Can You Build Muscle Without Supplements?

In this video I answer a common questions can you build muscle without supplements and what really matters in nutrition for building muscle.

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The question of building muscle without supplements seems to be coming up a lot and I was always curious why that’s the case.

Of course you can build muscle without supplements. There’s no reason to take any supplements if your nutrition is in order, and most supplements are a waste of money anyway.

The size of the US supplement industry is aprox. $37 billion, it’s a big market. And a lot of this revenue goes to marketing.

And the marketing works, we all know how powerful it can be especially if you’re a guy / girl eager to make faster progress.

In fact the marketing for supplements is so strong that people often miss the forest for the trees.

I get asked a lot more questions about supplements than about the things that really matter: nutrition, training, and sleep.

So aside from answering this simple question of “Can you build muscle without supplements?”, which of course is YES, I decided to share with you guys what the priorities in nutrition really look like.

A guy named Eric Helms, who’s a famous researches in the fitness / nutrition world and a natural bodybuilder himself put it really well.

He has broken down nutrition into a pyramid of importance.

Tier 1 (most important) – Sustainability & Consistency
Tier 2 – Energy balance (Calories IN vs Calories OUT)
Tier 3 – Macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates & Fats)
Tier 4 – Micronutrients (Minerals, Vitamins), Fiber & Water
Tier 5 – Nutrient Timing & Meal Frequency
Tier 6 (least important) – Dietary supplements

The First 4 Tiers make up ~85-90% of the results you’re gonna get.

The Tier 5 can give a slight edge with a ~10% pushy.

And the Tier 6 is the least important part which can mean 2-3% of difference in the long run.

Supplements are an extra.

The word itself means: “a thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it.”

Basically once you have your first 5 tiers in order then you finish off with Tier 6.

And the supplements typically work when you’re missing the ingredients from the diet in the first place.

i.e. Whey Protein and BCAA can be marketed as “Builds muscle” but that’s really only if the person taking it isn’t getting enough protein from their diet already. IF they are then the extra won’t make a difference.

Same for things like Zinc or Magnesium. The effect can be seen but only if you’re deficient in the mineral in the first place. (Which is quite rare with a good diet unless you’re in a prolonged caloric deficit)

Now that we’ve put supplements in the right perspective, which ones do I recommend?

1 – Whey protein for convenience when it comes to getting your daily protein – +

2 – Omega 3 fish oil, there’s some promising evidence for a variety of health benefits. –

3 – Multivitamin as a cheap nutrition insurance that you’re not missing some mineral / vitamin –

4 – Vitamin D if you’re not getting enough sun exposure.

5 – Creatine for a slight edge in performance. It’s one of the most well studied supplements.

6 – Caffeine for performance enhancement.

My “Fat Loss” supplement stack –

Hope you enjoyed the quick vid.

As usual post your questions in the comments!

Talk soon, Mario

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Source: Can You Build Muscle Without Supplements?

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