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Best Muscle Building Supplements 2024: Top 7 Options To Gain Muscle

Zaakir Shakoor
by

Reviewed by Dr. Drew Sutton, MD
best muscle building supplements
Certain supplements can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Photo: Team Design

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Sports supplements are used for the purpose of weight loss, muscle gain, and exercise performance. 

Supplements like testosterone boosters with ingredients in fenugreek and ginseng can boost natural testosterone by 20-50%.[1] 

Supplements like protein powders and pre-workouts can also increase stimulating muscle protein synthesis and boost acute exercise performance. 

Best Supplements For Muscle Gain In 2024

Do Muscle-Building Supplements Work?

These supplements certainly do work but through different mechanisms. Some of these supplements may work by boosting testosterone and growth hormone. Others may work through increasing dietary protein synthetic response. Or through means of ergogenic and exercise performance. 

Seven Best Muscle-Building Supplements In 2024

TestoPrime

  • May “normalize” testosterone
  • May induce muscle growth and strength
  • May help lose weight via increased energy expenditure 
  • May reduce muscle fatigue
  • Increase libido and sex drive
  • May improve mood and confidence
  • FDA approved
  • Scientifically backed
  • Natural ingredients
  • Convenient to get potent ingredients in one supplement  
  • Low risk of side effects
  • No prescription required
  • One-time payment (no subscriptions)
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Expensive considering the ingredients are available in natural herbs 
  • The pill form may not suit all users

The product is backed by both anecdote and clinical research. Customers have claimed these are great supplements for skeletal muscle growth as well as exercise recovery and performance. Not to mention, that real users were able to improve their level of sex drive and libido. Mood and confidence. In terms of side effects, no one has claimed that they experienced any major side effects to my knowledge.
Moving on to the research that the supplement company has documented. They have claimed that it increased strength by 138.7%, converted 12%* more fat into energy, burned as much as 16%* of body fat, improved endurance by up to  92.2%*, and decreased stress by up to 71.6%*.

CrazyBulk Testo-Max

  • Contains micronutrients
  • May help prevent micronutrient deficiency and adverse effects
  • Research-backed herbs in their supplement i.e., ginseng and nettle leaf extract
  • May help “normalize” testosterone
  • May increase muscle mass and strength
  • May help lose weight via increased energy expenditure
  • May reduce muscle fatigue
  • Increase libido and sex drive
  • May improve mood and confidence
  • Low risk of side effects
  • No prescription required
  • Gelatin capsules are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or halal/kosher consumers
  • The odd number of capsules. The recommended daily dose is 4 capsules per day while there are 30 per container, 2 leftover capsules on day 8

If you visit the website you can see multiple testimonials and transformation images. I kid you not, with the use of CrazyBulk Testo-Max people have gone from looking really unhealthy with a large amount of body fat to lean and fit with lots of muscle growth. 

Overall the CrazyBulk Testo-Max muscle-building pills are highly rated by customers with almost perfect customer reviews. Customers who have used the product have claimed that it is effective for muscle recovery, strength, focus, and much more. To top it up, the amount of return customers is very impressive.

D-Bal MAX

  • Variety of micronutrients that are linked to testosterone
  • May boost muscle growth
  • Safer than anabolic steroids
  • Informative website
  • Good amount of testimonials
  • The claims are too far-fetched
  • No research to back the supplement up
  • Cherry-picked data to support a bias that is not that relevant  

This product includes certain micronutrients like zinc. These micronutrients may prevent deficiency and maintain normal functions like testosterone production. 

The good thing is, that in the practical setting, there is a healthy amount of reviews and testimonials to suggest that D-Bal MAX may work. People have claimed that they are “Stronger and more cut” “arms look leaner” “packing on Muscle” “Best workout supp” and “Great pumps super strength”.

HyperGH 14X

  • No harmful side effects 
  • GMP Certified
  • Non-GMO
  • Made in the USA with good ingredients
  • Free Shipping
  • Claim to increase HGH by 14%
  • The ingredients list has not been displayed on their website
  • No research to back their claims
  • HGH is not really that well linked to muscle mass 

HyperGH 14X is particularly a muscle-building supplement. The company claims HyperGH 14X may increase GH by 14%. Although elevating human growth hormone does not really have many muscle growth properties, it may contribute to overall health i.e., skin, bones, hair, etc.

CrazyBulk D-Bal

  • Most potent in testosterone-boosting ingredients
  • Supplement for muscle growth
  • Not toxic for organs
  • May boost exercise performance
  • May contribute towards muscular protein synthesis
  • May aid in better mental and physical health
  • The ingredients can easily be obtained from foods and cheaper supplements
  • The price is a little high for what you get

Another muscle growth supplement through the means of boosting testosterone.  Users that have used this have shown some serious modification in physicality with very impressive before and after pictures. Testimonials have been put through that CrazyBulk D-Bal helped users gain muscle tissue, increased strength, stamina, endurance, etc.

Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein

  • Increases muscle protein synthesis
  • Contains all 9 essential amino acids
  • Promotes muscle growth in the long term
  • Highly bioavailable
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Has a high thermic effect (burns more calories to digest, process, and metabolize)
  • Low calories (97 calories) 
  • Transparent supplement with fitness experts using it 
  • Subscription-based, some users do not want to keep taking the same supplement
  • Unproven statements
  • The ingredients list does not break down the concentration of each amino acid 

Not only were the flavors great, but they also maintained and promoted muscle growth while you were using them. It is certain that it maximized protein synthesis through its formula with all 9 essential amino acids and 3 branched-chain amino acids, specifically leucine. 

To top it off, Tri-Protein has included a variety of proteins that “absorb” at different rates so it is perfect to be ingested at any time of the day. Trustfully, you can use it for breakfast, post-workout, and before bed. 

Certainly amongst the best muscle growth supplements for me!

Crazy Nutrition Intensive Pre-Train

  • Increased Vasodilation, followed by blood and oxygen uptake for better exercise performance
  • Enhanced focus
  • Ingredients for better absorption
  • May boost testosterone 
  • May increase muscle mass
  • Increase muscle carnosine 
  • May act as a buffer for lactate for better endurance performance
  • Natural and legal ingredients
  • Athlete approved
  • Subscription-based, some users may not want to take the supplement for long periods
  • A vital ingredient called caffeine is missing, this works as an ergogenic aid

The boost of energy was not that great, but it did give that tingly sensation on the skin and great “pumps” in the gym. In fact, it helps you run faster and longer before feeling the lactic acid kick in.

Types of Bodybuilding Supplements

Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone boosters[1] are not my go-to. They may have a use case for those who are falling short of the physiological range of testosterone of ~300-950 ng/DL. Variables that may be causing a drop in testosterone are usually age-related. 

Testosterone Boosters usually contain some micronutrients and herbs that have been shown to stimulate an increase in testosterone. Upon reaching a physiological range of testosterone, an individual may experience an increase in muscle mass.

Protein Supplements

There are many types of protein supplements. I have highlighted some popular products amongst bodybuilders.

  • Whey Protein Powder – Whey protein is the bioavailable form of protein. It contains all essential amino acids[2] and branched-chain amino acids. With the highest concentration of branched-chain amino acid called Leucine[2] (11%), it can maximize muscle protein synthesis. 
  • Weight gainers – Weight gainers also contain essential amino acids. However, these have added carbohydrates and fats, which increase its overall calories. Hence it may increase body weight, by exceeding maintenance levels of calories.
  • Protein bars – More of a solid form of protein. They usually have some complex carbohydrates and fats to make a whole meal. 
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids – The 3 branched chain amino[2] acids include; leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are responsible for triggering the muscular protein synthesis thesis. They are found in protein-based foods but are also formulated into BCAA powders and pills. To be honest, they do not have the best use case but may elongate the response of protein foods when they have ingested 2 hrs afterward. 

Pre-Workout Supplements 

Pre-workouts[3] are used as an exercise ignitor. The perfect formula and best ingredients are debatable, but what I generally like to see in pre-workouts includes:

  • Caffeine – Caffeine is an ergogenic aid that inhibits the “relaxation receptors” called adenosine. This then activates the central nervous system, which then increases workout output amongst other benefits.
  • Citrulline malate – Citrulline malate is converted into arginine via the kidneys. Arginine can then increase the nitric oxide concentration in the bloodstream. This outcome relaxes the smooth muscles and causes vasodilation. From here we will see an increased uptake of oxygen and blood to the muscle, which can modify exercise performance.
  • Beta-alanine – Beta-alanine increases muscle carnosine. Muscle carnosine is known to buffer lactate. If you engage in endurance exercises you have experienced the burning feeling in the muscles. So basically beta alanine slows this process down.

Pre-workout supplements are usually taken 30-45 minutes before exercise. 

Creatine Supplements

Although it is not on our list, creatine is one of the best supplements for muscle building. It is a well-known fact that creatine can be used as energy via the creatine phosphate energy system. This system provides quick and powerful energy during short bursts of activity like sprinting and weight lifting. 

Creatine supplements like monohydrate, may saturate the muscle cells with creatine phosphate over time. This means that you will get a bit of extra power-based energy.

To take creatine monohydrate,[4] one must supplement with 5g per day (1 tsp) which will saturate the muscles within 28 days. On the other hand, creatine monohydrate can be loaded with around 20-25g per day, which may saturate the muscle cells within 1 week. Once muscle cells are saturated a maintenance dose of 5g per day must be taken. 

Cycling creatine is not required. Creatine has NOT been shown to be dangerous, even with long-term use.

Common Ingredients In Muscle-Building Supplements

In terms of muscle growth supplements, we will see the most effects with whey protein and creatine. Some often see these a lot in muscle-building supplements. These ingredients can switch on a muscle-building response and improve strength training performance the most. In the long term, these ingredients will promote muscle mass and strength. 

We usually see other ingredients too, like vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, fenugreek, ashwagandha, etc… These ingredients may have some benefits for hormone levels and overall strength. However, in my opinion are nowhere near as important as whey and creatine for muscle mass in my opinion. 

How To Choose The Best Supplements For Muscle Growth?

Testosterone Booster

Other ingredients like ashwagandha, fenugreek, Tongkat Ali, zinc, etc. May be effective in boosting testosterone.[1] Although these ingredients are not always necessary, they may be advantageous for someone trying to maintain normal testosterone levels.

Protein Supplement

I would suggest going for a protein supplement that has around 20-40g of protein per serving. The protein must contain all of the 9 essential amino acids. It must be concentrated with a sufficient amount of Leucine ~2-3g per serving.[2] This way you can maximize the muscle-building response for ~3 hrs.  

If the goal is to put on lean muscle mass, then you may want to go for a protein or muscle-building supplement that is low in calories. I would not purchase a product with more than 200 calories per serving. 

On the other hand, if you are attempting to put on as much mass as possible then you may want a supplement with more calories. In regards to mass, we are talking about body fat, muscle, glycogen, and water. Typically, these types of supplements should contain over 800-900 calories per serving. These calories can help promote a caloric surplus which would increase mass over time.

Pre Workout Supplement

When we are looking to purchase a pre-workout the first ingredient I look for is caffeine. Caffeine should be at a dose of 200-300 mg (~3-6 mg/kg). 

Scanning through the ingredients list, I always look for a pump product I.e., citrulline malate. A dose of 6000-10000 mg has been shown to work best.

Third on my pre-workout list is beta-alanine. As mentioned, beta-alanine is a buffer of lactate. Doses of 3-4g should do the trick. 

How Much Do Muscle-Building Supplements Cost?

The price of a supplement really depends on the type and net content.

Testosterone Boosters

For testosterone boosters, we could be looking at over $60 per month’s worth of capsules.

Protein Supplements

For a protein supplement, we are looking at around $50-$70 for a 2.2lb container. 

Pre-Workout Supplements

A good quality pre-workout could cost you around $60 for 17.637 oz in net weight. 

Final Thoughts

We have highlighted 7 weight loss/muscle-building supplements. This includes 4 testosterone boosters, 1 HGH booster, 1 protein supplement, and 1 pre-workout. Even though it was not on our list, creatine monohydrate is also a great supplement that you could look into. 

When we are looking to purchase a testosterone booster product, we must look out for an herb like fenugreek that has been shown to increase testosterone. 

When it comes to protein powder, it needs all of the essential amino acids and at least 20g of protein per serving. 

Last but not least, pre-workouts! There are good ingredients like caffeine (200-300mg) citrulline malate (6-10g) beta-alanine (3-4g). 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Best type of supplement for muscle building and weight loss?

Without a doubt, a protein powder with all of the needed amino acids is best.

Do testosterone boosters build muscle?

Not Always! Say if you have lost muscle due to low testosterone, testosterone Boosters may help normalize natural testosterone to put some muscle back on.

How do pre-workouts help build muscle and lose weight?

They increase energy expenditure naturally and they promote a better exercise performance to build muscle and lose weight.

+ 4 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Almaiman, A.A. (2018). Effect of testosterone boosters on body functions: Case report. International journal of health sciences, [online] 12(2), pp.86–90. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870326/
  2. Wilson, J.M., Wilson, S.M.C., Loenneke, J.P., Wray, M., Norton, L.E., Campbell, B.I., Lowery, R.P. and Stout, J.R. (2012). Effects of Amino Acids and their Metabolites on Aerobic and Anaerobic Sports. Strength and Conditioning Journal, [online] 34(4), pp.33–48. doi:https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0b013e31825663bd.
  3. Jagim, A., Harty, P. and Camic, C. (2019). Common Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements. Nutrients, [online] 11(2), p.254. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020254.
  4. Hultman, E., Soderlund, K., Timmons, J.A., Cederblad, G. and Greenhaff, P.L. (1996). Muscle creatine loading in men. Journal of Applied Physiology, [online] 81(1), pp.232–237. doi:https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1996.81.1.232.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zack Shakoor Kayani was born and raised in the South East of England/London. Zack has attained a bolus of knowledge regarding biosciences through academia and his career experiences. In terms of his educational background, he has… See More