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12 Best Vitamins for Muscle Growth & Muscle Recovery

If you have an active lifestyle or want to get the most from your workout sessions, getting the right nutrients is key to performing your best.

However, maintaining an exercise regime and a balanced diet can be very difficult, meaning that minor vitamin deficiencies can easily creep up on you.

Whether you have a carefully balanced diet or fear that you have sub-optimum levels of essential vitamins and minerals, in this article, we’ll cover 12 of the best vitamins for muscle growth that could boost your gains in a big way.


Vitamins for Muscle Growth and Repair

Building muscle is a complex process where damaged muscle tissue is repaired and strengthened over time, requiring lots of nutrients and time to recover.

Rather than eating steak for every meal and pumping iron in the gym daily, your muscles require a wide array of nutrients and time to recover before they can grow.

Muscle recovery is an intrinsic part of building new muscle, though this is less about tough exercise regimes and more about nurturing your body and taking plenty of vitamins for muscle growth.

Because muscle growth and muscle recovery go hand in hand, you need to support both biological processes to see muscle gains, giving your muscles time to recover as well as all the nutrients they need to grow.

Do Vitamins Help with Muscle Growth?

What Vitamins Are Good for Muscles

The key to muscle growth lies as much in the gym as it does in the kitchen – even if you eat a healthy diet, you may find that you’re not getting enough nutrients to fuel additional muscle growth.

The CDC estimates that 10-7% of the US population suffers from Vitamin D, Iron, and Vitamin B6 deficiencies, so it’s possible that your difficulty in building muscle is linked to poor nutrition.

But apart from a balanced diet containing whole grains, dietary fats, and plenty of protein, what other nutrients are needed to promote muscle growth and strength?

Although bodybuilders will happily talk about the benefits of protein for days on end, less is known about the link between vitamins, minerals, and muscle gains.

Even if you’re getting plenty of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, you may struggle to build up muscle mass without the right vitamins for muscle growth.

It’s common knowledge that physical health stems from a balanced diet and plenty of exercise, but as many of us suffer from some form of vitamin or mineral deficiency, could your diet be holding you back?

Consulting your doctor to make sure that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals is a good first step, but to maximize your gains, you need to make sure you get plenty of the good stuff.

Best Vitamins for Muscle Growth

Best Vitamins for Muscle Growth

Getting your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals from your diet is tough at the best of times, but when over 50% of the American diet consists of “ultra-processed foods”, it’s nearly impossible.

For most Americans, it’s just not feasible to eat a nutritionally complete diet all the time (due to a variety of reasons), so we’ve listed some of the best vitamins for muscle growth which are readily available in supplement form below:

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is often nicknamed ‘the sunshine vitamin’ as your body naturally produces it when exposed to sunlight, though many people struggle to get healthy levels this way.

In order to enjoy the many benefits of vitamin D, such as reduced risk of chronic diseases, improved mood, and better strength, your best bet is to take vitamin D supplements to meet your Recommended Daily Intake (RDIs).

What happens if vitamin D is low?

Vitamin D is a highly beneficial vitamin, helping your body to metabolize calcium, maintain healthy bones, and much more.

Although Vitamin D is classed as an essential nutrient and many foods are fortified with it, vitamin D deficiency is common – affecting almost 42% of Americans – and may be affecting your health in ways that hadn’t realized.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause fatigue and tiredness, bone and back pain, as well as impairing the healing process, so taking enough of this vitamin is essential for your health and workout performance.

While vitamin D is seldom recommended among vitamins for muscle growth, your workout performance and quality of life will be seriously impaired if you don’t get a healthy amount, so consider adding vitamin D supplements to your routine.

2. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that has a wide variety of benefits, helping you stay healthy and prevent macular degeneration (eyesight loss), among other things. 

Vitamin B12 supplements may improve your mood, give you an energy boost, and improve mental performance, helping you stick to your exercise routine, so if you want vitamins for muscle growth, you should consider vitamin b12.

3. Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3

Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is an essential nutrient that supports a wide range of biological functions and offers a variety of health benefits in moderate doses.

This vitamin can help manage cholesterol, support healthy hormone production, and even reduce symptoms of arthritis, helping you to build muscle and stay healthy.

4. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential vitamin that is significant in metabolism and the creation of red blood cells, making it one of the most desirable vitamins for muscle growth.

Like other B vitamins, Vitamin B6 can be found in fatty fish, though it can be tough to get enough from your diet, so you should consider adding vitamin B6 to your regime.

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A

So good you’d be forgiven for thinking the “A” is its grade, vitamin A supports protein synthesis, protects eyesight, and boosts your immune system.

Although this vitamin can be found in a variety of foods – such as eggs, fatty fish, and carrots – numerous environmental factors like illness and low-fat diets will deplete your Vitamin A levels, making it necessary to supplement your diet with extra vitamin A.

6. Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid)

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is often referred to as folate or folic acid: Folate is the naturally occurring form of vitamin B6, while folic acid is the synthetic form.

Both forms of this vitamin support a wide range of biological functions, including, cellular division, red blood cell production and metabolism, making it one of the most essential vitamins for muscle growth and general health.

Best Vitamins for Muscle Recovery

Best Vitamins for Muscle Recovery

Building muscle mass can be a delicate balance of exercise, rest, and diet, as the healing and growing process requires lots of nutrients and vitamins.

Because resting your muscles is just as important as exercise when it comes to building muscle mass, make sure you get enough of these vitamins that help you rest and recover:

7. Vitamin E

Vitamin E

Vitamin is often used to promote skin health – thanks to its antioxidant properties – but these effects are great for your muscles as well, making them helpful vitamins for muscle growth.

When you exercise, you create oxidative stress (or ‘free radicals’) in your body, which can cause cellular damage over time unless they are counteracted by antioxidants.

8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly beneficial to your health, helping to improve your mood, fight inflammation, and improve your sleep, among other things.

By supplementing with fish oil, you can make sure that you get healthy levels of omega-3s which provide all these benefits as well as reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), helping you stick to your workout routine.

9. Vitamin B2

Vitamin B

Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, is used by the body to metabolize food for energy and provides a range of health benefits that are of special interest to bodybuilders.

Riboflavin has been shown to increase blood flow, promote healthy physical development and even prevent migraines, helping you rest and recover and making Vitamin B2 one of the more therapeutic vitamins for muscle growth.

10. Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Probably the most well-known vitamin on this list, Vitamin C has a wide range of impressive benefits and can be found in a variety of foods, from oranges to spinach.

Whether you get your vitamin C through OJ or capsules, this vitamin has been shown to fight inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and help prevent iron deficiency, keeping you healthy for your next big gym session.

11. Calcium


As well as helping to keep your bones and teeth strong, calcium is an essential nutrient that contributes to a wide range of biological functions such as muscle contraction and metabolism.

Calcium may help prevent bone loss, lower your risk of colon cancer and even promote weight loss, making this nutrient one of the best vitamins for muscle growth.

12. Magnesium


Magnesium is very common in your body, comprising roughly 0.05% of your body mass, and plays several important roles in the health of your mind and body.

Studies have shown that magnesium can boost exercise performance, reduce inflammation, and prevent migraines, so adding this nutrient to your supplement routine could help you stay healthy and work towards even greater gains!

What Causes Poor Muscle Recovery?

Causes of Poor Muscle Recovery

As with many other health issues, there’s not much that can beat a healthy lifestyle complete with a balanced diet and plenty of rest for muscle recovery. Make sure that you get plenty of essential minerals and vitamins for muscle growth, and your muscles will thank you.

However, there are many factors that can get in the way of your workout routine, so don’t let yourself be completely discouraged if you aren’t bouncing back from your gym sessions as you hoped.

Here are several things you should try to avoid when allowing your muscles to rest and recover after exercise:

Lack of Recovery Time

While the length of time it takes for your muscles to recover from exercise depends on your fitness levels and the intensity of your workout, you should try and give your muscles around 24 hours to recover between sessions.

If you don’t give your muscles time to recuperate, you risk injuring yourself, so take this time to rest, refuel, and get plenty of vitamins for muscle growth.

Alcohol Consumption

While it is tempting to reward yourself with a couple of cold ones after a great workout, alcohol sabotages your body’s recovery, potentially leaving your head as sore as your glutes the next morning.

After a hard workout, your body needs to replenish fluids, heal any muscle tears, and purge lactic acid that may have built up, so let your body recover before you hit the bars.


Smoking tobacco (whether in cigarette, shisha, or cigar form) has been linked to increased chances of respiratory disease, cancer, and heart problems, making it the antithesis of a workout supplement.

If you’re exercising to improve your overall health, you need to cut back or stop smoking entirely – those cigarettes certainly won’t enhance the performance of any vitamins for muscle growth.


In conclusion, making sure that you get plenty of essential nutrients – from Vitamin A to Magnesium – is vital for building muscle and staying healthy.

While there may not be a magic supplement that can improve your gains overnight, the benefits of taking these vitamins for muscle growth cannot be overstated, as they contribute to overall health in a variety of remarkable ways.

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Written and Researched by

SupplementsYouCanTrust is made up of passionate health writers dedicated to providing reliable information on supplements and vitamins. With backgrounds in nutrition, medicine, and research, our team brings a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to the table.
Dr Wasim Khan

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Wasim Khan’s areas of expertise lie in understanding the role of dietary supplements and vitamins in healthcare. His in-depth knowledge allows him to provide comprehensive advice and help you make informed decisions about your nutritional intake and supplement usage.

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