The Ultimate Muscle Building Supplement Guide
Learn about the different types of muscle building supplements, what they do, and how you can use them to help you reach your goals faster.
Many people new to muscle building and fitness get overwhelmed with all the different products on the market. We’re here to get you started on the right track. On this page we’ll take you through the different types of muscle building supplements, what they do, and how you can use them to help you reach your goals faster.
While supplements are not essential to build muscle, they will definitely help you achieve your goals faster. Intense training needs to be backed up with solid nutrition, and it’s often just not practical to get the nutrition you need, when you need it, from food alone. To realize your full muscle building potential you need a good diet and supplement plan.
Below we’ll explain what each of the supplements do, what the different types are, and give you a few pointers on how to take them for the best results.
Protein is essential for building muscle. Without it, you simply will not grow. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of muscle tissue. The optimum amount of protein for muscle growth depends on a variety of factors. Generally, every day you want to take around 1-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So someone who weighs 150lbs would want to consume between 150 and 300 grams of protein per day. Protein powders and protein bars are convenient and provide high quality protein.
There are different types of protein powders available, whey protein and casein protein. Whey protein and casein protein should be used in different ways, as we explain below:
Whey protein is perfect for those looking to build muscle. It’s very fast ingesting, has an awesome amino acid profile, is low in fat and has a very high boiavailability (BV) score. Whey protein is ideal for whenever you need to get quality protein into your body fast, like straight after your workout or when you wake up in the morning. View all the whey protein powders.
Casein protein is digested very slowly, between 2 and 7 hours. This means casein protein is used when you don’t need protein right away. Casein is great to use before bed because the longest time your body goes without protein is during the night while you are sleeping. Casein is also an ingredient in many meal replacement products. View all the casein protein powders.
Protein blends are protein powders that contain a mixture of several protein sources. What can a blend of proteins offer that a straight protein cannot? Different rates of digestion. This means you can take a blended protein any time to get quick, medium, and prolonged absorption of protein. View all protein blends. View all protein blends.
Low carb proteins are, you guessed it, low in carbohydrates. These protein powders are usually used by those looking to lose or maintain their weight. Generally, low carb protein powders are also low in calories and contain little to no fat. View all low carb protein powders.
Creatine is another awesome supplement for gaining muscle mass. It is naturally occurring in the body, and found in minute quantities in some foods like red meat. It’s safe and very effective for anybody, especially if you’ve never used it before.
Here’s the basics of how creatine works: creatine increases ATP (the main energy source muscles use for explosive power) availability so that you can perform more reps and sets and lift more weight, consequently growing more muscle tissue.
There are lots of different types of creatine supplements available, and it’s easy to get confused. The two main types of creatine powders are creatine blends (these are different types of creatine blended with dextrose, aminos and vitamins), and creatine monohydrate. Creatine blends are generally the better choice, but creatine monohydrate mixed with grape juice is a cost-effective option.
Sceintific studies suggest that you should take creatine post workout. Consult the label on your supplement for specific directions.
Weight gain products are great for helping you get the nutritional requirements and calories needed for muscle growth. To build muscle, you need to be consuming more calories that you expend every day. Some people need more calories than others. Some “hard gainers” need a huge amount of calories to grow!
Generally, weight gainers range from about 400 to 1,200 calories per serving. They’re made up of whey protein, complex carbohydrates and fats. Many people who lead a busy lifestyle use weight gainers to drink between meals to keep their calorie count up.
It may not seem like the most obvious muscle building supplement, but a good multi-vitamin play an important role in muscle growth and general health. If you are deficient in even one vitamin or mineral, your gains can really be hampered.
A good multi-vitamin is a must for the best gains in muscle mass, not to mention good health. People who are working out need more vitamins than the average person, so your supermarket brands won’t cut it.
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in muscle tissue. It helps prevent muscle wasting (catabolism) and improves recovery. The better and quicker you recovery, the sooner and harder you can hit it in the gym! Glutamine is also the primary fuel source for the immune system, so it can help prevent common illness. This means less chance you’ll have to take time off your workout!
Glutamine is safe to take year-round. Glutamine should not be taken at the same time as creatine because they compete for receptors to be absorbed. Glutamine is often taken pre-workout and in your before bed protein shake.
Nitric Oxide is a free form gas that is produced in the body and is used by the body to communicate with other cells in the body. The fact that nitric oxide increases blood flow should make it of interest to bodybuilders, as increased blood flow will serve to deliver more nutrients to muscles, thus helping muscles become larger when subject to stress. People are noticing huge increases in muscle pumps while using this product!
Many top nitric oxide products are also blended with energy enhancers to form a complete pre-workout drink.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
As men age testosterone levels decrease. Raising your testosterone helps you to gain muscle, enhance your mood, maintain a healthy libido, and more! These all-natural products would be perfect for you! This category includes popular products with ZMA, Tribulus, and much more.
ZMA is a scientifically designed anabolic mineral formula. It contains Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate plus Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6, and is an all-natural product that has been clinically proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes. It is all natural! Studies have shown that supplementing with 30mg of Zinc and 450mg of Magnesium per day can elevate testosterone levels up to 30%! In a recent study, the strength of a group using ZMA increased by 11.6% compared to only a 4.6% increase in the placebo group.
Amino Acids & BCAA’s
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Bodybuilders can especially benefit from supplementing amino acids because they aid in repair, growth, and development of muscle tissue. Among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program are branched chain amino acids. These are the essential aminos leucine, isoleucine, and valine. If you are looking for better results, make sure you are taking your amino acids! You’ll be surprised at how well they work.
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