Building muscle is not an easy task. There is no shortage of supplements that claim to boost muscle gains, but truly elite physiques are built by hard training and serious nutrition first and foremost.
Supplements are just the icing on the cake. Nutrition should be the number one priority.
But when you need to seriously want to put in some muscle some extra help won’t do any bad.
Here’s everything you need to know!
No supplement says “I’m a lifter” as much as the post-workout whey protein shake! And with good reason. Whey protein supplies the body with a high amount of protein and amino acids that help to jump-start the anabolic process.
Whey protein is most often consumed after a workout to increase protein synthesis and to improve muscle recovery and restoration, although as Nick Coker writes in the article “The Case for Pre-Workout Protein,” it can be equally effective when taken before training.
BENEFITS OF WHEY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION
- Fast digesting and more easily absorbed than other protein sources
- Increased muscle mass, especially when taken post-workout
- Improved appetite control, and greater feelings of fullness when dieting
- Contains more leucine than any other protein source
Recommended Dose: 20-30 grams of whey protein at a time, before or after a workout. You can also take it as a meal replacement if you want to lose weight or boost your protein intake at other times. Supplemental protein should not be your primary protein source, though. You still need to get the majority of your protein from food.
Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise.
Taking creatine as a supplement is very popular among athletes and bodybuilders in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance.
Chemically speaking, it shares many similarities with amino acids. The body can produce it out of the amino acids glycine and arginine.
Several factors affect your body’s creatine stores, including meat intake, exercise, amount of muscle mass, and levels of hormones like testosterone.
EFFECTS OF CREATINE
Creatine is very effective for short-term and long-term muscle growth.
It has benefits for a variety of people, including sedentary individuals, the elderly, and elite athletes.
A 12-week study in weight lifters found that the supplement increased muscle fiber growth two to three times more than training alone.
The increase in total body mass also doubled, along with their bench press one-rep max.
Recommended Dose: 5 grams per day
BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACID (BCAA)
Of the 20 amino acids that make up protein, just three are referred to as BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
These are the specific amino acids that have been shown to stimulate protein synthesis and help regulate protein metabolism.
BENEFITS OF BCAA SUPPLEMENTATION
- Decreased levels of muscle damage during exercise
- Increased levels of muscle protein synthesis
- Improved endurance during exercise
- Decreased muscle soreness from exercise
Recommended Dose: 3-6 grams before or during exercise.
L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and it makes up 30-35 percent of the amino acid nitrogen in your blood.
It’s actually known as a conditionally essential amino acid because your body uses it in large amounts.
The most common uses of glutamine powder were to lose weight fast, burn fat and build muscle.
BENEFITS OF L-GLUTAMINE
- Promotes muscle growth and decreases muscle wasting
- Improves gastrointestinal health because it is a vital nutrient for the intestines to rebuild and repair
- Curbs cravings for sugar and alcohol
- Helps heal ulcers and leaky gut by acting as a Band-Aid for protection from further damage
Recommended Dose: Take 30 grams of glutamine dosage per day divided into two to three doses throughout the day.
Pre-workout supplements help you train harder, keeping both your mind and body in the game for just a little longer. The caffeine jolt can make the difference between a workout that maintains muscle and one that builds muscle.
Pre-workout formulas usually include caffeine to help you perform at full throttle. In addition to getting you stoked to work out, caffeine can lower feelings of exertion, fatigue, and even post-workout soreness.
BENEFITS OF CAFFEINE SUPPLEMENTATION
- Improved motivation to work out
- Increased endurance
- A decrease in perceived exertion
- Delayed muscle fatigue
Recommended Dose: Between 1.36 and 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per pound of bodyweight. That would be 200-375 milligrams for a 150-pound person. Determine your tolerance and find the dose that works best for you.