Simple 3-Part Guide for Making your Own Supplements
If you’re been an avid bodybuilder for years, you’ve most likely seen and tried supplements that advertise enhanced muscle growth. With all the different, popular brands that you often see in ads and magazines, it’s really difficult to assess which supplements are actually helpful and which are just downright snake oil. In response to this, some people have taken to developing their own blends. Knowing how to make your own supplements can really save you a lot of money and even provide more beneficial effects than the more popular brands.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on supplements that could potentially be nothing more than snake oil, you’ll have a more cost-efficient way to maximize your workout. On top of this, you’re sure of the efficacy of the supplements you’re taking as well as having it custom-fit for your specific needs which makes it generally a win-win if you’re looking to improve your regimen. As most people have different diets, it can be challenging finding branded supplements that can fill in the gaps in your diet.
What you’ll need:
1. Supplement Powder
First things first, there are a lot of different components and active ingredients that you can use you're your own supplements. This is, in fact, the most complicated step and what causes most people to just settle for the generic, branded stuff. Generally, what you’ll want is protein, branched-chain amino acids, fatty acids, creatine monohydrates, glutamine and other ingredients that promote muscle growth, more energy, and enhanced bone and cellular recovery.
There, of course, different variations and deciding on the combination is highly dependent on your diet and body type/weight. Another thing is most people also generally use powdered supplements when making their own as it’s a lot easier to use and generally the process is way cleaner, but this in no way should limit you.
2. Milligram Scale
Determining the proper ratio that works best with your diet is important to make sure you get the right dosage of your chosen supplements. Using a milligram scale with 1mg accuracy is highly recommended as the sensitivity of this scale can really help determine an accurate compound ratio.
If you don’t have a scale, you can also use other measuring tools for your blend. Most supplement powders often come with their own measuring scoopers or even regular measuring spoons in your own kitchen which are also viable.
3. Empty Capsules
You can get empty gelatin capsules in any drugstore. It’s great for easy storage and consumption for your homemade supplements. It also helps regulate your compound for a more accurate dosage. Using gelatin capsules is great for supplements as gelatin also brings dietary benefits as it contains amino acids and which helps improve muscle growth. As these come in different sizes, having a properly measured dosage helps a lot to make sure everything is packed tightly.
Having your supplements in capsules helps eliminate the unpleasant taste as well which for anyone who’s tried taking powdered supplements would agree is its best feature.
4. Capsule Machine
These would be an excellent investment as it allows you to make multiple capsules at a time. Of course, you can take your supplements without the use of capsules, but it’s generally a lot more convenient with one. Capsule machines are very straightforward and easy to use as you just press down hard to lock the capsule in.
How to make your supplement
1. Research & Planning
For anything related to health & fitness, it’s important to plan out and do the necessary research on the components you plan on using. Most people jump right in which actually causes a lot of great deal of adverse effects as with any other dietary supplement.
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of different substances that you can use and even combine and each of these varies in effects and usage. For instance, some supplements such as caffeine and protein are best used as pre-workout supplements as they give you massive energy boosts which can really help you during your workout. It’s all about safety and knowing what exactly is your end goal regarding your fitness regimen.
Some people also use fillers for their supplements and you’ll find that a lot of popular brands also do this. These are pretty self-explanatory as you have to have a proper ratio for your dosage. Your fillers can be something nonreactive to your supplement such as baking soda. On the other hand, you can also use fillers that have their own individual benefits such as citric acid, or cinnamon.
You can also find fillers that synergize and enhance the effects of your supplements. There are endless combinations and options so having a working knowledge of what they are can make things so much easier.
To help you get started, here’s a list of the most commonly used ingredients and their effects:
- Creatine: Creatine helps give you huge bursts of energy by replenishing ATP in trained muscles which make it perfect for high-intensity workouts such as heavy lifts. One of the most appealing factors of creatine is that it helps muscle regeneration and reducing cell damage. It’s especially helpful for vegetarians who don’t get enough creatine which is commonly found in meat.
- BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids): Much like protein, these are enriched with amino acids which are highly essential for enhancing muscle growth. It helps by bringing your body to an anabolic state by providing a positive nitrogen balance which greatly helps bodybuilding. BCAA is easily absorbed by the muscles and they help with protein metabolism and maintenance. Examples of BCAA include isoleucine, leucine, and valine.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: This ingredient is commonly found in fatty fish. It’s great for reducing inflammation, improving cognitive function, and promoting fat loss. It can be further divided into three subtypes which are Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
- Beta-Alanine: One of the most important things about any workout is improving your overall endurance. Beta-Alanine helps by giving you a boost of hydrogen ions which help you maintain your energy and intensity for longer workouts. It’s also known to saturate muscles with carnosine which can help lean muscle gains.
- Bonus: Other great additions to your compound would be caffeine, and antioxidants which work great with other active ingredients.
2. Combining your own unique blend
Now that the most tedious step is over, you can start making your own supplements. Use your milligram scale or any other measuring tools you have to achieve a good ratio of your active ingredient and any supplementary or filler ingredients. Generally, your dosage will be a little different in the first week as you often have to go through a “loading” phase where you need to saturate your muscles with the active ingredient.
You then progressively lower the dosage a little bit when you’re in the “maintenance” phase of your supplement intake. An example here would be creatine which you should take 25-30g per 5 days and then gradually lower the dosage.
Once that’s settled, you can combine your blend in any small container. Make sure that it’s completely dry and clean as you don’t want any other substances or contaminants that could otherwise compromise your health or diet. You can put a small, shallow plate or tray under the bowl while you’re mixing to help salvage any spillage that may occur while you’re mixing.
3. Putting them in capsules
If you’re using a capsule machine, you can easily make 25-50 capsules in one go. Simply set it up and put one side of the opened gelatin capsules in both sides. Put in your compound and tightly pack it with the provided scraper to remove any excess powder.
You can also use a clean utensil to make sure that your powder is nice and even. You can use a tamper for these which are often compatible with most machines to make sure they’re sealed tight. Tampers are often sold separately though and aren’t always necessary.
Once both sides are filled, you simply push both parts of the machine together and most would have a rigid spring mechanism that allows for the adequate amount of pressure to make sure they’re sealed tight. Remove them from the machine and store them in an air-tight container.
It’s that simple!
Making your own bodybuilding supplement is a great option as you generally get more value for the cost. It’s a lot simpler than most people would have you believe as well especially if you invest in proper equipment listed above. It goes without saying that safety is a primary issue when making your own blends and you should always make sure you get the right dosage.
You can find tons of resources on what works best with which diet and you can build off that when planning for your own compound blend. You can also consult professionals to make sure that you get the right dosage for your body weight.
Feel free to contact us or leave a comment for more useful information or for any questions or concerns you may have.