top muscle building supplements on the market

Top 10 Muscle Building Supplements on the Market that Really Work

Want to build muscle faster? The best muscle building supplements contain safe and effective ingredients that stimulate muscle growth.

These dietary supplements build lean muscle mass by increasing muscle strength, stamina and power as well as improving post-workout muscle recovery.

The Muscle Building Supplements We RAVE About

Shifted Pre Workout Maximum
Best Overall
Shifted Maximum
Primeval Labs Ape Sht Pre-Workout
Most Affordable (Price per Serving)
Primeval Labs Ape Sh*t Pre-Workout
Huge Supplements Wrecked
Most Energizing
Huge Supplements Wrecked

And let’s be honest.

Who wouldn’t want to build lean muscle quickly?

The bottleneck is finding a muscle building supplement that actually works and doesn’t cost an arm and leg.

In this article, we do the heavy lifting for you by reviewing and ranking the top muscle building supplements on the market that are safe, effective, and affordable.

Key Takeaways

  • Muscle building supplements support muscle protein synthesis and provide extra boosts of physical energy and mental focus for extended exercise sessions and facilitate muscle recovery.
  • Regular and proper use of these supplements must be paired with a healthy nutrition, lifestyle and training program.
  • Be cautious about supplements that over-promise! Check out our recommended products for a reliable reference point.


pre workout reviews
Pre workout drinks boost performance and muscle building potential

Professional athletes, particularly bodybuilders and weightlifters, swear by the best muscle building supplements!

When combined with healthy diet and lifestyle habits as well as a personalized training program, these muscle building supplements are vital in meeting your increased muscle mass goals.

And when it comes to preparing your body for the impressive muscle gains ahead, pre workout supplements are an excellent choice.

Known as pre-workouts, these dietary supplements should be consumed before an intense workout, usually 15-30 minutes beforehand. Aside from ingredients that boost physical energy and endurance, pre workout supplements also contain ingredients that are safe and effective for muscle gain.

Note that pre-workouts aren’t the same as energy drinks that boost physical and mental energy in general. Instead, these are formulated for use in weight and cardio training, both of which are essential for long-term muscle gains.

But pre-workouts can also be used every day to allow their ingredients to be absorbed into the muscle cells for best results, not to mention that an extra boost during the day is welcome.

Before taking dietary supplements for muscle growth, be sure to check the ingredients label and check with your doctor first.

Keep in mind that every brand of muscle building supplement has its specific ingredients that may or may not be aligned with your unique fitness goals.

What Are Muscle Building Supplements?

At their core, muscle building supplements are formulated to increase muscle mass. When it comes to certain professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the bigger and bulkier their muscles, the better!

But muscle growth neither happens overnight nor happens without proper preparation. And speaking of proper preparation for impressive muscle gains, among the best places to start are pre workout supplements.

Numerous studies have shown that pre-workouts can, indeed, increase muscle mass among men and women.

Their main benefit lies in the fact that these are supercharged with a wide range of nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to amino acids that work in synergy to build lean muscle faster and better.

Using Pre Workouts for Muscle Building

Pre-workouts are also considered excellent muscle building supplements because their impact on anabolic muscle mass growth starts as soon as you drink them.

But to understand their impressive impact, we must also understand how our bodies gain muscle including growth in muscle size, strength and stamina.

Muscle hypertrophy, the physiological process behind muscle building, refers to the growth of muscle cells, usually kicked into high gear through resistance or weight training. Basically, your muscles adapt to the repeated exposure to progressive overloads of weight training exercises.

While you perform muscle building exercises, your muscle fibers tear apart and repair themselves. With each repair, your muscle fibers become thicker and stronger resulting in increased muscle mass and strength. The tear-and-repair process repeats itself with every weight training session.

This is where the best muscle building supplements come in! For one thing, your muscle cells receive extra nutritional support for the cycle of damage, repair and growth from pre-workouts. While a healthy diet with the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates is vital in muscle hypertrophy, pre-workout supplementation enhances its function.

For another thing, your muscles benefit from the extra boost in energy and endurance that saves your intense workout from the fade.

Your body’s stored energy enables your muscles to complete the last few reps, even get in a couple reps more. With your muscles getting more stimulus, your muscle gains increase and become more efficient over time.

muscle building supplement

What Makes for the Best Muscle Building Supplements?

But not all pre-workouts are excellent muscle building supplements!

You must look at the ingredients and their amounts to determine their safety and efficacy, even determine whether these should be avoided due to the presence of banned substances.

No amount of muscle gain can compensate for putting your overall health at risk.

Best Ingredients in Pre-workout Supplements for Muscle Growth

These are the three must-have ingredients in pre-workouts that support muscle growth.

Any pre workout without these key ingredients can be regarded as substandard for those interested in building muscle efficiently.


L-citrulline along with L-arginine, both of which are amino acids, are vital in muscle growth because these boost nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that enables the blood vessels to widen and, thus, improve the flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to flow into muscle cells.

Both also increase the level of human growth hormone (HGH) in the blood and stimulate muscle protein synthesis, both of which are essential in accelerating muscle recovery and growth.


The best muscle building supplements contain beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid, that aids in alleviating muscle soreness and delaying muscle fatigue.

The more you can work out, the better your muscle gains.  Beta-alanine also promotes better muscle gains by increasing training volume, power output, and one-rep max.


Yet another common ingredient in muscle building supplements is caffeine, a central nervous stimulant that boosts energy, alertness and focus during intense workouts.

The buzz isn’t in your mind because caffeine consumption sets off a chain of events in your body that enables your muscles to push heavier and longer. The energizing effects last for 2-3 hours, too, meaning you still have energy to perform post-workout activities.

Other Key Ingredients

Aside from Beta Alanine, Caffeine, and L-Citrulline, the best muscle building supplements also contain these ingredients for the extra nutrient support.

  • Creatine monohydrate speeds up muscle mass growth in the short-term and long-term period by enabling prolonged energy production in muscle cells.
  • Betaine anhydrous improves hydration and pumps, supports muscle protein synthesis, and increases muscle power.
  • Alpha-GPC increases the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates learning and memory functions in the brain. Weight training isn’t just about the brawn but the brain, too, thus, its importance in muscle building supplements.
  • Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) increase protein synthesis and, thus, facilitate the muscle repair process that results in increased muscle mass.

Pre Workouts with these ingredients provide a massive boost to your muscle building potential by improving the quality and length of your workouts, making your muscle tissue work harder which causes it grow faster.

Effective Tips for Muscle Growth Using Muscle Building Supplements

But even the best dietary supplements for muscle growth can only carry your fitness goals so far!

You must also combine its consistent use with the following effective muscle building tips.

  • Maximize muscle building by replenishing your body’s protein stores faster than you use protein for exercise and everyday activities. Aim for 1.2-1.6 grms of naturally-sourced protein for every kilo of body weight.
  • Eat more healthy calories aside from increasing your protein intake. Gaining muscle mass means having the body and bones for it, and it’s usually necessary to gain weight.
  • Work multiple muscles and joints at once; isolation exercises have their merits but multi-joint movements are more effective at muscle building. Progressive overload should also be part of your training philosophy.
  • Think of hydration, too, with water and protein shakes, too. The amino acids in a protein shake not only build damaged muscle fibers but also support several bodily functions.
  • Sleep well at night for 6-8 hours. Muscle building isn’t just about the stress on your muscles but the rest they get to repair the damage caused by exercise.

Combine quality muscle building supplements with other practices of good health for the best results. In the end, a holistic approach to building muscle mass is the best way!

Our Ranking Methodology

When we selected the best muscle building supplements in our list, we considered the following factors:

  • Proven safety and efficacy of the ingredients listed on the label
  • Transparency of ingredients (clear dosing information and fewer proprietary blends)
  • Quality ingredients
  • Brand and product reputation based on customers’ reviews
  • Effective results – significant muscle gain – with consistent use and healthy diet and lifestyle habits combined with efficient exercise program
  • No banned substances in the muscle growth supplements

With all the preamble out of the way, let’s dive into our review of the most effective muscle building pre workouts that you can buy!

List of the Best Muscle Building Supplements


Shifted Maximum

The #1 among the best muscle building supplements is Shifted Maximum, a pre-workout formulated for professional athletes. Each active ingredient, from L-citrulline, beta-alanine and caffeine to creatine monohydrate and Alpha CPG, comes in clinically effective dosages. There’s ingredient transparency, too, with the ingredients categorized according to their muscle gain-related effects – muscle building, energy, stamina and focus complex, thus, allowing for easy comparisons with other bodybuilding supplements.

Shifted Maximum can be used as an all-in-one muscle building supplement, thanks to its well-rounded and wide-ranging ingredients. But it can also be stacked with other muscle growth supplements, such as protein supplements, amino acid supplements, and even a testosterone booster.

On its own, Shifted Maximum is an excellent muscle building supplement because it delivers on the core aspects of safe and fast muscle gain – significant increase in muscle strength, stamina and pump combined with fast muscle recovery and less muscle soreness.

Check out our full review of Shifted Pre-Workout here.


  • Effective in all core aspects of building muscle
  • Well-balanced ingredients in effective doses
  • Boosts energy, focus and mood


  • Limited number of flavors (2) but the powder mixes well and tastes great

Ekkovision Dethroner

If you’re looking for an all-in-one loaded pre-workout, then consider the Dethroner! Muscle building becomes more efficient with its array of effective ingredients, from hydration and performance enhancers to pump enhancers (e.g., L-citrulline), energy drivers, and focus enhancers. Many of these ingredients are in proprietary blends, thus, compromising ingredient transparency but the bottom line is that Dethroner works.

With its energy, pump and focus enhancers, Dethroner goes to work as soon as it’s consumed. Most users report that they felt more energized and focused 15 minutes after drinking a single serving. The high, so to speak, was sustained for a couple of hours, just enough time for an intense weight and cardio training session.

The result: Bulkier muscles with more definition with consistent use and training.


  • Delivers on energizing effect, both physically and mentally
  • Little risk of caffeine-related crash
  • Increases pump action from several angles


  • Only two flavors available
  • Misses a few vital ingredients

ProSupps Hyde

Hyde is marketed as a hard-hitting pre-workout and it delivers, thanks to its pump-boosting ingredients. Caffeine and beta-alanine lead the charge while yohimbe and Nitrosigine enhance their muscle growth-related effects. Every scoop contains these power-charged nutrients and, thus, gives an immediate energy and endurance boost – and it can be experienced for 2-3 hours afterwards, too.

There are three matrices of ingredients in Hyde pre-workout – intensity, strength and stimulatory – in addition to niacin that contribute to optimum muscle growth. This is a gluten-free supplement, too, with a formulation intended for fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes; beginners may want to look elsewhere.

Check out our full review of ProSupps Hyde here.


  • Aids in building muscle mass
  • Comes in many delicious flavors
  • Cost-effective product


  • Unsuitable for beginners and for individuals with low caffeine tolerance

Huge Supplements Wrecked

With over 17 ingredients, the Wrecked pre-workout provides above-average boost in energy, stamina and pump! Daily consumption increases its efficacy in increasing muscle repair and recovery that results in faster muscle gains. We love it that L-citrulline (8 grams), beta-alanine (3.5 grams), and caffeine (250 mg) are either within or above the clinically effective doses, meaning higher efficacy.

Most users who consistently use Wrecked report feeling increased energy and focus about 15 minutes after drinking it. There’s more muscle strength and stamina to put in a couple more reps, even another set of muscle-bearing exercise. The increase in pumping power just makes completion of every set easier, too!


  • Well-researched, well-balanced ingredients
  • Effective doses contributing to good muscle growth
  • High caffeine dose for pump and focus


  • High-stimulant pre-workout unsuitable for beginners

Bucked Up Woke AF

Yet another pre-workout with clinically effective doses for L-citrulline, beta-alanine and caffeine is Bucked Up Woke AF, and it’s formulated for use by hardcore bodybuilders and weightlifters. Other ingredients, such as theobromine, taurine and Vitamin B, boost the efficacy of these ingredients while non-caffeine stimulants boost energy and endurance. There’s even a fat loss benefit with Woke AF use that contributes to more lean muscle mass growth.

Most users assert that Woke AF not only increases their physical capacity but their mental capacity, too, such as in cognitive performance. The result is increased exercise capacity that contributes to longer workouts, yet there’s less muscle soreness and more muscle repair.

Check out our full review of Bucked Up.


  • Effective muscle growth results with regular use
  • Gradual caffeine fade
  • Fat loss benefit


  • High caffeine content make it unsuitable for some individuals

Ryse Supplements Pre-Workout

Wait 45 minutes for the energizing effects of Ryse pre-workout consumption to take effect, and the sustained bursts of energy and focus persists for well over a couple of hours. The fairly high caffeine level kicks up the stimulating effect but it can cause slight headaches in people with low caffeine tolerance.

Ryse pre-workout has other muscle growth-related ingredients, too, particularly L-citrulline and beta-alanine, but many are underdosed. The good news is this: there are other ingredients that indirectly support muscle growth, such as extended-release caffeine, thiamine and theobromine. There’s also a marked increase in pumping action that beginners appreciate.


  • Has many effective ingredients that support muscle building
  • Caffeine content keeps energy and focus high
  • Energizing effect felt soon after consumption


  • Some underdosed ingredients
  • Flavors can be too sweet

Raw CBum Thavage Pre-Workout

Chris Bumstead lent his name to the CBUM Thavage pre-workout and designed its flavoring system, a strategic play for consumers who appreciate celebrity endorsements. But Thavage pre-workout can stand on its own, so to speak, because of its good ingredient engineering! The ingredients list contains trusted ingredients like beta-alanine, Alpha-GPC and Nitrosigine, which contribute to efficient muscle building via energy production, cellular hydration, and vasodilation.

This means your body’s ability to sustain muscle power and pump for longer periods that, in turn, promotes faster muscle recovery and muscle gain. There’s also the need for minimal rest between heavy sets resulting in even greater muscle growth.


  • Well-balanced set of ingredients for optimum muscle growth
  • Stimulant boost is among the best
  • Several yummy flavors


  • Some underdosed ingredients
  • No creatine

Beyond Raw LIT

Good muscle growth occurs both on the training and rest days, and Beyond Raw Lit pre-workout works well on both types of days! During intense weight training, its ingredients including L-citrulline, beta-alanine and caffeine provide the immediate burst of energy before the lifting. The energy and focus are sustained throughout the resistance exercises, too, with less of the muscle fatigue and more of the muscle power.

Then, on rest days, the same ingredients promote muscle growth by speeding up muscle recovery and feeding the muscles with optimum nutrients. Returning to the gym for another round of damage-repair-grow cycle becomes easier.


  • Gluten-free and sugar free options
  • Double as a great energy boosting drink


  • Lower doses of some ingredients
  • 250mg of caffeine might turn some people off

Primeval Labs Ape Sh*t Pre-Workout

Don’t be put off by the product name because Ape Sh*t pre-workout is among the solid pre-workouts used for muscle building purposes hereabouts. Even beginners can take it but must gradually increase to full dosage to avoid side effects caused by high caffeine content, but professional athletes will do just fine.

Nootropics are among the active ingredients in Ape Sh*t pre-workout, and these ingredients act as both stimulants and nitric oxide boosters. During intense workouts, these ingredients pump more blood and its oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells, thus, increasing energy production and power. Many of its ingredients also support post-workout recovery and fat loss, both of which make lean muscle mass development more efficient.


  • Loaded with beneficial ingredients for faster muscle growth
  • Stackable formula
  • Greater pumps


  • On the expensive side

1st Phorm Project-1

The Project-1 pre-workout immediately appeals to professional athletes and avid gym-goers because of its easy-to-mix, easy-to-digest formula. But there’s nothing easy when it comes to its efficacy as it kicks hard – almost as soon as you drink it, you will feel more energized and motivated to hit the weights. You have more energy and motivation to pull through progressive overloads that you previously couldn’t achieve.

L-citrulline malate, beta-alanine, caffeine and creatine monohydrate work together to push more oxygen and nutrients into your muscle cells. With more of the great stuff, you can do more reps, lift heavier weights, and recover faster.


  • Well-dosed set of ingredients that promote muscle gain
  • Stackable with other bodybuilding supplements
  • Good flavors


  • Only has 20 servings per container

Frequently Asked Questions

To make the best choice about which muscle building supplements to purchase, we’ll try to answer your remaining questions.

Just click the question in blue for a drop-down answer!

What other dietary supplements aside from pre workout supplements are great for muscle building?

Protein supplements are an excellent addition since the macronutrient is responsible for muscle gain. Whey protein supplements are popular since these are safe for most people.

Amino acid supplements, such as standalone branched chain amino acid supplements, may also be added as part of your bodybuilding supplements program.

Testosterone boosting supplements increase testosterone production that, in turn, supports stronger muscles and bones.

What are the best exercises to pair with the best muscle building supplements?

Bench press, barbell pullover, bent-over BB row, deadlift, pullup, squat, leg press, upright row, seated dumbbell shoulder press , and dip are multi-joint exercises that will improve the efficacy of muscle building supplements.

What other precautions must be taken when on the best muscle building supplements?

Always follow the recommended dose and timing of bodybuilding supplements, whether these are all-in-one pre workout supplements or individual amino acid supplements, protein supplements and post workout supplements. Too much of anything, even the good stuff, is dangerous!

Beware of side effects when taking a new muscle building supplement, such as irregular heartbeat, upset stomach, and changes in blood pressure. If these are significant, stop taking it and seek your doctor’s advice, if necessary.

Jack Kelle

Jack is an entrepreneur, outdoorist, and animal lover with a background in philosophy, psychology, and business. He enjoys music, friends, and family. At RAVE, Jack works as the manager of marketing and content development.