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  • Forfatterens bildeLion Strength

The supplements you need to be taking

There are many nutritional supplements on the market with questionable effects. But there are a small number of nutritional supplements that actually have an effect on muscle growth, strength and performance!

Strength training and nutritional supplements

It is not uncommon for people who do strength training seriously to get strong or build muscle mass too often use nutritional supplements to get even better results. There are many different things you can buy, but there is also much that does not have a well-documented effect.

There are a few supplements that undoubtedly work, but these are certainly not miracle cures where the results come by themselves.

Smart and structured training with heavy enough weights over time combined with a healthy diet with enough protein and energy is in any case what has the most to say for the training results.

Here, the short answer is yes. If you have a smart training program and a diet that is adapted to you and your goals, that is what will determine what kind of results you get.

A dietary supplement on top of this will make extremely little difference. Don't forget it's called dietary supplements. It should be in addition to and supplement your diet.

Who should use dietary supplements?

If neither exercise nor diet is in order, it is important to get this in place before you consider using nutritional supplements. Those who actually benefit from using nutritional supplements already have full control over both exercise and diet, and use nutritional supplements to gain a few extra percent.

At a high level, these percentages can be decisive for whether you make further progress in your training.

The nutritional supplements that have an effect

There are a few nutritional supplements that can show an effect on strength and muscle growth.


Creatine is probably the most studied and concluded dietary supplement, and there is a broad consensus that it definitely works. Remember, there is no miracle cure even though studies show that it has a significant effect. Nevertheless, it has been shown that you can become 5-20 percent stronger and increase muscle mass, in addition to having effects on reducing the percentage of fat.

It is therefore a good dietary supplement to choose both for building strength and muscle mass, and when you want to lose fat percentage and want to retain as much muscle mass as possible. As a bonus, it has also been seen that creatine reduces the breakdown of protein in the muscles.

There are several types of creatine, but the one that is recommended is the one called creatine monohydrate. Some people do not respond to creatine because they already have full creatine stores.

The usual recommended intake is around 5 grams per day, a little more if you are heavy. There is no need to use it in cycles, just use the same dose every day.


Actually, protein supplements are a food, and not a dietary supplement, but we include it in this list because it is often sold in the same place as other dietary supplements and is considered as such in the context of training.

Protein powder is certainly not a necessary dietary supplement, but it can be a very smart way to manage to get enough protein if it is difficult to get through normal diet. If there is something we know that both builds muscle and strength, it is getting enough protein every day, preferably around 2 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Some may find it difficult because they have hectic days, or simply cannot bear to eat so much food. Then it is often much easier and more practical to drink a protein shake during the day.

The most popular types of protein supplements are whey, casein and soy protein.


Gainers are dietary supplements in powder form that are mixed with liquid and contain many calories. This is a dietary supplement that is suitable for those who need a lot of energy every day, but who find it challenging to eat enough to meet their energy needs. And you can neither build muscle nor become strong if you don't get enough energy.

Some gainers can contain as much as 1,000 calories per serving, and those calories come mostly from carbohydrates. It can be anything from 75-300 grams of carbohydrate and 20-60 grams of protein per portion.

It is important that this is in addition to a healthy and varied diet, and not used to replace one or more of the day's meals.


There is no doubt that it is a great advantage when it comes to endurance sports and high-intensity activities. Caffeinated drinks are very popular among people who do strength training. Several studies show a positive effect, but in general there is little to give a final answer on how it affects strength training.

There are several studies that show positive effects of caffeine when it comes to strength in various exercises compared to a placebo, but other studies show no difference. But the caffeine has a positive effect when it comes to reducing the feeling of being tired, and makes the experience of exercise easier.

Even if it doesn't make you stronger then and there, it can help ensure that long and tough strength sessions can be completed with a slightly higher quality than without caffeine. And as mentioned earlier, it is in the training that the magic lies, not in the nutritional supplements.

Beta alanine

Beta alanine is an amino acid that is somewhat similar to creatine. Unlike creatine, beta alanine works best when it comes to muscular endurance. It can have an effect when, for example, you train drop sets, supersets or circuit training.

Beta alanine does not have an acute effect, and like creatine must be taken continuously for it to work. The recommended dose is 3-5 grams per day.

Some may experience tingling and stinging in the arms and face after taking it, but this does not say anything about the effect. If it is very troublesome, you can divide the dose and rather spread it over two to three doses during the day.

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