Please tell me whether is it necessary to eat supplements for a bodybuilder. Abs and Muscles etc, can it build as fast as when supplements are taken?

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    your question lacks a lot of details, because currently its like a yes or no question. What you'd probably want is that users suggest which, if any, supplements you should be taking while bodybuilding, while explaining why you might need those supplements in the first place. So I suggest you have a closer look to your question to add some more details or information of your own, so the community can better answer your question
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 8:58
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    Hi @Ivo,I wanted an answer with Yes or No.Anyways,Thanks! Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 18:08
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    @HimanshuPrasad "Yes/No" type questions do not produce helpful or useful answers. Context is important because it removes ambiguity and tends to uncover what the actual question is. Support an answer with facts provides credence and a higher qualitative information.
    – user241
    Commented Nov 3, 2011 at 3:31
  • If the edit I just rejected came from the OP of the question, please log back in to your account. Otherwise please ask your own question. And anyway, please spell check before you post, I have no problem with some spelling errors due to language difficulties, but substituting to with 2 is not acceptable.
    – Baarn
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 10:49
  • The answer is ultimately "yes."
    – user 85795
    Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 20:46

2 Answers 2


It's not a very specific question, it's basically like asking whether it's necessary to wear running shoes to run a marathon.. the answer is no, but it's a lot harder with leather boots, and even harder without shoes. Unless you can't afford the running shoes, or you made some sort of silly bet, there's really no point in going barefoot.

Also, understand that bodybuilding supplements a not one generic product; supplement is a very broad term that includes many different substances, all of which have unique features. Some supplements are effective, some of them are a waste of money, but talking about supplements in general does not make a lot of sense. It's like asking whether food needs spices. Well, no, not necessarily, but so what?

To answer your question though, it's definitely possible to build muscle as a bodybuilder without any supplements.

First, if you take supplements to mean steroids and such, these are definitely not necessary, and are in fact dangerous. The notion that all or most bodybuilders take steroids is a myth.

Second, if you take supplements to mean protein shakes, weight gainers, and so on, the reason these are useful is they allow you to consume a lot of nutrients very efficiently. They save you time since you have to prepare less food, and it takes less time to consume them. They also enable you to eat more than your appetite would allow. They contain the same nutrients as actual food, only in concentrated and properly balanced form. There is nothing inferior about them compared to actual food; eating "natural food" is not invariably better for your body, although many people falsely think so.

Is it possible to gain muscle without protein shakes, weight gainers, and all the other stuff that falls into the category of "food replacement"? Well, yes, of course. But you'll have to stand in the kitchen all the time (or have someone do it for you), prepare truckloads of food, and spend a lot of time eating every day. Often it will be hard to get all that food inside you, especially at the beginning. Instead of quickly gulping down a vanilla-flavored drink, you'll have a big heap of chicken and rice in front of you. But no, it's not impossible.

Third, if you take supplements to mean creatine monohydrate, L-carnitine, fatty acid supplements and all those other fancy products, they are by no means necessary. All these do is give you a slight edge, if that. They are as necessary as the runner's sweatband, or the garlic in your food. Some swear by them, but everyone agrees you can live without them.

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    "They contain the same nutrients as actual food, only in concentrated and properly balanced form.There is nothing inferior about them compared to actual food eating natural food is not invariably better for your body" REALLY? IS THIS A JOKE? OF COURSE the nutrients of natural food are of higher quality. for starters they are natural and they contain no (much less) toxins, preservatives, dyes and flavring agents. Natural food ALWAYS beats processed food ad shakes. The label says nothing about the quality of your micro nutrients. They only reason to take them is lack of time to eat real food!
    – Leo
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 18:49
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    No such thing as "nutrient quality". A molecule is a molecule, your body doesn't care where it's coming from. Let's not confuse science and superstition. If "natural" is always better, why not eat some poisonous mushrooms? Mother earth has given them to us, so let's enjoy their fruity flavor. Personally I'll stick with science.
    – M. Cypher
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 19:16
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    Protein Shakes are merely science they are mostly marketing. They do most likely not contain all amino acids necessary but only one or a few that are cheap to extract or synthesize industrially. And they do lack micronutrients or trace elements that natural food contains. I doubt that it is good to replace a great amount of food with shakes.
    – Baarn
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 20:49

You do not need supplements to be a body builder, period.

An argument could be made if you were chemically enhanced...steroids.

Train hard and efficient with a proper program, eat balanced based on macros for your goals, rest on rest days, sleep. Repeat.

To appeal to the people that love spending money supplements, most of which are COMPLETELY worthless, then go ahead buy some.

If you had the money to spend, buy some protein powder, a good multivitamin, and fish oil. The rest is just superfluous.

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