Dietary supplements are ever-popular—and bodybuilding pills continuously lead the way. They’re advertised a lot, but healthy skepticism prevails: Are they the real deal?
The Best Bodybuilding Pills
The Rundown: Exercise Supplements
When it comes to bodybuilding pills, there’s a lot of variety. Primarily, this is because different types of supplements aid different goals—and each type of supplement offers additional customization.
No one’s body is the same, after all—and, at the end of the day, supplements really are just that: Supplemental to one’s fitness lifestyle, dietary habits, and personal health.
So, what’s the deal?
The trick to understanding bodybuilding pills, as with any other supplement, is to first differentiate between the major supplements available. Yes, bodybuilding pills can be effective. But not all will follow through on their claims.
Additionally, some of the most effective bodybuilding supplements can be unhealthy—or even dangerous.
Let’s take a look at the most popular options—as they’re popular for a reason: More often than not, they tend to work.
One of the leading one-step bodybuilding supplements available is the BCAA capsule. BCAAs are critically acclaimed for their athletic benefits, prioritized by everyday fitness enthusiasts and highly trained athletes alike.
BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are scientifically proven to assist muscle growth, decrease post-workout muscle soreness, and reduce fatigue. Amino acids are our muscles’ building blocks—and BCAAs stimulate muscle growth response directly.
Studies provided by Frontiers in Physiology cover the practice of taking BCAA supplements in isolation—which, surprisingly, still succeed in terms of muscle growth.
This said the metabolic mechanisms responsible for muscle growth won’t be maximized by BCAAs alone—as a full spread of amino acids, alongside a healthy diet, is required to keep our muscles full, flexible, and strong. And this is where BCAA capsules come into play.
BCAAs are commonly consumed in liquid-form—stirred or shaken as a blend for consumption either alongside a meal or by themselves. Again, though, BCAAs work best when a healthy diet is also maintained. Micro-managing this type of supplement-diet balance, understandably, can get difficult. As such, leading industry providers have compressed daily BCAA dosages into gelatin capsules.
You’ll still get the valine, isoleucine, and leucine which constitute a full BCAA blend, of course—but you’ll have a much easier time ‘getting your scoop’ in throughout a busy day.
BCAAs are directly absorbed by your muscles, too, as opposed to being metabolized by your liver, first. This makes them particularly effective in capsule form—as one needn’t consume food alongside them to maximize absorption.
This said, having a small meal alongside your BCAA bodybuilding pills is still a good idea—as it’s whole food protein sources synergize with BCAA absorption, in general.
Up next, we have creatine pills: micro-sized variants of the supplement world’s most popular supplements. Creatine is considered one of the most effective supplements for increasing muscle strength and size.
As such, it’s considered a fundamental bodybuilding supplement for anyone serious about gaining mass. Research shows that creatine supplementation can even double the rate of strength gains—matching this rate in male muscle growth, as well.
Creatine is known to have a lot of variations when it comes to forms of consumption.
It’s found in standalone powder form—but it’s also a popular sports drink ingredient. Some protein powders have creatine, and some protein bars do, too. And then there’s creatine pills: A lesser-recognized form of creatine, but an effective one nonetheless.
Creatine is pretty effective regardless of the way it’s consumed—as the molecule is found in the body, naturally, already. It’s also found in eggs, meat, and seafood—comprised of three amino acids: arginine, methionine, and glycine. While plenty of bodybuilders keep their kitchen shelves stocked with creatine to maintain muscle mass, plenty of people benefit from its ability to provide backup energy during tough workouts.
Some prefer creatine pills to powders for male muscle growth, however. In some cases, this preference stems from the same convenience BCAA capsules provide.
Often, however, this preference stems from a person’s unique dietary needs. Creatine powder is absorbed much quicker than creatine pills are—making them ideal post-workout supplements.
This type of timing isn’t feasible for everyone, of course, which makes creatine pills incredibly useful as a ‘pre-loaded’ supplement: If you’re on the go, you can take your creatine pill before you hit the gym. If timed correctly, it’ll be absorbed around the time you wrap up.
Diving deeper into the digestive differences between creatine powder and pills: Many people get upset stomachs from creatine. Bloating is a common factor to consider, which can make taking creatine a pain in general.
Because creatine pills take longer to digest, they tend to be easier on the digestive system in general.
So, if you’ve had trouble with creatine in the past, you might benefit from its pill form much more. After all—fully digested creatine, at the end of the day, is the most effective creatine you’ll get.
Fish Oil Capsules
Surprisingly, fish oil is suspected to aid muscle growth. High in DHA, EPA, and omega-3 fats, fish oil is even a favored supplement by bodybuilders—as it’s shown to significantly reduce post-exercise muscle soreness.
Fish oil’s benefits don’t end here, of course, as its anti-inflammatory properties directly boost the range of motion—directly bolstering any workout routine. While you can get a healthy dose of omega-3s from walnuts, flax seeds, and pine nuts, it’s simply easier to have an all-in-one capsule to do the job.
Fish oil capsules also contain more alpha-linolenic acid than fish, itself, does—so it’s certainly a good food-alternative extract to consider.
Exploring fish oil’s direct impact on workout quality, its ability to reduce swelling prevents strength decline throughout your weekly workouts. Also unique to fish oil is its increased benefits to those on low-calorie diets:
In one study, those supplementing with 4,000 mg of fish oil, daily, experienced increased lower-body strength and muscle gain.
Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, in the long run, is suspected to enhance our muscles’ sensitivity to protein, too, making it a solid companion on your resistance training adventure. It’s also body-friendly at any age, making it a preferred supplement among middle-aged and older fitness enthusiasts.
So don’t pass up fish oil, the next time you’re browsing bodybuilding pills: It’s secretly one of the more effective you’ll find.
Diet pills tend to be the most-advertised type of bodybuilding pills—as they’re capable of slimming the waistline while revealing hard-earned muscle. But the term ‘diet pills’ is pretty broad.
What are they, exactly?
Most are stimulant-based, existing as blends of caffeine, green coffee extract, green tea extract and guarana. Indeed, these supplements do work: Their stimulant properties speed up the metabolism, also compounding in-workout fat-burning effects due to being thermogenic. For male muscle growth, they can even boost exercise performance. Still, they’re best used for melting away fat stacked on top of every inch of muscle we carry.
One of the most effective ingredients found in diet pills, green tea extract, is found to be particularly effective in weight loss: It boosts fat oxidation alongside the metabolism, and studies suggest that it can even inhibit carbohydrate uptake after a meal. This is sort of a double-edged sword, however, as our muscles need a healthy supply of carbohydrates to grow.
As a result, your male muscle growth mileage may vary with diet pills. To take them as bodybuilding pills, your best bet is to consume them as a pre-workout supplement—utilizing their stimulant properties to get a much-needed energy boost before big lifts. In any event, ask your health provider if diet pills are safe to consume—as pre-existing health conditions can make diet pills, in any form, dangerous to take.
Staying Healthy, and Avoiding the Steroid Hype
Anabolic steroids are well-known to boost muscle mass—dramatically so.
Their hype, however, isn’t worth the health risks. It’s important to cover these popular bodybuilding supplements—as they are available in pill form. This form of anabolic steroids is especially dangerous, as the liver has difficulty breaking them down.
The digestive tract, too, has difficulty processing oral anabolic steroids—which is why bodybuilders often take anabolic steroids by injection.
In any form, however, anabolic steroids are still pretty dangerous—even for experienced bodybuilders with the know-how needed to take them. They’re often referred to as ‘recipes for disaster’ for a reason, as their potential hormone-related damages sit alongside insulin and cardiovascular risks.
In some cases, anabolic steroid use can be fatal.
Getting the Most Out of Your Supplements
There are plenty of effective bodybuilding pill options for male muscle growth, out there. In most cases, it’s simply a question of what to look for. The best supplements to aid your muscle-bound career, fortunately, are widely available: You can find BCAA capsules, creatine pills, fish oil capsules, and diet pills at your local nutrition shop.
When in doubt—your local pharmacy, or even the grocery store, is a good place to look.
The best thing about today’s leading supplements for muscle growth is their adaptability: The nutrients which work the best, more often than not, work in many forms.
So don’t worry, if you’re not keen on taking pills, as you’ll still gain plenty of muscle by utilizing BCAAs, creatine, fish oil, and green tea extract in any regard. If you need a schedule-friendly exercise boost, however, supplement capsules are definitely the way to go in terms of accessibility and convenience.
As always, definitely talk to your health provider before choosing your next supplement to enhance your fitness. The bodybuilding supplements listed above tend to be healthy, for most, but every person’s body has unique needs. Once you’ve determined the best way to supplement your day, you’ll be well on your way to increased strength, reduced fatigue, and bigger muscles.