Bodybuilding Supplements Benefits & Dosages Glossary

There are a lot of supplements out there that can benefit the bodybuilder in one way or another. It can be quite confusing, so I am working on a comprehensive listing of as many of the best and top rated bodybuilding supplements as I can, so long as I can get reliable information on them. Here is what I have so far!

-Androstenedione

Rating:*

Explanation: Produced in the body from dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenendione is the precursor for normal production of hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen.  May help to normalize hormone levels, depleted by age or over training.

Androstenendione Bodybuilding Benefit:

May help support normal levels of male hormones, as well as muscle growth during periods of heavy exercise.  Studies have been mixed as to its effectiveness.  Higher than recommended dosages may be required for efficacy, but may also increase the likelihood of undesired effects.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

200- 300 mg per day or as directed on the label.

-Arginine:

 See Arginine Page

-BCAAs (branched chain amino acids):

See:  BCAA Page

-Beta carotene

Rating:**

Explanation: Beta carotene is a phytonutrient with antioxidant and provitamin A activity.  It provides the body with a nontoxic source of vitamin A and works with other natural protectors to defend cells from free radicals.

Beta Carotene Bodybuilding Benefits:

This is an important micronutrient in helping the body with metabolic functions such as recovery from exercise.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

5000 to 10,000 international units (IU) per day.

-Beta Ecdysterone:

See:  Beta-Ecdysterone Page

-Betaine:

See Betaine Page

-Caffeine:

See Caffeine Page

-Calcium

Rating:***

Category: Micronutrient

Explanation: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body.  It’s essential for the formation and repair of bones and teeth, and also for nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood clotting and other metabolic activities.  Long-term deficiencies have been linked to degenerative bone diseases.

Calcium Bodybuilding Benefit:

Calcium regulates it is critical for contraction and relaxation in muscle tissue, and it’s essential for the growth of the musculoskeletal system.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

1 g per day

-Carnitine (L-carnitine):

See Carnitine Page

-Chitosan

Rating:**

Category: Specialty.

Explanation: Chitosan can help lower total blood cholesterol level, LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, as well as elevate HDL (good cholesterol).  It can also bind dietary fats, preventing them from entering the body.

Chitosan Bodybuilding Benefit:

Chitosan can be used by bodybuilders to add fiber to the diet and prevent some absorption of dietary fat and unwanted calories, as well as provide health benefits.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

1-3 g per day.

-Choline

Rating:**

Category: Specialty

Explanation: Choline is a methyl donor acid, which is involved in the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, appetite, behavior and memory.

Choline Bodybuilding Benefit:

Blood levels of choline decrease during prolonged exercise.  Supplementation can help enhance cognitive performance, alertness and concentration. Choline is most effective in the phosphatidyl form.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

1-2 g per day

-Chondroitin

See Chondroitin page

-Chromium (chromium picolinate):

See Chromium Picolinate Page

-Chrysin

Rating:**

Category: Specialty

Explanation: Chrysin is the popular name for dihydroxyflavone, a flavonoid compound found in plants.  It’s normally present in small amounts in the diet.  Flavonoid compounds such as Chrysin are reported to exhibit antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Chrysin Bodybuilding Benefit:

Among its range of other biochemical effects, Chrysin may act as an anti-estrogen by inhibiting aromatase, limiting the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

Follow label directions.

-Coenzyme Q10 (coq10 Ubiquinone)

See COQ10 Page

-Colostrum

Rating:***

Categories: Muscle Growth, Recovery, Specialty

Explanation: Colostrum is a fluid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals prior to milk production.  It has a high concentration of immunoglobins, anti-microbial agents and hormone factors.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Colostrum provides major immune and gastrointestinal system benefits.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

125- 2000 mg per day.

-Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):

See CLA Page

-Creatine:

See Creatine Page

-DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone):

See DHEA Page

-Echinacea

Rating:*

Category: Recovery

Explanation: This herb has immune protective properties.  Echinacea has been shown to have some benefits in protecting against cold and flu.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Typically used at the onset of sickness, Echinacea can also be used as a preventive measure to protect the body against the natural stress the immune system suffers in heavy bodybuilding  training.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

Follow label directions.

-Egg Protein

Rating:*****

Categories: Macro Nutrient, Muscle Growth.

Explanation: Egg protein has a high efficiency ratio, meeting most of the protein is used by the body.  In protein supplements, egg white is often used; this avoids the cholesterol and fat content, which is found in the yolk.  Whole egg protein contains both the yolk and egg white, and provides a high ratio of indispensable amino acids.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Egg protein is a very effective source of protein that’s well tolerated by many bodybuilders, including those who are lactose intolerant.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

30-50 g per day.

-Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

Rating:*****

Categories: Recovery, Specialty.

Explanation: Linoleic Acid and alpha linoleic acid are considered essential since the human body cannot make them.  They must be consumed regularly in the diet.  They supply a necessary component for cell membranes and help produce eicosanoids and hormones.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

By consuming plenty of EFAs, you supply your body with the appropriate precursors to form cell membranes and regulatory eicosanoids.  In turn, you will maintain healthier skin, hair and proper response to exercise induced inflammation and immune disruption.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

3-6 g EFAs per day.

-Fiber

Rating:*****

Category: Specialty.

Explanation: Fiber is indigestible complex carbohydrate.  Consumption of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber enhances the health of the digestive tract.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Highly underrated by bodybuilders, fiber helps a bodybuilder process the bulk of food consumed and keeps the digestive system working at peak efficiency.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

10-15 g for every 1000 dietary calories.

-Flax Seed Oil

Rating:****

Categories: Recovery, Specialty

Explanation: Flaxseed is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linoleic acid (an EFA). Supplementing with flaxseed oil has been shown to lower cholesterol, decrease heart disease, increase satiety and improve cell integrity.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

EFAs play a role in proper cell function and inflammation response, and they keep skin and hair from drying out during low-fat dieting.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

1-3 tablespoons of flax seed oil per day.

-Ginkgo Biloba

Rating:**

Category: Specialty.

Explanation: The Ginkgo Biloba herb is used to enhance mental acuity and boost levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and scavenge free radicals.  It may also increase cerebral blood flow.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Ginkgo Biloba is a good specialty supplements for those suffering from acuity and focus problems, particularly on carbohydrate restricted diets.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

Follow label directions.

-Ginseng

Rating:**

Category: Specialty

Explanation: Ginseng is a family of herbs with adaptogenic properties, affecting energy metabolism and enhancing mental acuity.  It may improve learning and retention processes.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

As with Ginkgo Biloba, ginseng is a specialty supplement helpful in reducing focus problems associated with carbohydrate restricted diets.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

Follow label directions.

-Glucosamine:

See Glucosamine Page

-Glutamine:

See Glutamine Page

-Grape Seed Extract

Rating:**

Categories: Anti-Oxidant, Recovery.

Explanation: Grape seed extract as a source of proanthocyanidins, an important and very potent category of antioxidants.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Antioxidants protect tissues and enhance immune function and repair and recovery of muscle tissue.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

Follow label directions.

-Green Tea Extract:

See Green Tea Extract Page

-Guarana

Rating:**

Category: Fat Burning.

Explanation: Guarana is the seed of an herb found in the Amazon.  It provides the same stimulatory effects as caffeine itself.

Bodybuilding Benefit:

Guarana promotes fat burning in the same way caffeine does. Guarana is probably best taken in a compound thermogenic rather than as an individual supplement.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

Follow label directions.

-HMB (beta hydroxy beta methylbutyrate)

See HMB page

-Hydroxy citric acid (HCA)

Rating:**

Category: Fat Burning.

Explanation: HCA is an acid found in Garcinia cambogia fruit.  It affects fat and carbohydrate metabolism, helping to reduce the conversion of carbohydrates to body fat.

HCA Bodybuilding Benefit:

Studies regarding the effectiveness of HCA is that are equivocal.  The supplement may help prevent conversion of carbs to body fat; individual results may vary.

Bodybuilding Dosage*:

2-4 g per day.

*Dosages are only general recommendations. Always check with your Physician and product label before taking any supplement or medication.