QUESTION: I'm 16 years old and have been thinking of taking bodybuilding supplements such as protein powders as I feel doing so will benefit me in building my muscles. The question is, which bodybuilding supplements are best suited for me? I have read many articles stating that supplements containing hormones or for boosting testosterone are not good for my age. What do you recommend I take to accelerate gains?
ANSWER: As a teenager who practices bodybuilding, I would focus my bodybuilding supplements program on:
1. A good set of multiple vitamins and minerals to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.
2. A good protein powder to take in between real meals so that it is easier and more convenient for you to increase your protein to the levels that you need. A good tub of high quality protein like Pro V60 will do the trick. If you need to gain weight however because you are a hardgainer (a person with a fast metabolism who has issues gaining weight) then I would go for a high quality weight gainer that is low in sugars and that has a variety of fast released and slow released proteins like Lean Body Mass 60.
3. A couple of tablespoons of good fats such as flax oil in order to cover your essential fatty acids needs. You can add these to your shakes.
I would save the creatine, and other more advanced supplements, for later on in your bodybuilding journey, once you have turned 20 and have achieved some pretty solid bodybuilding gains. Believe it or not, I did not use supplements such as creatine until I turned 25.
Definitely, stay away from any testosterone boosting supplementation. Right now (since you are a teenager) your body produces a ton of anabolic steroids (testosterone and growth hormone mainly) that will greatly help you in your quest to build muscle rapidly while losing body fat. Anything that you do trying to further boost your testosterone production may do the exact opposite. Save testosterone boosters for when your body starts to slowly decline in testosterone production, which is around 25 years old. However, research shows that 3,000 mg of Vitamin C lower cortisol levels (a muscle wasting hormone that does the exact opposite of what testosterone does) so 1000mg of Vitamin C at Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will actually help you in your quest to a more muscular body.
The supplementation program above, in conjunction with a good bodybuilding diet, a good training program based off from basic exercises, rest (yes, you need at least 8 hours of sleep each night) and the determination to execute your bodybuilding program day in and day out will take you to where you want to be.
Hugo Rivera CFT, SPN, BSCE. is a lifetime natural bodybuilder, multi certified personal trainer, industry consultant and fitness expert who not only knows training and nutrition theory, but also applies it on a daily basis as evidenced by the fact that he's always in shape and by his awards and high placings at numerous national level bodybuilding competitions. He is also an internationally known best selling fitness author with a very successful franchise of books called "The Body Sculpting Bibles" which collectively have sold over a million copies. Hugo is also author of the very popular “Body Re-Engineering” e-book, which teaches you how to gain lean muscle mass and get lean without drugs, or fancy expensive supplements, using the secrets he devised after many years of weight problems as a child. For more information on Hugo’s Muscle Building / Fat Loss Program please click on the link: www.losefatandgainmuscle.com