By Alissa Carpio, CPT and IFBB Pro
When it comes to choosing which bodybuilding supplements work best for gaining size and strength, it can be hard to weed through it all and find what really works. So hopefully we can take some of that guesswork out for you by breaking down this list of the best supplements for muscle gain and strength.
Which are the Best Natural Muscle Building Supplements?
For you natties out there, we know how important it is to keep your body clean and safe from some of the effects of anabolic steroids and other compounds. Fortunately, we’ve found some of the most powerful natural anabolic blends to highlight here.
Anafuse by Vital Alchemy is arguably the best natural muscle builder available today. Anafuse is potent and powerful, thanks to its key ingredient, an antioxidant called Epicatechin. We know that antioxidants are good for us in many ways: they fight inflammation, decrease our risk for certain diseases like cancer, and aid in recovery from injury and illness. Catechins are found in foods like green tea and cocoa, but by packaging it into a supplement form we can control the dosage and be sure we’re getting an effective amount.
Epicatechin aids in muscle growth and retention. Simply put, your body produces a protein called myostatin, which is known to inhibit muscle growth. It’s opposition, Follistatin, increases muscle growth. These myokines can work with one another. When Follistatin binds to Myostatin, it lowers the amount of Myostatin, freeing your body to make better gains in muscle size and strength.
A recent study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry observed the effects of Epicatechin supplementation in both mice and humans . Both showed favorable results. In older mice treated with Epi, Myostatin was inhibited by 21 % and Follistatin was increased by 56%. Humans tested with Epi treatment resulted in a 7% increase in hand strength in just one week.
Studies conclude that supplementation with Epicatechin can fight sarcopenia and elicit increases in muscle size and strength.
Laxogenin is a potent plant-based steroid known for its anabolic properties. It works to suppress cortisol, the stress hormone, aiding in fat loss, recovery, and quality of sleep.
AnaFuse has an all-natural blend of Epicatechin and Laxogenin that works synergistically to enhance these effects, making it one of the best supplements for muscle gain on the market today.
What are the Best Supplements for Building Muscle?
Along with Anafuse, we can add Androvar to the category of top muscle builders. Hard Rock Supplements brings us this exciting product that can help with muscle gain, strength, and muscle hardness. The primary ingredient in Androvar, Epiandrosterone, is a natural product of the adrenal hormone DHEA and converts into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT is arguably known as the most potent natural androgen available. This male sex hormone is very anabolic in nature, helping with gains in strength and muscle mass. DHT also has the effect of inhibiting estrogen, making it a great compound for cutting cycles. Since aromatization will not occur, there’s no need to worry about estrogenic side effects like gynecomastia or water retention associated with increased levels of estrogen. In fact, DHT has a dry out effect that will help with the look of feeling leaner and harder .
Hard Rock Supplements has delivered an Epiandrosterone supplement in an efficacious 100mg dose to help your body convert optimal levels of DHT and all the anabolic effects that come along with it.
Because of the highly effective dose of this breakthrough ingredient, we consider Androvar our best muscle building supplement.
Honorable Mention Supplements for Muscle Gain and Strength
While Androvar and Anafuse top our list, there are other effective products that are potent and worth mentioning as some of the best supplements for muscle growth.
Epi 2.0. Vital Alchemy shakes things up again by making an even more potent Epicatechin product.
You already learned that Epi supplementation helps to reverse sarcopenia and increase muscle gain and strength. In Epi 2.0, Vital Alchemy has included a hefty dose of 225mg of Epicatechin.
With no known side effects associated with high dosage or length of cycle, you can safely use Epi to maximize the effects of your training, making it one of our top muscle building supplements.
Nano Genin by Assault Nano Series includes that powerful compound Laxogenin with an advanced form of delivery to maximize absorption and effectiveness. Using their Nano Absorption Technique, Assault labs have reduced the particle size of this brassisteroid to increase the surface area and allow more of it to be utilized by the body.
This delivery mechanism can result in a 600% increase in availability and delivery!
Best of all, this is a plant-derived steroid and is all-natural. It can serve as a complement to other products you may be cycling but works equally as well as a Post Cycle Therapy support to help keep your muscle and strength gains while reversing side effects.
Laxogenin has no known side effects and is safe for both men and women. It aids in muscle protein synthesis and can improve muscular endurance and joint health.
What are the Best Supplements for Increasing Strength?
If strength is your main goal, these three supplements top our list.
Androvar, which we previously discussed, is equally as potent for gaining strength as it is for growing muscle.
Second on the list is Anabolic Trinity. Hard Rock Supplements has taken the anabolic game to the next level with the powerful triple effect of Epiandrosterone, Laxogenin and Androsterone. We’ve already learned the benefits of Epiandrosterone converting to DHT and helping with lean, dry muscle gain. Having reviewed Laxogenin, we know it’s a potent, all-natural plant-based steroid that suppresses cortisol and helps with muscle protein synthesis.
By adding Androsterone to the mix, Anabolic Trinity could be one of the most effective prohormone substances on the market today.
Androsterone is a 3-alpha-isomer that gets converted by the body into testosterone-like hormones and is widely used by athletes and bodybuilders .
The main benefits of androsterone including strength gains and bodyfat loss.
The combination of these ingredients in Anabolic Trinity makes it a great supplement for cutting cycles or lean bulking.
In addition to the anabolic ingredients in this product, you also get the benefits of Agmatine sulfate, a substance sometimes referred to as “super arginine.” Arginine is best known to be a vasodilator and a precursor to nitric oxide production, the popular supplement used to help increase pump, blood flow, and muscle protein synthesis .
These benefits are all seen from arginine supplementation as well. How Agmatine differs is by the removal of the carboxylic acid group, allowing it to be stored within the neurons of the brain and released upon activation.
Using a blend of grapefruit and bergamottin as a delivery matrix, Anabolic Trinity can be considered one of the best muscle building supplements available. Its potent ingredients have a powerful androgenic effect and should be used for serious athletes and bodybuilders.
Finally among our top strength builders is R-Andro Shred. For lean, dry gains, Hard Rock Supplements has cut right to the strongest legal ingredients available with a combination of Androsterone and 7-Keto-DHEA.
If you’re looking for powerful anabolic agents with intense thermogenic fat loss ingredients, look no further.
R-Andro Shred contains the simple, proven ingredients to help with any cutting cycle or lean bulk.
Increase muscle size, strength, hardness, and vascularity while reducing body fat and excess water weight.
Which Supplements are Good for Muscle Gain and Weight Loss (Cutting/Shredding)?
True Shred by Hard Rock Supplements is a true hybrid shredder which offers high-powered shreddding with the added benefit of being anabolic. This means you can keep your gains, and possibly even make new ones, while shedding unwanted body fat.
The compounds in True Shred combine to offer what most bodybuilders are seeking: gains in lean mass with a decrease in body fat. For this reason, it could be one of the best bodybuilding supplements available today.
One of the biggest challenges during a cutting cycle is retaining your hard-earned muscle and strength. So Hard Rock has included the anabolic agents Laxogenin, l-Norvaline, Colostrum, Bulbene Natalenis, and 7-Keto-DHEA.
Let’s take a look at these with a little more detail.
We’ve got Laxogenin, the all-natural plant-based steroid known to enhance the effects of other anabolic agents.
L-Norvaline is a form of the amino acid Valine, which is one of the Branched Chain Amino Acids responsible for 35% of amino acids in body protein. Norvaline is a strong vasodilator helping with NO production and assists in muscle protein synthesis and post-workout recovery.
Bulbene Natalenis assists in raising testicular cholesterol to provide the raw materials necessary for increased testosterone production.
Colostrum powder can increase endurance and strength through its growth hormone (GH) precursors IGF-1 and IGF-2. IT helps with nutrient assimilation, resulting in increased nitrogen retention, reduced catabolism, higher energy levels and improved performance.
Finally, let’s look at 7-Keto-DHEA. This form of DHEA does not convert into estrogens. It is, however, used to produce body heat and increase metabolic rate and thyroid gland activity, making it a formidable thermogenic and fat burner.
7-Keto-DHEA also aids in building muscle and increasing lean body mass, boosting immunity, and treating mood disorders such as depression and anxiety .
Which Supplements are Good for Muscle Gain and Strength?
Did we mention Androvar? Of course we did, and that’s because its proven ingredients top the list for best bodybuilding supplements. We have two others to introduce you to as well.
4 Andro is a powerful prohormone that activates through the presence of testosterone, enhancing your body’s anabolic and androgenic effects, making Andro the Giant one of the best supplements for muscle growth.
Studies have shown it to increase serum testosterone levels, increase lean mass and increase muscle strength .
You can expect an amazing muscle pump along with increased strength and performance.
Side effects may include aromatization but can easily be prevented by stacking Andro the Giant with an estrogen inhibitor.
As we already know, prohormones land among the best muscle building supplements because they work to increase your body’s production of testosterone, the standard ingredient by which all steroids and prohormones are measured.
With a 1:1 anabolic to androgenic ratio, nothing works better than testosterone at muscle protein synthesis (both an increase in muscle cell size and an increase in number of muscle cells), muscle fullness and pumps, fat loss and lasting strength gains. By providing 1 Andro, we’re allowing the body to make 1 Testosterone, and reap all the benefits of testosterone supplementation.
By conversion into 1 Testosterone, supplementation with 1 Andro has been shown to mimic true, steroid-like gains .
As with many prohormones and testosterone enhancers, we can expect some health risks, so it’s recommended to take a digestive health product and liver aid while cycling any oral product.
Honorable Mention Supplements for Muscle Gain and Strength
Major Bulk. For advanced users, Assault Labs offers Major Bulk, combining six major compounds for one of the strongest natural muscle building stacks on the market.
These six hand-selected ingredients work synergistically for a compounded effect that’s unparalleled when it comes to natural bodybuilding supplements.
Let’s take a look at the four key ingredients in detail.
Ursolic acid is a natural chemical compound that occurs in apple skin and herbs such as rosemary and sage. Ursolid acid boasts strong antioxidant properties, so it’s great for fighting inflammation, disease, and helping with post-workout recovery.
Ursolic acid can help with fat loss by blocking the formation of fat cells, but let’s take a look at its muscle-building properties .
Studies conducted on mice found an increase in grip strength, exercise performance and lean muscle, with an increase in both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers .
By regulating insulin and increasing growth hormone, ursolic acid can help with muscle gain .
Maral Root extract is an Edycosteroid, a naturally occurring steroid, and has been shown to exhibit strong androgenic effects in studies conducted on mice .
HICA comes from the amino acid Leucine, which is one of the Branched Chain Amino Acids that collectively account for 35% of skeletal muscle tissue. Leucine improves muscle protein synthesis and reduces soreness .
HICA quickens the effects of high intensity training by eliminating catabolic products from the body, supporting muscle and strength gains through improved post-workout recovery .
Finally, the fourth key ingredient in Major Bulk is Laxogenin, which we already discovered is a natural steroid building block to enhance your body’s muscle gaining potential.
Whether your primary goal is to gain muscle, gain strength, lose bodyfat, or maybe a combination of these, you can find the most potent and safe legal bodybuilding supplements available in this list.
Questions on cycle length, creating your own stack, supportive products, nutrition and more, please check out each product’s Q & A section for common questions, or drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help.
Authored by Alissa Carpio
Alissa Carpio is an accomplished writer and athlete in the fitness industry, with over fourteen years of experience. She hold’s a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management, is an IFBB Professional athlete and the 2017 NPC National Fitness Champion. Alissa’s work has been published in Oxygen magazine and MET-Rx magazine. She’s also written for MET-Rx, Max Muscle, Pampers.com, Prevention.com, Bodybuilding.com and Eat the Bear.