Looking for the best supplements for muscle growth? While many of us know of protein’s ability to promote muscle growth, there are plenty of other supplements you can use…

If you’re looking to build muscle, supplements could be your new best friend. The chances are you’ve used fitness supplements before, even though you might not have known it. From packing a protein shake in your gym bag to chugging the occasional isotonic sports drink, it’s likely you’ve supplemented your day-to-day nutrition while trying to stay in shape.

The trouble is that looking for the best supplements can get mighty confusing, especially as each manufacturer wants to convince you their products is better filtered, or more efficient, or will boost muscle growth the most. As you look around for the right product for you, you might feel as if you need a degree in chemistry to understand what you’d be putting into your body.

The science behind some of the best supplements for muscle growth may be slightly baffling, but we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. We’ve trawled through the latest developments in supplement science to dig out the important stuff: what you need, when you need it and why.

It’s possible you’ll find something to send your training gains through the roof, or you might just learn a bit more about the stuff you’re already using. Either way, next time you put in the hard yards at the gym, you’ll know you’re getting the nutritional back-up you need.

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The best supplements for muscle growth

  1. BCAA Supplements: Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Capsules ($21.99 / £25.99, amazon.com)
  2. Creatine Supplements: Optimum Nutrition Creatine Capsules ($52.23 / £41.99, amazon.com)
  3. Leucine Supplements: bulk Leucine Powder (£27.99, amazon.co.uk – not available in the US)
  4. L-carnitine Supplements: Applied Nutrition L-carnitine 3000 Liquid (£19.99, amazon.co.uk – not available in the US)
  5. Fish Oil Supplements: Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil Supplements ($19.07 / £29.17, amazon.com)
  6. L-Glutamine Supplements: Reflex Nutrition L-Glutamine Supplements (£25.99, amazon.co.uk – not available in the US)
  7. Green Tea: Twinings Pure Green Tea (£13.90, amazon.co.uk – not available in the US)
  8. Magnesium Supplements: OHMG Sparkling Magnesium Water (£23.99 for 12, ohmgwater.com – not available in the US)
  9. Multivitamin: Form MULTI ($29 / £19 for 60 capsules / formnutrition.com)
  10. Vitamin D: Better You Vitamin D1000 Oral Spray (£7.95 per bottle, betteryou.com – international shipping available)

10 Best Supplements for Lean Muscle & Good Health | Men's Fitness UK

BCAA

WHAT: The muscle pill.
WHY: Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are the best supplement to take during workouts because they help to keep a steady supply of proteins flowing into your muscles.

If you’re looking for the best supplements for lean muscle growth, BCAAs are a great place to start. This helps with muscle building as it reduces the amount of muscle loss during exercise and improves protein synthesis, the process by which new muscle tissue is built.

BCAAs can also help to prevent muscle loss during periods of intermittent fasting.

Try the Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Capsules

BUY IT NOW:

$21.99, amazon.com

£25.99, amazon.co.uk

Creatine

WHAT: The back-up generator.
WHY: Your body metabolises creatine into ATP, which is used for every initial muscle movement.

It’s therefore vital to have adequate supplies when you’re doing heavy, high-intensity workouts in order to deliver the required energy to your muscles.

In other words, creatine helps you lift harder for longer, making it one of the best supplements for significant muscle growth.

Try the Optimum Nutrition Creatine Capsules

BUY IT NOW:

$52.23, amazon.com

£41.99, amazon.co.uk

Leucine

WHAT: The muscle booster.
WHY: The most anabolic amino acid, leucine can independently stimulate insulin secretion and muscle protein synthesis, enhancing the muscle-building process.

At 11%, whey protein is very high in leucine content, which is one reason it’s so effective as a post-workout elixir.

Try the bulk Leucine Powder

BUY IT NOW:

£27.99, amazon.co.uk (not available in the US)

L-carnitine

WHAT: The fat shredder.
WHY: If burning fat during a workout is your priority, first you need to mobilise it.

L-carnitine is an amino acid responsible for transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, our cells’ energy powerhouses. This makes it one of the best supplements for lean muscle growth.

Try the Applied Nutrition L-carnitine 3000 Liquid 

BUY IT NOW:

£19.99,  amazon.co.uk (not available in the US)

10 Best Supplements for Lean Muscle & Good Health | Men's Fitness UK

Fish Oil

WHAT: The wonder fluid.
WHY: It’s important to include omega-3 fats in your diet for health reasons, and a supplement can help you to maintain a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 – most of us consume too much of the latter.

Studies have shown fish oil supplementation results in decreased body fat and reduced inflammation. It has also been linked with increased serotonin levels, more focus in training and less stress.

Try the Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil Supplements

BUY IT NOW:

$19.07, amazon.com

£29.17, amazon.co.uk

Glutamine

WHAT: The gut calmer.
WHY: This amino acid should be present in your body, but if you have problems with your digestion or are training hard, a supplement can help to strengthen the lining of your gut and help protein synthesis.

Try the Reflex Nutrition L-Glutamine Supplements

BUY IT NOW:

£25.99, amazon.co.uk (not available in the US)

Green Tea

WHAT: The diet drink.
WHY: This is one of the best natural fat-burners around and can give your metabolism a jolt, making it one of the best supplements to augment your muscle growth journey.

Green tea is also packed with antioxidants and regular consumption has even been linked to reducing the risk of a range of conditions, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Try Twinings Pure Green Tea

BUY IT NOW:

£613.90, amazon.co.uk (not available in the US)

Magnesium

WHAT: The equaliser.
WHY: Every organ needs magnesium, especially the heart, muscles and kidneys. If you skimp on this vital mineral you can experience anxiety, sleep problems and irritability.

Magnesium also helps to maintain a normal heart rhythm and aids in the body’s energy production.

Try the OHMG Blackcurrant and Echinacea + Vitamin C Sparkling Magnesium Water

BUY IT NOW:

£23.99 for a pack of 12 cans, ohmgwater.com (not available in the US)

Multi-vitamins

WHAT: The back-up plan.
WHY: Although you shouldn’t rely on them to make up for a bad diet, a quality multi-vitamin can help to fill in the gaps in an otherwise solid eating plan.

Deficiencies in vitamins can cause mood swings, depression, lethargy and exhaustion, but taking a daily dose will keep you on the up and focused on your goals. There is also evidence a multi-vitamin can help you recover from a tough workout. So, if you’re looking for the best supplements for muscle growth, but you’re not sure where to start, taking a good quality multivitamin is a great place to start.

Try Form MULTI

BUY IT NOW:

$29 / £19 for 60 capsules, formnutrition.com

Vitamin D

WHAT: The sun substitute.
WHY: You should get your vitamin D from the sun, but that’s a forlorn hope for the average desk-bound Briton – 20 minutes’ exposure is enough in the summer, but according to the National Institute of Health it’s impossible to get enough come the winter.

Deficiency is common and linked to lower strength levels and increased body fat, so it’s important to top up your levels with supplements if you want to boost your muscle growth – and overall health. Low vitamin D levels have also been associated with a number of diseases, including diabetes and depression.

Try the Better You Vitamin D1000 Oral Spray

BUY IT NOW:

£7.95 per bottle (100 sprays), betteryou.com (international shipping available)