Top 10 Essential Supplements for Bulking [Updated 2020]
If putting on serious mass is your goal then keep reading. In this post we look at the best supplements for bulking that will give you the maximum amount of results, while offering good value for money.
If you’re bulking or In other words you want to gain weight with the main goal of building muscle mass in mind. It is extremely important to keep in mind that the most important thing you need to be doing is consuming more calories than your body needs. If you are not gaining weight, you certainly aren’t on a bulk, simple as that. The calories you need to consume will be different for everyone, however if you already have that all sorted out, and now you’re after supplements that will support your efforts then you are in the right place.
We will list all the bulking supplements we believe essential and suggest a product for each category to get you started. However if you have a similar product in any category that you like, feel free to use your own favorite product as the brand doesn’t matter as much as the actual supplement. Also keep in mind, supplements aren’t always ‘needed’ however they can help you achieve your goals a lot faster.
Best supplements for bulking
1. Best weight gainer protein
A whey protein is certainly one of the best supplements for bulking. However, depending on your body you may need a different type of whey protein. If you’re a hard gainer, or in other words if you find it hard to put on mass, no matter what you eat, then the most important task for your bulking goals is going to be reaching your calorie goal. Which is why, you need to focus on a supplement that gives you a lot of calories. As without being in a caloric surplus it would be impossible to gain weight.
Suggested supplement: ON Mass Gainer
This serious mass whey protein by optimum nutrition not only has 50g of protein per serving, but it also contains 1250 calories per serving. Keep in mind one serving is 2 scoops. None the less, if you’re a hard gainer, you will have no problems putting on weight with this weight gainer protein. It will also provide you with 25 vitamins and minerals, also creatine and glutamine, all of which will help with your bulking goals.
2. Best all round protein
If you don’t necessarily gain weight really easily, and at the same time you don’t necessarily find it hard to gain weight, then you should go for a good all round protein. One that provides you with both carbs and protein levels at a reasonable number. Without overdoing it on the calories.
Suggested supplement: ON Gold Standard Whey Protein
When it comes to whey protein, you really can’t have any complaints with optimum nutrition. Not only is it one of the best protein shakes you will taste, but it also comes with 5.5g of BCAAs and 4g of glutamine per serving. There are 20 different flavours to choose from so you will be sure to find one you like.
3. Best low calorie protein
If you find it extremely easy to go over your calorie goal, but your problem seems to be getting enough grams of protein in your diet then you would need a low calorie protein shake. These protein shakes are optimized for keeping the carbs and calories low, while focusing on getting as much protein as possible in your diet. You can find how much protein your body needs by using any protein intake online calculator such as this one.
Suggested supplement: MyProtein Impact Whey Protein Blend
This whey protein by MyProtein provides 80% protein content per serving. It tastes great and is fairly easy to mix. It comes in 16 different flavors including vanilla, chocolate smooth and rocky road. Each serving comes with 21g of protein and is only 103 calories.
Creatine is one of the most well researched sports ingredients of all time. It is one of the safest supplements out there and it has proven effects of building lean muscle and strength. There is literally no reason not to take this supplement. It is one of the best supplements for bulking and is especially useful for building size and strength.
Suggested supplement: ON Creatine Powder
Creatine is one of those supplements where the brand really doesn’t matter. All creatine monohydrate is pretty much the same thing. So for our criteria we will focus more on value. This creatine powder by optimum nutrition is very reasonably priced and offers you 114 servings. So yes, it will last you a very long time.
5. Multi vitamin
When sticking to a diet that is entirely focused on building muscle. It can be difficult to get in all your minimum required vitamins and minerals. Also when training, the body will require even more vitamins and minerals then it usually does. Not meeting those requirements will leave your body vulnerable to risks of infections and viruses. So, in other words a multivitamin can really be essential. Just one good multivitamin tablet that you take once a day should cover you.
Suggested supplement: Vitafusion Multi-vite, Gummy Vitamins
Each gummy vitamin tablet by Vitafusion give you as much vitamin C as a tangerine, as much vitamin A as a cup of broccoli, as much vitamin D as 5 oz of salmon and 200% vitamin D. All together the multivitamin has 12 different vitamins and minerals. They also are mixed with berry, peach and orange flavor. Since you’ll be taking them every day, the tasty flavors will help make them easier to swallow.
6. BCAAs (Amino acids)
Another one of the best supplements for bulking, Amino acids are essentially the building blocks of protein and muscle. Which is of course your main aim if you are bulking. This makes amino acids essential. Even though you would be correct in saying amino acids are found in food, the amount isn’t usually enough to meet the demands of our bodies. Especially when training, the bodies need of amino acids is greatly increased. BCAAs are basically the essential amino acids. They cannot be created within the body and must be consumed through diet alone. This is why a BCAA supplement would e useful.
Suggested supplement: Scivation, Xtend BCAAs
This supplement by Xtend offers 7g of BCAAs per serving. It has a BCAA ratio of 2:1:1, and its caffeine free. Which means you can technically take it anytime without worrying about not being able to sleep. Although it is most beneficial to take a BCAA near the time when you work out.
7. ZMA supplement
So the first question you would have would probably be ‘what is a ZMA?’ Well, a ZMA is essentially a mix of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. When training the body usually becomes deficient in zinc and magnesium. However, with a supplement you can be sure that the demands of your body are met. Research does actually show that ZMA increases anabolic output and muscle strength, it may also help with increasing endurance, and giving you a restful sleep.
Suggested supplement: Optimum Nutrition ZMA
This one bottle of ZMA contains 180 capsules. Which is really good value for money, considering you would only take one of these a day, it will last you a very long time. Each capsule contains zine, magnesium and B6. The brand doesn’t really matter with a product like this, as long as it does the job.
8. Pre Workout Supplement
Although pre workouts aren’t essential, they are still one of the best supplements for bulking. They can really help you by helping you with that extra energy you need to push through another set at the gym. Which will of course lead to you making more gains. Some people do not need a pre workout before going to the gym, however if you’re one of those people that need that extra bit of energy to help you go into beast mode then keep reading.
Suggested supplement: Cellucor, C4 Original Explosive Pre-Workout Supplement
This pre workout by C4 offers good value for money with 60 servings instead of the usual 30 servings you get with pre workouts. It also comes in many different flavors including fruit punch, icy blue razz, pink lemonade and green apple. It is a great high quality product that has a rapid absorption rate and gives explosive energy.
9. Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids won’t do what the name suggests – put on fat. In fact they promote the opposite. Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 have been shown to promote fat loss. It does this by better utilising fat stores by effectively improving insulin sensitivity. This will then lead to preventing fat storage. Omega 3 also has a lot of other benefits, and overall is a one of the best supplements for bulking and great to include in any diet.
Suggested supplement: Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength
This product by Dr. Tobias is a great omega 3 supplement. It is a quality product and has a great rate of absorption with a prevention of fishy aftertaste. And i’m sure none of us want that. So each serving is 2 capsules which means 60 servings will last you 30 days. Each serving gives you 2000mg of fish oil with 1400 mg omega 3 fatty acids. This helps you meet the recommended 600 mg DHA per day. As well as helping with your gains, fish oil supports joints, skin, hair and the health of the heart.
10. Casein Protein
Although casein is not an essential supplement it can really help, which is why it has made it on our list for the best supplements for bulking. Typically speaking it does not contain as much protein as a whey protein powder, however due to the nature of casein it does have a slow digestion rate. Which is where the benefits of this supplement come from. Taking a casein protein powder before bed is great for your gains as it will ensure that you are getting continuous protein as you sleep.
Suggested supplement: ON Casein Protein Powder
Yep. As you guessed it, another optimum nutrition product. This protein offers 24 grams of slow digesting protein per serving as well as 5 grams of BCAAs. It also contains 5 grams of glutamine and glutamine acid per serving. It is the perfect before bed snack, where your body typically goes hours without food.