What Are The Best Supplements For Teens?

What are the best supplements for teens? This article is aimed at helping to provide knowledge for teens looking to add supplements to their exercise and diet regimen.

The Question:

Teens are always looking for the next big supplement to hit the market. However, they don't always consider the effects it could potentially have on them.

What are the best supplements for teens?

Which supplements should teens refrain from using?

How can a teen know if they are old enough to use a specific supplement?

Bonus Question: What suggestions/ideas can help teens stay away from using supplements that may be harmful to them?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

1. HarleyG_123 View Profile
2. Xtrainer View Profile
3. bigcalves View Profile
3. Opiewags99 View Profile
3. Liquid_diet View Profile

1st place - 75 in store credit.
2nd place - 50 in store credit.
3rd place - 25 in store credit.

1st Place - HarleyG_123

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

These days when a bodybuilder, or any person for that matter, walks into a health food store they are bombarded with the countless amounts of supplements that plaster the walls. There are those for weight loss, muscle gain, immune system health, relaxation and for just about any other problem, desire or goal that an individual wishes to fix with a supplement. This is both a positive and a negative.

For those with a basic knowledge of supplements they are able to take advantage of the large market. However for those without this knowledge it is almost certain that they will either purchase a supplement that is not suited for them, that does little to help them, rips them off financially and may possibly even be doing them bodily harm.

For this reason it is important to know what supplements are both healthy and beneficial for your particular situation. This article is aimed at helping to provide knowledge for teens looking to add supplements to their exercise and diet regimen.

Best Supplements

What Are The Best Supplements For Teens?

The best supplements for teens are those that produce results without doing damage to the body. It is also important to note that the supplements used by teens don't have to only be beneficial for goals like muscle gain and weight loss.

While these are the two main goals that teens interested in bodybuilding will have in mind, it isn't necessary to only look for protein powders and fat burners.

Supplements that help to improve overall health are just as if not more beneficial to a teen bodybuilder than those solely aimed at aesthetic goals. And with improved overall health, the aesthetic goals will become that much more achievable.

The Best Supplements For Teens Are Those That
Produce Results Without Doing Damage To The Body.

The following is a list in regards to the best supplements for teens:

Protein Powders:

As a teenager, your body already requires more fuel simply due to the natural growth process experienced at this time in your life. Add the intense weight training and often times, sport specific activities and your protein requirement is much higher than that of a sedentary adult.

As a bodybuilder, you should know that protein is the most important macronutrient. Carbs and fats can often be manipulated whether trying to lose or gain weight, yet protein always stays high. While you should already be consuming adequate protein from your diet, protein powders help greatly to ensure you reach that daily protein intake.

You are most probably aware of the small period of time directly after a workout in which it is advised that protein be consumed. This is where most people take advantage of protein powders. Having protein in a liquid form allows for faster digestion, meaning you put a halt to the muscle breakdown occurring post workout, as well as sparking the recovery (and growth process).

The kind of protein powder you are after depends when you will use it. For example:

  • Post Workout: Whey Protein (preferably whey isolate)- Provides the fastest absorption of protein directly after a workout. Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate is the purest form of whey. Keep in mind that the more refined and therefore more pure the whey is, the more it will cost.
  • Night-time: Casein. There are a few different forms of casein however in reality it doesn't matter which form you buy. The reason casein is used at night is it is a slow digesting protein, meaning you won't receive all the aminos at once, allowing for a gradual release. This is particularly important as the 8-10 hours of sleep will be without food. Taking a casein shake helps to fight off the catabolic effects of this time.
  • Throughout the Day: When looking for a protein powder to use throughout the day look for one with a combination of different forms of whey and casein. This will provide a fast, medium and slow release of amino acids. An example is Syntha-6 by BSN.


Just like teenagers need more calories than a sedentary adult the same can be said about some particular micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

The problem however is that teenagers often lack variety in the foods they eat, in particular the lack of vegetables in their diet. Accompany that with the increase in processed foods and the reduction of nutrients in the soil that the vegetables grow in and you can often find that as a teen, you may be low on some nutrients.

Of course it would be best to start consuming more vegetables and eating a large variety of natural foods but for many that would be hard to swallow, literally. The easy option is to purchase a good multi. As a teenager, ensuring you consume an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals will allow the body's many functions to run smoothly, including muscle growth and fat loss.


Many processes of the body involve oxidation. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals which cause damage to cells of the body. This damage can result in disease, immune strength decrease and other negative impacts on the body.

Antioxidants are the natural weapon against free radicals. They are found in many natural food sources however there are also countless supplements that are now being produced. These include-

The list goes on, whichever you decide to use, they all play a similar role. The optional time to take them would be directly after a workout as intense training produces free radicals.

Meal Replacements & RTDs:

This would probably be the most valuable supplement for any teenager. Teenagers are often only given 5-10 minutes in between classes and trying to consume a solid food meal in this time, whilst running to your next class is not easy.

Meal Replacements contain protein, carbs and healthy fats (and often vitamins and minerals) just like a normal, solid meal would. The advantage however is that they can be consumed in only a minute or two. They normally come as powders or ready to drink packages. This way you won't have to miss meals. A good example is those made by Myoplex.

Mass Gainers:

For teenagers who have trouble gaining weight, mass gain shakes provide the largest boost of calories that help to tip the energy balance their way.

They often contain up to 500-1000 calories yet they feel like a normal protein shake. A word of warning: if you gain weight easily, avoid these types of shakes as they will result in fat gain. Also, be careful not to confuse with regular protein powders as the labels often say similar things (e.g. "Gain Weight Now" or "Massive Muscle Gain"). One has just pure protein, the other contains protein with a large amount of carbs and fats.

Fish Oil:

Fish Oil is very important to general well being. They provide Omega 3's, which are essential to your diet. Too many people don't completely understand the importance of these fats.

Omega 6 is present in red meat, which means that most people consume more than enough Omega 6. However fish (among other foods) contains Omega 3 and the majority of people don't consume enough fish (except for those of us who live off canned tuna).

The ideal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is 1:1. Yet some people consume a ratio of up to 1:50! This is where fish oil comes in, balancing out that ratio and enabling optimal health.


There are no arguments about the athletic benefits of creatine use. It has been proven time and time again to provide benefits to anaerobic fitness, strength and power. It is the most widely used supplement for those participating in power based sports.

There are many stories of side effects experienced from the use of creatine ranging from bad acne to kidney failure. However the consensus seems to be that you will only experience kidney troubles when using creatine if you are predisposed to these issues or you use excessive amounts.

For this reason I would advise you to have kidney tests done before starting creatine and a follow up a few weeks down the track. It sounds like a hassle but it really is the best option to ensure you are not predisposed to kidney problems. Once you get the all clear you won't have to worry but if you do experience troubles then discontinue use immediately.

Also, be aware that some are responders and others are not. Usually if you already eat a lot of red meat (high in creatine) you won't respond too well to supplemental creatine. On the other hand it is a fantastic supplement for vegetarians.

Refrain From Using

Which Supplements Should Teens Refrain From Using?


Let me start off by saying STEROIDS ARE NOT SUPPLEMENTS! They are drugs. However I felt it important to include this as I have seen many people label supplements as drugs and vice versa, often putting things like creatine in the same group as artificial testosterone.

Put simply, teens must stay away from steroids. There bodies already produce an ideal amount of testosterone as well as growth hormone, ideal for muscle growth and fat loss. Steroid use will only disturb this natural occurrence and you will pay for it down the track.


The truth here is that these pro-hormones are literally steroids in disguise. The supplement companies label them as supplements yet they are actually steroids that are yet to be banned (in some cases they have been banned yet supplement companies continue to push them).

The problem is that even for adults, pro-hormones can be more risky than actual steroids as they are basically oral steroids. For a teen the situation is even worse for the same reasons I talked about above. Teens have an ideal amount of anabolic hormones in their body. Take advantage of that.

Testosterone Boosters:

Testosterone booster involve ingesting an ingredient that sparks the body to produce it's own testosterone. Often the active ingredient is Tribulus. Teens should avoid these supplements not because of possible health risks but simply because they are a waste of money.

Most users report very little benefits, particularly those who already had normal testosterone levels. There have been cases in older adults who receive benefits like increased energy and libido however for teens there is no solid evidence to encourage using these kinds of supplements.

Testosterone Articles:

Protein Bars:

While protein shakes are great, protein bars are not so great. The reason being that they almost always include large amounts of sugar, taste bad and are expensive. They can be tempting for teens as they can be consumed in between classes however I would avoid them, instead use meal replacements or RTDs (Ready to Drink).

Fat Burners:

Teens are always looking for the quickest way to achieve a goal and fat burners sound like the perfect option. When reading the label you'll see something like: "Shred Fat Now! Get Ripped! With a new Special Ingredient! Special Formula!"

The truth is if the product really did contain a wonder ingredient capable of burning fat the scientific world as well as the media would jump all over it and everybody would know about it.

99.9% of the time the main ingredient in fat burners is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. It is also a drug. It causes an increase in Metabolic rate (burns more calories), increases alertness and physical performance. Sounds great, right? It is, when taken in moderation.

One cup of coffee a day is fine, it will provide around 80mg of caffeine on average. However fat burners can contain up to 200mg of caffeine. This negates the benefits received from a moderate intake of caffeine. And because caffeine is addictive the body will become used to whatever amount you provide it. Once this happens you'll need to ingest more to receive the benefits you previously received.

So beware of fat burners... and don't over do the coffee.

Nitric Oxide Or 'Pump' Supplements:

The main ingredient in these supplements is L-Arginine, an amino acid said to enhance blood flow which to bodybuilders means increased 'pump'. While the jury is still out on how well these supplements work many have claimed to see results.

For teenagers however there is a need to be cautious. These products are marketed as "Pre-Workout". This means they will contain caffeine which we talked about above. They also often contain other groups of ingredients that may not be safe for teens, including an array of stimulants, just like fat burners. There are even products marketed as fat burning, pre-workout, muscle builders! So just be aware of these products.

Fad Supplements:

You've all seen the commercials. Claims of remarkable amounts of weight loss or muscle gain. The product is often made by a company you've never heard of and after a few weeks you never hear of it again.

Be very careful of these kinds of marketing campaigns. The same goes for the exercise machines like the 'Abtron 5000' for example. Teens are often impatient, wanting to achieve a goal and achieve it today. So when they come across something with such remarkable claims they are automatically tempted. Make sure you don't get scammed!

Old Enough

How Can A Teen Know If They Are Old Enough To Use A Specific Supplement?

By law supplement companies must print on the labels a warning, if required, stating that people under a certain age should avoid this product. Most protein powders, fat burners, etc. are not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. Therefore this is the easiest way to tell if you are able to use this product.

However the problem with this is that teenagers develop at different speeds and times to one another. For example, one teen may be close to their full height by 15 while the other may still have a whole foot to grow. This is where it can become difficult to decide if you are old enough to use some supplements.

A rough guideline would be that under the age of 14-15, avoid all supplements except protein powders and multivitamins. From there judge your age by your weight training experience. By this I mean if you are 16 and new to bodybuilding, don't bother trying out supplements just yet. However if you are 16 and have been training for 5 years then slowly start to introduce supplements to your program.

Seeking professional advice is also a solid option.

Bonus Question

What Suggestions/Ideas Can Help Teens Stay Away From Using Supplements That May Be Harmful To Them?

The most obvious solution to this problem would be to ask a doctor or nutritionist to analyze your situation and provide you with recommendations on particular supplements. However you need to be careful when doing this.

Unfortunately some doctors do not understand the mindset of athletes and bodybuilders who are looking for that edge. They can simply shrug it off claiming you'll be better off without it. You need to find a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer or another professional who has a sound knowledge of today's supplements and understands what you are trying to achieve.

Another tip would be to utilize the internet in two ways. The first is to research the ingredients in the products. They often have complex names however simply typing them into a search engine will provide you with some information on what they do in the body when ingested.

The second suggestion is to read the product reviews. Find out what people experienced using the product and if they would recommend it. It only takes a few minutes. On another note, research the prices of the supplements so you don't get ripped off.

Stick to tried and true supplements from companies that are well known. If you are buying a product from a lesser known company, make sure to do your homework!

Hopefully this article really helped someone to choose which supplements to use and which to avoid. Or simply provided someone with a few pieces of information they didn't possess prior to reading this article.

2nd Place - Xtrainer

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

It's a common sight: You walk into a local health food or supplement store, and you see a couple 150 pound, thirteen-ish looking kids clinging to every word that some clueless, only slightly less scrawny salesman throws at them:

"If you want to get strong, you need this..."

The poor kid ends up dropping a hundreds bucks of allowance money on a "magic" supplement. Well, okay, it's actually whey protein, but it is super special whey protein that will make him massive...

Of course, experienced trainees spot the scams, and the scam artists, right away. This article will help teens and new trainees do the same.

Best Supplements

What Are The Best Supplements For Teens?

As with most aspects of fitness (heck, life), just keep it simple. There are a few critically important realities to consider when it comes to supplementation.

1 No Supplement Will Replace A Good Diet

There is no supplement, and there will never be a supplement, that can make up for a lousy diet. Sure, supplementation can help account for some minor shortcomings and deficiencies, but if you're eating like cr@p, there's no supplement out there that will be able to "undue" the damage you are doing to your health.

If you want to learn how to eat right, I suggest Berardi's Seven Habits as a starting point.

2 No Supplement Will Replace Poor Training

Whether "poor training" stems from a bad work ethic, lack of planning, or other factors, the bottom lines remains the same: A quality supplementation regimen can help you perform your best, but it won't turn a bad training regimen into a good one.

3 No Supplement Is "Magic"

Here's the big wake-up call: No supplement will make you huge, strong, or lean in and of itself. Period.

So Why Should I Bother With Supplements At All?

Now that you have a grounded, realistic understanding of the limits of supplementation, you may wonder why you should bother supplementing at all. The answer lies in the word itself: supplement. Supplements are not a means to an end, but they can play an important role in getting you there.

Even if diet and training are 90% of the total picture, aren't you willing to reach that extra 10%? That's where supplementation comes in.

So What Supplements Should I Actually Take?

We have already established that diet is far more important than supplementation. Therefore, isn't it logical that one of the primary goals of supplementation should be to make up for dietary deficiencies and shortcomings?

Remember, while supplements can't replace good food, they can help make up for shortages of nutrients. In addition, the nutrient requirements of hard-training athletes often make it difficult to for them to get enough of certain vitamins and minerals. Supplementation can help in that area as well.

A side benefit: When supplementation is limited to dietary enhancement rather than direct performance enhancement, teens can be more confident that their supplements are safe, legal, and healthy. These supplements are basically concentrated food!

While Supplements Can't Replace Good Food,
They Can Help Make Up For Shortages Of Nutrients.

Of course, perfecting the diet is perhaps the best long term performance enhancement plan there is (next to good training, of course). You cannot perform athletically if you are sick, tired and nutritionally lacking.

Here's The List:

1 A Quality Multivitamin:

This, along with fish oil, should be the basis of any supplement regimen. I say "Quality Multivitamin" because many of the popular multivitamins sold in supermarkets often supply insufficient amounts of nutrients and are full of "filler" materials. Sometimes the nutrients in these multivitamins cannot even be well-absorbed by the body. Look for multivitamins with chelated ingredients, which your body can absorb better.

Always read the labels carefully to make sure you are getting the nutrients you want and, more importantly, nothing that you don't want. For example, your doctor may advise you that your iron levels are high enough and that you should find an iron-free multivitamin. NOTE: While I refer to it as a "multivitamin," this supplement should also contain a plethora of minerals.

2 Fish Oil:

Fish oil is an amazing supplement. Research has shown fish oil supplementation to be beneficial to heart health already in a normal range, body composition, joint health, and even mood, and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

The power of fish oil comes from Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Most Americans simply do not get enough of these substances from their regular diets, since we do not eat much fish, and other sources of DHA (such as grass fed meat) can be expensive or difficult to come by.

In order to help compensate for this deficiency of dietary Omega-3s, fish oil is highly recommended.

3 Protein Powder:

It is certainly possible to fulfill all of your protein needs with whole food sources like meat and eggs. However, for many people, especially teens on the go, this is an impractical approach at best. That's where protein powders come in.

They are simply a convenient way to get more protein (and calories) into your diet. Protein powders can be added to practically anything (beverages, oats, cereal, sweet potatoes, yogurt...).

As a side benefit, quality whey protein powders are digested quickly, making them ideal to ingest after a workout. Other protein powders (like casein) are digested more slowly, making them better for use at other times of the day.

It should be noted that some people have a hard time digesting whey protein concentrate-based powders because of the lactose (milk sugar) content. Most of these people can still use whey protein without digestive issues-they just need to find a whey protein isolate or predominantly isolate based powder.

Alternatively, people don't tolerate lactose very well can take lactase, a digestive enzyme that will allow them to digest the lactose in whey protein concentrate powders. Finally, one could combine the two methods and use a protein powder like ON 100% Whey Gold Standard, which contains a large proportion of whey protein isolate and contains digestive enzymes.

4 Specific Vitamins & Minerals:

Even with a multivitamin and a good diet, athletes engaged in rigorous training (including teens) may need additional vitamins and minerals.

For example, when athletes sweat, they lose magnesium (Christianson). Magnesium is important for energy production, muscle relaxation, and bone health. When magnesium levels are too low there are several side effects that can occur. So, it makes sense for many athletes to supplement with extra magnesium.

Immunity is another concern. Sick teens cannot go to school or compete in athletics, so it is essential to avoid sickness. Zinc is a mineral that supports immune system health, and, like magnesium, zinc levels can be depleted with rigorous exercise (Christianson).

Finally, athletes need to be mindful of placing excessive oxidative stress on their bodies, which increases with exercise. Vitamins A, C, and E are all antioxidants, which means that they prevent oxidative damage (Christianson).

However, use caution: We need some oxidative stress. In addition, taking too much of certain antioxidants at any given time actually makes they become pro-oxidants themselves! There IS a such thing as "too much of a good thing."

There you have it: A few inexpensive and safe supplements that will enhance your life and your ability to perform in athletic endeavors. However, even with the most benign supplement, you should talk to your doctor before taking anything.

Refrain From Using

Which Supplements Should Teens Refrain From Using?

1 Hormonal Supplements:

Do I even need to mention this? Anything that significantly affects the hormonal profile (testosterone/steroids) should be absolutely off the list. We know these supplements can be dangerous even in adults. Who knows what kind of effect they will have on a teenage body that is already in a hormonal maelstrom?

2 Illegal Supplements/Banned Supplements:

Teens have enough problems without getting in trouble with the law. Stay FAR away from anything illegal or banned by a sporting organization you might be involved with.

3 Expensive Supplements:

There's no need to be shelling out hundreds of dollars for supplements. Your most expensive investment should usually be a big 5lb container of whey protein, which shouldn't cost more than about $50.

If you find yourself looking at anything much more expensive that that, stop. The results you get (if any) will not be significant. Remember, there are no magic supplements, no matter how much the salesman wants you to believe there are.

4 Stimulants:

While an occasional caffeinated drink is okay (no sugar!), it is easy to develop a dependency on caffeine or other stimulants. Dependencies are certainly something to be avoided, so if you are going to consume caffeine at all, do so with caution. Other, more powerful stimulants should be avoided altogether.

Old Enough

How Can A Teen Know If They Are Old Enough To Use A Specific Supplement?

This is a simple process. First and foremost, talk to your doctor or another health professional (no, salesmen DO NOT count) and get clearance from them.

Check the labels: If it says not to use if you are under 21, don't use it if you are under 21. Simple, right? You should also do your own research. Read articles, medical journals, and studies, always with an extremely critical eye.

Make sure you know who conducted the study (it could have been financed by the supplement company!). Most of the time you will find that even if a supplement is safe, it has yet to be proven to work.

Do not rely on hearsay, salespeople, or advertisements when deciding whether or not to take a supplement. Instead, rely on the opinions of medical and nutritional professionals, the actual labeling on the product, and your own research.

Bonus Question

What Suggestions/Ideas Can Help Teens Stay Away From Using Supplements That May Be Harmful To Them?

Simply put, knowledge is power. Know what you are taking. Know why you are taking it. Know the active ingredients. Know how they work. Know of studies that actually substantiate the product's claims. Know what to avoid. Know, know, know. Always be the skeptic. If you don't know how something works or why it works, don't even think about putting it into your body.

Finally, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  1. Christianson, Alan. "10 for the Road: Essential Nutrients for Endurance Athletes." Nutrition Science News May 1999 11 Mar 2008 http://www.newhope.com/nutritionsciencenews/NSN_backs/May_99/10for_road.cfm.
  2. Berardi, John. "The Importance of Post Workout Nutrition." Bodybuilding.com. 11 March 2008 http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/berardi4.htm.

3rd Place - bigcalves

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Today's youth are more and more athletic and participate in many sports. Even though teenagers do not make the biggest amount of money, most supplement advertisements are directed towards young people.

Supplements are in every sport from high school wrestling to girl's swimming. There are tons of supplements on the market with numerous claims and sometimes it can get very hard to choose the right supplement for teenagers.

What if the supplement is not meant for teens? How should I take it? Or what should I take? All of those are common questions that many teens have about supplementation. I believe that teenagers should be responsible, they should educate themselves and learn to use supplements in the form that they were meant to be used.

Best Supplements

What Are The Best Supplements For Teens?

As mentioned before, there are tons of supplements out there. Even if you go to the best supplement store on the web, Bodybuilding.com, you will still see that there are hundreds of supplements you can choose for. That arises many questions.

Most teens do not know what they should take, or some might be unsure if the product is meant for teenagers. Here is a top 10 list of the best supplements for teens.

1 Whey Protein

This is a staple. Anyone who calls themselves a bodybuilder has at least one jug of whey protein in their supplement cabinet. Whey protein is delivered from milk/cheese products and it contains pure whey, which has a very high biological value. All of that means that whey is readily absorbed by the body and it's quality is extremely high.

Along with choosing it for a high quality protein, it is often used as an added protein source for those that cannot get all of their protein from food.

Along with that you can safely pack it in an empty water bottle when you go out somewhere, and when the time for that meal comes, you can fill the water bottle up with water and have an instant 25-50 grams of protein on the spot!

You can also mix the powder into your favorite pancake mix, and that way you will have a high carb, high protein desert, yum! My choice of whey is BB.com's Higher Power Whey.

2 Creatine

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. I have had people that don't even workout name protein and creatine as a known supplement.

I've also had people ask me if they took creatine, would they need to take protein as they think that it all does the same thing. Actually creatine is not a macronutrient. It occurs naturally in our bodies.

It is responsible for ATP production. What that means is that when your muscle performs a short and intense anaerobic movement for 10-30 seconds (lifting weights), your body relies on ATP for energy. More creatine, higher ATP, more power and better results!

Creatine is natural and safe. It is found in meats. Taking the supplement is the best bet since you can get a nice serving of it any time you want. I prefer loading up for the first 5 days (10-20g) and then taking maintenance (5g) dose after that. Just make sure to stay hydrated and follow the instructions on the bottle. My choice of Creatine is BB.com's Higher Power CE3.

3 Multivitamin

Everybody needs a multivitamin. I remember being a little kid and my mom giving me a Flintstone's vitamin chew. Little did I know back then, that the delicious piece of candy was actually very good for me.

Multivitamins contain all the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. From the water soluble B and C, to the fat soluble E, D, K, and A. It's also loaded with minerals like zinc and copper.

I don't care what sport you play, every teenager should take at least a multivitamin in order to support growth. In teenage years, the body is growing. With added exercise and sports the stress is increased and your body needs more vitamins and minerals. This is a must for every teenager! My choice of multivitamin is BB.com's AST Multi Pro 32X.

4 BCAA's

BCAA stands for Branched Chained Amino Acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids. Each protein is composed of amino acids and each protein has hundreds of them.

Out of the 20 amino acids, there are 9 that are essential. What that means is that the body cannot produce it. So in order to get those 9 essential amino acids, one must eat a whole balanced diet of complete proteins. Sometimes that's hard to do, so BCAA's are something that every teenager looking for strength and muscle should invest in.

Amino acids are what makes a protein complete or incomplete and how well the body processes it and absorbs it. If you take BCAA's you are making sure that the body gets all of the amino acids that it needs. They help with recovery and support muscle growth! My choice of BCAA's is BB.com's Now Amino Complete.

5 Casein Protein

Casein protein is another form of protein similar to whey when it comes to how convenient and easy is to use. The difference is that whey protein is absorbed very fast by the body. That makes it perfect for the first meal of the day, or the post-workout shake.

Casein is a slow digestion protein which on the other hand helps when you use it as a meal. It will take hours for the protein to work its way. It is perfect for a meal supplementation and ideal for the last meal before bed. During the night when you are sleeping your body continuously repairs itself and grows, so having slow digesting protein during that time is something that everyone wants! My choice of Casein Protein is BB.com's Optimum 100% Casein Protein.

6 Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid. It is one of the 11 amino acids that are non essential. That means that your body produces it. You can find glutamine in vegetables such as broccoli and meats.

What glutamine does is help you recover faster. It helps nourish the muscle cells that got tore up from the workout. It is used in the gut and immune system to maintain performance.

I would suggest using glutamine supplements, as it is more convenient and easy to take. Sometimes not all meal demands could be met, and that could lead to a lack of amino acids such as glutamine, so a supplement is the way to go. So next time you are still sore from your leg workout two days ago, think about getting some glutamine and cutting that recovery time! My choice of Glutamine is BB.com's Bioplex Glutamine.

7 Weight Gainers

In order to get big and strong you need to eat big and strong, but sometimes it is hard to get all the necessary meals in. Weight gainers are protein shakes that are very dense in nutrients. They usually contain a good amount of protein, very good amount of carbohydrates along with vitamins and minerals.

One serving ca provide enough calories and nutrients to replace a healthy meal, and that's convenient especially if you are traveling, at work or at school. I strongly suggest that you invest in a weight gainer for those times that you just can't eat your meal. My choice of Weight Gainer is BB.com's Dymatize Mega Gainer.

8 Fish Oil

As you probably guessed it, fish oil comes from fish! Besides the obvious, fish oil is loaded with essential fatty acids (EFA's). Those are fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own and it obtains them from food. Not every one can afford to have a salmon dinner every night so fish oil is something everyone should invest in.

Essential Fatty Acids help with fat absorption and fat loss. They also lower the risk of of certain other conditions. The advantages are well to good to be overlooked and fish oil is one of the supplements that everyone should take, after all its even good for your heart. My choice of Fish Oil is BB.com's S.A.N. Triple Strength Fish Fats.

9 NO2 Product

Nitric oxide is nature's natural anabolic. Nitric oxide controls the circulation of blood and the rate of which nutrients are being carried. Get ready for mind boggling pumps at the gym. The first time I took an NO2 product, I was amazed at the energy and pump that it gave me.

I totally recommend this supplement for any teen with some extra cash. It is a great pre-workout supplement that keeps you pumped up all day, even when you are done lifting! My choice of NO2 Product Is BB.com's BSN NO Explode.

10 Protein Bars

For my final pick I decided on protein bars. Sometimes it is impossible to eat a meal, or even mix a weight gainer. If you are in class or on a road trip you can't stop and eat, or get the blender out and mix four scoops of a weight gainer.

You need something simple. Something that tastes good. Something that has every macronutrient you need for that meal. Protein bars are the solution. They range in many brands, from low carb to high carb to high protein. There is a protein bar for every diet out there.

I suggest buying a box and keeping it close by in event of where you can't really pull out a Tupperware container full with rice, beans and tuna. You would be surprised at the amount of calories, protein and carbs some of the bars have! My choice of Protein Bars are BB.com's Met-Rx Big 100 Colossal Bars.

Refrain From Using

Which Supplements Should Teens Refrain From Using?

There are certain supplements that teenagers should stay away from. Pro-hormones are on the list along with stimulants like ephedrine/ephedra and other harsh stimulants. Since those products are now banned most teens have nothing to worry about. Recently there have been new pro-hormone like products coming out and I believe that teenagers should refrain from using those.

At this age, the testosterone levels are peaking, which means that if a teen focuses on the diet and all the nutrients needed, they can create the best environment for growth. Dangerous supplements and fat burners are not needed in order to achieve goals. Educate yourself and that way you will create the very best environment for improvement.

  • Pro-hormones
  • Fat Burners
  • Ephedrine/Ephedra
  • Newest Pro-hormone versions

Old Enough

How Can A Teen Know If They Are Old Enough To Use A Specific Supplement?

All the supplements listed here are not dangerous for teenagers. If a teen decides to buy a product from the internet or a supplement store, then they should research it first. Usually, if a product is not meant for teenagers there will be a warning on the label.

Usually you will see the back of the product along the line of "Not intended for persons under age of 18". If you see anything like that, I strongly suggest that you refrain from using that supplement. It is not smart to risk anything while you are developing, so you don't want to take any chances. As mentioned previously, the testosterone levels are high and there is no need for test boosters or dangerous supplements.

I believe that the general guideline should be that after 16 creatine, aminos and stuff like that should be okay to take. I would wait until 18 for stuff like NO-Explode, any type of fat burner or stimulant. You don't want to take any of that stuff when your central nervous system is still developing, as that can cause problems later on in life.

Bonus Question

What Suggestions/Ideas Can Help Teens Stay Away From Using Supplements That May Be Harmful To Them?


That is the best idea to help teens stay away from dangerous supplements. If a teenager is given the chance to educate themselves on how the body works, the immune system and the endocrine system and how it all ties together, then they will realize that they simply don't need any of that stuff at this age.

During teen years testosterone is at the highest level. Testosterone builds muscle. A teenager already has the perfect environment, it would be foolish to try to tweak with it. If something ain't broke, don't fix it.

The general idea is to educate teens about what they have already and that they don't need to worry about anything else, but instead focus on good nutrition and all the macro and micro nutrients!

3rd Place - Opiewags99

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Teens are always looking for the next big supplement to hit the market. However, they don't always consider the effects it could potentially have on them.

Best Supplements

What Are The Best Supplements For Teens?

The teenage years are a very common time in a person's life when they begin to strive for an outstanding physique. This type of physique is commonly associated with bodybuilding. This is perhaps due to the need to attract and impress the opposite sex, or to succeed in a sport.

Either reason being a good one, because in addition to helping you succeed in your goal you will also be making yourself a healthier person which in turn will lead to a happier life.

In order to most efficiently and quickly reach these goals of building muscle, losing fat, or somewhere in between, supplements are almost essential. So this leads us to the subject of this week's article; what are the best supplements to help a teenager achieve their goals in terms of beginning a bodybuilding lifestyle or taking your physique to the next level. These will be discussed below.

The Essentials:

1 Whey Protein

When exerting the body with strenuous resistance training or weight lifting, adequate protein consumption is essential to rebuild the muscles in a bigger and stronger state.

Without adequate supplementation it is hard to reach the required amount of protein that is needed by the body. More specifically, it is hard to get the protein absorbed by your body quickly immediately after a workout. This is where whey protein comes into play.

Whey protein is a protein source derived from milk. It is soluble in water and thus can be very easily mixed with water for a smooth and clumpless shake. When consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the body and broken down into its monomer amino acids then allowed to quickly flood into the muscles for optimum muscle repair and re-growth.

2 Multivitamin

Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper physiological body function. How can one expect to put on the maximum amount of muscle and burn the most amount of fat if the body isn't even functioning to its potential?

The answer is that the body can not do it without these vitamins and minerals. This is why I suggest to everyone with a gym membership to invest in a high quality multivitamin such as Universal Animal Pak or AST Multi Pro 32X.

3 Creatine

Creatine is one of most popular bodybuilding and athletic enhancement supplements for one simple reason: IT WORKS. Creatine floods the muscles with water, bringing precious nutrients with it in addition to supplying phosphates for much more efficient ATP (Energy) production.

More ATP is then able to be regenerated in the mitochondria of the muscle cells, essentially allowing you to perform a couple extra reps each set. This in turn will lead to lean muscle gains. Creatine monohydrate is what I use, for both putting on mass and also helping me keep muscle mass while cutting fat.

4 Casein Protein

Casein protein is another type of protein that is originally derived from milk. This type of protein actually interacts with water to have a moderate thickening effect. This effect is even more pronounced when casein powder is mixed with milk. This thickening effect also happens in the stomach after consuming a casein shake, making it take a much longer amount of time for the body to digest and process the protein.

This is why casein is considered to be a bedtime protein; because it takes a long time to digest meaning that it will help keep the body in a positive nitrogenous balance for a longer period time. This means more anabolism and much less muscle breakdown while sleeping.

It can also effectively be used to suppress appetite for a good amount of time because of that lengthened time that it stays in the digestive tract. I suggest Optimum Nutrition's 100% Casein Chocolate Supreme, it's my personal favorite midnight snack.

The Electives:

1 Nitric Oxide Promoters

Nitric oxide or NO products help create that "pump" feeling that really leads you to some of your most successful workouts. What they usually consist of is an arginine supplement of one form or another (Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Arginine Ethyl-Ester, etc.)

Arginine is an amino acid that is typically known to help promote strong and quick muscle contraction, so you can see how supplementing this amino acid could help you in your bodybuilding conquests.

Personally, after I started taking MRI's NO2 Platinum, my productivity in the gym went through the roof. I felt like doing extra sets, and always wanted and still want to do just that one extra rep because the burn feels so good. If you've never tried a NO supplement, I would definitely advise you to give it a shot, as it's my favorite supplement.

2 Meal Replacements

Meal replacements are an excellent way to get adequate protein and an otherwise well rounded nutritious meal for people who seem to be more often than not on the run.

When you've got things that you need to accomplish for the day, what could be better than pulling out a pouch of nutritionally exceptional food to curb that hunger? And not only that, you can get it in your favorite flavor, so it feels like a cheat food! I love my chocolate MRP; it tastes even better than most ice creams. You can't go wrong with EAS's Myoplex packets, and don't forget to get a shaker!

3 Weight Gainers

Now, weight gainers are the perfect solution for those of you who just can't seem to put on muscle. People always ask, "Won't I get fat?" And my answer is, if you're training hard and breaking down all of those muscle fibers, you'll put on much more muscle than fat from a weight gainer.

On the other hand, if you're not working out very hard at all, perhaps a simple whey protein is more up your alley. I'd only suggest weight gainers to ectomorphs that are serious about training and want to put on some substantial amounts of muscle.

Refrain From Using

Which Supplements Should Teens Refrain From Using?

Teens should keep in mind that not everything that can legally be sold is healthy and good for you. Also, some of the stuff that jacked guy at your local gym has been offering you may also be harmful to your health.

Hormone Altering Substances

Now I know that you've heard this a million times before, but steroids are definitely not the ideal way to put on muscle if your goal is to live a long and healthy life. Some people argue that they can be safe, but why risk it? Do it the natural and proven to be safe ways.

As a teen, your body is already producing incredibly high amounts of all the necessary hormones to build huge amounts of muscle, so just keep away from anything hormone altering, because they can be risky even though some of them can be found on the shelves of your local dietary supplement store.

Hormone Articles:


Stimulants such as fat burners are not such a good idea for people that are in their teenage years. Typically your metabolism is at its highest point in your life already, so even if you're trying to lose fat; it's certainly doable through the use of a clean diet and an intense exercise regimen.

Save the fat burners for later in life when your metabolism actually slows down, they're too pricey for the average teen in any case, try a NO product instead (they're safe and they are more effective by helping you get through tough workouts.)

Illegal Substances

Now I know it's no secret that some of the pro bodybuilders use illegal substances such as T3, clen, or even the recently banned ephedra to lose that extra fat, but keep in mind that these pharmaceutical substances are illegal for a reason.

They can have permanent and harmful effects that can mess with the rest of your life. Years ago, I worked as a cashier at an American Eagle, and this girl that had been working there for over a year fell down and died at work one day.

She was taking ephedra in addition to already having a heart condition, which is certainly not a smart thing to do. Plain and simple, stay away from the illegal substances, they are not legal for a reason, and that reason is most likely your safety.

Old Enough

How Can A Teen Know If They Are Old Enough To Use A Specific Supplement?

One of the most useful tools in learning about dietary supplements is the internet. Clearly you've found that out already, because you're here reading this Bodybuilding.com article. This web site is one of the best sources of information on supplements, because it's not only about selling supplements on this site, unlike most websites.

This site is truly devoted to the bodybuilding community, and keeping them educated about the real issues associated with weight training, fat loss, nutrition, as well as other new and important topics.

To answer the question above more specifically, you alone can do the research required to see what is appropriate for your diet and exercise regimen. All I've done here is lay down some information on a few supplements that I've tried, had success with, and had no ill side effects from. Make sure you do your own research before taking any supplements, but the ones listed above are an excellent place to begin your searches.

Bonus Question

What Suggestions/Ideas Can Help Teens Stay Away From Using Supplements That May Be Harmful To Them?

As stated above, teens should make sure that they know what they're taking when they begin looking into the world of supplements. There are many dangerous supplements out there and the use of your brain is absolutely essential in order to keep yourself safe from the dangerous ones.

Just keep in mind, do the research before investing in a supplement. It not only can save you money, it can save you from taking something that might potentially be harmful to your health.

Thanks for reading!

-K (Opiewags99)

3rd Place - Liquid_diet

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

With an ever-increasing amount of supplement companies in the industry, and all the new and innovative products they are creating, it is important to take the time to slow down and figure out which things are ok for a teenager to take, and which are not.

The experience for a teen going into a supplement store or visiting an online retailer can be comparable to that of a "kid in a candy store." Everything seems so appealing. There is a strong competitive spirit within many teenagers, and many want any edge they can get. But sometimes this can be taken too far, and teenagers can put their health in jeopardy in search of the best and newest products that can take them to the next level.

It is important for diet, exercise, and rest to be in check before the use of any nutritional supplements should be explored. After all, that is why they are called "supplements." They are there to supplement an existing diet and training protocol.

It Is Important For Diet, Exercise, And Rest
To Be In Check Before Using Any Supplements.

With the abundance of natural testosterone in the average teenage male, there is already the potential for amazing natural increases in muscular size and strength. My number one recommendation for a teen is to eat as much as possible, and eat frequently. Once diet and training look good, there are several basic supplements that can be safe and effective in helping teens reach that next level.

Best Supplements

What Are The Best Supplements For Teens?

The top 3 I am going to list are what I call "basics." This is the list I often suggest for teens and newcomers right here on the Bodybuilding.com Forums. Next, I will list the "extras," which I consider generally safe for teens and possibly beneficial. These together comprise the most complex "stack" what I would recommend for a teen in training.

The Basics


With the fast-paced teenage lifestyle and questionable lunch choices that teens often make, it is hard to get the full recommended amounts of daily fruits and vegetables. There a vitamins and minerals available in whole foods than are necessary for many bodily functions. A good multivitamin is a great way to ensure that a teen is getting everything he needs for his body to perform at its best.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein that is great first thing in the morning or post-workout to get the body back into an anabolic state. It is full of branch chain amino acids and is great for muscle repair and building.

It is a convenient way to supplement more protein into the diet. It can be mixed into a quick protein shake and added to most foods. Many of the flavors these days are actually pretty tasty, and there's a wider variety to choose from.

Whey Protein Is Great For
Muscle Repair And Building.

Fish Oil/Omega 3's

Fish oil is a cheap and efficient way to get those omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs can play a role in cardiovascular function and joint health. They can also have positive effects on the central nervous system and brain. Capsules are a convenient way to get down those fish oils that most would rather not swallow with a spoon.

The Extras

Weight Gainers

While I usually prefer to make my own weight gainers with real food so that I can manipulate the exact ratio of macronutrients to my personal needs, there are times that a weight gainer supplement can be very convenient for a busy teenager.

Between school, sports, work, and girls, there is very little time to prepare a meal or blend a bunch of food in a shake every 2.5 to 3 hours. Taking a few scoops of a weight gainer and a shaker bottle makes getting the protein and calories necessary for real growth much more convenient.


Creatine has become on of the most-researched sports supplements of all times. It is considered generally safe for teens to take, and its effects have been proven in research.

With proper hydration and dosing, creatine can be effective in enhancing teenage performance in sports and in the weight room. Explosive strength and improved recovery are just 2 of the possible benefits of supplementing with creatine.

However, I would recommend avoiding all those new and fancy "creatine cocktails" that are on the market. Most have a warning for those under 18 anyways. Like I said, stick to the basics as much as possible.


While Branch Chain Amino Acids are abundant in protein, there are some possible benefits to supplementing with extra BCAAs. During those long afternoon practices or two-a-days, sipping on a BCAA drink can help preserve muscle tissue and increase muscular endurance during extended periods of exercise. BCAAs in their free form can get into the body faster than those ingested in whole food and protein powders.

Casein Protein

Casein protein is a slowly-digested type of protein. It is good taken right before bed when the body is about to go into a state of fasting for the next 8 or so hours. Having a constant supply of protein can help keep the body from going into a catabolic state.

Refrain From Using

Which Supplements Should Teens Refrain From Using?


Obviously, anything that is going to mess with a teen's endocrine system must be avoided! Teens are still growing, and their hormonal systems may continue to develop until the age of 21. Prohormones and designer steroids that have made their way back onto the market are never 100% safe for any individual to take, but the dangers are exponential for a developing teen.

Stimulant Fat Burners

Stimulants and fat burners are not necessary and should be avoided in most teens. While many fat burners are generally accepted as safe, they can cause such side effects as increased heart rate and sleeplessness. I do not recommend any teen manipulating his metabolism at a young age where metabolisms are generally pretty high. Diet and exercise should be a first resort for anyone trying to lose some body fat.

Old Enough

How Can A Teen Know If They Are Old Enough To Use A Specific Supplement?

Obviously, the best thing that any person can do is ask a doctor. While doctors generally remain fairly conservative when it comes to recommending supplements to teens, I tend to largely agree with them. It is always best to get the opinion of a medical professional.

While supplements are not regulated by the FDA, most companies are responsible enough to put an age recommendation right on the product. So be sure to read everything on the label.

Even the Bodybuilding.com Forums can be a good place to get some basic info. While most members are not in the medical field, many will give their honest feedback gained from personal experience and things they've learned here.

However, it is important to not believe everything you read anywhere, so sort through the information, and try to listen to members who have been around for awhile and made a reputation for themselves. There are also many company representatives present that do their best to give the most responsible information they can about their products.

Bonus Question

What Suggestions/Ideas Can Help Teens Stay Away From Using Supplements That May Be Harmful To Them?

Tell teens to take advantage of their age while they can. What I personally like to say is, "if I could go back in time knowing what I know now, I would eat and eat and eat." That is the honest truth. I could have grown so much more with all that natural testosterone pumping through my body, but I did not "feed the machine" nearly as efficiently as I could have.

While I generally avoid scare tactics, I am quick to warn of the side effects associated with many hormonal products. Warning a teen that prohormones and designer steroids might make him lose hair, get acne, have testicular shrinkage, and possibly not be able to "get it up" in the future can be pretty effective. When you tell teens that a product might mess with their love life, most are fairly quick to listen.

Lead by example! Don't be a supplement junkie or guinea pig and put a bunch of different things into your body in front of impressionable teens. If you're a parent, try to monitor what your children are taking. If you're an older sibling, give the best advice possible to younger family members interested in taking supplements. Don't pimp a bunch of supplements out loud in your gym where teens could be listening.

Responsible marketing by companies in magazine ads and online can help to keep teens from taking things they shouldn't as well. All those "hardcore" ads with IFBB pros can send teens the wrong impression about certain supplements.