Buying protein powder, collagen, vitamin supplements and concerned by the cost?

Spare a thought for the poor bodybuilder!

If you’ve every been curious about the bodybuilding supplements that a seasoned pro takes, read on.

SmartPlay spoke to Tom Lawry, a competitive bodybuilder, to get an understanding of what supplements and vitamins he takes on a daily basis.

It’s fair to say that what it takes to be a serious player in this field blew our minds 😉

Many thanks to Tom for his insights and frankness. I have a new admiration for his 100% commitment to his sport.

Tom’s focus, discipline and willingness to embrace the financial cost of his pursuit is mightily impressive.

And if you’d like to know more about all things protein powder, see our ultimate guide.

The supplements of an elite bodybuilder

My current daily supplement intake is outlined below:

With Breakfast

  • Creatine 5 grams
  • Glutamine 5 grams
  • Now Foods Green Tea Extract
  • Melatonin to boost HGH levels at the gym.
  • BCAAs half serve
  • Arginine
  • Multivitamin

On my way to the gym I will use a pre-workout, I mix it up at the moment between using MuscleMeds NO BULL XMT and BSN NO XPLODE. I take the recommend dosage.

Post Workout

  • I take a protein shake of MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein
  • Creatine 5 grams
  • Glutamine 5 grams
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Fish oil
  • BCAAs second half serve


  • Protein shake of BSN SYNTHA 6
  • Now foods Green tea extract

Before Bed

  • I take a protein shake of MuscleMeds carnivor or BSN SYNTHA 6
  • Creatine 5 grams
  • Glutamine 5 grams
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Fish oil
  • Now foods Arginine
  • Melatonin

So this is the basics of my supplement intake and I mix it up regularly by adding and swapping products around. I want to prevent my body from becoming accustomed to the same daily intake.

Periodically, I will cycle completely off this intake of supplements and cut it right back to shake up my body.

This also allows me time to test new supplements. I don’t take a pre-workout supplement every day unless I feel the need for it.

I normally determine if I will take a pre-workout or not based on how I’m feeling at the time. If I’m unsure I will just take it.

Why do I take these supplements?

The two bodybuilding supplements that I get asked most about are melatonin and arginine. I get asked all the time why are you taking melatonin as a pre workout?

Well, studies have found that melatonin is not only a great aid in providing a solid sleep and to help control your circadian rhythm or your body clock, but it is also giving you a boost in natural HGH (Human Growth Hormone) levels, so why not give that a boost whilst you workout?

If you’d like to know more about the possible effects of taking melatonin as one of your bodybuilding supplements, see here.

I take Arginine to raise Nitric Oxide levels in the cardiovascular system thus giving you massive pumps faster in the gym. Along with it’s many benefits it also raises HGH levels and arginine is fantastic for the synthesis of creatine.

The rest are pretty well self explanatory to anyone interested in serious weight training.

A fit, muscular man in close up, holding a metal chain. Bodybuilding supplements can help with muscle development.

The supplement products I use daily are


MuscleMeds Carnivor Protein beef protein

BSN SYNTHA 6 whey protein


MuscleMeds Creatine Decanate

Optimum Nutrition Creatine

MuscleMeds Glutamine Decanate

Optimum Nutrition Glutamine


BSN NO Xplode

MuscleMeds NO BULL XMT


Now foods Green Tea Extract

Now Foods Zinc

Now Foods Magnesium

Now foods Arginine

Optimum Nutrition Melatonin

Optimum Nutrition BCAA

Optimum Nutrition ZMA

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men Multivitamin

Any generic Vitamin C, B, Fish oil

So all in all it may seem like a lot to keep track of, but I’m used to it and I guess it helps as I’m a person of routine.

What really helps is to make sure you are organised and always plan ahead. I prep my meals and at the same time I do most of my supplement preparation.

Hope this helps and answers a few questions that your readers may have.

Well, many thanks to Tom for his help with this article.

It is slightly jaw-dropping to me, as an enthusiastic fitness professional, to learn of the focused preparation and detailed knowledge that goes into sports supplements for a thirty-two year-old competitive bodybuilder.

And the cost too! Substantial.

For an illuminating comparison, consider reading the articles below to get an appreciation of what the average Joe consumer, training 4-7 times per week, with a standard cardio, functional and strength-training regime may need in protein and vitamin supplements. It is very different:

If you’d like to learn more about scientifically getting more protein into your diet, take a look at our post on 10 Powerful Protein Tips which offers advice on programming dietary gains into your daily routine.

Please note that, under no circumstances, should you consider partaking in the recent TikTok craze for dry scooping sports supplements. This practice is inherently dangerous and could leave you with serious health issues.

If you struggle to put on muscle then you could be what is known as a ‘hard gainer’. In this case, do your research in addition to reading our article as supplements are a possible solution for gaining muscle and mass.


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