Building muscle is hard…
Many guys turn to supplements thinking they’ll have steroid-like effects.
Sadly, most supplements like protein powder, amino acids, testosterone boosters, and pre-workout are disguised as money-making gimmicks and don’t really give you much of an edge.
Protein powder is a great way to get some extra protein if you need it. I use it myself! Regardless, it’s expensive and you still need to eat real quality food to build muscle.
Amino acid supplements are usually made from human hair, feathers, and animal skin. Pretty gross if you ask me. It’s also widely known that if you’re reaching your protein goals every day, you’re getting all the required amino acids. Therefore, taking amino acid supplements are pointless.
Testosterone boosters are another scam that just boost your T-levels by very insignificant amounts, making them essentially useless in promoting muscle growth.
Pre-workout supplements are just expensive forms of unhealthy caffeine. They are terribly bad for you and could lead to heart issues. If you want a good pre-workout, just drink a cup of straight black coffee before the gym, that’ll get you going.
But are there any real supplements out there that can give you a boost?
Here are a few natural supplements and their benefits that I highly recommend!
Sounds like it comes from the African country of Wakanda…
I made this first on the list for good reason.
Ashwagandha is a natural herb that is found in the Middle East and originates from India.
It’s been used for thousands of years as a nature-made cure for low testosterone, low energy levels, stress, and mood swings. It has also been shown to carry anti-cancer properties.
When you look at all the benefits from studies of ashwagandha, you’ll want to take some for yourself!
- Reduce stress and cortisol levels
- Fight depression and anxiety
- Increase testosterone levels
- Increase muscle mass and strength gains
- Reduce body fat
- Reduce inflammation and pain levels
- Boost energy and mood
- Cancer-fighting properties
- Improve sexual function
- Boost immunity
When researching online the benefits of ashwagandha, I was shocked to see that one of the benefits was increasing muscle mass and strength gains all while reducing body fat in healthy men!
One study found that those who supplemented with ashwagandha daily increased their bench press 1RM strength as well as the size of their arms, thighs, and chest. And it increased their testosterone levels as well!
So how much ashwagandha should you take per day?
Anywhere between 600-1,200mg of daily consumption is an ideal range to reap the benefits.
It doesn’t matter how you consume this incredible herb either.
Whether it’s powder, capsules, or tea, just make sure you get your daily dose of ashwagandha!
Horny Goat Weed
It’s got a really funny name to it… and for good reason.
Turns out that this herb was discovered by a Chinese farmer over 2,000 years ago who noticed a change in the behavior of his goats.
The goats were acting in a weird manner, as they were constantly in a sexual frenzy.
After doing his own research the farmer found that the goats had been munching on this new herb, sending them into a wild bedroom fest.
The farmer decided to give the herb a try and found out that it was working for him and his wife too! And thus, the name “horny goat weed” was born…
For the past 2,000 years, people have been using horny goat weed as a medicinal herb for a wide variety of treatments and benefits:
- Increases testosterone and blocks estrogen
- Stimulates libido
- Cures erectile dysfunction
- Boosts blood circulation
- Heals damaged bones
- Increases muscle mass
- Lowers stress and cortisol levels
Horny goat weed is a natural aphrodisiac, so make sure you try some to increase your sexual performance in the bedroom.
Beets are a superfood like no other.
Beets contain a chemical compound called betaine as well as dietary nitrates.
Betaine has been shown to increase strength, power output, and muscle mass, all while dropping body fat.
Other foods high in betaine include
- Sweet Potato
It works by controlling your stress and muscle-building hormones allowing them to work together at a really good rate, as well as working metabolizing the protein you consume.
It’s recommended to consume beets or beet juice around 2-3 hours before working out in order to maximize your athletic performance.
Beets can also reduce inflammation making it a great recovery food as well.
Beets are super easy to include in your diet.
I recommend eating them raw in order to reap the most benefits. I like to shred my beets through a grater and eat them with other shredded vegetables like carrots.
Careful, this is some strong stuff!
Ginger is a root that’s been used for thousands of years as a natural cure for many ailments.
Although it has very strong and has a spicy taste, ginger will have you feeling better and increase your testosterone levels.
It’s shown that ginger will reduce muscle pain and soreness after a long and excruciating workout. It’s also great at regulating your blood and cardiovascular health.
If you suffer from chronic joint pain, ginger may be your cure.
A study was done to test the effect of ginger on knee pain. The resulting patients felt less pain and required fewer medications after consuming ginger.
I like to consume ginger in the form of tea. I also find it great to take in the morning to help me get my day going.
Similar to ginger, maca is another ancient herbal medicine originating from Peru.
Here’s a list of benefits
- Increasing libido and low test levels
- Cure for erectile dysfunction
- Boosting energy and mood
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase bone density and strength
- Reduce anxiety levels
- Control acne
Maca is very popular in the form of tea. Try purchasing it as a powder to save a little money. I also find the powdered version to be the best.
Caffeine – Black Coffee
Need a pre-workout pickup?
Look no further than a straight black cup of coffee.
Zero calories while still providing you with a boost of energy.
I was never the biggest fan of coffee or caffeine. It can get addicting and you might crash from it a few hours later, leaving you wanting to consume more.
While I don’t consume it every day, I think it’s a great supplement to take before a hard workout.
It’s scientifically proven that 200–400 mg of caffeine before a workout can have you lifting stronger and harder, improving your performance.
This is equal to about 1 large cup of coffee.
But be careful, if you workout after 4pm it’s probably not advisable to drink caffeine. You’ll be awake late into the morning and have a poor night of sleep, resulting in fewer gains and a tiring next day.
A little bit of sunshine never hurt nobody!
If you aren’t getting 30-45 minutes of sunlight daily, change that right now.
The sun is the best source of Vitamin D you can get.
Like plants and photosynthesis, all we have to do to get our Vitamin D is by chilling out in the sun. The sun doesn’t actually shoot a beam of Vitamin D light down to us here on earth. All it does is promote the synthesis of Vitamin D in our skin through the ultraviolet light.
That’s the easiest way to get it your daily dose.
You could also purchase a Vitamin D supplemental powder, capsules, or gels… but why do that when you can get it for free outside!
It’s also better to get your vitamins and supplements naturally from nature and mother earth anyways!
Vitamin D can help with a wide variety of issues.
- Low testosterone
- Sleep Issues
- Weak bones
- Cardiovascular issues
It’s known that Vitamin D can help boost low test-levels, which can then help you increase your muscle mass. But what I love about Vitamin D the most is its ability to help fight depression.
If you have mental health issues, try sitting outside in a hammock or chair for an hour with no phone or electronic device. See how you feel after an hour. Just make sure you wear sunblock if it’s summer!
This one is really trendy right now, and rightfully so.
CBD is taking the world ablaze with its incredible healing properties.
It seems everyone wants to benefit from the cannabis plant! That’s right, CBD is extracted from marijuana and hemp plants.
But CBD won’t get you high.
Getting high comes from THC. That compound is only available in marijuana. When CBD is extracted, it’s with zero or very small amounts of THC that won’t have an effect on you.
That being said, CBD is considered by many to be a miracle compound.
- Fights anxiety and depression
- Decreases inflammation
- Increases quality of sleep
- Relieve pain and soreness
- Anti-cancer properties
- Fights psychotic disorders
- Relaxes digestive system
CBD is a great way to relax and recover after a workout. If you’re having trouble sleeping or just suffering from workout pain, take a few drops of CBD oil and you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable.