It’s a common to wonder whether you need supplements to build muscle, however in this video I’m going to show you exactly who should take them and when they are necessary to grow. Any supplement discussion however has to start with the type of supplements we are talking about. By far, the two most popular categories are pre workouts and protein powders. All other vitamins, pills and powders settle in at a distant third to these two best sellers.

That said, rather than pushing everyone to take supplements like the trainer that is highlighted in this video, I think there are some important considerations that must be made first. Right off the bat, the status of the person inquiring must be considered. If you are a rank beginner with no training experience, I would highly recommend that you do not take supplements. Too often they become a crutch for the newbie and an excuse to not get the most important element of their fitness in place – and that is their nutrition.

Supplements are called supplements for a reason. They are meant to supplement a solid nutrition plan not take the place of one. Quality whole foods need to comprise the majority of your daily meal plan if you want to see long term success and improvements in your body that will last. The commitment to a healthier lifestyle does and always will reside inside of you and not inside of a bottle.

Now, some want to know whether this recommendation to avoid supplements as a rank beginner extends to protein powders. Quite honestly, I do not look at protein as a supplement. It’s more of a meal replacement or, better said, a meal amplifier. We know it can be difficult to consume the amount of protein required to support lean muscle, especially if the person is on the beginner side of their fitness journey. Likely their diet up to now has been filled with plenty of processed carbohydrates and making the adjustment to more proteins can be challenging.

In these cases, the intake of some additional protein to coincide with their adoption of eating more lean meats, beans, lentils, etc is going to make it easier for them to meet their daily requirements. This would be
a good time to invest in them. Again however, protein is something that is readily available in adequate amounts if the person so desires, through whole food means and is therefore not something considered to be a pure supplement in my opinion. To me, the ingredients that are simply not able to be gotten in adequate amounts to create their desired effect through food alone is going to fall into the category of supplements.

Now, there is something known as the ‘play for the tie’ mentality. This again is something you do not want to do if you care about the results you get and don’t feel like wasting your money. Just because you eat healthy greens in the morning doesn’t mean that you can forego the need to make healthy food choices at the remainder of your whole food meals throughout the day. Not only does this not work in the long term but it often leaves the person confused because they feel as if their one healthy habit should pay bigger dividends than it does and they end up frustrated and more likely to give up all together.

When your meal plan and diet are dialed in however, that is the point when supplements can become very effective. As mentioned above, there are certain ones that just cannot be consumed in adequate dosages to make a difference through food alone. Creatine and beta alanine are two perfect examples of this. You would have to eat over 2-3 pounds of beef or chicken respectively, every single day, in order to meet your required maintenance dose of 5 grams of creatine monohydrate (2 grams of creatine hcl) or 3200mg of beta alanine.

This is just impossible to do and, even if you were able to do it for a day or two, not something you could sustain for the long term.

The bottom line is, supplements can absolutely put you over the edge in terms of your fitness and physique if you have the basics in place first. In fact, in almost every instance, if you show me a person who eats right and trains consistently and takes the right supplements – they are always going to be in better shape than the same version of that person not taking supplements.

If you found the video helpful, make sure to leave a comment and check out other videos on this channel via the link below. Remember to subscribe and turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

If you are looking for elite level supplements that can take your muscle growth and gym performance to the next level, be sure to check out the ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements at via the link below.

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    48 replies to "You NEED Supplements to Build Muscle!"

    • ATHLEAN-X™

      *THE GIVEAWAY IS BACK* – I’m giving away my brand new complete 90 Day Beaxst PPL program to 40 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 40, but those randomly selected within the first hour the video is published. Click the link to see if you’ve won. No strings attached! Clicking twice does nothing. Only one entry per video. Remember to watch to the end for more workouts.

      If you don’t win, no worries, you’re not going away empty handed. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

      • Iilisette

        At what point should you visit a doctor and what should you look into or get tested if your body is just not responsive if not plain failing you despite healthy weight and decent diet. Like males low T what other issues cause troubles for male or female bodies.

      • tyler sensabaugh

        I take creatine and a plant based protein powder. Should I take my creatine before or after I workout

      • hiking

        My doctor told me whey protein can be bad for the liver? Thoughts on this and maybe a video?

      • John Paul Sousa

        what are some good supplements to take like creatine etc if your diabetic type 1 ? does anyone know of any ?

      • Skywalker

        What evidence or study can you point to that would support the claims of cold showers?


      Jeff. I’m going up for competition April 15 in Davis CA! I’ve watched many videos and I’m all natural, I want to say thank you… I implement many of your workouts into my daily exercises! I’m 6’2″ 210lbs at 9% body fat thanks

      • Arc2301

        When you need to say “I’m all natural” :’)

      • Aurélien Carnoy

        Hello, are you concerned by the low levels of fat your body has?
        Let us know. Thank you
        Edit: okay

      • Egon Spengler

        “All natural”

      • Hammad Shahid

        Wait, do you by any chance attend UCD?

      • Filip Mazic

        @Stretch nope 199 at 4% because math and their lean body mass is 191 lb. Jerk

    • GS

      Supplements aren’t necessary right away. Like Jeff says it will depend on your goals but like he and many other reputable trainers say get your nutrition and training right. I have been working out for the last 3 years and been seriously locked in my nutrition and training last 1.5years and i have seen more gains than ever. And I don’t take any supplements. I get all of my nutrition from my food and look better than ever. Once you get your nutrition and training on point adding supplements then will definitely help more.

      • Freestyler J Partner

        Same here.. I agree. 💯👍

    • Hadi Osseili

      Make a video on all the supplements you currently use and all the ones you have used in the past. What were your experiences from each one?

      • Trumpcat

        He said in this vid, as well as many others and on his website: he uses his own supplements. He’s not going to say anything else and I frankly don’t think he’s taking anything else as his sups pretty much cover all bases.

      • Hadi Osseili

        @Trumpcat his older video has a couple supplements that he never sold or promoted so I just wanted to know if I am missing out on anything.

    • Eren Yeager

      Being honest I have been following you now for quiet a while now. I followed different coach, trainers with zero results I started following your perfect workout exercises and now i am seeing results in muscle growth and strength without any After 1 year of training I am starting taking whey protein to add more protein intake in my diet… I will forever respect you and follow you no matter what other youtubers gonna say about you

    • Christine Tilling

      Hey Jeff, nice timing with the video considering this has been a topic for me lately, I have a very similar take on supplements, I take 2 supplements, namely vitamin D, because I was lacking it and protein powder. I use them as they are named, as supplements, it is a struggle to eat enough for me, so I add to it with dissolved aid. Your videos have been a very big help lately, and the application from them is likely the only reason I can do barbell squats today, several people failed to teach me how to do them, because of back pain on my part. I am following an adapted to my level version of your beginner workout as I needed basics. Thank you for the very useful info 🙂

    • David Blade

      Thanks Jeff for providing insight on supplements. Been taking them for a while and I feel great when working out. I’m 71 and doing AX1. Great program. Thanks!

      • Hackion

        71? WTF? What a champion. Keep up the great work Mr. Blade.

      • David Blade


      • Tom Davies

        @Hackion Seriously!!! Amazing!

    • Chad Ward

      Great video. As a fairly new beginner I rely on alpha-rx and pro 30g to help ease the soreness from the workouts. Overt muscle soreness can quickly become a discouraging factor.

    • Andres Wolfgang

      I take more vitamins than supplements and they help with overall feeling. D-3, B-12, and Fish Oil have all been my go-to for a minute now. I feel clearer in my head and more energetic, which helps when preparing for a workout.

    • Emi Frantzen

      In my periods of taking supplements to my training, I also focus on getting all the other fundamentals in place – Sufficient sleep, water, a balanced diet and then i useually suplement with creatine and whey protein in a single shake once a day. Doesnt really matter what time at day, but usually right after a work out. I do think it provides those extra gains and strenght benefits, but it certainly does not provide the foundation. Thanks Jeff for your valuable guidance and your motivating work out programmes, the’re much appriciated.

    • SwissAir0912

      Great point. As a female who lifts, going into a supplement store is a nightmare. I’m over here trying to pack on muscle, not lose anymore fat, but they always steer me to the fat burners. Even when I tell them I have an irregular heartbeat and I don’t do stimulants. “It’s safe!”
      Can’t wait for Jeff to make a stimulant free pre-workout!

      • Jax r

        @A Y aww do you feel butthurt over my comment, I guess you’re a hypocrite too. Thanks for the compliment though.

      • Curt P

        A Y can’t handle strong women. Must be a weak person.

      • Peter Gouzos

        Gorilla mode stim free pre workout best on the mat.

      • Tom Davies

        @Beth Thomas lol

      • Unnamed Unbekannt

        @A Y I am not butthurt and I am certain, she is not doing anything because she wants to look good in your eyes. Live and let live. Your ignorant stereotypes are just that. She can look like she wants to, no need to judge.

    • novicetheaf

      I just started on creatine 2 weeks ago, been taking weight protein for the last year or so and I’ve definitely seen an improvement in muscle mass. But bottom line as Jeff said, it’s about consistency of training, rest and correct fueling.

      • SK

        Whey protein

    • Goran Zukan

      First of all, respect to Jeff. I have been in fitness for a long time as a trainer and later a fitness instructor. Jeff was definitely the biggest influence on me both as a person who trains and as an instructor. Also, with this opinion about supplements, Jeff confirms his commitment to science and, no less important, to a principled and fair approach to all who follow him. The story about supplements is always interesting because the views are very different. In my experience, the most common pitfall is the tendency to use supplements to compensate for low-quality nutrition. Jeff explained the purpose and role of supplements well here and most importantly for me, he didn’t take a commercial approach despite making the supplements himself. Thanks Jeff! Be strong…

    • Butch Cassidy

      Ive been watching you since 2014 on and off. You being a PT and teaching how to fix a problem the proper way has helped me tremendously. that being said i had no idea you have supplements

    • Punk Guy

      I have always liked this channel’s content but, I have to say, in the last six months or so I have seen a few videos like this one that have given some really amazing help and advice on areas that are not well covered online. At times, it has been advice on mindset and mental health (that so many of us, I’m sure, have identified with), a complete contrast to the “be an ‘alpha man’, be stoic, go 110%” stuff that most weight training content peddles. At times, things like this that provide great information for the beginner that most influencers will not tell you (advice that it took me years to figure out following fitness content in the early days of YouTube). Thanks to you both.

    • Devin Ingram

      Hi Jeff. I completely agree with you.
      I just started lifting heavily maybe a year ago and gained roughly 30lbs to around 187lbs. Stayed away from any supplements or vitamins largely because I couldn’t afford them. Now, I’ve been consistently in the gym and am in a better place financially and just started taking creatine. After one week I see and feel the benefits. Totally agree that had I used this prior and not build the foundation first, I would’ve 100% have had a different mindset in the gym

      • RLAZ101

        30lbs in a year is awesome! I’m 6’1″ 180lbs and hope to get to 190 by the end of this year

      • Moon Venerable

        Is it enough to only use whey protein?

    • Nom Nom

      0:23 The Question
      1:10 Video: Fat Burner Supplement Scandal (ACTUAL STORE FOOTAGE!) – athleanx
      2:15 Beginner & Supplement
      2:51 Commitment
      3:58 The Answer
      4:25 Jesse with supplements VS Jesse without supplements
      4:40 Jesse with supplements VS Jeff without supplements
      5:46 “certain supplements just cannot be gotten inadequate amounts through diet”
      7:16 Are supplements necessary?
      8:37 Success in bottles VS Success inside yourself

      • Scoob18

        W comment!!

      • Brian Boyer

        Thank you!

      • Simon M

        Thank you sir!

      • El Greco

        Cheers mate

    • Rob T. Chance

      Hey Jeff, I just want to say thanks for the information you’ve put out over the years. It has helped me lose a lot of weight. Also, I was wondering if you could do a video about kettlebell swings. I’ve just recently bought one and I have been doing those a lot. I know I could always google or YouTube the benefits of doing kettlebell swings, but it’ll be more valuable and trustworthy if you did a breakdown of kettlebell exercises. Thanks again. Your the best

    • Joseph Gallegos

      ” The drive has to start within you, not a bottle!”
      Words to live by Jeff. Thank you!
      I am on the last week of the second month of Max Size and so far I am happy with what results I have seen. But I think you are absolutely right that a good foundation and nutrition plan has to be in place first. At least for the “rank begginers”. Like myself. I found myself going through the motions before my workouts with the pre-workout and the BCAAS. Ect… But these last couple of weeks have been harder because I have also started to sizzle out a little. I really have tried to take a step back and think why it is I chose to go back to the gym, to pick Athlean X program, and just why I was doing any of it at all. I just want to be a better me then I was yesterday! And that means a true life style change. So once again thank you Jeff your videos always come at the right time. I’m looking forward to my next workout with Max Size. I’m actually thinking about doing it over again before moving onto Beast 2. But with a lot more importance on my inner drive rather than trying to find that drive in a bottle. And of course taking the time to meal prep and get that proper nutrition.

    • Robert M

      I turned 40 last month and I’ve been back at the gym for over a year now with one break that lasted a week. I go 5 times a week now, doing a modified PPL program.

      Creatine gave me the biggest push forward of any supplement I tried. It kept me going harder for longer and it was the biggest help in moving up a step and kicking up the pace of my muscle growth. Other than creatine, I take whey isolate to reach my daily protein intake goals and that is it. I’m the biggest I ever was and have more muscle mass than ever.

      I’ve seen people in the gym who use caffeine, ephedrine, bunch of other stuff and they all either burned out or dropped out or downright failed. Why? Because as Jeff said, they used the bottle as their source of motivation or thought supplements will give them overnight results, but they won’t. I can’t tell you how many disappointed looks I got from people when I told them it took me 3 years of intense lifting to get where I’m at simply because everyone is chasing the quick results which simply can not be found.

      Embrace the grind, folks, the journey in lifting is much, much more enjoyable than the goal.

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