10 main sport supplements for the diet of the athlete | Top Supplements

10 main sport supplements for the diet of the athlete | Top Supplements

Using my 12 years of coaching experience (and 25 years of independent workout experience), I will make you an expert in sports supplements. Lesson one – never use the phrase “sports nutrition.” These are supplements, “additives”, and this word more closely matches the main objective of such products – to close holes in your diet, lack of certain vitamins, microelements, amino acids and others (believe me, everyone has such lacunae). I would conditionally divide consumers of sports supplements into two groups:

  1. You train long and hard (3-4 times a week without passes) for a specific result – for example, you dream to shake a barbell weighing 150 kg or run a marathon 42 km 195 m. You can and should do a lot of what is going on below. I will offer specific sets of sports supplements for solving each problem (see “Recipes”).
  2. Beginners, even if they train hard, for the first six months you should get along with both types of proteins: “fast” before breakfast, “long” for the night. They compensate for the lack of protein that any Russian man has. I would recommend the same diet to those people who go to the gym once a week, “for themselves” (but if you are overweight, first consult with a dietician).

Well, I recommend both categories to take (after consulting with your doctor) cardio and chondroprotectors, regardless of the training program. We now turn to powders and bars. If any product known to you in this material is missing, it means that I consider it unnecessary.

1. Protein

Protein powder
Protein powder

For what: Protein is often drunk right after a workout, saying: “Muscle mass, muscle mass!” But without carbohydrates, which everyone has forgotten, powdered protein is practically useless in the matter of instant muscle building. Use it, just to compensate for the total lack of protein. The body will find where to attach it, for example, make testosterone out of it. Proteins are “fast” and “long.” The first bioavailable and instantly provide your body with energy and building material. The second give the protein gradually, over several hours. It is easy to distinguish them: any whey (whey) is “fast.” Any combination containing casein protein (casein) is “long.”

How to take: “Fast” protein is consumed in the morning (1 portion of minutes for 20 before breakfast) and immediately after training for fat burning. In general, I am a staunch supporter of a predominantly protein breakfast, this allows you to gently raise the level of sugar in the blood after a night’s sleep and further promote metabolism. “Long” drink 30-90 minutes after the last meal, at night, so that the body has proteins at hand, even in sleep.

2. Amino acids

Complex amino acids
Complex amino acids

Why: Strongly doubt that in products with such names there are a lot of amino acids. Rather, it is the usual “fast” protein, only in a convenient packaging slow carb food list. On the road or after a long night in ambush under the nose of the enemy, where you can not get a shaker, this is a good substitute for a protein cocktail.

How to take: In any training mode, except for hypertrophic, – 2-3 tablets 2-3 times a day, as a replacement for protein powders. And in the midst of a long hypertrophic program – 3 tablets twice a day, with food or a gainer, and you will drink protein too.

3. Gainer

Mass gainer
Mass gainer

For what: My favorite product! The combination of easily digestible proteins and carbohydrates contributes not only to a quick weight gain, but also provides energy for a hurricane before a workout, and also significantly speeds up recovery after.

How to take: On training days, 30-45 minutes before training and immediately after. On rest days, 1 serving in the afternoon. In the training mode, endurance can be done three times a day: before and after training, and also at night. And never eat a gainer for breakfast! The mass in this case, you will grow exclusively on the sides.

Worth remembering

No creatine with protein will never correct technical errors and will not help with lack of sleep. In addition, be aware that no supplements can replace a full, regular and healthy diet. And do not forget that even harmless and certified products, if you apply them thoughtlessly and beyond measure, can cause irreparable damage to health. If you suffer from food allergies, metabolic disorders, diabetes, chronic heart disease, kidney, liver or gastrointestinal tract, then before taking any sports nutrition, you should always consult an adequate, qualified doctor.


BCAA Supplements
BCAA Supplements

For what: VSAA are also amino acids, but only three: isoleucine, leucine and valine. According to a number of studies, they are the most in skeletal muscles. I use BCAAs (and I advise you to do the same) in order to lose much less muscle in a “fat burning” period or a period aimed at developing endurance.

How to take: When you train – 5 capsules before and immediately after exercise. On rest days, take 2 capsules along with regular meals.

5. L-carnitine


What for: Carnitine makes it easier for your body to access fat reserves. Not ready to argue that L-carnitine helps to lose weight, but it really increases stamina and has a beneficial effect on the health of the cardiovascular system.

How to take: 1 tablet 2 times a day with food, when you train endurance or strength. And for any type of training, if you feel that your heart is under heavy loads (for example, on a hot summer day).

6. Creatine

Creatine powder
Creatine powder

What for: Creatine is a precursor of creatine phosphate (CF) – one of the main sources of energy for muscle work. KF provides exclusively short-term power character of work (the first 3-5 repetitions in the bench press, for example). It is considered that taking creatine supplements allows you to increase strength. For some, this is true, but this additive has no effect on the organisms of others. Try it – suddenly this food is in you.

How to take: 2-3 g once a day, you can, together with a gainer. Just be sure to drink at least three glasses of plain water. Creatine has an unpleasant ability to absorb fluid, which can lead to spasms, bloating of the intestines and even injuries to the connective tissue, for which normal water saturation is extremely important.

7. Glutamine

Glutamine powder
Glutamine powder

What for: With high physical exertion, the reserves of glutamine in the body are depleted, and this negatively affects the immune system and reduces the regenerative ability. Therefore, if you have more than 5 training hours per week, you should use this supplement.

How to take: According to the dose 2 times a day, in the morning and in the evening 15 minutes before a meal – and you will recover normally, it is easier to endure the load and get less pain.

8. Sports drinks

Sports drinks
Sports drinks

What for: Another my favorite product! High-quality energetic simultaneously whips up your mood, sports enthusiasm and healthy aggression. During strength training, such a product is of paramount importance. Just keep in mind – this is a special sports energy, which are sold in special shops of sports nutrition! They have almost no sugar, but there are substances that support the health of the cardiovascular system. They have little in common with energy drinks from the supermarket.

How to take: Only half of a small bottle, drunk 30-45 minutes before a workout – and you are ready to break any records! However, I do not recommend drinking energy before each workout (maximum 1-2 times a week), and in no case drink more than one piece a day.

What do the powders interfere with?

Proteins and gainers can be mixed with ordinary non-mineral and non-carbonated water, freshly squeezed or packaged juice, as well as milk. For a gainer, the best option is water, in combination with juice or milk, the amount of carbohydrates and calories in the mix will go off scale. Protein powder will tolerate any liquid from the above, except that the milk should pick the least fat. By the way, if your gut milk does not tolerate, you can safely interfere with the protein on … kefir. But all the other powders, especially creatine, can be mixed only with water, and they should be drunk immediately – the additives in liquid form are the least chemically stable.

9. Testosterone boosters

Testosterone boosters
Testosterone boosters

For what. For additives that increase the level of testosterone, the attitude of doctors and ordinary people, as a rule, is very negative. Obviously, because they are confused with hormone doping. However, boosters do not inflate you with extra hormones, but only gently increase the secretion of internal, own testosterone. From the point of view of physiology, this means “to look younger” for several years, especially if you are over thirty. If you are 17-22 years old and you are healthy, you can safely do without this supplement – hormones in you and so in bulk!

How to take: The most beneficial quality of testosterone boosters is their stimulating effect on glucose metabolism. Therefore, in my opinion, it is most reasonable to use them when you are trying to get rid of excess fat. 2 capsules 2 times a day with meals.

10. Protein Bars

Protein Bar
Protein Bar

Why: Perhaps the most convenient source of protein and? Carbohydrates: do not need to interfere or drink – ripped the packaging and eat for health! Use to suppress hunger between meals.

How to use. A pair of quality bars consistently discourage interest in food for exactly 3 hours, even in such an eternally hungry swallow as I am. But the daily rate, according to my observations, is no more than 2-3 bars. If you exceed the dose, problems with appetite may begin!

There are also a number of sports supplements and near-medical means that can be used in your diet, regardless of the goals that you pursue at a certain point in time.

Cardioprotectors. They should be taken before workouts during the hot season and during periods of endurance training. These include the above-described L-carnitine, as well as drugs containing potassium and magnesium – the substances responsible for the smooth functioning of the heart. For example, asparaginate potassium and magnesium.

Vitamins and minerals. With the opinion that exists among athletes and a number of trainers, I do not agree on the need to take higher doses of vitamins. Therefore, as a trainer, I prefer trivial pharmaceutical multivitamins in the normal dosage. As a rule, it is one portion immediately after breakfast. For taking additional, supposedly beneficial to an athlete / pumping vitamins – C, E and B separately – I? M not pleasing. Multivitamin more than enough!

Chondroprotectors. American coaches have a good saying: “If you don’t play sports, you’ll go to a cardiologist. You will play sports and you will go to an orthopedist! ”So that the last part of this wonderful phrase doesn’t touch you, take chondroprotectors regularly – additives that facilitate the regeneration of cartilage tissue and the restoration of the ligamentous apparatus as a whole. Even if you rarely go to the gym or not at all, chondroprotectors should be drunk to prevent diseases of the musculoskeletal system. How often? This information should be in the instructions for use.

Sports nutrition for muscle gain

Sports nutrition for muscle gain

A selection of the best sports nutrition that will effectively help the athlete gain muscle mass. The rating is made without errors, only really working sports nutrition.

We all know that there are a huge number of additives on the shelves of stores, but few who realize that half of them do not work at all, a purely marketing trick, buying them, you just spend money “to the wind”, the other part is considered weak and medium effective. And only a small class of sports nutrition, can really affect the processes of muscle growth in the body.

The problem lies also in the fact that under each class of sports nutrition, a separate supplement is hidden, and not all of them meet the declared effect on the body. In order to disclose dishonest sellers, and sometimes even charlatans, it is necessary to conduct a laboratory analysis of the components, but sometimes it is enough to know the name of the ingredients that make up the composition to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of one or another additive, and also do not forget that simple reviews buyers, help also to find the best supplement for muscle growth / fat burning.

Top sports nutrition for muscle mass gain

First and foremost, there are additives that help athletes to build muscle the most. All of them are effective, and really work, someone more, and someone in less (indirectly affect the growth of muscles, the last in the ranking).


Creatine is one of the most important amino acids (nitrogen-containing carboxylic acid) involved in the energy metabolism of muscle and nerve cells. Available in various forms:

  • Creatine anhydrous.
  • Citrate creatine.
  • Creatine Phosphate.
  • Creatine Malate.
  • Creatine tartrate.
  • Magnesium Creatine.
  • Creatine ester.
  • HMB Creatine.
  • Creatine monohydrate.

It is the latter form that got the most popularity, as it is scientifically proven that creatine monohydrate is the most effective, which is produced mainly in the form of powder and capsules, it is very rare to be found in liquid form.

Creatine, this natural substance that is synthesized in the body with the help of three amino acids (arginine, glycine and methionine) in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, is deposited mainly in skeletal muscles in the form of phosphocreatine.

The intake of creatine supplementation from sports nutrition has a positive effect on the performance of the athlete, his strengths, especially on explosive strength.

In power sports, creatine is simply an indispensable supplement that an athlete must take, and strive to gain relief and strength of muscles.

Training in the anaerobic stele (in the gym, strength training) consumes the maximum amount of creatine and muscle. In the process of fitness, the muscles of the athlete are more and more able to delay phosphocreatine, and also begin to restore it more quickly.

Creatine Monohydrate Jarrow Formulas and Universal Nutrition
Creatine Monohydrate Jarrow Formulas and Universal Nutrition

When taking creatine, dehydration of the body, water retention, due to the fact that phosphocreatine draws water from the bloodstream into the muscle cells can be observed (therefore, the quality of the musculature becomes higher). It takes creatine in different ways, with a phase loading and without, you can read more here.


Protein is a high-protein mixture that saturates the body with valuable amino acids for muscle building. Regular consumption of protein, at a rate of 2-2.5 grams / kg creates a positive nitrogen balance (the amount of nitrogen that the body receives from food and removes), so that the process of muscle growth is possible.

In the market of sports nutrition, the leading position is occupied by whey protein and casein protein, the first is often taken for weight gain, as it is fast (easily assimilated), the second for weight loss, slow, long digested gradually saturating muscle amino acids.

The best time to take the protein, 1 hour before training, and within 40 minutes after it, to suppress the processes of catabolism (muscle destruction). The optimal serving size is not more than 30-40 grams of protein.

Also keep in mind that many proteins contain lactose (milk sugar), so they may not be suitable for everyone

Different cans of protein: Ultimate Nutrition and Optimum Nutrition
Different cans of protein: Ultimate Nutrition and Optimum Nutrition


Gainer is a protein-carbohydrate mixture that is ideal for typical ectomorphs (lean physique, which is difficult to gain weight). Very often in its composition, in addition to protein and carbohydrates, contains vitamins and minerals and unsaturated fats, making the product even more valuable to athletes.

In the era of the birth of sports nutrition, the quality of the geyner, as well as other additives, left much to be desired, proteins of low biological value and poor quality of carbohydrates were used in production. However, the process is moving forward, and now the geyner is a high-grade high-quality product, which includes special carbohydrates and high-quality proteins (though the domestic producer still lives by remnants of the past, making the product low-grade).

Gainer, quickly restores the energy costs of athletes, successfully closing the protein-carbohydrate window.

If your goal is to gain weight and you do not slope to sets of body fat, and your financial capabilities allow it to be bought on a regular basis, then this will be one of the best for you sports nutrition products.

Athletes who seek, for muscle relief, are not the best product, in this case it is more expedient for you to buy protein, too, the rule applies to people who are sloping to a set of excess weight.


Gainer, helps to absorb creatine better, so do not be afraid to mix it with it. The best time to take, just before and after training, and also the next morning, to counteract the processes of catabolism in the body.

BCAA amino acids

BCCA – irreplaceable three amino acids with branched chains, leucine, isoleucine, valine, which can not be synthesized in the body, that is, they must be taken from food. A large number of BCAAs contain products such as:

  • meat.
  • a fish.
  • seafood.
  • cheese.
  • eggs.
  • cottage cheese.
  • peanut.

Sports nutrition, in a concentrated form contains BCAA, is one of the most important supplements for an athlete, it helps:

  • regain strength after training.
  • protects muscles from destruction (anti-catabolic action).
  • start the processes of muscle growth (by 35% of the muscle consist of BCAA).

In the process of training, catabolic processes are started which rapidly begin to expend BCAA, trying to replenish the reserves of amino acids (energy homeostasis), the body begins to destroy muscle proteins, however, this process can be stopped and have a significant reserve of BCAA.

BCAA amino acids from different manufacturers: Weider, Optimum Nutrition
BCAA amino acids from different manufacturers: Weider, Optimum Nutrition

The best time to take before, on time and after training, and also the next morning, to suppress the processes of catabolism. Combine BCAA with almost any sports nutrition. The optimal dosage is 4-8 grams per day.

Pre-training complexes

Pre-training complexes, indirectly affect the growth of the athlete’s muscle mass, the main effect on the body, the athlete’s preparation for a heavy, energy-consuming exercise, by stimulating the central nervous system. Accordingly, the more the athlete is “charged”, the more efficiently he will perform the work in the gym.

The main effects from the reception of such complexes are:

  • increase in working capacity (endurance)
  • accelerate recovery processes

Often the manufacturers of pre-training complexes add creatine, vitamins, microelements, beta-alanine, caffeine, taurine, arginine, BCAA to the composition. Thus, after drinking a portion of the pre-training complex, you can not worry, for the processes of catabolism, which can destroy the muscles.

Set of pre-training complexes: Mesomorph, Finaflex Stimul 8, Black Annis
Set of pre-training complexes: Mesomorph, Finaflex Stimul 8, Black Annis

The optimal time to take 30 minutes before training. Do not use it on rest days, but also on days of light training, as this is not advisable.

Testosterone boosters

Testosterone boosters are supplements that increase the body’s natural level of testosterone(male sex hormone). In their composition, almost always only natural, vegetable components are contained.

Suitable for athletes of age categories (after 30 years), for increasing lean muscle mass, as well as for athletes who want to exit the steroid course, to minimize the ” retracement phenomenon.”

Boosters can be combined with protein, creatine and vitamins (to enhance muscle growth).

The regimen is usually 1-3 times a day, but each manufacturer has its own recommendations and dosages.

Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster
Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster


Prohormones are a number of additives on the sports nutrition market that can be converted into hormones (testosterone and nandrolone) when ingested, hence the name prohormones or prosteroids, while, in themselves, do not affect the person in any way.

The action of prohormones is very similar to that of real anabolic steroids, however, they are much less effective for their “fellow”, while the side effects are very similar, often athletes need to use PCT after the course of prohormones.

Prohormones: H-DROL 30, M1T. 1-AD, SUPERDROL 350
Prohormones: H-DROL 30, M1T. 1-AD, SUPERDROL 350

Vitamin and mineral complexes

Vitamin-mineral complexes are substances that supply the body with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

In connection with the fact that the body can not independently synthesize vitamins and minerals, they must be filled with multivitamins or high-quality food.

The need for bodybuilding in a good, nutritious diet that would contain vitamins and minerals in the right amount is much higher than in people who do not exercise. From the usual food, it is very difficult for athletes to provide a daily rate of all micronutrients, so it is advisable to add vitamin and mineral complexes to your diet.

Vitamins, in the body work as coenzymes (substances that enhance the activity of enzymes). For example, if there is not enough vitamins, you can forget about muscle growth, because enzymes that are responsible for the cleavage of the protein (protease) to amino acids, will work very poorly.

Minerals (macro and microelements) play a very important role in bodybuilding, it is due to them that muscle contraction is provided, good nerve conduction is maintained, water-electrolyte balance is maintained, and ultimately they are responsible for energy production in the body. Some minerals are extremely important in the collection of muscle mass, primarily we mean zinc (Zn), it is involved in the formation of testosterone, and magnesium (Mg) is responsible for protein synthesis, as well as calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) which are included in the composition of bone tissue.

Vitrum vitamin and mineral complex
Vitrum vitamin and mineral complex

Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 – unsaturated fatty acids, which are not synthesized in the body, that is, they also need to be consumed as vitamins and minerals with food, or from various supplements, in sports nutrition stores.

Harmful, abnormal food, anabolic steroids increases the level of harmful cholesterol (low density lipoproteins) is scientifically proven, which has a disastrous effect on the cardiovascular system (atherosclerosis, one of the most common causes of death), in order to lower this level it is necessary to add to your diet in mandatory order of omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are some of the positive properties of this additive:

  • an increase in metabolic rate (metabolism)
  • universally suitable as drying period, and during the mass gathering
  • slow down the absorption of carbohydrates
  • strengthen the heart by reducing the viscosity of the blood, thereby reducing blood pressure, the risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks
  • prevent the destruction of cartilage in the joints, as well as reduce inflammation, increases mobility
  • improves brain function (prevention of schizophrenia)
  • cleans the skin, gives it elasticity and softness
  • saturates the body with useful fats, protecting the person from obesity
  • strengthens the secretion of a very important for bodybuilding hormone (testosterone)
  • has anti-catabolic effect, (prevents the formation of cortisol)

Some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are: seafood, eggs, salmon, flaxseed oil, fish oil.

Omega 3 fatty acids: Country Life, Nordic Naturals, Norwegian Fish Oil
Omega 3 fatty acids: Country Life, Nordic Naturals, Norwegian Fish Oil

These aforementioned additives will significantly help you gain muscle mass, with adequate strength training, proper nutrition, and recovery. Use them according to the recommendations on the package, if it is not, then follow the advice we gave you.

Also remember that in the sports nutrition market, just a huge number of different additives, and many sellers, are trying to sell them, under the guise of a miracle drug that can build muscle in a matter of days. To avoid this, to get rid of the misconceptions that impregnate the market, always give preference to proven manufacturers, well-known companies, get acquainted with the composition on the package, study the objective (not purchased) reviews.

5 Best supplements to add muscle mass!