13 Best Supplements for Bulking: Buyer’s Guide

Bulking supplements help athletes get the calories and nutrients they need to gain mass and build muscle. With extra nutrients from supplements, fitness fanatics have the energy to push harder and get more significant results.

Athletes and gym-goers bulk before a cutting phase, where they lose the extra weight gained from bulking pills by strictly monitoring their diet. Determine the best bulking supplements by comparing their lists of ingredients and nutrients. 

The best supplements for bulking contain protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients that help produce testosterone and muscle mass.  

The top three best bulking supplements are the following. 

  1. Creatine 
  2. Weight and Mass Gainers
  3. Carbohydrates

Read more to discover the top 13 bodybuilding supplements. You’ll learn about the best supplements for bulking muscle and how to bulk up fast with supplements. 

1. Creatine

Creatine is one of the best bulking supplements for athletes because it is a naturally occurring amino acid that gives muscles energy. 

Creatine may enhance strength and hypertrophy, increase the benefits of high-intensity training, and help with strength, power, and neurological functions. Regarding bulking supplements for bodybuilding, athletes favor creatine for its flexible dosage and use.

Recommended doses of creatine differ based on the person’s body mass and fitness goals. Typically three to five grams a day is sufficient. However, some athletes have a loading phase where they take 20 grams daily for their first week of using this supplement. 

Creatine supplements are safe when taken in the appropriate amounts. Potential side effects of using creatine supplements includes weight gain, muscle cramps, gastrointestinal troubles, high blood pressure, and organ damage.

GNC Pro Performance, Nutricost, and Optimum Nutrition are the best brands for purchasing creatine supplements. A bottle of creatine powder or capsules costs between $25 to $50, depending on the brand and size. 

Despite being mistaken as a steroid, creatine is not an anabolic steroid. Though you’re likely to experience muscle growth alongside increased strength and stamina, creatine doesn’t affect testosterone levels. Instead, it’s possibly the best supplement for bulking.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, or L-ascorbate, is one of the must-have supplements for bulking. Why? Because vitamin C is essential to collagen and energy production for healthy muscle functions. 

Athletes use vitamin C supplements to help with the following. 

  1. Maintain healthy skeletal muscle mass
  2. Prevent age-related muscle degeneration 
  3. Strengthen the immune system 
  4. Aid the absorption of iron

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for adults is 90 mg and 75 mg for men and women. Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning a person will urinate any excess vitamin C in their system if they exceed the RDA. 

Potential side effects of too many vitamin C supplements include nausea, diarrhea, bloating, cramps, heartburn, and headaches. 

BulkSupplements, NutriFlair, and Nature Made are three brands that offer high-quality vitamin C supplements for any workout needs. Vitamin C capsules or powder usually cost between $5 to $15, depending on the bottle size. 

3. Carbohydrate Supplements

Carbohydrate supplements improve athletic performance by maintaining healthy blood glucose levels and internal glycogen stores. Carbs are the body’s primary energy source, so you’ll find carbohydrates in many bulk-up supplements. 

Unlike carbohydrates from food, carbohydrate supplements control the amount of complex and simple carbs in each scoop or pill. Complex carbs provide a slow release of nutrients to support optimal energy levels without a crash. 

Overconsumption of carbohydrates may cause weight gain, fatigue, stomach troubles, and acne. 

Brands that offer carbohydrate bulking supplements are NutraBio, Vitargo, and NOW Supplements. Carb supplements are typically in powder form. You can buy bulk supplements for between $40 to $70 a bottle. 

Keep the macronutrient levels in mind when taking carbohydrate supplements. Balance any carbohydrate intake with healthy levels of protein and fats. 

4. Weight and Mass Gainers

Weight and mass gainers are similar to protein powders because they contain protein and nutrients for gaining muscle but have more calories per scoop. 

They’re good supplements for bulking because they help users gain weight to support muscle growth. Bulk supplement powders mix into a shake that keeps you full for your workout.

Some potential risks of using weight and mass gainers for bulking include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, nausea, or discolored urine. 

Bodybuilders can find quality weight and mass gainer supplements from brands like Optimum Nutrition, NAKED nutrition, and Dymatize. Mass and weight-gaining supplements range between $35 to $60 a bottle. 

Avoid weight and mass gainers with additives that may spike blood glucose levels, especially if someone has diabetes. Mass and weight gainers with a high glycemic index will give a temporary energy boost but lead to an energy crash.

5. BCAA’s

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are one of the best supplements to bulk up because branched-chain amino acids help build and maintain healthy muscles. 

The BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine are three of the nine essential amino acids that a person’s body can’t produce on its own. BCAA supplements are a great way to add these essential amino acids to any diet. 

These BCAAs may help recovery since muscles must repair themselves after a rigorous workout. Adding more BCAA supplements to a diet may ease soreness and improve muscle growth. That information makes BCAAs good bulk workout supplements. However, scientists are continuing research to determine its effects fully. 

Potential side effects of BCAA supplements are fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. 

The best brands to buy BCAAs are BulkSupplements, Nutricost, and Xtend. A bottle of BCAA powder costs around $20 to $50. 

6. Whey Protein Powder

Protein powder is one of the best supplements to bulk up because it contains complete proteins in an easy-to-consume powder. It’s one of the must-have supplements for bulking for everything it offers.

Many protein powders contain more than just protein. Most protein powder also has vitamins and minerals that promote muscle health. 

Each protein powder comes with a scoop for portion control and easy measuring. The daily requirements for protein range from person to person based on gender and size. 

Protein powder is generally safe to consume. However, overconsumption of whey protein powder supplements may strain organs like the liver and kidney. Protein powder has the benefit that it’s low in saturated fat and high in protein, unlike red meat. 

Amazing Muscle, KOS, and Vega Sport have delicious, nutritious protein powders. Protein powders range in price based on the brand and ingredients. Typically a bottle of protein powder costs between $20 to $75. 

When purchasing this bulking supplement, consider that some protein powders tested positive for toxins like heavy metals. 

7. Desiccated Liver

Desiccated liver is one of the best bulk supplements that may help athletes support muscle growth, improve blood circulation, and feel more energized. 

This bulking supplement has all the health benefits of eating liver in a tasteless pill form. These pills for bulking are high in B vitamins, vitamin A, and iron. Remember that desiccated liver pills are usually relatively low in protein compared to bulking supplements on this list. 

Desiccated liver bulking pills are generally safe and provide a good source of iron and vitamins with less saturated fats than meat. Potential health risks of desiccated liver include overconsumption of vitamin A.

Find high-quality desiccated liver supplements from brands like Ancestral Supplements, ForestLeaf, and Swanson. Depending on the brand and form, a bottle of desiccated liver supplements ranges between $15 to $35. 

8. Amino Acid Formulas

Amino acid formulas are bulking up supplements similar to protein powders because they provide the necessary nutrients for proteins to repair and maintain muscle tissue. 

Scientists originally developed amino acid formulas to help babies get the protein they need to grow big and strong. But guess what? Adults also use amino acid formulas for the same reasons. 

There are 20 amino acids, but nine essential ones must come from your diet. Human bodies break down protein from food to absorb each amino acid individually. However, amino acid formulas isolate each essential amino acid for easier digestion, making this one of the top bulking supplements for those with allergies or sensitive stomachs.  

Some potential side effects of prolonged amino acid formula use are fatigue, weight gain, gastrointestinal troubles, and organ damage. 

Top brands like NutraBio, iSatori, and Swanson offer amino acid formulas in powder and pill form. Amino acid formulas typically range in price from $15 to $30. 

9. EFA’s

EFAs, or essential fatty acids, are healthy fats human bodies need for energy that people can only get from dietary sources. EFAs are the polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.

EFAs play a vital role in fitness because omega-3 and omega-6 help with brain function, bone health, and metabolism. 

The RDI for omega-3 is between 1.1 and 1.6 g. At the same time, the RDI for omega-6 is up to 6.4 g. Heart-healthy diets recommend consuming omega-6 and 3 in a 4:1 ratio. Overconsumption of EFAs may lead to heart disease and blood clots. 

Advanced Trichology, Genestra Brands, and Youngevity all offer bulking-up supplements with EFA’s. A bottle of EFA capsules or liquid costs between $30 to $100. 

10. Vitamin B-Complex

A Vitamin B-complex is one of the best supplements for bulking because B vitamins are essential for sending oxygen to muscles and transforming other nutrients into energy. A vitamin B complex may also help with regulating hormones. Bulk vitamins and minerals are a healthy way to gain mass.

The eight B vitamins are the following. 

  1. Thiamin (B1) 
  2. Riboflavin (B2) 
  3. Niacin (B3) 
  4. Pantothenic Acid (B5) 
  5. Pyridoxine (B6) 
  6. Biotin (B7) 
  7. Folate (B9) 
  8. Cobalamin (B12) 

Because there are so many B vitamins, gym enthusiasts can take all eight as a single supplement or purchase separate pills for each B vitamin.

Men and women require different amounts of every B vitamin, so supplement amounts differ to meet the DRIs for each gender. B vitamins are water-soluble, so your body will expel any extra B vitamins in your urine. It’s common for people taking a vitamin-B complex to experience discolored urine. 

Other side effects of a vitamin B complex include skin sensitivity or rash, stomach cramps, itching, trouble breathing, and vomiting. 

The top supplements for bulking with B vitamins include Bronson, Horbaach, and Nature Made. A vitamin-B complex is one of the top supplements for bulking on a budget because bottles range between $10 to $20. You can save even more if you find where to buy supplements in bulk.

Keep in mind that vegetarians, in particular, benefit from a B vitamin complex because B12 is in dietary sources from animal products. 

11. Tribulus

Tribulus is a plant that gym-buffs consider a natural form of testosterone. However, Tribulus does not raise testosterone levels above the legal limits set by the Anti-Doping Agency.

Tribulus is a supplement that may improve serotonin levels, improve muscle strength, and increase endurance. 

There is no RDI for Tribulus, but most adults take between 750 to 1200 mg per day. Overconsumption of Tribulus may lead to sleep problems, irregular periods, and stomach troubles. 

Brands like Prime Labs Power, Nutricost, and Microingredients have highly-rated options for Tribulus bulking supplements. Purchase this affordable supplement for bulking for $15 to $25 a bottle.

12. Multivitamins

Multivitamins are a similar bulking supplement to a vitamin B-complex because these bulking pills have a myriad of essential nutrients to maintain overall health. A bulk supplements multivitamin can help you with your body goals, health, and energy.

Dosage differs based on the type of multivitamin and its ingredients. Since some vitamins are water-soluble, your body expels the excess through the urine. Fat-soluble vitamins stored in the body are more likely to cause issues from overconsumption than water-soluble vitamins. 

All multivitamins are slightly different but include a concoction of vitamins and minerals that are both non-essential and essential. Check out brands like MuscleTech, Wholesome Wellness, and Animal for high-quality multivitamins for bulking. Multivitamins for bulking range from $10 to $40 a bottle. 

13. Omega 3 and Omega 6

Omega-3 and omega-6 are EFAs. They have anti-inflammatory effects on your body, which means you can work out and feel less strain on your muscles.

Omega-3 and omega-6 play vital roles in brain function, maintaining healthy metabolisms, and more. They increase your body’s absorption of amino acids so your muscles can synthesize them and prevent damage from activity.

BodyBio, Vita Miracle, and Nature Made sell highly-rated omega-3 and omega-6 supplements. These lean bulk supplements cost $15 to $45 per bottle, depending on the form and size. 

What Is a Bulking Supplement?

A bulking supplement helps athletes and gym-goers gain mass to promote muscle growth. Supplements for bulking can help increase muscle size and provide the essential nutrients needed for building strength. Clean bulk supplements are also helpful in stimulating testosterone production, which also increases muscle mass. 

How To Select the Best Bulking Supplements

To choose the best supplements for bulking, consider the following. 

  1. Bulking supplements should be high in protein with a complete amino acid profile. 
  2. Ensure the bulking supplement has complex and simple carbohydrates. 
  3. Pick a bulking supplement with healthy fats to round out macronutrient intake.
  4. The supplement should be easy to take based on powder or pill preferences.
  5. Select a bulking supplement that tastes delicious to make it easier to use during the bulking phase.

What Are the Benefits of Using Supplements for Bulking?

The benefits of using supplements for bulking are weight gain and muscle gain. While weight gain isn’t commonly associated with working out, bulking is a way to ensure the body has the nutrients needed to promote healthy muscle growth. 

One of the most significant benefits of taking bulking supplements is how easy they are to incorporate into daily life. On-the-go athletes enjoy bulking pills for their simplicity. Meanwhile, you can add powdered supplements to water or smoothies and take them before or after workouts to feel full and energized. 

What Are the Risks of Taking Bulking Supplements?

The risks of taking bulking supplements include acne, irritability and mood swings, trouble sleeping, and organ damage. Kidney damage and liver failure can occur with prolonged use of bulking supplements because these organs go into overdrive as they flush excess nutrients from the body.

Specific bulk nutrition supplements might have other side effects on their label. You should always follow the guidelines on bulk powder vitamins and the best non-steroid supplements.

How Should You Use Supplements for Bulking?

Builders should use supplements for bulking for around four to six weeks during the bulking phase to see the best results. 

Depending on the fitness goals, the usage amount for each supplement may differ. One scoop of protein powder provides sufficient nutrients for most. Two scoops may be better suited for someone requiring more protein for their bulking efforts. 

Follow the labels’ directions for each bulking supplement to ensure the correct dosage for individual needs. You can abuse the best bulking products if you’re not careful.

When Is the Best Time to Use Supplements for Bulking?

The best time to use supplements for bulking depends on the supplement and the reason behind its use. Huge life supplements can impact your health, so you want to follow the guidelines.

Some bulking supplements, like whey protein powders, work best first thing in the morning. Other bulking supplements work similarly to pre-workouts and should get ingested before working out. You might find bulk up supplements that reinvigorate the body with nutrients post-workout. 

Can Supplements for Bulking Help to Gain Weight?

Yes, supplements for bulking can help an athlete gain weight. Bulking supplements contain high amounts of calories, healthy fats, and protein. While eating enough food to add mass can be effective, it will also get expensive and make you feel full and sluggish.

A person can quickly surpass their daily calorie intake recommendation to experience gains by adding a bulking supplement to their routine. The best bulking supplements are healthy, natural, and give you energy.

What Are the Best Mass Gainers for Small Budgets?

The best mass gainers for small budgets ($25 to $50 a month) are protein powders, creatine supplements, BCAA’s, raw mass pills, and multivitamins. These affordable bulking supplements provide sufficient nutrients and calories to promote muscle growth without breaking the bank. 

Protein powder is the best cheap bulking supplement with the essential nutrients needed to gain bulk. Protein powders are an excellent option for those on a small budget because they can be a protein-rich meal substitute instead of eating expensive red meats. 

An alternative to protein powder is a multivitamin for bulking. This top bulking supplement is affordable and features helpful ingredients for gaining mass at the gym while ensuring each individual meets their daily recommendations for vitamins and minerals. 

Try buying supplements in bulk to save money on shipping and packaging costs for bulking supplements. 

What Are the Best Mass Gainers for Average Budgets?

The best mass gainers for average budgets ($50 to $100 a month) are premium protein powders, amino acid formulas, and weight and mass gainers. 

Weight and mass gainers are the best mass gainer for average budgets because they contain several bulking supplements in one. Mass and weight gainers are high in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals that support gains at the gym. 

Amino acid formulas are an alternative to weight and mass gainers for average budgets. They are similar to protein powders but are hypoallergenic. 

Do Protein Powders Help with Mass Gaining?

Yes, protein powders help with mass gain because protein is an essential nutrient for muscle health. These protein powder supplements can help with mass gaining, especially when combined with other bulking supplements. 

A scoop of protein powder typically has around 100 calories, so many bodybuilders and athletes add additional calories and nutrients to a protein smoothie to maximize its effect. It’s a healthy way to consume more calories daily to build mass.

What Are the Alternatives to Bulking Supplements?

There are alternatives to taking bulking supplements. You can change your diet instead of taking supplements. Athletes ingest more carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to gain mass and build muscle. Following a strict diet high in protein, carbs, and heart-healthy fats is an alternative to bulking pills.

Even with a diet like that mentioned above, you can’t build muscle with food alone. You should follow a rigorous workout schedule to gain muscle mass and strength and see the rewards of any efforts. Make sure to target different muscle groups and maximize your time at the gym. 

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.