Check out these quality performance-aiding supplements for Strongman training.
Strongman training is not for the faint of heart. In fact, you’ll need every advantage you get when lifting massive loads, while having to be on the move as well.
And there are a few proven supplements that can aid an already good diet, sleep regime, and training program to ensure you get the most out of your Strongman endeavors. But quality definitely matters and that’s the main concern when considering using any products to get that competitive edge.
So, we put together a list of what we believe to be the top 10 supplements to support optimal Strongman training…
Note: Only take the recommended dosages listed on product labels as this is an effective and safe amount for most individuals. Also, it’s always a good idea to consult with a medical professional before implementing a nutritional supplement regime especially if you suffer from any pre-existing health conditions.
Met-Rx Creatine 4200 (Capsules)
First up is creatine which is the most studied and proven ergogenic performance aid known to man currently. It helps to build muscle, increase strength and power output, and possibly even provide some endurance benefits as well. (1)
Creatine is naturally made by the body and is located mostly in the muscles and brain. It’s converted into phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles for energy. But to get the performance and aesthetic benefits, supplementation is really non-negotiable as the body doesn’t make enough to support the desired performance benefits achieved with this amino acid.
Hence the reason for the abundance of creatine products on the market. But one thing to remember about creatine is that it’s not a miracle supplement and it’s not a performance-enhancing drug.
So with that being said, it does provide a slight advantage which is quite obvious.
Well, Met-Rx creatine capsules is a great creatine product that we’d like to bring to your attention. Each serving contains 4,200mg (4.2 grams) of HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) pure creatine monohydrate which supposedly has a better absorption rate compared to other forms as a result of the process which breaks creatine down into finer molecules.
Not to mention, capsules are very convenient in that you don’t have to mix any powder to drink; which isn’t everyone’s favorite method of consumption.
Although, a serving size is 6 pills.
And another thing is the caps are made from beef gelatin so it’s not vegetarian-friendly which is good to know before purchasing.
But for around $6 you get 40 servings (240 capsules per bottle) which doesn’t make it the cheapest creatine product around but it’s certainly not the most expensive either (you do get the convenience of capsules and not powder).
But if it does the job then it’s money well spent and from what it looks like, users are really liking this creatine product.
NOW Supplements L-Glutamine 500mg (Capsules)
L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It’s crucial for immune system health in addition to its large role as a building block of protein.
Glutamine protects immune cells from pathogens and is essentially a life source for these cells. But research has suggested that it’s likely to become a more “conditionally essential” amino acid in people who are ill.
So, there’s decent evidence that suggests one may get the most benefit from supplementation when suffering from illness or even an injury. Also, muscle glutamine is very depleted in the critically ill, so sometimes muscle is often broken down to supply the body with more of this amino acid. (4)
Therefore, if you want to maximize glutamine consumption through diet alone and you’re a healthy individual, it’s recommended to eat foods higher in protein.
Now there’s a belief that glutamine may be able to help support performance and even muscle gains. But overall, evidence is lacking in this regard. And most studies have found no difference in body composition and performance when healthy individuals supplement with glutamine. (5, 6)
Although, there is some evidence for improvement in muscle recovery and soreness following resistance exercise. (7)
Well, NOW Foods is a top nutritional health brand and their glutamine caps are a great choice for filling in your needs.
A serving contains 500mg of glutamine for immune support and it may benefit you to regularly take your daily dose for the overall potential health benefits. Definitely can’t hurt.
A serving size is one veg capsule and there are 120 servings per bottle. So for around $7, not bad at all.
BPI Sports Micronized Creatine
Micronized creatine in powdered or any form, works plain and simple. And from a top brand, even more likely that you’re getting quality. Well, BPI Sports is one of those top brands which make good supplements.
Each serving contains 5g of creatine monohydrate as the only ingredient to support performance and muscle growth and you really can’t go wrong with the price either considering you get 120 servings.
With basic monohydrate powder though, it’s a good idea to do a loading phase which involves consuming 15-20g per day for the first 4 or so days and then maintain every day thereafter with 5g.
This is well known to saturate the muscles with this amino acid much faster which will cause faster results.
For $8 you get 60 servings or $14 for 120 servings since the product comes in two sizes.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
Protein is the ‘muscle-building’ macronutrient found in meats, dairy, nuts, grains, and more (apparently, it’s popular among the food groups). And It’s made from amino acids which are the building blocks of the body.
Protein is essential for the growth and repair of all body tissue in general. Not to mention, it fuels many chemical reactions, regulates hormones, keeps your heart and immune system healthy, and does so much for helping us to maintain our healthy bodies.
So, by now, you should be convinced of just how important it is for the Strongman athlete who needs to build maximum muscle mass and strength.
Now, you definitely don’t “need” to supplement your protein with a powdered product but it’s extremely convenient and a great way to get in a decent amount of additional protein without anything else.
Well, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% whey is one of the better products out there overall not just because of the protein quality but mainly because of the overall value.
It’s definitely nothing special but for a decent price you get a really good amount of servings, a powder that tastes pretty good, and it comes from a reputable company.
There are many different sizes and flavors too which is awesome for protein powder lovers!
But a serving typically contains 120 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, it’s very low sodium (2%) and carb (1%), has one gram of sugar and 24 grams of gains-promoting protein.
The protein is a mix of isolate (90% or more protein contents), concentrate (80% or more protein), and peptides.
As for additional ingredients, this product does have natural and artificial flavors, plus acesulfame potassium which is an artificial sweetener that may be a turn off for many people. And it also contains lactase for easier digestive of the dairy ingredients.
ON Gold Standard definitely isn’t a protein powder for the individual who prefers all-natural ingredients but it’s still a high-quality option and popular for a reason.
Not to mention, whey products are fast-digesting which means drinking a shake after a workout is ideal for promoting muscle growth, and whey also contains all essential amino acids in addition to leucine which is the branched-chain amino acid most responsible for muscle protein synthesis. (8)
Want to know how much protein you need to help you successfully achieve your goals? Check out our protein calculator.
Vimerson Health Glucosamine Chondroitin, Turmeric & MSM Capsules
Optimal joint health is non-negotiable for anyone but when your deadlifting massive weights and pressing humongous loads overhead, it’s the difference between performance and sitting out on the sidelines.
Well, a good joint health supplement can definitely help and there are many people who clearly find relief from it. Although, the evidence is not sufficient to give a definitive answer on whether these products are effective for relieving joint pain in the hips and knees and even arthritis especially when looking at two of the main ingredients typically used which are glucosamine and chondroitin.
In fact, the most recent research we have is clear on this. (9)
And one 2010 study showed there to be no difference when supplementing with these two ingredients when compared with placebo. (10)
However, there are always different variables that should be considered which many studies don’t always take into account.
A serving of this joint supplement does have 1,500mg glucosamine sulfate and 150mg of chondroitin which could potentially aid in preventing joint discomfort for some people as previously mentioned..
Then you have Boswellia which has also shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory. (11)
But turmeric root (150mg) is another ingredient in this formula which is a spice that has in fact shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, benefiting those with arthritis, anxiety, metabolic syndrome, and more. (12)
Plus, it has shown to be potentially effective for reducing post-exercise muscle soreness and inflammation which is ideal for any type of athlete. Not to mention, it’s a natural antioxidant which helps to stave off disease-causing free radicals.
Quercetin is an antioxidant but it’s also anti-inflammatory.
So, it may be a good addition for Strongman athletes who experience stiff joints and other undesirable aches and pains.
Next up is methionine which is an amino acid that helps the body to create new proteins as the older ones are broken down. (15)
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is another prominent ingredient used in joint supplements. And there is evidence to suggest that it is effective as an anti-inflammatory agent. In fact, in humans and animals, it has shown improvements in joint/muscle pain, arthritis, and even oxidative stress. (16)
Side effects are mild if any when taken in doses of up to 4 grams daily which is generally tolerable.
Lastly, bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples and it’s a powerhouse of an ingredient for many reasons. Research has shown that it has many therapeutic uses including the prevention of cancer, diabetes, and even cardiovascular disorders. Plus, it’s used for osteoarthritis and is apparently very anti-inflammatory in nature. (17)
There are no artificial ingredients contained in this joint formula which is another great thing about it and we think many people will benefit from this supplement, especially strength athletes.
You won’t get many servings out of one bottle (30) and for around $28 it’s not the cheapest joint supplement but it has some quality ingredients.
MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine Monohydrate
A rather popular creatine supplement, this product from MuscleTech serves up 5g of micronized creatine monohydrate and nothing else. It may be better absorbing since its HPLC-tested and micronized but users really seem to love this one and the results definitely there.
You get 80 servings for about $16.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 1,280mg Soft Gels
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats (polyunsaturated) which play a big role in heart health, genetic function, cell membranes, growth and development, making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction, and relaxation for artery walls, in addition to inflammation.
We have to get these fats from fish, nuts, seeds, and oils otherwise supplementation is a good source of this nutrient.
And there are actually three main Omega-3s which are:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which mainly come from fish (marine omega-3s).
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in vegetable oils and nuts, flax seeds and flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, and also certain animal fat (mostly grass-fed animals). ALA is used by the body for energy, and conversion of this fatty acid into EPA and DHA is not sufficient. So, you’d need to consume or supplement EPA and DHA.
Most Western diets are heavier in ALA which makes it even more important to get your EPA and DHA from marine sources (at least once or twice per week).
Omega-3 health benefits are mostly linked to the heart and more specifically heart disease with some evidence showing fewer deaths overall when seafood is consumed at least once per week. (18)
Although, one study conducted in 2012 found no positive effects of supplementation with EPA and DHA on heart health. And there are other similar studies concluding the same result.
So, while Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for good health, it’s not conclusive whether or not supplements can offer health benefits to the same extent.
But… it is probably a good idea to supplement anyway if you don’t eat enough EPA and DHA.
Each serving of Ultimate Omega supplies 1,280mg of Omega-3s in total (650mg EPA, 450mg DHA and 180mg of other Omega-3s. And the fish oil is made from anchovies and sardines.
So, you’re getting plenty of Omega-3s in each dose.
Also, the product is third-party tested for purity and potency for peace of mind and reassurance that you’re getting what you think you are.
There are many different bottle sizes but for $30 you’ll get 90 servings.
All-in-all, it’s a quality supplement.
Double Wood Supplements Theacrine 100mg Capsules
One study found that Theacrine does have some positive effects for endurance but the cognitive benefits are more pronounced when combined with caffeine; which is also greater than either ingredient alone. (19)
And research shows that Theacrine has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuro-locomotor properties as well. Not to mention, it’s non-habituating. (20)
Double Woods Supplements Theacrine (as Teacrine) comes in 100mg capsules and the label highly suggests not consuming more than 200mg of caffeine with these capsules when taken on the same day as it could cause very unpleasant side effects.
It’s also not recommended to take more than 4 capsules in a day although one capsule is a serving.
You’ll get 60 capsules for $20.
BSN Syntha-6 Edge Performance Series
The Syntha-6 series of products are among the most popular from BSN. But the Edge Performance Series is a little different from the basic Syntha-6 product in that it has fewer carbs and fats with more of a focus on a protein blend.
This blend consists of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, hydrolyzed whey protein, calcium caseinate, micellar casein, milk protein concentrate which is a combination of fast and slow-digesting proteins.
Research shows that whey protein forms (fast-digesting) have a greater initial benefit for increased protein synthesis, whereas slow-digesting protein (casein) likely provides the greatest benefits for muscle protein synthesis over a prolonged duration. (21)
A dose of Syntha-6 Edge has 150 calories, 3.5g fat, 17% cholesterol, 8% sodium, 6g (2%) carbs, 2g sugar, and 24g protein. There’s also 15% calcium and 10% iron per serving.
But you also get 11g of naturally-occurring BCAAs and EAAs in a serving to support muscle growth.
And where taste is concerned, few products compare the Syntha-6 which is good when you need to pound down a lot of calories and a delicious, convenient shake make this a lot more enjoyable.
But there are artificial flavors too (as well as natural flavors) and sweeteners (acesulfame potassium and sucralose) which isn’t ideal for everyone.
And there’s a gum blend consisting of cellulose gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan which can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort for some people.
If you’re not typically sensitive to dairy, soy, and certain gums the Syntha-6 can be a really beneficial product for getting in additional quality protein and calories to fuel your big lifts and performance in general.
48 servings for $42 is pretty reasonable as well.
BULKSTIMULANTS Teacrine 100% Pure Powder
It’s also Informed-Sport and Informed-Choice certified for sport and the company guarantees purity.
We’ve discussed the benefits of Teacrine above so you’re already aware that it does have some cognitive and performance benefits which is only a plus when training for Strongman.
When it comes to optimal Strongman performance, nutrition and supplementation can go a long way in assisting your progress and helping you reach your goals.
Our list of 10 top Strongman supplements consists of options which are proven to offer not only help your training, but to assist in recovery, joint function, muscle growth, focus, and even maintaining overall health in general.
So while there are no miracle supplements here, these effective performance aids are indeed, a great addition to your lifestyle.