The Best Ectomorph Supplements To Go From Skinny To Ripped
By: Zack Mathews, NASM - CPT, CES, & PES, PN-L1
If you’re after the best ectomorph supplements to help you get better results, I’m here to help.
While researching what others were saying about supplements for ectomorphs, I noticed numerous articles were missing many of the key things you should be taking to optimize your health.
Being a fellow ectomorph myself, I’ve learned about and taken more supplements than I can count. Some worked and most were a waste of money so my goal is to educate you so you don’t waste yours!
You’ll learn about 9 different ectomorph supplements that will help you transform your physique, pack on weight and muscle, and improve your overall health. They include:
How Important Are Supplements For An Ectomorph?
Regardless of your body type or goal, there is something very important you should know about supplements.
Think about what the word supplement means.
According to dictionary.com, supplement means “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it”.
Nutrition and exercise will make up the bulk of your weight and muscle gain, and then you supplement with supplements (see what I did there!) to fill in the gaps with things that you are missing.
There is nothing magical about ectomorph supplements and you shouldn’t think that they are going to be the key for your physique transformation.
Let me break down the importance of supplements in a good ole pie graph.
As you can see, there are many other factors that are more important on your journey as an ectomorph. For the main things you should focus on, read The #1 Ectomorph Body Type Nutrition & Workout Guide.
3 Ectomorph Supplements For Your Weight Gain Journey
The most important supplement for any ectomorph is protein powder.
Being an ectomorph, you’re going to want to be focusing on building muscle, and to do that, you’ll need to be consuming enough protein.
For most people, 0.7 - 1gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is a good goal to hit.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, anywhere between 105 - 150 grams is a good place to be.
If you have trouble hitting that amount in your ectomorph diet, supplementing with a protein powder is going to make that goal much easier.
When choosing am ectomorph protein powder, take into account:
- The total number of ingredients the powder has. The more ingredients it has, the poorer the quality. Find one with minimal ingredients.
- How you respond to different types of protein. Some whey protein has dairy so you might feel better with a plant based protein powder.
- The taste. Most people that consume protein powder use it a few times a week so you want to make sure it’s one you enjoy.
My two favorite proteins are Legion Athletics and Ladder Supplements because they follow the 3 points listed above. They have minimal ingredients, agree with my stomach, and I like the taste.
1 - 2 scoops per day (roughly 25 - 50grams of protein) is a good amount to have. This will take a nice chunk out of your daily protein goal with minimal effort.
Another classic ectomorph supplement (that is often debated) is weight gainers.
If your overall goal from the start is to gain weight as fast as possible and you have trouble eating a lot of calories, you can take a weight gainer.
Although they are high in calories, I’ve found most weight gainers to be filled with cheap ingredients that make you feel bloated. Additionally, you don’t get a lot of protein for how many calories you are drinking.
Instead I would focus on making your own homemade weight gainer shakes that have protein powder, milk, fruit, spinach, oatmeal, and/or peanut butter.
If you are going to take (or make a weight gainer), learn about the best time to take it.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements and it has been proven to be safe and effective.
It has benefits that can improve your performance in the gym and newer research is showing multiple health benefits, including better brain function.
Creatine is one of the cheaper ectomorph supplements to add to your routine so it’s hard to pass this one up. When looking for a creatine, make sure it’s a creatine monohydrate supplement.
When consuming, you can take roughly 3 - 5 grams a day (anytime of day is fine), for a total of around 25 - 30 grams per week.
3 Supplements For Ectomorph Bodies That Most People Are Deficient In
Not only do you want supplements to help you gain weight and muscle, but you want ectomorph supplements that improve your overall health.
The first is fish oil
The first thing to know is this: don’t go buy a cheap fish oil where you get 300 tablets for $10.
Cheap, low quality fish oil can contain contaminants, such as heavy metal that are going to leave your body worse off.
So why should you take a fish oil supplement?
There are two omega 3 essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that are very hard to get from just eating food. You would need to eat multiple servings of fish per week to get the optimal amount. That’s where a high quality fish oil will come in.
The benefits of fish oil include:
- Improved body composition (faster fat loss, more muscle gain)
- Immune system support
- Better mood and brain health
- Reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Reduces muscle and joint soreness
I have been taking Legion’s fish oil for a couple years now and enjoy the product and have never experienced any of the “fish burps” that some people do with a cheaper option.
Another inexpensive supplement that is no brainer to take is vitamin D.
We get vitamin D from the sun and certain foods, but similar to the omega 3 fatty acids, most people aren’t getting enough.
Low levels of vitamin D can be linked with an increase in heart disease, cancers, multiple sclerosis, bone loss, and depression.
Not only can it improve your mood but getting adequate levels of vitamin D can improve your sleep.
Do your best to get sunlight everyday and supplement with vitamin D to get your levels to optimal ranges. Check out your vitamin D levels next time you give blood. An optimal range would be 60 - 80 ng/mL.
The last of the 3 supplements that most people are deficient in is magnesium.
Low magnesium will prevent you from improving your vitamin D numbers. If you currently have low vitamin D levels, and have never had your magnesium levels checked, I would recommend chatting with your doctor.
The benefits of magnesium include:
- Better sleep
- Less inflammation
- Less cramping if you’re prone to them
- Improved brain health.
2 Ectomorph Supplements That Fill In The Gaps
Can you honestly say that you have multiple servings of fruits and vegetables a day? I’m talking 6 - 8 servings of vegetables and 3 - 4 servings of fruits?
Probably not right?
That’s where a good greens powder can improve your diet by filling in the gaps with the essential vitamins and minerals that your body wants.
Per usual, I’m going to be recommending Legion Green Powder and an honorable mention to Defranco Nutrition. Finding a green drink that tastes good is hard, but I’ve been hearing good things about Defranco’s and I may be switching soon.
Similar to the greens powder, a multivitamin is going to plug the holes you’re missing in your diet.
Even if you eat really well, there’s a chance you are not getting enough vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, and/or folate.
When it comes to quality, a good multivitamin might be the most important one to invest in (next to fish oil), because lots of companies will load junk into them that you pee out.
You can find male and female high quality multivitamins at Legion.
Ok, maybe this last one doesn't necessary "fill in the gaps" in terms of vitamins and minerals.
But we could say it fills in the energy gap if you're tired or have had a long day!
Caffeine is a tool used my lots of people in the gym to give them the extra boost they need to get a great workout.
It is by no means necessary but if you can tolerate caffeine well, adding in some form of caffeine such as coffee, tea, or a pre workout can help you with your gains.
Supplements For Ectomorphs Recap
Always remember that you don’t NEED to take any supplements.
A well structured diet can give you everything you would need and these supplements would be helping you just get a little better.
Be willing to try different brands and see what you like. Just because I promote Legion doesn’t mean you have to go with them.
Read labels, experiment with different flavors, see how you feel, and then build your optimal ectomorph supplement stack!
**I am not a registered dietitian. If you have any underlying health issues and you are wanting to take supplements, always consult with your doctor first.