Bulking #3a – Supplements


The base of any nutrition and supplements plan is good multi vitamin and minerals.


This will ensure that the base requirement for all nutrition is being covered but this is a bare minimum and in addition I recommend supplementing with the following vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin C

Benefits Of Vitamin C Supplements

  •  great antioxidant and immune system boosterby helping to keep cells healthy
  • is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs
  • promotes healing

Recommended Dose

2-3000mg per day

Good sources of vitamin C in addition to supplements

  • oranges and orange juice
  • red and green peppers
  • strawberries
  • blackcurrants
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • potatoes

Vitamin D3

Benefits Of Vitamin D3 Supplements

Vitamin D3 is one of the most important nutrients for improving overall health. Vitamin D3 is  essential for bone development.  Vitamin D can also help protect against colds and fighting depression.

Most vitamin D – 80% to 90% of what the body gets – is obtained through exposure to sunlight.

Recommended Dose

Therefore in this country I recommend a dose of 2-400 IU (international units) per day during the summer months 4-600 IU during the winter months

Good sources of vitamin D3 in addition to supplements

  • mackerel
  • sardines
  • tuna
  • herring

Cod Liver Oil

Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil Supplements

Cod Liver Oil is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and contains high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D.

Cod liver oil will help to relieve joint stiffness, helps with cardiovascular health, and also the repair of damaged cells.

Sources of Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil Capsule

Recommended dose

4-6000mg split evenly through out the day.


Benefits Of Calcium Supplements

Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body and has several benefits:

These include:

  • helping to build strong bones
  • regulates muscle contractions, including heartbeat

An excess protein diet has been shown to deplete calcium levels which could lead to bone density problems later in life, which could also affect your ability to lift heavy. Therefore I would suggest adding a calcium supplement based on the recommended daily allowance. But in addition to this, I recommend eating food with high calcium levels as seen below.

Good sources of Calcium

  • milk, cheese and other dairy foods
  • green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach
  • soya beans
  • tofu
  • nuts
  • fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards


Benefits Of Iron Supplements

Iron is another essential mineral for helping create red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body meaning we can train harder and longer. 

A lack of iron can cause anaemia. This is quite common in ladies as well as people who eat a lack of red meat. I wouldn’t recommend an iron supplement unless you have been classed as iron deficient by your doctor. I would however recommend eating foods from the following list, at least once a day.

Good sources of Iron

  • liver*
  • meat
  • beans
  • nuts
  • dried fruit – such as dried apricots
  • whole grains – such as brown rice
  • most dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and curly kale

*Although liver is a good source of iron, don’t eat it if you are pregnant. This is because it is also rich in vitamin A which, in large amounts, can harm your unborn baby.


The list below contains supplements which are used to boost macro nutrient levels:



This is the most basic body building supplement there is and one we are all familiar with. To be honest, protein supplementation can be overused. Most people should be able to get the recommended amount of protein (see blog post #2) from their food.

Good times to supplement protein are immediately after training and first thing in the morning so we can get a protein source inside us after around 8 hours of fasting.

Mass Gain

This is used to help in the addition of calories where a person is struggling to eat enough calories daily to increase their body weight either through lack of appetite or a busy schedule where they can not eat every 2-3 hours. Again, drinking down thousands of extra calories that are over and above what is required will only result in the addition of too much additional body fat. Stick to the recommended macro nutrients set out in your diet plan (see blog post #2).

Oil Blends

Oil blends are a great way to add additional calories to a diet without the volume of food that would generally come with it. For example a tablespoon of udos oil would contain about 140 calories. Oils can also raise levels of omega 3 if you are not keen on eating fish.

Carb Powders

Carb powders are another way to increase calories for an easily digestible source but instead of using oils which is fats this will increase your carbohydrate intake.

Carb powders are sometimes used to boost individual means but are mainly used either intra workout or post workout to help spike insulin levels which transports nutrients to the muscles cells more effectively. Spiking insulin and use of insulin will be discussed in later episodes of this blog series.

The use of oils or carb powders would depend on the macro nutrient profile you have decided upon. E.g a mainly protein & carbohydrate diet, as set out in blog post #2, or for those wishing to stick to a low carb or keto diet (zero carbs) which will also be discussed in later episodes of this blog series.




Creatine is a form of ATP, one of the three energy systems within the body. The creatine system is responsible for short bursts of high intensity / power.  Creatine enhances the body’s ability to perform high intensity exercise by fuelling the type 11b muscle fibres (fast twitch fibres) these are the ones which get largest in size (muscle hypertrophy).

By supplying these fibres with more fuel you will get stronger muscle contractions and will reduce fatigue meaning more reps.

Another important benefit for body builders is creatines muscle volumising effect, causing muscles to inflame and most importantly improving protein synthesis.

I recommend taking a serving of creatine in the form of ethyl-ester before and after your work out.


The main ingredients in pre-workout drink include arganine, critulline alate, taurine, Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, Niacin, Vitamins B6 & B12 and folic acid. Depending on the brand they may also contain creatine and a blend of amino acids etc.

The reason for the majority of these ingredients is to help increase blood flow to the working muscles with the addition of stimulants that help improve mental focus and drive. I however, recommend using these supplements sparingly. Many people become reliant in stimulants to have a good work out but this really ought not to be the case. Using them at various intervals when works been busy or towards the end of a diet, when energy levels are low is great but for use on a more consistent basis I would recommend using a product that contains less stimulants but with more of a focus on the ingredients that help increase the blood flow. Remember: stimulants like caffeine are vaso-constrictors meaning they constrict blood flow when the aim of taking most of the ingredients in a pre-workout is to dilate (open) the blood vessels and increase blood flow and to help pump blood into the muscles.

Test boosters

Testosterone is the most dominant male hormone and is one of the main hormones in helping to build muscle. Increased levels of testosterone will help to improve protein-synthesis and speed recovery between workouts.

For those of you only wishing to use natural products, testosterone boosters will be the most effective in aiding you to build more muscle.  They can also be used when you are off cycle (see blog post #3b)



Branch Chain Amino Acids are the most underrated supplement there is. Essential for preventing muscle breakdown during intense exercise & speed recovery. I recommend that BCAA is best taken before exercise, during exercise, before cardio and before bed.


The most abundant amino acid in the human body, making up most of the skeletal muscle so it only makes sense to supplement it when breaking down muscle.


Inhibits muscle breakdown, enhances recovery, assist muscle building .

With HMB I recommend taking it around the time of your training session, before and after with a dose of 38mg/kg.


ZMA includes Zinc,  Magnesium & Vitamin B6.

Zinc aids testosterone production whilst low levels of zinc and magnesium have an adverse effect on muscle growth.  I take this before bed as it has also been shown to improve sleep quality.




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