We all know how expensive getting fit can be. Gym membership fee’s, weekly meal prep with all that chicken and meat. Not to mention adding premium supplementation on top of that. It can frustrating and taxing on the weekly budget at the best of times. So whether you’re a student, apprentice or just trying to minimise your weekly costs. We’re here to help you discover which supplements will help maximise your gains without shrinking your wallet. Here are our picks for the most effective supplements every bodybuilder should have in their stack.
Not only can creatine help you increase muscle strength and size, it can also help you recover between sets faster. This allows you to train longer and with more intensity, ultimately leading to greater gains. Over 30 year and hundreds of studies support the benefits of using creatine..
Your body produces a small supply of creatine. However, if you want to maximise stores and reap the full benefits of creatine, you’ll either have to eat 2-3 pounds of meat a day or take a supplement. Most people won’t ever reach the right amount of meat intake a day plus the cost of all that food take a toll. This is why supplementing with creatine is the easiest and most affordable solution.
There are two common methods for increasing creatine storage in your body. One way is to do what’s known as a ‘loading phase’, where you ingest 20 grams of creatine a day for 5-7 days. This is then followed by a ‘maintenance phase’ of 3-5 grams per day. This method helps to flood the muscle cells with creatine faster.
Otherwise the other option you can opt for is a continuous low-dose protocol. This method is where you consume 5 grams of creatine per day. Although it’ll take around four weeks to maximise creatine stores. You’re less likely to experience any weight gain with a low-dose protocol.
Recommended dose: 20 grams for 5-7 days followed by 3-5 grams for maintenance
Price per serving: $0.10-$0.70
The numerous benefits of supplementing with whey protein include; Increases in muscular strength and size, decreases in body fat and a faster recovery time. This makes it a staple in any bodybuilder’s diet, from beginners to experienced lifters.
Muscle protein synthesis is an important process for increasing muscle size and strength. Resistance training alone can increase rates of protein synthesis, but it also increases rates of protein breakdown. For muscle growth to occur, you need to tip the scale in favour of protein synthesis while trying to minimise breakdown.
Research has shown that the consumption of protein post-workout can substantially increase muscle protein synthesis. Over time, this has been shown to lead to bigger gains in muscle size and strength.
Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that enters the bloodstream rapidly. This allows it to get to your muscles faster and create a bigger spike in protein synthesis compared to sources such as soy or casein.
You want to make that tub of protein last as long as possible. So although a smaller tub may be cheaper to begin with, a larger tub dramatically decreases the cost per serve over the long run. And remember, the key to change is consistency!
Recommended dose: 20-30 grams
Price per serving: $1.20 – $2.50
Timing: Immediately after working out/in the morning as a smoothie
Whether your goal is to increase energy levels at the gym or drop those last few pounds of body fat, look no further than caffeine. This thermogenic ingredient can help increase metabolic rate while also providing you with a quick source of energy during your workouts.
Along with its benefits to performance, caffeine has been shown to decrease the perception of fatigue during exercise. Muscular fatigue has been shown to decrease motor-unit recruitment within the muscle, causing a decrease in muscular-contraction strength. Taking caffeine before your workout can help sustain motor-unit firing rates and maintain maximal force output.
Caffeine can also help you shed those extra pounds you gained while enjoying the last few days of summer. An early study showed that consuming 1.8 milligrams of caffeine per pound of body weight increased metabolic rate up to 12 percent. Over time, this increase in metabolic rate could help you drop an extra few pounds.
Caffeine is most commonly found in pre workouts. Now there are hundreds of different pre workouts out there with new products being released every month. While caffeine usually stays between 150mg – 350mg in pre workouts, it’s the added performance ingredients that increase the value. so if you’re purely after caffeine pre workouts like C4 or Nitraflex or Oxyshred are great choices for a caffeine source while on a budget
Recommended dose: 150-300 milligrams
Price per serving: $1.17- $3.74
Timing: 15-30 minutes before working out
Whey protein is great for building muscle, but if you’re not taking your essential amino acids, you could be leaving gains left on the table. EAA’s are composed of nine essential amino acids that the body physically cannot produce and therefore are only found in meats & supplements. EAA’s are shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and aid in recovery.
Commonly taken during your workouts, EAA’s can decrease protein breakdown, help spare muscle glycogen and reduce fatigue. These benefits make EAA’s essential to your workouts, especially if you train in a fasted state and/or looking to add more muscle mass.
Recommended dose: 5-10 grams
Price per serving: $1.10 – $1.67
Timing: during your workout / throughout the day
L-carnitine is usually only associated with fat burners. But L-carnitine has been shown to not only increase fat loss but also improve mental cognition & mental clarity and increase muscle mass.
For weight loss, L-carnitine shuttles fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cell to produce energy. otherwise put more simply, uses your bodies fat storage’s as it’s primary source of fuel. Burning more fat, more efficiently.
Recommended dose: 2-3 grams, 1-3 times a day
Price per serving: $0.36 – $1.08
Timing: Upon waking, Before exercise