Natural Bodybuilding Supplements
What do Elite athletes eat?
Download their meal plan by entering below
Best Supplements For Nattie's
When we are trying to get swole, to get beefy, or just plain old, nice and big, we have to look at what is happening when we are consuming protein and recovering from resistance-based training. To get bigger, get more swole, gain mass, become more confident, or get into the physique, we have to understand that, if we want to stay Nattie, what can contribute to our adaptations so that we can enhance muscle mass.
Looking at muscle protein synthesis, there is a constant see-saw between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein degradation. At any time the body is either balanced, gaining, or losing. It is a constant balance that bounces back and forth. It is not like, “Right now, I’m in the anabolic window,” or “I’m currently catabolic,” or “I’m currently neutral.” Nah, it is always going back and forth depending on what is happening throughout a person’s day.
Nattie's don’t have the advantages drug users have with steroids, PEDs, or anabolic agents. Things like testosterone injections or testosterone cream or oxandrolone, Anavar, stanozolol, or Winstrol, are all potent anabolic drugs that lead to making the muscle protein synthesis window bigger and more powerful. There is a greater opportunity to add massive amounts of muscular mass.
Some of the drugs are so good and potent at what they are designed to do, that when steroid users go into a caloric deficit they can still add or maintain muscle mass whereas natties are going to struggle quite a bit more because they don’t have that anabolic advantage.
Muscle Protein Synthesis, Muscle Protein Degradation See-Saw
So what can natties do with nutrition and supplements to help them get more swole and not turn to the dark side and not use gear (steroids)?
Natties want to define their body with food, resistance-based training, sprints, and general fitness-based training or anything that forces some type of physical adaptation. Then natties want to do it by using supplements to make that grand step towards getting more yoked.
So what should natties take?
My first recommendation is to take creatine monohydrate. Use the formula of taking .1 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Weight 100 kilos? Take 10 grams. Most supplement companies dish out their creatine with 5-gram scoops. Weight over 200 lbs? Take two scoops.
Creatine increases focus, enhances the body’s ability to recruit muscles, making the body more powerful, and will also allow the body to have more endurance to do reps at a higher weight which will lead to a greater adaptation. Creatine also helps with recovery. It's a great supplement for nattie athletes.
When taking creatine, we will see the adaptation occur through myofibrillar hypertrophy, which will lead to strength gains, and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which will make the body big and swole. I recommend taking creatine every day post-workout.
Through a few different studies, mainly from Scott Forbes, we have learned that there is better absorption when creatine is taken with protein. It isn’t necessary but can enhance the body’s absorption of the creatine which will lead to better performance.
2. Get Enough Protein
Getting enough protein is something I will often gloss over because I think everyone is doing this. Then I have world-class athletes who are struggling to recover from training, claiming they are getting bigger and gaining weight. Then they weigh in and haven’t gained any weight. I look at their MyFitness pal and notice their protein intake has plummeted.
I recommend using whey protein, casein protein, or, if you have dairy allergies or dietary restrictions, use plant protein. Plant protein is effective. More of it needs to be taken, but it is still very, very effective. I recommend consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. So a 100-kilo person should be consuming 220 grams of protein daily. Training for an hour to an hour and a half daily, or even five or six days a week, we want to make sure the proper amount of protein is being consumed throughout the day. I would take at least three different boluses throughout the day to increase muscle mass, stay lean, recover, and feel satiated and good.
3. Vitamin D3
There is so much research around vitamin D3 improving coordination and improving skeletal muscle mass. There has even been research that has shown athletes who have lower levels of vitamin D have a higher rate of being injured. So if we have a substantial increase in our intake of vitamin D will decrease our rate of injury which will help in having a prolonged exposure to training to gain lean muscle mass.
I recommend taking a good multivitamin or taking vitamin D3 directly. Get 5,000 IUs daily, but it has to be monitored through blood work. This can be done quarterly (every 3 months) to get a solid baseline to help assess overall health. I want to highlight the importance of taking vitamin D3 throughout the wintertime as well.
Sleep to me is a secret anabolic agent. If we can get 8 to 10 hours of sleep daily, and even a 30 to 60-minute nap throughout the day, plus getting outside to see the sun in the morning, at midday, and in the afternoon will help establish our circadian rhythm. Then when I take ZMA, the trigger for me to turn off all of my electronics helps drastically with sleeping well.
We want to be getting anywhere from 40 to 90 milligrams of zinc throughout the day and 200 to 800 milligrams of various types of magnesium will help us sleep better, improve recovery, and will lead to an increase in lean muscle mass.
5 & 6. Caffeine and Nitric Oxide
These two are bonus tips. I like to use caffeine and NO (nitric oxide). I typically get nitric oxide from fermented beetroot juice. A high-quality beetroot powder that has been studied and researched to have the amount of nitric oxide necessary to stimulate muscular growth, by all means, use it. Nitric oxide has been shown through Judy Anderson’s research that nitric oxide can stimulate satellite cell proliferation and mobilization so that the satellite cells can, through myofibrillar hypertrophy, the health of a specific muscular area experiencing degradation. Nitric oxide can do wonders for stimulating muscular size and mass.
Caffeine can also play a huge role. Caffeine helps with being more focused, having more endurance, and allowing us to tolerate more pain when deep into a big set of reps. I recommend using 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilo of body weight to start. So a 100-kilo athlete can have about 300 milligrams of caffeine 30 to 60 minutes before training.
Nitric oxide can be used daily as well. See how it makes the body feel and notice the effect. Some people feel nitric oxide gives a great pump during the workout.
Natties don’t have the large protein muscle synthesis window that anabolic users have. Natties need to get in 5 to 6 days of training per week, supplement with creatine, vitamin 3D, caffeine, nitric oxide, and ZMA and are sleeping as well as possible. We are also getting as much protein as possible to enhance overall recovery.
Now this list is not exhaustive but is a really good place to start for natties to see their lean muscle mass start to increase.
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
Start Training With Me
Join for free educational videos EVERY WEEK on strength coaching and athletic performance