When you are looking to gain muscle, there are a number of different things that you need to take into account.
One of the most important is your diet – but another factor to consider is what supplements you might take.
In this blog post, we will look at six of the best supplements for muscle gain, and discuss who they are best suited for.
Please keep in mind supplements are lightly regulated by the FDA. Their stated claims have no guarantee. They aren’t cures or treatments for any diseases.
Food is your best source of nutrition, especially for muscle gain. Please check with your doctor before any supplement program.
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If you want more helpful info on supplements – including risks and general FDA guidelines – please see our “Supplements and Vitamins – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide”.
Best Muscle Gain Supplements
- Best for Overall – Bulk Supplements
- Best Muscle Powder – Cytosport
- Best Price & from Natural Sources – Naturewise
- Best Whey Protein From Happy Cows – Life Extension
- Best for Bulking – Optimum Nutrition
- Best Creatine Capsules – BrickHouse Nutrition
1 – Best Overall – Bulk Supplements
- Price = $29.96
- # of Servings = 50
- Price per Serving = $0.59
- Product Reviews = 4.8/5 (9766 reviews)
- Serving Size = 5 Grams
- Taste / Absorbability = Barely any taste
- Labeled Effect = Contribute to increased muscle mass
- Food Allergens = None, very safe
- Pros = high quality, one of the most well researched and common muscle gain ingredients
- Cons = no other vitamins and minerals
About “Creatine Monohydrate (Micronized)”:
Creatine Monohydrate is a supplement that can help improve muscle mass, strength, and cognitive function.
It is among the most well-researched supplements available and has been shown to be especially effective for high-intensity sports.
Creatine may also help with weight gain and promote faster muscle recovery times.
Please note creatine gives your muscle cells and muscle tissue more energy. It does not contain protein or branched chain amino acids to help with muscle protein synthesis.
Instead, it’s one of the world’s most well-known muscle building supplements because it’s safe and effective.
If you are looking for a high quality creatine powder supplement for muscle growth, this is a good option to try.
Made by “Bulk Supplements”:
Bulk Supplements started in 2011 and is based in Nevada. Its main manufacturing facility is FDA registered. According to ReviewMeta.com, average adjusted rating is 4.4/5 from 39,370 verified reviews.
- Start = 2011
- Revenue = $10 million
- Employees = 50
- Mission =
- Third Party Certifications = NSF, cGMP
- Third Party Reviews = 4.4/5 from 39,370 reviews
2 – Best Muscle Milk Powder – Cytosport
- Price = $37.95
- # of Servings = 16
- Price per Serving = $2.37
- Product Reviews = 4.7/5 (39 reviews)
- Serving Size = 2 Scoops
- Taste / Absorbability = Tastes great, blends well
- Labeled Effect = Create the optimal environment for exercise recovery and muscle growth
- Food Allergens = Dairy
- Pros = One of the best selling protein drinks now available powder form, delicious taste
- Cons = the price per serving is higher than average
About “Muscle Milk Powder”:
Muscle Milk was created to emulate human mother’s milk, one of nature’s most anabolic, complete and balanced foods.
Muscle Milk became known for its standards for both taste and performance.
This supplement contains a precise blend of proteins designed to create the optimal environment for exercise recovery and muscle growth.
This precision protein blend contains rapid releasing whey and slower digesting micellar caseins.
As a result, there is a high degree of muscle protein synthesis as your muscle cells and muscle tissue get the protein they need to synthesize new growth from breaking down.
In totality, Muscle Milk has become one of America’s favorite protein drinks and is one of the best muscle building supplements on the market.
If you are already a fan of Muscle Milk, this can be a good option to try their product in powder form. You can add their powder to oatmeal, and other snacks too.
Made By “Cytosport”:
Began in 1998 and located in California. Recently acquired in 2019 by Pepsi for $465 million. According to ReviewMeta.com, Cytosport gets a 4/5 average adjusted rating from 6,734 verified reviews.
- Start = 1998
- Revenue = $56 million
- Employees = 297
- Mission = emulate human mother’s milk, one of nature’s most anabolic, complete and balanced foods
- Third Party Certifications =
- Third Party Reviews = 4/5 average adjusted rating from 6,734 verified reviews
3 – Best Price & from Natural Sources – Naturewise
- Price = $ 12.55
- # of Servings = 90
- Price per Serving = $ 0.13
- Product Reviews = 4.6/5 (1112 reviews)
- Serving Size = 1 Softgel
- Taste / Absorbability =
- Labeled Effect = May support metabolic activity and lean muscle gain
- Food Allergens = None, very safe
- Pros = high quality supplement for CLA, very low pricing
- Cons = contains no other vitamins, minerals or herbs
About “CLA 1250”:
NatureWise’s CLA is a type of fatty acid that has been shown to support metabolic activity and lean muscle gain.
This premium-quality supplement comes from pure, non-GMO safflower oil and is obtained from certified sources.
It’s also standardized to 80% active CLA, making it one of the most potent CLA supplements on the market.
It may also encourage the body’s production of energy for sustained physical activity.
CLA may also help you get more out of your workouts by promoting the activity of enzymes that play a role in the metabolism of stored energy.
Made by “NatureWise”:
Founded in 2012 in California, NatureWise aims to promote health and inspire wellbeing. According to ReviewMeta.com, NatureWise has a 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 32,542 verified reviews.
- Start = 2012
- Revenue = $31 million
- Employees = less than 25
- Mission = promote health and inspire wellbeing
- Third Party Certifications = Manufactured in US,
- Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 average rating from 32,542 reviews
4 – Best Whey Protein From Happy Cows – Life Extension
- Price = $ 24.00
- # of Servings = 18
- Price per Serving = $ 1.33
- Product Reviews = 4.4/5 (77 reviews)
- Serving Size = 1 scoop
- Taste / Absorbability = Vanilla
- Labeled Effect = Helps build lean muscle mass & inhibit protein breakdown
- Food Allergens = Dairy
- Pros = high quality protein supplement, grass fed and free range cows
- Cons = contains few other vitamins, minerals and herbs
About “Wellness Code Whey Protein Concentrate”:
This all-natural, vanilla-flavored powder is sourced from grass-fed dairy cows and provides 20 grams of protein per scoop.
Whey protein powder is another extremely common and popular way to promote muscle growth. As a dietary supplement, it helps your muscle breakdown be as effective as possible, by giving your muscles the nutrients they need to form healthy muscle tissue.
It also has no added sugar and is GMO-free. So if you’re looking for a healthy, delicious way to boost your protein intake, Wellness Code Whey Protein Concentrate is a good option to try.
Made By “Life Extension”:
Life Extension began in 1980 and is still going 40 years later. In 2021 ConsumerLab.com voted Life Extension as #1 Rated Catalog/Internet Merchant. According to ReviewMeta.com, Life Extension’s average adjusted rating of 4.1/5 from 24,224 verified reviews.
- Start = 1980
- Revenue = $168 million
- Employees = 500
- Mission = Achieve your goals with the best nutritional products that science can offer
- Third Party Certifications = GMP, Non-GMO
- Third Party Reviews = average adjusted rating of 4.1/5 from 24,224 reviews
5 – Best for Bulking – Optimum Nutrition
- Price = $48.99
- # of Servings = 8
- Price per Serving = $6.12
- Product Reviews = 4.7/5 (347 reviews)
- Serving Size = 2 heaping scoops
- Taste / Absorbability = Chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, vanilla
- Labeled Effect = Supports muscle building and weight gain Goals¹
- Food Allergens = Contains soy, milk, eggs, wheat
- Pros = Top rated weight gainer supplement, contains creatine and tons of carbs, proteins, and vitamins and minerals
- Cons = High cost per serving
About “Serious Mass”:
Serious Mass is a high-calorie formula that supports muscle building and weight gain goals.
With 1,250 calories per serving, 50 grams of protein, over 250 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving, this powder makes an ideal post-workout and between meals shake.
Serious Mass is also the #1 best selling Amazon supplement for weight gain. If you buy on Amazon, sometimes the price is lower!
If you are looking to increase muscle strength, and you don’t care so much about purely lean body mass, then serious mass can help you see muscle gains and increase your body weight.
While the cost per serving is high, we still rank this supplement as one of our top choices because it definitely will help you reach your bulking goals.
Made by “Optimum Nutrition”:
Made and trusted by athletes, Optimum Nutrition has decades experience. According to ReviewMeta.com, Optimum Nutrition receives a 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews.
- Start = 1986
- Revenue = $21 million
- Employees = 112
- Mission = helping performance focused athletes achieve their goals
- Third Party Certifications = GMP, NSF
- Third Party Reviews = 4.1/5 average adjusted rating from 67,776 verified reviews
6 – Best Creatine Capsules – BrickHouse Nutrition
- Price = $54.95
- # of Servings = 30
- Price per Serving = $1.83
- Product Reviews = 5/5 (1383 reviews)
- Serving Size = 4 Capsules
- Taste / Absorbability = Easy to absorb
- Labeled Effect = Fight muscle fatigue and increase workout endurance
- Food Allergens = None, very safe
- Pros = capsule form of creatine which can be more convenient, highly rated
- Cons = contains less creatine than Bulk Supplement’s powder, 4 capsules per serving is high
Foundation is a workout capsule supplement that will help you fight muscle fatigue and increase your endurance.
This physician-formulated supplement uses nutrients to counteract fatigue, so you can push yourself harder and longer during your workout.
Foundation combines creatine and ATP to increase nutrient and oxygen delivery, as well as blood flow and levels of extracellular calcium.
This helps your body work out longer and recover faster. Creatine supplements and ATP supplements are backed by studies that prove they help with lean mass and strength individually.
If you want to try a capsule form of creatine this is a good option.
Made By “BrickHouse Nutrition”:
Founded in 2016 in Ohio. According to Judge.Me, Brickhouse Nutrition gets a 4.9/5 average rating from 7,882 reviews.
- Start = 2016
- Revenue = less than $5 million
- Employees = less than 25
- Mission = Aimed at improving your health, performance, and overall life
- Third Party Certifications =
- Third Party Reviews = 4.9/5 average rating from 7,882 reviews
What factors do we use to rank supplements?
1 – Price: What’s the price of the supplement? What’s the cost per serving?
- At Eating Enlightenment we value quality over price. However, all else being equal, then price comes into consideration.
2 – Reviews: How many reviews for each product? What’s the average rating? How many third party reviews?
- We strongly believe in third party reviews. Many supplement companies list positive reviews on their website, but third party reviews include negative comments. We always go with third party reviews.
3 – Reputation: How reputable is the brand behind the supplement? How long has the brand been around? What’s their mission?
- We believe that a company’s intention is highly important and should be one of your top purchasing decision factors.
4 – Taste / Absorption = What’s the taste? How quickly does your body absorb the supplement? Do reviews mention any negative side effects like an upset stomach?
5 – Perceived Therapeutic Effect = What beneficial effects or feelings does this supplement promote?
6 – Food Allergens = Does the company provide allergen info?
7 – Science / Certifications: Does the company list transparent scientific studies on their website? Do third party certifications test the company’s supplement for quality control? How many certifications does the company have?
8 – Pros/Cons: What are the pros and cons of each supplement? How is the supplement unique? For what situations is this supplement best?
Who benefits most from supplements for muscle gain?
There are many different types of people who want more muscle mass and muscle growth.
- Some people are athletes who want to gain an edge on their competition.
- Other people may be bodybuilders who want to build the biggest and best physique possible.
- And then there are those of us who just want to look good for our wedding/reunion/beach vacation.
When should I take muscle gain supplements?
Some people may find that they see results by taking supplements before their workout, while others may prefer to take them after their workout. Ultimately, it depends on what works best for you and your body. You may also want to experiment with different times of day to see when you see the best results.
Who may not benefit from muscle gain supplements?
There are a few groups of people who may not see the best results from taking muscle gain supplements.
If you’re a beginner to working out, you may not need protein supplements to help you see results.
People who are older may also not benefit as much from taking these supplements, as they may have more difficulty building muscle mass.
Please know that muscle gain supplements are similar, but different from supplements for bulk. Bulk supplements are higher in overall caloric intake, whereas muscle gain supplements focus more on protein.
Likewise, crossfit supplements are different from bulk supplements and same with pre-workout supplements for energy. These are all similar but there are differences too. It’s best to familiarize yourself with your options before making a purchasing decision.
And finally, if you have any medical conditions that affect your ability to build muscle, then you should speak with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Do I need to take muscle gain supplements forever?
No, you don’t need to take them forever. If you find that you’re happy with the results you’re seeing, then there’s no need to continue taking them. Please also know you can get your nutritional requirements to grow your body met through food alone. Read this article to learn how much you need to eat to gain weight (and muscle in general).
There are a few risks to be aware of when taking muscle gain supplements.
First, some supplements may contain ingredients that are not listed on the label. This means that you could be taking something that you’re allergic to or that could interact badly with other medications you’re taking.
Second, some supplements may not be safe for people with certain medical conditions. If you have any medical conditions, it’s best to speak with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Finally, as with any type of medication or supplement, there is always the potential for side effects. While side effects are uncommon, they are not rare either. Some common side effects of muscle gain supplements include upset stomach, diarrhea, and headaches. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking the supplement and speak with your doctor.
How to take supplements for muscle gain?
Now that you know a little bit more about muscle gain supplements, let’s talk about how to take them.
If you’re taking a powder supplement, the best way to take it is to mix it with water or juice and drink it. You can also add it to a smoothie or shake.
If you’re taking a pill supplement, you can just swallow the pill with water.
And if you’re taking a liquid supplement, you can just take it straight from the bottle or mix it with water or juice.
No matter what type of supplement you’re taking, be sure to follow the directions on the label.
How can I gain more muscle quickly?
Practical tips to get more muscle quickly include :
- increasing protein intake
- eating more calories than you burn
- getting enough sleep
- using muscle gain supplements (if appropriate)
Please don’t think you can just stuff your face and overload on calories to build muscle. While it’s true that generally speaking you’ll need more protein to build muscle, overeating to gain muscle weight can spiral out of control into binge eating.
How soon after taking muscle gain supplements will I see results?
By following these tips, you can see results in as little as a few weeks.
A good average is about 6 weeks to even start seeing results. However, keep in mind that everyone is different and will see different results.
Just be patient and consistent with your workout routine and diet, and you’ll eventually see the results you’re looking for. Good luck!
Muscle gain supplements can be an effective way to help you see results more quickly when working out.
They can also help you maintain the muscle mass that you’ve already built.
Be sure to follow the directions on the label and discontinue use if you experience any severe side effects.
What’s your favorite supplement for muscle gain? Let us know in the comments below!