TOPIC: What Are The Best Supplements While On A Budget?
Staying healthy and becoming athletic is not cheap, and let's face it - we're not all Bill Gates. The average guy getting paid minimum wage can't afford all of the luxurious supplements that there are to offer.
What supplements are good while on a small budget? What are the best supplements under $20?
How effective are these cheaper supplements compared to the more expensive supplements on the market?
Bonus Question: What brand can someone turn to for good quality supplements at a good price?
Bonus Question #2: What is the most expensive supplement out there that works and that you should try if you have some extra cash or win the lottery?
Show off your knowledge to the world!
1st place - 75 in store credit.
2nd place - 50 in store credit.
3rd place - 25 in store credit.
To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@Bodybuilding.com for more info.
1st Place - sword chucks
A Budget Doesn't Have to Hold You Back!
On the market today there are countless effective supplements. There are supplements to gain weight, stay lean, increase fat loss, increase energy, and basically to serve any purpose that an athlete can think of. In our quest as bodybuilders there are a lot of appealing selections of supplements to use.
Every different supplement seems to affect another function of the body. To maximize productivity, all bodybuilders would have in their kitchen a big cabinet loaded with canisters of different shapes, colors, and sizes.
There Is Just One Problem. Money!
As athletes, we want to do everything we can to maximize performance. Living in modern times can be expensive, though. We have to set at least a little bit of money to pay the rent! This is why choosing supplements is not easy for many people and there is a lot of argument about what supplements are effective and what will have a minimal effect.
But before you even get into that, be 100% sure that your funds are set for everything else. The last thing you want to do after ordering 6-8 of the products below for 50 dollars is notice you don't have money to buy your food this week! Budgeting isn't just about buying cheap products, it is about prioritizing things and taking everything into account, and minimizing stress because of it.
This is why when choosing supplements it is very important to first look to the most effective and most basic supplements out there. The supplements that have always been favored. The supplements that are always debated but always are proven effective. What's better is that these effective supplements are usually cheaper than the more luxurious ones. Read on to find out how to maximize your results on a budget! Don't let a budget hold you back!
This article will discuss the 10 supplements that satisfy the qualities mentioned above that are relatively cheap and most effective that every bodybuilder should have. I will start at the most effective supplements and end with the more frilly ones that can still be afforded on a budget.
I will also compare some more luxurious products with their less expensive counterparts, go into companies that you can always trust for affordable quality, and suggest some products to purchase if you happen to have some extra savings.
The Body's Main Energy Source!
Dextrose, or glucose, is a simple sugar derived completely from corn . It is 20% less sweet than cane sugar so it provides a different taste. But taste should not be your main concern on a budget! Even if dextrose is a delicious sugar, what you should worry about is that dextrose (glucose) is the main source of energy in the body! Dextrose creates an anabolic environment, improves recovery greatly, and provides energy for the muscles!
The Anabolic Environment
It is a proven fact that insulin is one of the top most anabolic hormones in the body. When insulin in the blood is high, the uptake of nutrients such as protein into the muscles will be greatly increased, which means faster muscle growth!
One thing of note, however, is that dextrose and other simple sugars should really only be consumed around a training session because high insulin at other times can result in fat gain. This fact does not stop dextrose from being the top of the most effective supplement list!
Improvement Of Recovery
Everyone knows that after a workout the body is in a catabolic environment. To reverse this, many people take a meal a little while after a workout with some oats or bread.
But this is not the best way! Having a protein shake with some dextrose during the workout can greatly improve recovery by preventing this catabolic state from coming about altogether!
Increased Muscle Energy
For anyone who hasn't had dextrose, I bet you have had one of those days where your muscles just feel weak in a workout. It might not happen too often but it can be prevented with a cheap bad of dextrose. Taking 10-20 grams of dextrose 20-30 minutes prior to a workout greatly increases the storage of muscle glycogen. You will be stronger.
NOW Dextrose is probably the cheapest Dextrose you will be able to find.
At under 3 dollars for what can make a supply for a month or more, this is truly the most cost-effective supplement.
Make Sure Your Body Is Nourished!
The body performs at its best when provided with a proper amount of vitamins in proper ratios. All vitamins have different functions that are helpful to anybody, but especially an athlete. So next time you go shopping, should you ask for every vitamin in individual canisters to make sure you get everything? No! Just get a multivitamin!
You can trust companies such as Higher Power and Centrum to load their vitamins with all the necessary vitamins. It is nice and simple. Here are two examples of important vitamins found in a multi vitamin:
B-vitamins all have important metabolic functions. There is only one that is especially important to athletes, and this is vitamin B-12. B-12 aids the body in metabolizing nutrients such as protein! It is best, though, to take all B-vitamins in a proper ratio, so do yourself a favor and eat a multivitamin for this effect.
Vitamin E is a necessary vitamin for many athletes that supplement with fish oil. It is unhealthy to have too much fish oil and too little Vitamin E. Buying Vitamin E alone can be expensive so it is best to simply get your daily Vitamin E intake from your simple multivitamin. No worries!
If the body is lacking in any one vitamin, that hurts one of the body's functions, causing an athlete to perform at a sub-optimal level! Getting a multiVitamin can satisfy your full vitamin needs.
Higher Power One-a-Days are very effective. On top of this, it will only cost you 7 to 8 dollars for a whole two months of multivitamins that can create an effective environment for maximum performance.
Make sure to eat real food to get a more full spectrum of vitamins!
3) Whey Protein
Increase Recovery & Protein Synthesis!
As athletes, we know the importance of protein. Protein is made of amino acids which are used to repair muscles after exercise. "Training for muscle mass requires more than just hard work, it requires protein, and as much as 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day for some individuals... A solution to this problem comes in the form of protein supplements" (Schwarzenegger, 709).
And getting in one gram per pound of protein per day doesn't just mean eating bread and nuts and calling that adequate protein. Whey protein benefits any bodybuilder in many ways over other protein sources.
More Efficient In The Body
While bread and nuts do contain protein, their protein is not very efficient in the body. Whey protein, though, is 100% efficient in the body because it contains a full spectrum of amino acids- unlike many other foods. Meats, Poultry, Eggs and other dairy products also are very efficient proteins but whey is the king.
Speedy Absorption For Speedy Recovery
Remember Dextrose, from above? I mentioned that dextrose is very beneficial in aiding nutrient absorption. Since you should already have dextrose- you are going down the list since I did put it in a specific order- you should try combining dextrose and whey protein after an intense workout.
In fact, this should be done for every workout. Combined with the speedy uptake of nutrients to the muscles caused by dextrose and whey's already fast absorption, you should definitely improve recovery tenfold. Your muscles will quickly repair after a workout and you will start growing!
Another thing that you should already know about diet is that you must eat every 2-3 hours. Sometimes, though, it is hard to get meals in that often- you could be in school, out on the road, at work, or anywhere else, and when that 3rd hour hits you should be searching like a madman for protein.
If you simply make a protein shake to bring with you. This can make a big difference, especially for those very busy bodybuilders.
Another thing to aid convenience is the Bodybuilding.com shaker bottle, and while this is not a supplement, it is very fashionable and a must-have for any bodybuilder.
Now, since you are on a budget, this extra protein might seem expensive. It really is not though. 5 pounds of a quality whey protein can cost anywhere from 20 to 30 dollars for a basic product.
There are also powders that have a super flavor, but cost 40 to 50 dollars for just 5 pounds! I suggest you go straight to the Higher Power Whey Protein.
This will only cost you 20 dollars for a whole 5 pound container. Since I recommend 2 scoops during or post workout and 2 in the morning to maximize your nitrogen balance, that is 2 - 4 a day - so this jar should last you a month or so.
If you are more conservative it will last you longer and you can still achieve great results!
4) Omega 3 Fish Oil
Optimize Your Body Composition!
Fish oils have been recommended for a very long time for their great effects on body health. The healthy fats, even at a low dose such as 4 to 6 grams in a day, can do wonders to prevent heart disease and create an environment in the body that is conducive to muscle building and not encouraging to fat gain. They also aid brain function.
Use For Bodybuilders
Now, it is utilized by all successful bodybuilders, because it is another item that makes a huge difference in body composition. It has various effects that all work towards fat loss and protein synthesis - have you heard of leptin?
If you have then you know that fish oil greatly increases leptin sensitivity. If you haven't heard of the neurotransmitter, just know that the previous sentence means something good!
There are two different ways to take fish oil. Some people like to use an oil. There are also soft gels which might be less uncomfortable for some to take. The oil is a bit cheaper for those of you on a super strict budget.
Another thing you can look for is a 2-for-1 deal- I found one at a local CVS and was able to get 500 grams of fish oil for about 12 dollars. You do the math.
5) Vitamin C
A Sick Bodybuilder Can't Make Gains!
How many times have you got sick in the last year and had to skip a workout? How many times did you wish you didn't get sick? My answer - never. I am a firm believer that Vitamin C is one of the most effective antioxidants in the body and the key reason as to why I have not been sick at all for the past year.
The immune system's performance is greatly enhanced by Vitamin C. Once I started supplementing with Vitamin C, I did not get sick and so I was able to train constantly to create muscle mass. Vitamin C also protects the body's cells and might reduce the effects of cancer, heart disease, aging, and arthritis.
Reducing Muscle Breakdown
Studies presented in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning showed that an intake of Vitamin C limited cortisol release. Cortisol is not good news for a bodybuilder - it causes the breakdown of muscle proteins! Having a steady Vitamin C intake can limit the expression of this hormone, though; improving the amount of growing that can take place!
Something to keep in mind is that while Vitamin C has no toxicity in the body, these studies revealed that taking over 4 grams (4000mg) per day had no advantage over taking more.
Some vitamin C products will last you 2 to 4 months depending on your intake! Considering it is another product to greatly aid recovery and maximize each and every year of working out, the small amount they cost is not much to pay.
Maximize Strength & Muscle Gains!
Creatine is a great supplement because in small amounts it can greatly increase strength and improve the appearance of the muscles. Simply put, everyone taking creatine is seeing awesome muscle and strength gains! This natural product can make all the difference in the world for an impatient bodybuilder!
Maximum Strength Gains
Creatine Super Feature: An Introduction.
This will be an introduction and first of seven parts regarding misinformation surrounding the very well known supplement, Creatine. See what the experts have to say. Can they clear up the confusion?
By increasing ATP production, creatine really can improve your strength! In the body it is converted to phosphocreatine, which regenerates ATP in the muscles.
This doesn't just mean that you will be able to have a bigger ego in the gym, though, or you will be able to add that 10 pounds to your best squat or bench press to beat your friend - the sudden strength gain will cause an overload to the muscles that will create a huge amount of new muscle mass!
On a side note, one mistake many bodybuilders make is cutting out creatine when they begin a diet to lose body fat.
It is best to stay on creatine so that your strength stays at an elevated level, and you will actually see an increase in strength this way!
Making Muscles Fuller
Creatine is also a "cell volumizer". By loading water and other such products into the muscles, it can greatly improve their fullness. Many people surprise others when in just one week their arms and shoulders seem to have blown up. Is it the creatine kicking in? You betcha!
Higher Power produces a Micronized Creatine that sells at 20 dollars for 1000 grams. There is no way you can pass that up! It is cheaper than protein powder!
It might seem like quite a bit if you choose to load your creatine intake, but contrary to popular belief, a loading phase for creatine is not best - it is more effective to just take a stable amount.
If you take 5 grams a day, 1000g will last you 200 days! That is a long time! Because the creatine is micronized, its absorption is improved as well! If you have a little extra money drop it on some creatine, you will not be sorry!
7) Joint Support
Lift Heavy All Of The Time, Pain-Free!
While this seems like it should be higher on the list, joint support is not necessary for everybody. Many lifters go on for a long time with little joint pain. However, investing in a joint support product such as Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Shark Cartilage and/or MSM.
Over time, though, many lifters begin to feel worn down and sometimes experience extremely unbearable joint pains! I have talked to people in the gym that tell me to "be careful with those deadlifts, because when I used to do them I couldn't even get up in the morning!"
Making An Investment In Your Joints
To some people, 2 years of lifting causes havoc on their joints. Actually, this is the case for many older people. If you are a teen bodybuilder this hopefully is not a problem, but if you are over 30 years old or even 40+ years old- you must invest in joint support!
The thing with joint support supplements is that they take some time to kick in. If you feel even the slightest joint pain starting, invest in some joint support products.
So you go to the local vitamin store and see a bottle of MSM for 40 dollars. Crap, that doesn't follow the budget! No company beats the price or effectiveness of TKE's Joint Boost with MSM though.
This product packs together Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Shark Cartilage and MSM for a weird sounding yet surprisingly effective joint support "cocktail" which can lead to total joint health! And it only costs 20 dollars for 40 days of the supplement!
8) Branch-Chain Amino Acids
Protein in its Most Effective Form!
BCAA's, or branch-chain amino acids, are some of the most effective athletic supplements out there. Keep in mind that out of the thousands of products out there, BCAA's hit the top 10! That is because the BCAA's leucine, isoleucine and valine are used to build muscle, fuel the body (as opposed to using existing muscle mass), and increase the absorption of other proteins!
Choosing A BCAA Product Doesn't Have To Be Difficult
You've probably seen a lot of BCAA products that are very expensive though. That is because when making a BCAA product, companies can load it up with tiny amounts of other things such as Glutamine, Taurine, and AAKG in tiny and ineffective amounts, but make you think it is worth the additional money.
Instead you have to find a product that contains only leucine, isoleucine and valine so that you are not paying for anything extra.
BCAA's Are Not Found In The Body Naturally!
Another thing of note is that these amino acids are not made in the body, while the non-essential amino acids are produced in the body. This can cause a lot of bodybuilders to miss out on possible gains!
Like I said before, we have to make sure the supplement that we are buying is made of one-hundred percent BCAA's, or something pretty damn close to that, or you will waste money!
I recommend either Higher Power BCAA 1000 or Scifit BCAA powder. Higher Power BCAA 1000 costs .11 per gram, but comes in capsule form and a month's supply costs about 11 dollars.
If you want to take a powder, Scifit BCAA Powder 5000 costs anywhere from .5 to .7 grams per container (depending on the size of the container). I highly recommend buying this supplement in bulk! It will save you a big bit of money!
Get A Surge Of Energy!
Everyone knows what caffeine is. Caffeine is a very simple product with many benefits! Caffeine Anhydrous will give you powerful workouts and greatly increase your alertness with amounts as low as 200mg!
Caffeine's Less Obvious Benefits
With a sudden boost of energy and a new mental drive you will be able to lift like never before! You will be much more focused and energized.
Caffeine is not just some stimulant though; the substance also sets itself into the muscle cell and keeps fatigue from occurring! This cheap supplement will buy you another 1 or 2 reps in some cases! That can be very nice!
You could just go out and purchase coffee in bulk, but you've surely heard of how negative that is for your health, it has many negative effects on the teeth. Also, you would have to drink it black to keep extra calories from entering your diet.
Getting a simple caffeine supplement is much more convenient and quite possibly cheaper. I recommend a Higher Power supplement for this one as well - get yourself 120 capsules for under 5 dollars!
Note: I do not encourage you to become the supplement equivalent of a Dunkin Donuts junkie.
10) Egg Protein
Protein For Regular Use
What? Another protein on the list? If protein is so important, why is egg protein so low on the list? Well, in my opinion, a second protein supplement is more of an option if you have the money after buying everything above.
The Problem With Whey
I would just recommend taking whey protein in your shakes for convenience when you are on the go if you are on a super tight budget. However, purchasing an egg protein for infrequent use can make a big difference.
The problem with whey protein is that it is only available in the body for up to 45 minutes after it is consumed. If you are only taking a meal every 2 to 3 hours, that means that you are going nearly an hour with little protein flowing through the body!
Using Egg Protein For Extreme Convenience
Egg protein, unlike whey protein, lasts in the body for 2 hours or more! Not only this, but it is considered the "gold standard" of proteins in that it contains all 8 essential amino acids and is readily digested in the body. When you need a quick protein fix to replace a meal, go egg, not whey.
Optimum Nutrition produces 100% egg protein at about one dollar per serving. But think about it... one 22 gram serving means that it has more protein than seven egg whites! So it is worth the money.
I know 30 dollars is over 20 which was the limit, but you will be probably be using this very rarely. If you really want to spread it out, you can mix half a scoop of egg protein with a whole scoop of whey.
This will balance out the absorption and make the meal last longer in your body, but will also cut the cost.
I didn't want to be misleading before when I said that whey protein was the best for when you want convenience. Having a longer-lasting protein in my body made a big difference and I felt a lot better once I started taking egg proteins in my meal replacements instead of whey proteins.
Making Cheaper Selections
While it is easy enough to just stick to the product selections that were provided above, many times people will be tempted into buying a more expensive supplement because it could have a slightly better effect.
I am not trying to discourage anyone from buying the more expensive supplements if you can afford them. I am an advocate of all supplements, not just the cheap ones. For those of you on a budget though, here's what you think you are missing out on... so here are some examples.
Higher Power Creatine vs. VPX CEX
Creatine comes in many different forms and come mixed with many different substances. The thing is, in all of them, the key is creatine. It doesn't matter if it is Esterified, Micronized, mixed with Taurine, or anything else.
VPX CEX is a very expensive supplement - For about 50 dollars more, you can get the same amount of creatine. However, VPX CEX also adds in A-AKG, and some other cell volumizing agents, not to mention 2 different types of creatine! I'm going to be honest, that product sounds damn cool, and also very effective.
Higher Power Creatine vs. VPX CEX
And I'm positive that the cocktail of Creatine Ethyl Ester and Creatine-AKG will result in more creatine in the muscles with less bloating, those are just added benefits.
The main product is still creatine and if you are on any kind of a budget, spending 70 dollars for 2 months of creatine is unreasonable! Therefore, I recommend forgetting about anything but 100% pure creatine - keep it simple - that is how you save money.
Higher Power Whey Protein vs. PVL Whey Gourmet
How could two types of protein powder be so different? Well, as a bodybuilder, taste is sometimes something we miss out on. Some companies like PVL are kind enough to produce products with a great flavor that makes you look forward to every protein shake and make you glad to be a bodybuilder.
Higher Power Whey Protein vs. PVL Whey Gourmet
The taste might be tempting, but look at the nutrient profile of PVL Whey Gourmet compared to Higher Power Whey Protein. Both contain minimal amounts of fat and carbohydrates (less than 3 grams), and both have exactly 23 grams of protein in one serving! In fact, both cost about the same price, 20 dollars! But take a closer look. For the same amount of money, Higher Power gives you three more pounds of pure protein.
Therefore, if you have the money lying around get yourself some PVL Whey Gourmet and shake things up - but for regular use, buy the cheap stuff and in bulk, it will yield you the same results. If you are really looking for a tasty whey protein, though, continue reading!
NOW Dextrose & Basic Food vs. Prolab N-Large II
To be honest, these two products are not too similar. However, we can still compare them. Both are supplements meant to supply carbohydrates to the body and add calories to your daily total. I believe that weight gainers such as Prolab's N-Large II are very effective. In fact, N-Large II is packed with mostly complex carbohydrates, minimal fats, and lots of quality protein. Dextrose is just sugar.
NOW Dextrose & Basic food vs. Prolab N-Large II
However, if you use your dextrose, whey protein, and fish oils in conjunction with some regular food such as oatmeal, you save yourself money. These items will get you further with the same amount of money, and can be a little healthier as well!
Higher Power BCAA vs. SciVation XTend
A final comparison that I would like to make is between different types of BCAA's. This situation is very similar to the creatine situation. Many companies, in an effort to fully harness the power of BCAA's, will add in other Amino Acids and other substances. SciVation does this with their XTend. XTend is a combination of BCAA's, Glutamine and Citrulline Malate, all in generous amounts.
Higher Power BCAA vs. SciVation XTend
This makes SciVation about 60% BCAA's (Grams of L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine divided by the grams per serving, or 7/11.5). There are about 630 grams of BCAA's in SciVation XTend.
Is this the company being cheap and filling it with what is basically air? No, it is just a more luxurious supplement. You are probably doing fine with what you have. Citrulline Malate and Glutamine are some big names in the recovery supplement world.
However, once again, if you pay for this you are spending money on luxury. For those of you on a budget and paying for 9 other supplement items, the extras are too much to pay for.
I suggest you just get some Higher Power BCAA's, or SciFit BCAA Powder 5000. That alone will give you all of the benefits that there are to BCAA's alone. I will recap what I said in the comparison of creatines- keep it simple and try to get 100% BCAA's or as close as you can to it.
Use the examples above to help you make decisions on any supplement. Thinking of getting some AMP or Neurostim? Try to make due with simple caffeine anhydrous.
Have you seen a very expensive joint support product out there that has a cool name, like Equilade Lube-All Plus recently? Keep in mind that you can match the results with a simpler and much cheaper item like TKE Joint Boost with MSM. Keep it simple!
I am gonna say this one more time, by the way - the purpose of this article is to help an athlete get the most bang out of each dollar. If you have the extra money, you can be sure that a more complicated supplement will give you slightly faster gains. But a cheap supplement stack can be nearly as effective.
A Brand That Really Cares About The Athlete
There are just as many companies out there scamming their customers with expensive luxury products that have tiny effects as there are good, reliable companies that always product the necessities for athletes at a regular price. Bodybuilding.com lists somewhere in the ball park of 40-60 companies in their brand listing section!
Where do you get an idea of what company is best? Well, you can't rely just on one company, since they produce different products. I will give you five supplement companies that I can find all of my necessary supplements at, reasonably priced!
Higher Power - You Can Be Sure That You Will Get Great Prices Here!
Higher Power is a very budget-friendly company, and with good reason. They are owned by Bodybuilding.com! Because it is owned by this web site, they can make the prices as low as they go!
Their whey protein is the cheapest out there, and you can buy a large supply of effective vitamins for a small price. It is clear that Higher Power is a supplement company that really cares about the athlete!
Avant Labs- Unique Supplements!
The name Avant Labs is not meant to mislead you into thinking the company is based on science and produces only the most effective supplements. Because all of that is true! They do not sell simple products like your standard protein powder or Vitamin C though. I think all of their supplements are best if you have some extra money lying around as they are optimized, but if you read the above section you can find that this is not completely necessary.
What I would recommend for anyone is some Sesathin. This product costs about 30 dollars a month at full dosing and its effects for fat loss have been widely received. It will give you the best bang for your buck over most other fat loss supplements.
NOW - Quality Is Affordable!
Do you remember when I mentioned dextrose before? That is just one example of what NOW produces. 2 pounds of dextrose costs a little under 3 dollars - a very cheap price - and many of NOW's supplements follow the same trend!
Another bonus to buying from NOW is that you can find mostly anything that you need there. If you see something by NOW, know that it is a trustworthy product!
Iron-Tek - Mixing Together The Most Effective Ingredients At Low Prices!
Iron-Tek is one company that stood out to me just a few weeks ago when I was looking for a cheaper whey protein. This product caught my eye because they nearly match the cheap price of Higher Power Whey protein!
Each serving is just one cent more expensive. But the catch is that they don't just give you Chocolate Chalk flavor and Vanilla Chalk flavor, in fact, they offer appealing flavors like Chocolate Fudge, Cookies & Cream, and Banana Cream! I guess it is possible to afford flavor and quality!
Iron-Tek also produces a creatine that is very cost-effective. The ingredients to their Essential Creatine Monohydrate include only 100% creatine monohydrate.
You should know the benefits of creatine by now, so you should understand that 1200 grams for under 23 dollars is a very impressive deal! That is almost one full year of creatine.
These are not Iron-Tek's only products. They also produce a lot of other high-quality, budget friendly products!
MRM - Another Selection Of Supplements At Low Prices!
MRM is a company that is definitely dedicated to nutritional research as much as they are dedicated to making money! Their whey protein costs only $0.35 per serving, only $0.05 more than Higher Power's Whey Protein.
You can usually tell from the cost of a company's Whey how their other products compare. They produce ALA, a creatine monohydrate product, and a BCAA product, all at very low prices, to give other examples of their credibility.
Judging from those figures, you should be able to tell that MRM is one company that produces effective products at very low prices!
Knowing companies that produce trust-worthy supplements is important if you are on a budget. Hopefully, this section will help you narrow down what to buy from the sea of supplements out there. It is clear that these five companies above are companies that really care about the athlete!
The "What Should I Get Now That I Have A New Pimp Job?" Section
Eventually with all of this budgeting that you have learned about, you will end up with some savings, or maybe you got hired for a higher paying job.
After you spend time buying supplements that cost 10-20 dollars for a month or two of use and probably seeing better results than before you read this article, you will have to have saved up a few extra bucks.
If you just got your new job it is possible you will be on a whole new level of budgeting- no budgeting! Either way, what do you spend your extra money on?
Being the athlete that you are, you want not to blow this money on a night at the bar, but rather to buy another effective supplement that will give you some lasting gains and that is truly worth your money.
At least I hope you do. However, you might want to just get something to try it out or something else for "fun". Here are three choices of supplements that you can look into.
An Exciting Nitric-Oxide Product - Xyience NOX-CG3
Now this stuff can be fun. What could be cooler than a product with three types of creatine, three types of glutamines and three types of arginine?
I am sure that as soon as this product hits your doorstep, you will be dying to just dig right in. NOX-CG3 is a nitric oxide-based product. Nitric oxide is mostly considered a useless supplement - people say that all it does is make some veins pop out for a few hours.
Recently, though, studies have begun to show that getting the "pump" is actually conducive to the hypertrophy of the muscle fibers. Studies have further shown that Arginine supplementation will also cause more than just a temporary pump! Not to mention, the creatine and glutamine in three forms to maximize absorption of each.
Even if the pumps are nothing more than temporary for you, the creatine and glutamine will make this product worth the money.
Also, I believe that getting a supplement like this will greatly boost your confidence to train and will give you some new motivation.
Become Trendy With This BCAA Product - SciVation XTend
This is a product that I mentioned in the previous section. While it has gotten very impressive reviews, this mixture of BCAA's, L-glutamine, citrulline malate, and B-vitamins, it is still very highly priced. Like I calculated before, you get 630 grams of BCAA's per a 1035 gram container - and this costs you over 50 dollars.
However, if you get some extra money, definitely get yourself some XTend! You will be surprised at how the added citrulline malate and L-glutamine affects your recovery and performance!
Many people are taking SciVation XTend in very high doses and gaining lean mass incredibly quickly. Give this supplement a shot in high doses for a while when you have a little more money! Everyone else is!
Get Some Lasting Gains - Avant Labs LeptiGen
A good supplement that will greatly help any athlete develop muscle mass and improve overall aesthetics is LeptiGen Mass.
This product provides an environment in the body that maximizes muscle growth while minimizing fat storage.
It will provide the user with some new muscle mass and speed up growth while it is being taken.
This isn't just some added water weight or some sugar-induced fat weight that some companies will add that is only temporary, it is true muscle that will only continue being added once the use of LeptiGen Mass is discontinued.
For the few months that you have a supply of LeptiGen, I am sure that you will be very happy with your results and see noticeable changes weekly!
Another Thought About Buying Expensive Supplements
I believe that expensive supplements are really not necessary and might not be greatly more effective than the simpler versions. However, seeing all of these great reviews, you will really be impelled to buy something like Xyience NOX-CG3, and I do not want to discourage you from it! Like I said, getting one of these products with so much proof and endorsement will definitely increase your excitement for training. If you truly want some flavor-blasted whey protein like PVL Gourmet- get it! It's your money!
If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, though, get a product like LeptiGen that is only sold at high prices, and experience some sure, long-lasting gains.
Conclusion - A Word On Supplements
So by now you know what supplements are most cost-effective, what companies you can always turn to for affordable quality, how to pick out the more cost effective supplements out of the bunch, and the more expensive supplements that are truly effective. What a productive read!
When choosing supplements, it is very important to first look to the most simple products out there. If you want the cheapest creatine, get a product that is 100% creatine! Above, I listed ten supplements that produce great results: dextrose, a multivitamin, whey protein, fish oils, Vitamin C, creatine, BCAA's, joint care, caffeine and egg protein. These are products that are always favored by bodybuilders and can be found at very impressively low prices.
One thing that I would like to note is that while there are thousands of supplements out there and you can get a whole bunch for a low price, first make sure you can afford more than enough food, a gym membership, clothes, necessary equipment, and other things like the rent.
This is what a successful budget will accomplish. Go to the list from top to bottom and see what you can afford after you are sure you have adequate funds to pay for everything else that comes up, so you don't end up having to take money away from food or equipment or replenishing your container of dextrose or whey protein. Like I said in the intro - budgeting isn't just about buying cheap products, it is about prioritizing things and taking everything into account, and minimizing stress because of it.
In the contemporary bodybuilding world, there are many supplements in circulation. They are all around to accomplish different goals. You can buy a supplement for anything, but most are to increase energy, strip away fat like it 'ain't no thang,' stay lean, or gain muscle (hey who doesn't want more mass?).
If you were to use all of these supplements and research on them, you can bet your progress would be improved, but these supplements can get expensive. Be smart when buying supplements and I guarantee that you can maximise performance even on a tight budget!
2nd Place - ravadongon
What Are The Best Supplements While On A Budget?
OK. So you're tight for money. You want to be able to use supplements, but then you hear all this talk about how they're so expensive and only few can afford. But there's good news for you low income earners, you can afford supplements if you spend you allocate and spend your money wisely on the right products that will assist you in achieving your goal.
What Supplements Are Good While On A Small Budget?
What Are The Best Supplements Under $20?
It must be made clear before discussing supplements, that supplements aren't miracle pills. They will only work effectively when combined with a well planned training and diet regime. So before jumping into the supplement market, insure all other aspects of your fitness lifestyle are right, otherwise you are wasting your money.
Here is my view of the best type and brands of supplements for those on a budget to seek for, in relation to your goals:
These are the supplements I believe are a must if you are even going to consider taking supplements. Before you even consider looking at any other supplements make sure you have these.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's)
Essential fats are important for everyone to consume because they cannot be synthesized by the body. The essential fatty acids are alpha linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6).
Their benefits are enormous and range from helping us produce energy and relieving sicknesses to strengthening the immune system, preventing injuries through joint lubrication and improving our mental functioning. Flax seed oil is by far the cheapest EFA supplement you can get.
Best Value Essential Fatty Acid Products:
Best Value Essential Fatty Acid Products Under $20:
- Optimum Flaxseed Oil Softgels
- Ultimate Nutrition Flax Seed Oil
- NOW Omega 3-6-9
Monthly Cost: ~$1.10-4.40 (depending on serving size)
Protein is the building blocks of muscle. Protein constructs and repairs our muscle fibers allowing them to recuperate and consequently grow. Supplementing protein through protein powders is an easy, quick and convenient way for anyone to get their protein requirements in for the day.
The great thing about whey protein above all other types of proteins is you can take it as a fast digesting protein (with water) which is great for post workout and when you get up in the morning or as a medium-slow digesting protein (with milk) which is ideal before bed (with some healthy fats to slow down the digestion process even further) and during the day.
Best Value Whey Protein products:
Best Value Whey Protein products under $20:
- Higher Power 100% Whey Power (5 lbs.)
- CytoSport Complete Whey (2.2 lbs.)
- Next Designer Protein (12 oz and 2 lbs.)
Monthly Cost: ~$7.80-15.60 (depends on how many servings size/frequency)
These are supplements I believe will help you in achieving the goal of gaining muscle. These supplements are optional, as some may struggle to afford, however highly recommended to those who are able to afford.
Creatine monohydrate increases the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) that is stored in muscles. ATP is a form of energy that is stored between the 2nd and 3rd phosphate groups that is drawn upon by the body during the process of cellular respiration (the conversion of glucose, amino acids and fatty acids to energy) to provide energy for the demands of contracting muscles during exercise.
A Breakdown Of Creatine.
If we have more energy, we will be able to lift more weight (increase resistance) or lift the weight for more repetitions (increase repetitions), these are two ways in which we can create progressive overload, one of the key factors affecting muscle growth.
Creatine also comes as Kre-Alkalyn and CEE (Creatine Ethyl Ester) both buffered forms of creatine to improve its absorption. Weirdly enough bulk CEE and kre-alkalyn, can be just as cheap as plain creatine monohydrate, if not cheaper, however in smaller samples it is clearly more expensive... (see below)
Best Value Creatine Monohydrate Products:
Best Value Creatine Monohydrate Products Under $20:
Monthly Cost: ~$6.00
Best Value Creatine Ethyl Ester Product:
Best Value Creatine Ethyl Ester Products Under $20:
Monthly Cost: ~$6.00
Best Value Kre-Alkalyn Products:
Best Value Kre-Alkalyn Products Under $20:
Monthly Cost: ~$4.20 (depends on how many servings size/frequency)
Amino Acids (BCAA's)
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Supplements such as BCAA's (Branch Chained Amino Acids) are composed of a useful combination of amino acids for our bodies. They aid in the repair, growth, and development of muscle tissue, prevent catabolism as well as in other areas such as concentration and normalizing moods.
Best Value Amino Acid Products:
Best Value Amino Acid Products Under $20:
Monthly Cost: ~$6.00-27.60 (depending on serving size/frequency)
These are supplements that I believe will be of great assistance to you in achieving the goal of losing fat. However they are open to whether you can afford to purchase them. If you can then I would definitely encourage you to look into purchasing them
Green Tea Extract - Learn More
So there you have it. Basic supplements are supplements that I believe are musts if you are considering buying supplements. Other supplements such as those under the headings, gain muscle and lose fat are supplements I believe are of great assistance in achieving those particular goals, but are open to the amount of money you have available to spend on supplements.
Keep in mind that with the best value supplements under $20, some may not be as cheap in the long run as other products that may be over $20.
How Effective Are These Cheaper Supplements Compared
To The More Expensive Supplements On The Market?
People often associate price with quality. This can be true some of the time, sure, but a lot of the time it isn't necessarily true. For your basic supplements like multivitamins, whey protein, BCAA's, green tea extract, EFA's and some others, prices may vary quite a lot with products but essentially they all give you similar results.
The Penny Pincher's Guide To Supplements!
I'm going to show you how to get the best value on supplements, on a small budget, and, at the end, give you the inside scoop on the most inexpensive, but most critical, supplement of all: dihydrogen-oxide...
The reason for an increase in price can sometimes be due to extra ingredients being added to enhance the formula, or a slightly better quality or purity of ingredients being used. This is fine with your basic supplements, but it matters more with the more specialized supplements.
A clear example of this is with creatine, creatine ethyl ester and kre-alkalyn will reduce the 'creatine bloat' experienced when using plain creatine monohydrate and will increase absorption.
However it basically achieves the same thing as plain creatine monohydrate (increased ATP production) only in a slightly more efficient manor, but with EFA's whether you are using one product or another, as long as you get in you're the same amount of omega-6 and omega-3 then you will get the same results.
But don't be fooled into thinking the more expensive brands are always the best, because this is not always true, as some do not have good reputations amongst the fitness world, so it is important to see what other people think before spending money on an expensive product only to find out it doesn't work. The forums are very useful because of this and if you use them properly then you can save a lot of money that could have been wasted on crappy supplements.
So basically if you are still unsure, for your basic supplements the cheaper brands can work just as well as the more expensive brands, however with more specialized supplements the more expensive brands tend to win out more clearly due to their superior quality. However price does not represent quality, so it is important to seek others opinions on products before jumping into purchasing them.
Tight Budget Supplement Tip
Here are some quick tips on how tips on how you should go about purchasing supplements on a tight budget:
- Decide what type of supplements you are going to buy. e.g. whey protein and creatine
- Find out prices for different brands of the product(s)
- Compare prices, this can be done by:
- Finding how many servings the product contains
- How long it will last you (servings/servings per day)
- Price per day (cost of product/how long it lasts)
- Find out if the product(s) works from the forum members (search in the product review section of the forums and if there are no reviews then ask a question in the forum, as some may have tried but have not written reviews).
- Make your decision (buy or look for an alternative).
Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk ends up being a lot cheaper for you in the long run. All though the initial cost will be big you must consider the fact that 'bulk buying' will last you for much longer, also buying larger quantities of products always works out to be cheaper then buying smaller quantities, add to that the shipping costs won't hit you as regularly and it's a lot more convenient.
Here's An Example Of A Likely Situation For You:
I am considering whether to buy product X ($25, 40 servings, 1 serving three times per day), or product Y ($30, 60 servings, 1 serving twice per day) Both products contain the same basic ingredients, in the same proportions relative to their servings, and both have been proven to work in the same way.
T = how long it will last you (days)
$C = Cost
$C/T = cost per time (days/months)
So even though product X is more expensive then product Y, product Y is better value for money then product X
What Brand Can Someone Turn To For Good Quality Supplements At A Good Price?
I never purchase all my products from the same brand, but when I'm on a budget I tend to look for supplements from the following brand names, as I am assured of their quality, even for the low prices the products are sold for:
OK sure, Higher Power did have some problems with the purity of their CEE, but it's been fixed, and Higher Power have put these troubles behind them to continue to provide us with cheap, effective supplements and have a large range that can serve all of your goals, and this is reflected in their brand name being only behind Optimum Nutrition in the best selling category.
All their products, especially their bulk CEE (best selling CEE and 26th overall) and 5 lb. Whey Protein (2nd best selling whey protein and 7th best selling product overall) are amongst the cheapest per serving available on the supplement market.
Trustworthy company with a wide range of products. Optimum's reliability is clearly shown by the fact that they hold the number 1 spot as Bodybuilding.com's top selling brand this month, with their whey protein currently being the most popular product at the store.
There tribulus and ZMA are also very popular, both being in the top 20 as well as well as their casein powder and BCCA caps which make the top 50.
NOW offer a massive range, in fact, the biggest range available on Bodybuilding.com (324 products), for very low prices, perfect for those on tight budgets.
They are also a very popular company with Bodybuilding.com's customer's ranking 4th in this months top selling brands after picking up 3rd last week.
Twin Lab is another solid company with cheap products. They are ranked as Bodybuilding.com's 17th best selling company, and have plenty of good products.
Their amino fuel is their best selling supplement, renowned for being a sound BCAA product.
Ultimate Nutrition - Learn More
Ultimate Nutrition are another company that have proved themselves to offer good quality supplements for affordable prices.
Their CLA is their second best selling supplement and the best selling CLA product at Bodybuilding.com and their tribulus and amino 2000 are also quite popular.
Bonus Question Two:
What Is The Most Expensive Supplement Out There That Works And That You Should Try If You Have Some Extra Cash Or Win The Lottery?
I don't know about the most expensive supplement out there, but these are definitely companies that despite their expensive range of products continue to be popular at Bodybuilding.com. Their supplements have been proven to work, so if you have a bit extra to spare give these companies products a shot:
Avant Labs offer some of the most innovative fat loss products on the market, such as Sesathin, Ab-Solved and Lipoderm. Only problem is they're not cheap.
If you have some extra money to spare and you are looking for some effective fat loss supplements look no further than Avant Labs range. Layne Norton, another one of Bodybuilding.com's chief article writer's endorses and uses Avant Labs products.
My Choice: Avant Labs Sesathin
Monthly Cost: ~$34.80
Xtreme Formulations have some great amino acid and protein products that will offer excellent results again unfortunately at a 'price'.
Some of these products include ultra peptide (a slow release protein perfect before bed), ICE (a BCAA product with other helpful ingredients) and Relentless (an innovative post workout drink with a blend of ingredients designed to maximize anabolic hormone levels).
My Choice: Xtreme Formulations Ultra Peptide
Monthly Cost: ~$25.85
Another company with powerful and effective supplements, which again will shrink your wallet if you're short for cash. SciVation offer a solid BCAA with other helpful ingredients, Xtend, as well as a powerful formula to increase alertness and energy, Neurostim.
Their merger PrimaForce, however offer a different range of products, that customers will find much more affordable, but still with the same quality.
As I said earlier these companies' products are highly recommended by one of Bodybuilding.com's major article writer, Derek Charlebois, so if you aren't convinced now, after you see and read about Derek you probably will be!
My Choice: SciVation Neurostim
Monthly Cost: ~$34.50
There are many products that I haven't mention that are also on the expensive side, but have clearly been proven to work, such as Universal Animal Pak, a multivitamin/multimineral with a difference, and fat burners such as Nutrex Lipo 6 and Man Scorch.
Never rush into buying anything, tight budget or loose budget. Spend your money carefully on supplements that have been proven to work and those that suit your goals. Remember supplements aren't miracle pills, they will only work effectively with a well structured training and diet regime, so insure that is right before even considering supplements.
2nd Place - TRICK D (Tie)
Lifting On The Budget, The Set Backs Of Not Being Rich.
Everyday we look on television and see models, actors, professional athletes, and bodybuilders that we want to look like everyday. The problem is, we can't afford personal trainers, high priced supplements, and the food they eat.
So what should you do? The key thing is to evaluate your diet, cut out expensive unhealthy food, and to choose a goal. There are many supplements that are inexpensive that can help you achieve a fitness goal.
Everyone should evaluate their fitness goals so they know what they need and what they don't.
Type A: I want to add muscle.
Type B: I want to lose weight.
Type C: I want to increase my libido and raise natural testosterone levels (typically an over 40-year-old male).
What Supplements Are Good While On A Small Budget? What Are The Best Supplements Under $20?
No matter what type of person you are, one thing everyone needs is protein and a multivitamin. I will talk about protein in the Type A persons. A very good multivitamin out right now is Animal Pak by Universal.
You can get a 15-day supply at Bodybuilding.com for less than 11 dollars. You can find it here. Animal Pak is a multivitamin for serious lifters who want serious results.
The Type A Person
If you are a Type A person that wants to gain muscle the following supplements can be of an advantage to you:
The bodybuilders source of life. Protein is the single most important supplement for lifters. Protein is a food source and helps your body get amino acids that help build and repair muscle tissues in your body. Without it there would be no growth. Whey protein is the most popular protein available today and is a milk protein.
It is loaded with muscle packing amino acids. A great protein deal right now is Higher Powers 5 pound container for $19.99. If you take 1 serving a day of Higher Power's whey protein, get this, you will be basically drinking it for less than 30 cents a day.
Ever lifted so hard that the next day you can barely move? This could be because your body couldn't make enough glutamine to help heal all your aching muscles. So what do you do? How about supplementing with glutamine.
Glutamine is an amino acid. To some they consider glutamine a "conditionally essential amino acid" because at hard times your body cannot make enough glutamine and you need to supplement your body to keep it running efficiently.
Glutamine can be expensive but Bodybuilding.com has several affordable options. NOW, a supplement company sells glutamine and has had good user reports.
You can buy NOW's Glutamine for $18.95 at Bodybuilding.com. If a person would take 5 grams of glutamine a day, it would cost them 40 cents a day, and your muscles would thank you.
Arginine is optional in my opinion. Arginine is an amino acid that is popular in most NO products. Arginine expands cells and aids in giving you a bigger "pump" in the gym. When you use products containing arginine you can feel your muscles tighten and your body explode.
More blood and nutrients reach your muscle cells when using NO products. NOW sells arginine in a pure form on Bodybuilding.com for less than 10 dollars a bottle. I don't feel that it is essential for a person to take, but it can be quite useful.
How Much Would It Cost A Type A Person A Day To Take All Three Of These Wonderful Products? Lets Do The Math:
Whey protein = 30 cents a day + creatine = 10 cents a day + glutamine = 40 cents a day = a total of 80 cents a day or 24 dollars a month!
The Type B Person
If you are a Type B person, it would be beneficial for you to take these supplements:
Green Tea Extract:
Green tea is a very popular supplement taken for many different reasons. Many believe that green tea will prevent cancer, works as an anti-inflammatory, and helps aid in weight loss.
What more reasons do you need to take this supplement? Green tea is also a healthy source of caffeine that has been known to aid in weight loss too.
Someone could get by spending only 30 cents a day taking green tea extract with this product.
If you are trying to lose weight, most likely you are busting your ass on the treadmill for hours a week. Wouldn't be nice to have a supplement that would improve your focus and energy and give you another 15 minutes on the treadmill?
Caffeine is an affordable supplement that has been used for hundreds of years. Caffeine is any many products like coffee and tea, but now is used for alertness, provide energy, and aids in weight loss. Caffeine is an ingredient in probably 90% of diet pills.
You can save yourself a lot of money by buying pure caffeine from Bodybuilding.com and higher power for $4.19 a bottle! You can find it here. This product would cost you less than 4 cents a day to take!
At any time during the day, you are carrying excess water. Women for example hold much more water than men. If you are working your butt off in the gym, and still not getting as thin as you want to be it may be because of water. Although diuretics are not the safest, there are many natural diuretics that are safe to use.
MHP makes a great diuretic called Xpel that promises results in 12 hours! You can find it here on Bodybuilding.com for only $13.99. A serving of this product would only cost 70 cents a day. That is a great deal!
A person looking to lose some weight could stack green tea and caffeine and see good results. If someone would do this, it would only cost them around 34 cents a day, or $10.20 a month. It is not recommended to take Xpel with caffeine or green tea, so I would suggest a 20-day cycle of the product. This would only cost you 70 cents a day.
The Type C Person
If you are a Type C person, it would be beneficial for you to take supplements that can increase your low testosterone levels. Once a male gets over the age of 40, natural testosterone levels plummet and it is much harder to get the physique you once had.
Some complications that low testosterone levels cause are depression, loss of libido (sex drive), and weight gain. What is a man to do over the age of 40? Well here are some supplements that will help for less than $20.
Tribulus terrestris is a plant found in Bulgaria. Many people all over the world have been using this plant for many different ailments for many years.
It wasn't until recently that they found that tribulus increases natural testosterone levels.
Tribulus is a very popular product that is found in a lot of sexual enhancers too. What would be better than increasing your testosterone levels and increasing your sex drive?
Finding out that this product is actually very affordable! Optimum, a supplement company found on Bodybuilding.com, sells a very pure version of tribulus terrestris with 40% saponins (the lower % of saponins the weaker the product, 40% is great)!
For under $9.00 a bottle, this should be in every man's medicine cabinet. Learn more.
It would only cost someone 18 cents a day to take this product. I have also heard great things about a product by PrimaForce, Fuze is another supplement containing tribulus terrestris and through witness accounts I have heard is one of the best products on the market. You can purchase FUZE at Bodybuilding.com for less than $19.00. This product would cost around 63 cents a day.
Tongkat Ali Also known as LongJack, Tongkat Ali has been known to increase libido and increase testosterone levels in males. Many people believe this product is better than tribulus terrestris.
Many products are available that contain both of these strong substances. MRM makes a great product called Natural V that contains longjack (Tongkat Ali) and tribulus terrestris.
What could be better than the two best sexual and natural testosterone boosters in the same product! Maybe the fact you can get this for under $16.00 here on Bodybuilding.com. This product would cost a person around 54 cents a day to take.
If you were a Type C person, I would suggest Optimum's Tribulus Terrestris starting off. If I weren't getting good results I would try MRM's Natural V, which is a bit more expensive. Optimum's product would cost you around $5.40 a month, and MRM's product would cost you around $16.20 a month.
How Effective Are These Cheaper Supplements Compared To The More Expensive Supplements On The Market?
This is an easy question. To me, there is little to no need for high priced supplements. 90% of high price supplements are all hype. This means they will not work, or they will not live up to expectation.
How do you beat this system? Take the supplements that are tried and true. For the last 10+ years, people have been using Creatine and Whey protein and seeing massive results.
Why do you need to experiment with high priced supplements that may or may not work when you can bet your bottom dollar that these can and will work.
Yes there are some products that are worth the extra dollar. One that comes to mine is whey protein isolate. Which is a more pure whey protein without lactose (great for me, I am lactose intolerant).
It is more costly than regular whey but some people have to have it. The best buy far in my opinion is Nature's Best ISOPURE.
You can buy a 3-pound tub for under $36.00 on this site. If you do the mathematics, you can compute how much you pay per gram for protein. If you compute how much you pay for Isopure's protein, you can find that you are paying 3 cents per gram of protein.
This is 3 times the price of what you pay per gram of Higher Power's whey protein (1 cent per gram). Is 3 times the cost worth it for a gram of protein? Depends on your situation, to me, being lactose intolerant, it is.
Another effective product that is a bit more expensive is ErgoPharm's 6oxo, which has been used by many men to fight estrogen and to increase testosterone levels.
The price at Bodybuilding.com is $32.89 but to many that is well worth it. It has been proven effective time and time again for post cycle therapy and for men who have low testosterone levels for many different reasons. It is another product that is worth the price. For a 20-day supply it runs about $1.65 a day.
What Brand Can Someone Turn To For Good Quality Supplements At A Good Price?
There are many great brands to turn too. Some of my personal favorites are:
- Higher Power - Huge assortment of supplements for every walk of life. Very very very good prices.
- PrimaForce - Newer company with great minds. Very competitive prices
- NOW - Very big product line, very good prices.
Bonis Question Two:
What Is The Most Expensive Supplement Out There That Works And That You Should Try If You Have Some Extra Cash Or Win The Lottery?
Products are products to me. Company names mean absolutely nothing to me unless they are proven time and time again. Some companies with positive user feedback are Muscletech, BSN, Omega Sports, ErgoPharm among others. If I was rich, which I am not, I would probably go for the Mass Stack with BSN which consists of Nitrix, No-Explode, and Cellmass.
If you go with Bodybuilding.com you get 2 Nitrix bottles, 1 1.81 pounds of No-Explode, 2 bottles of Cellmass, and 1 free Bodybuilding.com shaker. The cost is $183.17 and would save you a lot of money buying all of these at once.
3rd Place - mivi320
What Are The Best Supplements While On A Budget?
Let's face it - money doesn't grow on trees. As bodybuilders, we all know that the costs of food and a gym membership add up quickly. Add some big-ticket supplements into the mix, and things can get expensive. What supplements are the best while on a budget? Read on to find out!
Many supplements on the market are overrated, and don't produce the results that they may claim. However, there are some essential supplements that can aid one in reaching their ultimate goals. Let's take a look at the indispensable supplements on the market that should be incorporated in one's supplement regimen:
Protein supplementation is great. Not everyone has the time to cook some chicken breasts or grill up a steak. That's where protein shakes come into play. Protein supplements make things so much easier.
When you're on the go and in need of some protein, just add a scoop of protein powder to a shaker cup filled with water or milk, shake away, and drink. It's that easy.
Protein supplementation is vital at the post-workout time period also. Think about it. After a brutal workout in the gym, your muscles are just crying for some much needed protein to kick start the rebuilding process of broken down muscle fibers. Below is a list of the best protein supplements under $20.00.
Optimum 100% Whey Protein
A 2 lb. tub of Optimum's 100% Whey Protein will cost you $13.98. That's a great price considering the outstanding amino acid profile, taste, and grams of protein per serving.
Dymatize Supreme Whey Protein
Dymatize's Supreme Whey Protein's 2 lb. tub goes for $19.95. This protein powder is low in carbohydrates, tastes unbelievable, and mixes instantly. Can't go wrong with that.
Twinlab AM Protein Fuel
Not everyone has time to prepare egg whites in the morning before work. That's why there is Twinlab's AM Protein Fuel. With a bioavailability blend of whey proteins and a superb amino acid profile, Twinlab's AM Protein Fuel is ideal for a breakfast shake. Twinlab's AM Protein Fuel is available at a price of $15.79 for 1.9 lbs.
Although protein supplements are important for bodybuilders and fitness buffs, multivitamins are also very important.
As athletes, performance is key. When the body is deficient in a specific mineral or vitamin, performance suffers. However, by supplementing with a multivitamin, deficiencies are nonexistent. Below are listed the best multivitamin supplements under $20.00.
Higher Power One-A-Day Multivitamin
At a price of $5.99 and 60 capsules per container, Higher Power's One-A-Day Multivitamin is very reasonable. Taking Higher Power's One-A-Day Multivitamin once a day will fight off any possible vitamin and mineral deficiency, and enable the athlete to perform at peak performance.
AST Multi Pro 32X
AST is a well respected supplement company. AST Multi Pro 32X is just as well respected. AST Mult Pro 32X is easy to swallow, contains a plethora of antioxidants, and is designed specifically for bodybuilders and active individuals.
At a price of $15.89 for a total of 100 caplets, Multi Pro 32X is affordable and will deliver demanding muscle fibers with important vitamins and minerals required to excel and reach the pinnacle.
Not only does Optimum's Opti-Men contain essential vitamins and minerals, but a collection of herbs are also available with this multivitamin. For the price of $17.89 and with 120 tablets per container, Optimum's Opti-Men multivitamin is a great addition to one's supplement plan.
Healty Oils & EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids)
The Total EFA By HFS
HFS's Total EFA is a composed of a combination of organic flax oil, borage oil and evening primrose oil. The folks at HFS also took the extra step to add a special antioxidant blend into the mix which maintains freshness.
With a fresh taste due to the expeller-pressed oil from high quality seeds, HFS's Total EFA will cost you $12.94 for a 16 Fl. Oz serving or $16.99 for 24 Fl. Oz. A 8 Fl. Oz serving of HFS's Total EFA will cost you $6.89. All three prices well under $20.00!
Health From The Sea's PFO Pure Fish Oil Plus Lipase
Health From The Sea's PFO Pure Fish Oil Plus Lipase is an all natural product, containing a proportional blend of omega-3 EPA and DHA. Lipase is also added to the product, which enables for optimum digestion and absorption of nutrients.
At a price of $12.49 for 90 softgels, this product is by far one of the best!
Optimum's Flaxseed Oil Softgels
At the price of $4.39 for 100 softgels, you just can't go wrong. The folks at Optimum use a cold extraction process, which keeps all Omega acids (3,6, and 9) at a peak freshness.
Above, the essential supplements under $20.00 have been covered. But how do these lower priced supplements stack up against expensive supplements of the like? Easy. With the above supplements that were mentioned, notice the large number of servings per container for the price.
You know what that means? More bang for your buck. Most expensive supplements offer the same product with the same ingredients, but don't offer a large number of servings per container.
With expensive supplements, you're basically paying for the advertising, the label, and you are paying for the extremely high endorsement cost for the pro bodybuilder or athlete who is pushing it.
If you've got some extra cash to spend, then "nonessential" supplements are for you. With the basic supplements covered in the above section and a sound diet and training program, one can easily reach their goals. However, the supplements listed below can also aid one in making progress, but not necessary to incorporate.
Some folks don't respond well to creatine. Truth is, creatine is not an essential supplement when on a budget. However, for those who have the extra money and are willing to give creatine a try, below the best creatine products for under $20.00 are listed.
AST Micronized Creatine
Faster absorption rates, no gastric distress or bloating, greater efficiency, and the results that your looking for, AST's Micronized Creatine is a superior product.
At the price of $14.60 for 325 grams and 550 grams for $18.49, AST's product is easily affordable and under $20.00.
Dymatize Creatine Monohydrate
Dymatize's Creatine Monohydrate is derived from animal free sources, and is at it's purest state. Increased performance and energy output are just some of the many benefits Dymatize's Creatine Monohydrate has to offer.
At the price of $17.99 for a total of 500 grams, Dymatize's Creatine Monohydrate is a superior choice of creatine monohydrate.
We all know that by supplementing with creatine, the body gains lean body mass (LBM) and strength levels skyrocket. With EAS's Phosphagen, creatine is available at a reasonable price.
For a total of $13.49, you can get 500 grams worth of creatine. At a price of $19.99, 1000 grams of creatine is yours!
Most people can add muscle mass by eating ample calories and by taking part in a vigorous workout program. If you aren't gaining, then you're not eating enough. Simple as that.
However, some folks happen to be "hardgainers." These folks eat, eat, and then eat some more and don't gain an ounce. That's where weight gainers come into play. Although not essential, they do benefit some folks. Let's take a look at the best weight gainers on the market for under $20.00.
Prolab N-Large 2
With 600 calories and 52 grams of protein per serving, Prolab N-Large 2 is easily the best weight gainer on the market for under $20.00.
Available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, Prolab N-Large 2 sells at $17.95 for 3.8lbs!
With 3g of creatine, 2g glutamine, and 54g of protein per serving, Cytosport's CytoGainer is a great bargain. The taste is delicious, and a wide variety of flavors are available.
The flavor options include: Banana Creme, Vanilla, Strawberries-N-Cream, Rocky Road, Cookies 'N Creme, Chocolate Mint, and Chocolate Malt.
For a total of $19.99, 3.25lbs. of Cytosport's CytoGainer is an incredible deal.
Energy Enhancing Supplements
Although fat burners and energy enhancing supplements are not essentials, they do serve a purpose. If you find that energy levels are at rock bottom prior to workouts, then energy enhancing supplements may be for you. Let's take a look at the best energy enhancing supplements on the market for under $20.00.
Higher Power's Caffeine
Now that ephedrine has been banned, folks who need that extra energy boost don't know where to turn. Higher Power's caffeine is much like ephedrine and generates ATP and improves mental focus.
That's just what you want before a workout. At a price of $4.19 for 120 capsules, Higher Power's caffeine is easily affordable.
D&E's Orange Rush
D&E's Orange Rush contains Korean ginseng, orange peel bioflavonoid, green tea extract, guarana, and caffeine, all of which have been proven to enhance energy levels.
D&E's Orange Rush also contains vitamins and minerals which will help rev up energy levels also. One pound of Orange Rush is under $20.00, selling at $19.61.
With ingredients ranging from green tea extract, ALA, Guarana, and Ginseng, NOW's Energy is one of the best of the best. Not only does NOW Energy have a quality ingredient profile, but the folks at NOW also added a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
With such high levels of B-Vitamins, energy levels are sure to stay elevated! At a price of $8.98 for 90 capsules, NOW's Energy can be yours!
Although these supplements are not essential, they are under $20.00 and have there advantages. However, the basic supplements (AKA The Essentials) are the way to go when on a budget because they've been proven to work in an effective manner.
What Brand Can Someone Turn To For Good Quality Supplements At A Good Price?
When I hear the word quality, I automatically think of Primaforce. With an incredible line of products, affordable prices, and proven customer satisfaction, Primaforce is truly a great brand to turn to for those looking to purchase quality supplements.
Optimum Nutrition is another great supplement company who thrives on delivering it's customers with the best supplements. Not only do the folks at Optimum encourage living a healthy lifestyle through proper supplementation, but they also sell for less.
The fine folks at Higher Power want nothing but the best for their customers. With the vast choice of quality supplements they offer, they are easily one of the best supplement companies out there today.
Twin Lab provides innovative and top of the line products to their customers at the lowest prices. The folks at Twin Lab produce supplements using the finest ingredients on the market, and provide outstanding customer service.
What Is The Most Expensive Supplement Out There That You Should Try If You Have Some Extra Cash Or Win The Lottery?
SciVation is a solid company with scientifically proven supplements that work. Xtend is chock full of BCAA, glutamine, B6 vitamins, and citrulline malate.
All of these ingredients work in synergy to maximize performance, cut down of fatigue, and increase recovery from intense workouts! For $50.89, 1035 grams of Xtend can be yours!
This slow releasing protein powder is purely amazing. The taste, the amino acid profile, and the ingredients are all top notch. This protein powder has a sustained time release, meaning it lasts for 4+ hours keeping you in an anti-catabolic state!
For 2 lbs. of Micellean for $30.95, say hello to some nice gains with this potent stuff!
Avant Labs Sesathin
The folks at Avant Labs know quality. Everyone I talked with who has used a product by Avant Labs has not been let down. Sesathin is the best fat burner on the supplement market as of now, hands down.
With proven results, excellent quality, and a backbone of scientific research, Sesathin by Avant Labs is available at a price of $34.79 for 3.75 Fl. Oz!
For those on a tight budget, purchasing the "essentials" under $20.00 will ensure great gains and bring you closer to reaching your fitness goals. The "nonessential" supplements are not necessary, but if you happen to have some extra cash flow, by all means, go for it!
The expensive supplements that were just covered in depth are great if the funds are there. With whichever supplement you plan on purchasing, remember that nothing can supplement dedication and hard work.
Best of luck with all of your goals,
3rd Place - bigcalves (Tie)
What Are The Best Supplements While On A Budget?
In today's world everyone is looking to be above the edge. Everyone is trying to be the best at what they do and are looking for ways to get on top. Supplementation has been common pracice sine thousands of years ago by people throughout the world. They used herbs and spices to cure diseases and special plants to give energy and heal you up.
Sure no one was looking to be the best bodybuilder and have the biggest muscles, but they all knew the imporatance and benefit of supplementing. Even hunters in Africa used herbs to lower their appetite during hunting expeditions.
So even though you won't find anyone hunting today, you would find people trying to use the same herb for a different purpose, but it's still a helpful supplement.
You can find this supplement, Hoodia, in the Bodybuilding.com store. Although diet, training and rest are key, supplements can play an important role in bulking. They will give you the extra boost you need. By taking supplements you can increase your gains. Not anything dramatic, but still it's well worth it to invest in supplements.
They can give you a extra boost when you need it in the weightroom or shorten your recovery time. No matter what, I strongly suggest supplements, and the best place to get them for an affordable price and excellent quality is Bodybuilding.com's store.
There you will find everything you need, filled with tons of articles and places that can give you a very close look in the world of supplements. Although famous, these few supplements are very effective and not that expensive.
Supplements don't come cheap. So unless you make tons of money and have money to throw away you should always do research and finish your 'homework' on your supplements use. Remember that supplements don't make the man but hard work and rest do. With supplements you can get a super boost that will help you in reaching your goals so overlooking them will be as foolish as solely relying on them.
So stay smart and use them for what they are ment to be, extra help in your nutrition. In these days, there are tons of supplements on the maket. Also there's many choices that people can make, such as companies and stores. In this article I will further discuss these factors that will help you save money and get the bang for your buck.
Remember that if it's too good to be true, it probably is not. I promise to go into supplements to the best of my ability and provide you with the basic and most needed supplements for a tight budget.
Budgeting is important and since you are buying extra stuff I would recommend following my advise since at one time, I was in the same situation with only 50-100 dollars per month for supplements.
Best Supplements On Budget ($100)
Let's face it, you need protein. If you are serious about training and are taking 300+ grams per day it will get hard to get all your protein. You need fast absorption after a workout and protein powder especially whey will help you. It will go into your body very fast and it will be ready for absorption and it will feed your muscles.
Also when you wake up in the morning, since your body is hungry, you can always have a scoop or two to absorb it faster and get your body started on the right track. Also throughout the day, when you are busy, you can always sip on a protein shake and meet your diet requirements.
Ever wonder what to eat before bed? Well, casein protein is the best, because it is slow digesting and it will help keep your muscles all night when you sleep.
Catabolism is a nightmare word for all bodybuilders and with casein protein you can avoid that and keep what you've worked for. Since it's very important, it cannot be overlooked. Always remember that you need protein. Bodybuilding.com has the best price online and you can get a 5 lb. tub for around $25. Good price, great product, and also very essential.
Creatine is a great supplement. It is very popular and very misunderstood. Most moms won't let their teenage son touch creatine, even though it's all natural, not harmful and beneficial. It is found in food, so unless your mom forbids you to eat steak and tuna, then you're ok.
Extra creatine supplementation will help the APT energy levels. Those are responsible for muscle contraction. Extra creatine means more energy and higher endurance for short, intense moves. Would you read that again?
That sounds like it can help in lifting. Well, duh.
Creatine is the most famous supplement in the world except for protein. It all started in the early 90's and everyone from the local jock to Olympians have used it.
It is harmless, beneficial and to some lifters, essential. Never overlook creatine, and always make a place for it on your small supplement budget. You can get it for around $15 on Bodybuilding.com
Glutamine is a very good supplement. Sure most people say they don't 'feel it'. Well I would say that might be true, but it doesn't mean that it's not working. Glutamine helps with recovery and it promotes positive nitrogen balance. So if you are always sore and feel bad, glutamine will help. It is all natural and found in vegetables, especially broccoli.
Even though it's found in veggies, it's not in big amount and supplementing would be the wisest choice. Glutamine is not really expensive, but not really cheap either. I would recommend it to every lifter, from beginner to advanced since it helps you recover and we all need that. You can get a month's supply for around $15-20 from the Bodybuilding.com store. Make sure that this is in your basic list of supplements on your budget.
Vitamins are essential to all people. Imagine how needed they are to us. We lift weights, run and put our bodies on stress. So we need vitamins and in higher level than most people.
I always take two or three pills of the one a day normal vitamins. So far it's treating me good and I haven't been seriously sick in 3+ years. Always make sure you eat your veggies and other vitamin rich foods but you can't always make it.
Make sure to buy vitamins because you need them. A good multivitamin is needed and you can find those for under $5 on Bodybuilding.com, best prices ever.
Best Supplements Under $20
Sure you can't budget on $20 dollars, but if you have an extra $20 you can always benefit from some extra, not so essential supplements. These are not miracle makers, so remember to have your nutrition in check, a good routine and always remember to have all the rest you need to be able to recover, rebuild and go at it again.
I will list the top 3 supplements under $20 that will greatly benefit you and give you the best results added to your 'supplemental boost'.
Remember that I give my honest opinion and that i'll always try and post the best. As always you can find the best supplements on Bodybuilding.com/store at the best prices. And now here are the top 3 supplements under $20.
Tribulus is an herb. Mostly grown in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. It is commonly used to treat infertility and to increase natural testosterone. I've tried it and I seriously notice great results at around 1000-2000mg per day.
I take it at one dose around 30 minutes before working out and it's helping me with increased testosterone and higher lifting energy. Also your sexual desire increases and if you have problems in those areas, it can certainly help you out.
It is around $10 for a month's supply and it's a great supplement.
Not everyone can eat garlic everyday, and it's not too friendly to your breath. Remember that you can always eat garlic, but it's better to take the pill form.
It's fast and more convenient. One month's supply is around $5 making it a good supplement. It increases natural testosterone, and also it helps your cardio vascular system and it also lowers cholesterol.
Wow, all that for $5 per months. mother nature is great, and garlic is one supplement/herb that is very helpful.
Yes, fat is good. People always hear about the 'good fat' and are wondering what that is. Well this is it. The omega fatty acids are the good fats. Found in olive oil, nuts and fish they are very healthy and help with many processes in your body. Since fish is lean, you can't always get that 10-20 grams from it. So that's when fish oils come in.
A one month's supple costs around $10-15 and it's really cheap considering the effects it gives. It can increase natural test, give you energy and help you loose fat. Yes, you need to eat fat to loose fat.
All these supplements are cheaper. Sure the more expensive ones ($70+) make wild claims and have special patents that help do this and that. But natural herbs are usually found under $20 and can help you tremendously. You can always buy the most expensive ones when you get a bonus or something, but when on budget, stick to the basics.
They are proven to work, all natural and will help you meet your goals. Sure everyone wants fancy supplements, but oh well, don't sweat it. I would say the supplements I listed, have the same effects as the more expensive ones.
If you are training and eating right with proper nutrition these supplements will help you natural hormone levels and fasten recovery. Those conditions are perfect for growing and progressing so they are very effective.
What Brand Can Someone Turn To For Good Quality Supplements At A Good Price?
Personally, every brand is the same. If they have the same amount, there is no guarantee that the one in the red will be better than the one in the green. Sure some companies have well known athletes representing, and are expensive. But in the end, creatine is creating and whey protein is whey protein.
There is nothing magical so don't expect magic from expensive supplements. Most time all the advertising is what makes it expensive. I usually prefer well known companies such as Higher Power and NOW Nutrition.
I never got any problems and all of their supplements are at a very good price with perfect quality. Bodybuilding.com has those two companies with information about them and all their products at the best prices so you can be sure that you won't get ripped off if you shop online from us.
Bonus Question Two:
What Is The Most Expensive Supplement Out There That Works And That You Should Try If You Have Some Extra Cash Or Win The Lottery?
Xyience NOX-CG3 is the best supplement I've ever tried. It gave me the best pumps and workout endurance that I can imagine. It contains 3 types of creatine; it has arginine that give you the pumps and increased veins.
Also its patented delivery system was greatly received by my body and I felt really good while taking it.
As you can see its $75 and you can tell that is not very budget friendly. But if you ever have some extra cash, try it, you won't be sorry.
Summary: Budget Held
So far all the supplements I listed would be able to be bought on a budget of $100 per month.
- Whey - 25
- Creatine - 15
- Glutamine - 15
- Multi - 5
- Tribulus - 10
- Garlic - 5
- Fish Oils - 15
That sums it all up to $80 with 20 to spare. To me, those are the essentials. So you can live it up with $80 per month and save that extra 20 and buy the Nitrix product once every 3-4 months.
Remember to always have a budget and do the math in your head, that way you will be successful not only in supplements but also in real life. That way you can save up for that bottle of NO2 or that new car.
I hope I helped you budget your money in this article.
Review Of Other Articles
Or "Why Wasn't Mine Picked?"
- Provided links to products.
- Good organization.
- Poor grammar. This article missing commas, apostrophes, periods, incorrect use of words, and had run-on sentences.
- Difficult to understand. Because of the poor grammar the article was hard for the reader to fully understand.
- Too little detail when describing the nutrition brands he liked.
- Some incorrect and left out information. An example of this would be when the writer discusses the side effects of a multi-vitamin and states that too much vitamin C can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. They fail to mention that vitamin A and zinc are more dangerous vitamins and minerals because they can be toxic.
- They do not compare or contrast cheap supplements to expensive supplements.
It seems that the writer of this article just wrote it up as fast as possible and then ran it through spell-check. There are still many grammar errors that the human eye can only see.
I suggest that next time they re-read their article and edit it until the grammar is good, and the article is easy to understand.
- Overall good grammar. Some, but overall there were very few mistakes.
- Good basic information.
- Provided links to products.
- Not enough of the writer's opinion. Science and facts are great for an article, but the writer never really expressed much of their own views or ideas. Their opinions were scattered, but limited.
- Short bonus answers. Both bonus questions seemed to be rushed through without any real examples or opinionated information.
- Did not answer the question of best supplements under $20.
This writer has the potential to win any of these competitions. More time needs to be spent fully answering all of the questions, and adding more of their personal opinions and experiences.
- Few grammar mistakes.
- Good organization.
- Provides links to products.
- Not enough detail.
- Some statements are not backed up with information, such as stating "creatine monohydrate is a virtually tasteless and colorless powder that can be mixed with any non-acidic liquid such as grape juice or water." This statement was not really backed up. They also come to the conclusion that creatine works, and has not adverse side effects, but does not explain the purpose of creatine or how it works.
- When comparing expensive supplements, to inexpensive supplements, the writer comes to the conclusion that expensive supplements are usually better. This conclusion was brought about a little prematurely with no reasoning or evidence to back it up.
- Did not mention best supplements under $20.
This article needs more detail. Their should be more detail explaining the effectiveness of the supplements they chose. All questions also need to be answered.
- Provides links to products.
- Easy to understand.
- Poor grammar. For the size of the article there were plenty grammar mistakes. There was bad capitalization, misspelled words, and virtually no use of commas.
- Poor detail. Unfortunately a lot of this article was links to supplements, and little discussion about the supplements.
- Not persuasive. Because of the lack of detail, the writer's ideas, and opinions were not very persuasive to the reader.
A lot of work has to be done on this article. More time needs to be put into adding detail. Organization should be a little easier for the reader to understand. It is important to fully answer ALL questions with much more detailed answers.
- Provided links. Especially good link was one used to create your own "homemade Cell-Tech).
- Provided prices and servings of each product.
- Some grammar mistakes. Some grammar mistakes made part of the article hard to understand.
- Lack of detail. The information in the article was overall good, but it lacked some useful information and detail. An example would be when discussing creatine, the writer states that CEE and monohydrate are the only 2 main forms of creatine. There are other major forms of creatine, such as dicreatine malate, miscronized creatine, liquid creatine, etc.
- Did not really discuss good nutrition brands for a good price.
This article could be better developed if more time and effort are put into it. The writer needs to fully answer the questions and try to expand on their ideas. With more time and effort this could make for an excellent article.
- Overall good grammar.
- Provides links to products.
- Answered the second bonus question in very good detail.
- Too short. This article seemed to answer the main questions quickly, leaving out a lot of detail and information.
- The first bonus question was answered with no detail or information to back up their conclusion.
- Did not mention the best supplements under $20.
It seems the writer of this article spent most of their time answering the second bonus question, rather than the main questions. More time needs to be put into answering all the questions with a lot of information.
The Topic Of The Week competition is very tough right now, which means that all articles have to be full with information, ideas, facts, and detail.
Visitor Reviews Of This Article!
Read Visitor Reviews - Write Your Own Review
Back To Topic Of The Week's Main Page
Back To The Articles Main Page.
Pro Advice: 6 Surprising Fat-Loss Facts
The 6 Best Testosterone-Boosting Foods!
Top 10 Best-Tasting Strawberry Protein Powders