essential amino acids and nutrients needed for muscle growth and repair.


Whey protein is a by-product of milk. You can obtain it naturally from milk or buy it from the shop. When shopping for it, consider factors such as purity, taste, mixability, and the presence of any additives or artificial ingredients. 


2. Caffeine Supplement


Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed supplements in natural bodybuilding. It can be taken in the form of pills, tablets, or powders.


Caffeine works by blocking the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleepiness. This increases alertness, improves focus, reduces fatigue, enhances physical performance, and temporarily relieves drowsiness.


If you choose to use caffeine, it is recommended to consume it in moderation before working out.


3. Creatine Monohydrate


Creatine is naturally produced by the body and stored in the muscles as phosphocreatine (PCr). It can also be obtained from seafood and lean meat.


Although the body produces creatine, which you can also get primarily from food, it is not enough for natural bodybuilding. To increase its content, bodybuilders opt for creatine monohydrate supplements.


Creatine Monohydrate is a muscle-building and power-enhancing supplement that has been on the market for many years. It’s composed of a creatine molecule bound to a water molecule and has a high safety profile, hence its safety for usage.


Supplementing with creatine monohydrate increases phosphocreatine (creatine) in the muscles. During high-intensity exercise, creatine breaks down to replenish Adenosine triphosphate(ATP), the primary energy source for muscle. The increased ATP produces more energy for working out, leading to improved performance and potentially more outstanding gains in muscle mass.


According to research, when consumed for a long, creatine monohydrate can increase the quality of resistance training, leading to 15% gains in strength and performance.


Additionally, creatine monohydrate may help speed muscle recovery by reducing inflammation markers, such as inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress, caused by intense work exercise.


You can take creatine monohydrate at any time of day, but for optimal results, take it before or after a workout.



4. Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB)


Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine, a key regulator of protein metabolism in muscle tissue. The body produces HMB naturally in small amounts during leucine metabolism. However, HMB can also be obtained through natural bodybuilding dietary sources.


When an HMB supplement is used with resistance training or other forms of exercise, it enhances muscle hypertrophy by promoting muscle protein synthesis– the process by which the body builds new muscle tissue.


HMB Supplementation may also improve strength and power output, enhancing athletic performance, especially in activities requiring short bursts of high-intensity effort, such as weightlifting or sprinting.


HMB has also been suggested to reduce muscle damage and soreness associated with intense exercise, leading to faster recovery between workouts and allowing more frequent and effective training sessions.


You can get beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate from meat products, although the conversation between food and HMB will be slow. Take 1.5 to 3 grams daily, divided into two or three doses before or after workouts. It is effective for new and experienced bodybuilders who want to build their muscles naturally.



5. L-glutamine


L-glutamine is an amino acid produced in the muscle and then transferred to other body parts.


It is the most abundant amino acid found in the body. During natural bodybuilding, the demands of L-glutamine may be greater than its availability, hence the need for supplementation.


During bodybuilding, intense exercise may temporarily suppress your immune system, increasing the risk of infections and illness. L-glutamine plays a vital role in immune function, and supplementation may help support immune health, particularly during periods of heavy training when the body is under increased stress.


Glutamine helps detoxify ammonia, a byproduct that may accumulate in the body during vigorous exercise. By removing ammonia from the bloodstream, L-glutamine may help reduce exercise-induced fatigue and improve exercise performance.


Moreover, some studies suggest that L-glutamine supplementation may help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time between workouts.


Effective dosages of L-glutamine for natural bodybuilding range from 5 to 20 grams per day, divided into multiple doses. Take L-glutamine before or after workouts and before bed.


6. Citrulline Malate


Citrulline malate, also known as L-citrulline, was initially used as an anti-fatigue treatment to treat mental and physical fatigue that occurred after surgery. Recently, it has become more popular for boosting athletic performance.


When consumed, citrulline malate supplement widens the blood vessels, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This could improve performance and endurance and reduce fatigue during intensive training.


Some studies have shown that supplementation with an 8-gram citrulline malate can increase repetitions in an upper-body resistance training program, decrease fatigue and soreness 24 and 48 hours after exercise, and improve overall performance during resistance training sessions.


The recommended dosages of citrulline malate range from 6 to 8 grams per day, taken about 30-60 minutes before exercise.


7. Essential Amino Acids


Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When you consume a protein, it is broken down into amino acids that help grow and repair muscles after muscle damage.


The body cannot produce the nine essential amino acids on its own. Therefore, you must obtain them from foods such as chicken, eggs, fish or amino acid supplements.


Essential amino acids serve as potent stimulators of muscle protein synthesis, helping to maximize the anabolic response to exercise. 


By providing the necessary raw materials for muscle repair and growth, essential amino acids support the development of lean muscle mass, improve strength and endurance, and enhance overall performance in bodybuilding.


The dosage recommendations for essential amino acids (EAAs) in bodybuilding can vary depending on individual needs, training intensity, and dietary habits. A standard recommendation is to consume 5-10 grams of EAAs per serving, preferably during workouts.


8. Branched Chain Amino Acids


Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, play a crucial role in bodybuilding by supporting muscle growth, recovery, and performance.


BCAA supplements are readily taken up by muscle cells during exercise to provide energy, helping to delay fatigue and improve endurance. Additionally, BCAAs may reduce muscle breakdown during intense training, preserving lean muscle mass and facilitating quicker recovery between workouts.


The general recommendation for BCAA supplementation in natural bodybuilding is 6 to 10 grams before, during, or after your workout.



Natural Bodybuilding Workouts


Natural bodybuilding workouts should include resistance training, emphasizing compound exercises that simultaneously target multiple muscle groups and isolation workouts that target specific muscle groups. These workouts aim to build muscle mass, increase strength, and improve overall physique without using performance-enhancing drugs or synthetic supplements. 

Here’s a sample workout routine for natural bodybuilding, including the number of sets and reps for each exercise: 


Day 1: Upper Body

  • Bench Press: reps: 6 – 10 reps, 4 sets
  • Bent-Over Rows):  6-10 reps, 4 sets
  • Shoulder Press: 6-10 reps, 3 sets
  • Pull-Ups or Lat Pulldowns:  8 – 10 reps of 3 set
  • Barbell Biceps Curls: 8 – 12 reps, 3 sets
  • Triceps extension:  8 -10 reps, 3 sets


Day 2: Lower Body

  • Squats:  6 – 10 reps, 4 sets
  • Deadlifts: 6 – 10 reps, 4 sets
  • Lunges:  reps: 8 – 10 reps (each leg),  3 sets
  • Leg Press: 6 reps, 3 sets
  • Leg Curls: 8 – 12 reps, 3 sets
  • Calf Raises: 15 reps, 3 sets



Day 3: Rest or Active Recovery



Day 4: Upper Body

  • Incline Bench Press: 8 reps, 4 sets
  • Seated Cable Rows 5 reps, 4 sets
  • Arnold Press or Lateral Raises 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Face Pulls: 8 reps, 3
  • Hammer Curls 10 reps, 3 reps
  • Overhead Triceps Extensions: 8-12 reps, 3 sets



Day 5: Lower Body

  • Front Squats: 6-8reps, 4sets
  •  Romanian Deadlifts: 6-8reps, 4 sets
  • Bulgarian Split Squats 8 reps (each leg),3 sets
  • Leg Extensions: 10 reps, 3 sets
  • Standing Calf Raises: 10-15 reps, 3 sets
  • Seated Calf Raises: 10-15 reps, 3 sets


Day 6 and 7: Recovery




Natural bodybuilding is a journey that requires dedication, discipline, and a holistic approach to fitness. While supplements can be supportive in optimizing performance and recovery, they should complement a balanced diet and structured workout program.


Among the top supplements for natural bodybuilding are whey protein, creatine monohydrate, BCAAs, essential amino acids, citrulline malate, Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, caffeine, and glutamine. When used appropriately, these supplements can help enhance muscle growth, strength, and overall health. 


To learn more about natural bodybuilding, read these two articles: Natural Bodybuilding Tips and Natural Bodybuilding Contest Tips.





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