Granted, there are bodybuilding supplements that when used correctly and in conjunction with a good training program and diet, yield great results. However, without the proper bodybuilding training and diet no supplement will help you in your quest to a better body.
When To Add Bodybuilding Supplements To Your Program?
When it comes to gaining lean muscle mass, most teen bodybuilders think that bodybuilding supplements are the most important part of the equation. However, this could not be any further from the truth.
Please remember that like I already mentioned, bodybuilding supplements are just additions to an already good nutrition and training program. Understand that supplements do not make up for improper training, or lack thereof, or a low quality diet. They only work when your diet and your training program are optimal. You should not even think of adding bodybuilding supplements to your program up until your bodybuilding training is serious and your diet is comprised of the right food choices at the right intervals.
What Are The Best Bodybuilding Supplements For Teens?
As a teenager who practices bodybuilding, I would focus my bodybuilding supplements program on:
- A good set of multiple vitamins and minerals to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.
- 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.
- 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. Optionally, if you cannot tolerate the oil, you will need to use Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) capsules.
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.
Convenient Bodybuilding Supplements
If budget allows instead of purchasing a 5-lb protein tub, you can opt for easier to carry and more convenient items like Protein Bars or Ready To Drink Shakes.
However, convenience comes with an added cost, so if budget is tight, simply carry the servings you will need of your protein powder individually sealed on a Ziploc ® bag in your cooler and mix them with water or milk when it is time to consume. You will need a shaker bottle for this but all high quality proteins these days are instantized and therefore mix rather easily.
What Bodybuilding Supplements Should Teens Stay Away From?
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 just have the exact opposite effect.
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 helps to reduce 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.
About The Author
Hugo Rivera, About.com's Bodybuilding Guide and ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, is a nationally-known best-selling author of over 8 books on bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness, including "The Body Sculpting Bible for Men", "The Body Sculpting Bible for Women", "The Hardgainer's Bodybuilding Handbook", and his successful, self published e-book, "Body Re-Engineering". Hugo is also a national level NPC natural bodybuilding champion. Learn more about Hugo Rivera.