One of the best gifts that you can give yourself is to improve your physique and health. This can be accomplished by eating a healthy, balanced diet and adding resistance-training to your lifestyle. However, if you want to super-charge your lifestyle gains, then adding supplements will facilitate the process. The following article, we compiled 10 tried-and-true muscle building supplements used by athletes in gym enthusiasts all across America.
All of the ones included in the list to come are chock-full of precisely the kind of ingredients that are known for helping you pack on muscle when used in conjunction with a weightlifting program. As a result, this list is in no particular order because everything on here is effective. Let’s dive right in so you can get back to your program of packing on muscle using some or all of the following supplements.
Supplement #1: Creatine
Reasons for making this list: Basically, creatine is like the highly-efficient power bank for your muscle cells. It is composed of the essential amino acids methionine, arginine, and glycine. There’s been plenty of scientific study showing that weightlifters and bodybuilders who incorporate creatine regularly into their diets have gained an impressive 10 pounds of muscle mass when compared to those who didn’t over the same period of time. Additionally, the strength associated with the 10 pound mask gain was very significant. What creatine powder does is enable your muscles to keep working beyond their normal limits; this means you can perform more reps using the weight in question, which inevitably leads to greater gains during the post workout recovery phase. Creatine has strong hydrophilic properties, which means that it attracts water and shuttles them into your muscle cells to promote elevated growth over the long term. Recent studies have even shown that creatine further stimulates growth by elevating your levels of a growth-related insulin.
Method for optimizing creatine usage: The most effective form of creatine supplement is creatine monohydrate. Whether you do so prior to your workout afterwards, you should start stacking preteen in your system. Mix 2-5 g of creatine into a whey protein shake shortly before you begin your workout routine. After your session is concluded, take another 2-5 g of creatine in a post workout protein shake that contains between 40 and 100 g of simple carbohydrates. Even on rest days, you should be having breakfast with 2-5 g of creatine to truly reap its benefits.
Supplement #2: Whey Protein
Reasons for making this list: There’s no doubt about it – if protein synthesis is what you want (and it definitely is, because that is precisely what muscle growth is), then whey protein is king of the hill when it comes to supplements for gaining mass. It’s got all the branched chain amino acids you could want, and the body utilizes very quickly by shuttling it immediately to your muscles for the purposes of recovery and repair. As if this wasn’t good enough, whey protein is littered with blood-flow increasing peptides that function similarly turned nitric oxide and speeding up the delivery of nutrients throughout your body. It should come as no surprise, then, that any nutrition expert worth the title pushes whey protein post-workout recovery shakes above all others.
How to maximize whey proteins benefits: About half an hour before you start your workout, imbibe 20 g of whey protein. If you can include creatine, that will be all the better for your impending gym session. After your workout is concluded, imbibe another 40 g of whey protein within an hour to maximize your gains. For optimal results, the best whey protein supplements use whey isolate in their formulas.
Supplement #3: BCAAs – Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Reasons for making this list: These are the most important amino acids for the purposes of building muscle. Of course, they are important in general for a multitude of other processes in the human body, but valine, leucine and isoleucine are specifically potent from muscle recovery and building. They work together wonderfully to confer three primary benefits:
- to infuse your muscle cells with energy during intense workouts
- to directly influence muscle growth
- to stifle the stress-related catabolic hormone known as cortisol
- these BCAA’s also diminish post-workout muscle soreness
How to optimize the effects of BCAAs: You can take them at any time during the day. Begin with 5-10 g of BCAAs for breakfast, and then include the same amount in your pre-workout powder. Lastly, as soon as your workout is done at another 5-10 g in your post workout protein shake. In terms of quantity, you should double the amount of leucine you use when compared to isoleucine and valine.
Supplement #4: Casein Protein
Reasons for taking casein protein: Much like whey protein, casein is also derived from milk. Although it is very useful for building muscle, it has an important distinction: casein digests at an extremely slow rate. Because of this, bodybuilders and weightlifters are favorite as a pre–bedtime shaker snack because it staves off metabolic catabolism well into the wee hours of the night. Furthermore, casein protein is just as effective as whey protein when you take it right after your workout insofar as the ability to elevate the synthesis of muscular protein. In fact, if you really want to supercharger muscle building efforts then you should mix casein and whey protein together for a superior pump. Studies show that they are better together than they are a part – much like the Temptations.
Optimizing the effects of casein protein: When you’re looking for supplements, look for a type of casein protein that digests slowly – remember, you already have whey protein for immediate consumption. On the market, you cannot go wrong with micellar casein protein. Avoid taking it before your workout since it digests slowly; instead, add 10-20 g of casein protein to your whey protein shake immediately after your workout. Additionally, imbibed 20-40 g of casein protein in a pre-bedtime snack or shake. Since casein doesn’t make you feel full, you can even take it in between meals to really wrap up your muscle-building proclivities.
Supplement #5: Beta-Ecdysterone
Why Beta-Ecdysterone helps build muscle mass: Although not too popular in the news of late, it was scientists from Russia who first noticed the anabolic properties possessed by Beta-Ecdysterone. By itself, it’s a phytochemical derived from spinach and similar leafy green vegetables. When consumed and present in the human body, Beta-Ecdysterone stimulates muscle growth by causing protein synthesis to accelerate. Greater strength and muscle size are indelible results of this activity.
Optimizing the Beta-Ecdysterone effect: Research has shown that Beta-Ecdysterone is very safe to take; such that you can take it consistently at intervals from morning to night. The daily recommended value is rather high – 400-500 mg daily. You can usually get Beta-Ecdysterone in capsules of about 100 mg each; take one with each meal, and even take one with your protein shakes.
Supplement #6: Beta-alanine
The attributes of beta alanine: The first thing you should know is that the actual supplement utilized by your body is called carnosine. The supplement is sold in the form of beta alanine; when beta alanine is put into your body via protein powder or pre-workout supplement, it will combine with the nonessential amino acid called histidine – this combination is precisely carnosine. When your muscles can get more carnosine in them, they will be capable of exerting greater strength for longer periods of time. Houses possible? Well, carnosine appears to be able to give your muscle fibers greater contraction abilities. Additionally they can contract for longer before the lactic acid builds up that signals fatigue. Medical research studies so that combining beta alanine and creatine can lead to greater increases in muscle mass and concomitantly, body fat loss. These results were superior when compared to those who took creatine alone.
How to obtain the best results with beta alanine: This is one of those supplements that you can imbibe as a pre-workout and as a post workout mix 1-2 g of beta alanine into your pre-workout shake right before you begin. Then, when she finishes you can take the same quantity in your post workout shake. On rest days make 2 g of carnosine with creatine first thing in the morning when you wake up.
Supplement #7: Carnitine
The benefits of carnitine: Whatever you do, don’t get carnitine mixed up with carnitine (the latter is basic alanine mixed with another amino acid). Although they are distinct, carnitine also ultimately leads to enhanced muscle growth. If you know anything about the weight-loss industry, carnitine is a common ingredient in fact in supplements. For our purposes, it is known to elevate your natural testosterone levels once your workout is concluded; furthermore, it increases the number of so-called T receptors in the cells of the muscles to ultimately stimulate the growth of the muscle fibers. Similar to nitric oxide, carnitine improves the flow of blood and helps get nutrients to muscle sites. It truly is a bit of a supra-supplement, because in addition to all the listed attributes it is also known to elevate a certain growth factor to really help you pack on the muscle when it is used as part of a resistance training program.
Tips to optimize carnitine usage: It’s just as straightforward as the previous examples – look for the common form known as L-carnitine. Truth be told, L-carnitine-L-tartrate as well as acetyl-L-carnitine are virtually identical in effectiveness. Nonetheless, mixed 1-3 g of whichever carnitine you prefer working find into the protein shakes and/for meals you take three times a day. Do this before you workout, after you workout, and in your last meal of the day before bedtime.
Supplement #8: ZMA Supplement/Mixture
Why is this beneficial: ZMA is an acronym for zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. It was sold as a combination because of its collective importance in aiding sleep and managing proper hormone levels for weightlifters and bodybuilders. It turns out that their bodies go through zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium quickly during especially-hard training sessions; these need to be replaced so that their testosterone levels don’t suffer. The medical research backs up the effectiveness of ZMA. In trial studies, athletes were able to experience dramatic increases in the specific hormones responsible for muscle growth when they underwent an eight week training. The control group was not given ZMA; they underwent the same eight weeks of training and experienced noticeable decreases in the same hormone levels.
Optimizing the effects of ZMA: Look for specific products that have this acronym emblazoned on the package. The quantities of the individual vitamins must be sufficient: that means 450 mg of magnesium aspartate, 30 mg of zinc and about 10 mg of vitamin B6. For best results, take it without food and before you go to sleep at night. It’s been proven that this method ensures the most efficient transmission through your body, which ultimately leads to muscular recovery.
Supplement #9: Nitric Oxide Booster
Why these are helpful: Nitric oxide boosters actually have a range of benefits, but the one that’s most useful to weightlifters and bodybuilders is its ability to speed up the flow of blood. As you well know, blood flows throughout the body carrying nutrients and oxygen to organ and muscle sites. Obviously, the delivery of these anabolic hormones improves the health of your muscles by providing more energy during intense workout, and improved post-workout recovery which is finished. Nitric oxide boosters are composed primarily of arginine – which is an amino acid that interacts with your blood to form nitric oxide. The research is clear on the matter: those who use nitric oxide boosters in conjunction with an exercise regimen experience greater fat loss and improved muscular size and strength.
Optimizing the utility: It is actually best to take a nitric oxide booster without food so that the uptake is more dramatic. There are many different combinations on the market that increase this uptake ability, including some with difficult chemical names. Other mixtures in nitric oxide boosters increase the level of nitric oxide in the blood for an even more marked effect. You can take it about an hour before your workout session, right after your workout session and finally one hour before bed. If you can find a way to mix your nitric oxide booster with a thousand milligrams of vitamin C, then you’ll find that your elevated levels of nitric oxide in the blood remain high for a longer period of time.
Supplement #10: Glutamine
The purpose of this supplement: One of the biggest drawbacks of bodybuilding also just so happens to be the biggest benefit – post workout recovery. It is during this phase that you actually build back the muscle you tore down in the gym; however, the soreness is no fun after an especially intense workout. Glutamine is the amino acid that bolsters the levels of another amino acid leucine, which fortifies your immune system while at the same time inhibiting muscle catabolism. Basically, it stops your muscles from breaking down. It’s also known to give your growth hormone levels a kick and to assuage the extent of muscle soreness. This means you can recover more quickly and get right back in the gym to continue chasing after those gains. There’s some medical research showing that glutamine plays an active role in fat burning post workout.
Optimizing the effects of glutamine: this is another simple and straightforward action – you can take 5-10 full grams of glutamine with your morning protein shake or solid breakfast. The next time you take it will be in your pre-workout supplement or shake. The third time you take glutamine that day is in your post workout whey or casein protein shake, and the fourth and final time is with your last meal before bed.