Want to pack on some more muscle mass? If you’re working hard in the gym and have a goal to build a stronger and more muscular body, it’s a must that you are taking into account all the elements of the equation. This means that you’re factoring in your training program, your nutrition program, as well as your supplement regime. By using the right supplements, you can make sure that you are creating the absolute best environment possible to see remarkable muscle mass gains and ongoing progress.
You can curl, lift, and squat all day, but without the right nutrients, you’ll never build the body that all that hard work is intended for. Muscle needs a pool of specific amino acids and macronutrients to repair properly. Certain molecules can help your muscles fight fatigue while helping you push through those last few reps can make all the difference in the world.
There are a lot of products and minerals that claim to help you build muscle, but it’s hard to sift through all the items on the market. However, we need the supplements that are backed by the strongest scientific research behind them. If you think protein is all there is to getting chiseled, here are 10 of the best supplements to gain muscle.
Creatine is the LeBron James of supplements. It is the most research-proven sports supplement on the market today, with hundreds of clinical studies showing that it can enhance lean body mass, increase strength, improve energy levels and increase muscle size. It works by helping produce energy for your muscle tissue to use to churn out those last few reps.
Research shows that creatine can help you lose fat, thereby showing off your muscles better. The level of bulk benefit varies greatly from person to person. When used with resistance training, it will probably help you shed fat and increase in strength rather quickly to promote muscle growth.
2. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs are beneficial not because they directly help your muscles bulk up, but because they reduce muscle damage after strength training and speed recovery. It means you can get back in the gym sooner. The BCAA blend is made up of three of the most important amino acids needed to build and repair muscle tissue. Leucine alone can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, but combined with isoleucine and valine, BCAAs are a trifecta with endless muscle-building benefits. You will have more energy and muscular capacity during workouts, the stunting of cortisol (a hormone that degrades the muscles), less post-workout soreness and increased muscle growth over time.
3. Fish Oil
Fish oil is one of the best supplements you can take for your general health, mainly because it helps lower inflammation. And when it comes to working out, less inflammation means faster muscle recovery. The Omega-3 fatty acids help your muscles synthesize bulk-building protein better.
4. Whey & Casein Powder
Whey is by far one of the most optimal muscle building supplements. It has a higher leucine content than other types of protein powder. Since leucine is the key amino acid in activating muscle protein synthesis, whey has a slight advantage over other powders. But ingesting a blend of whey and casein post-workout is the most ideal. Whey digests lightning fast, racing to your muscles to start building them up immediately. It also contains small peptides that increase blood flow to the muscles. Casein, on the other hand, has a prolonged digestion rate, so it extends the timeframe for which amino acids are released into your muscle tissue.
One of the best weapons against muscle fatigue is carnosine, a substance that is abundant in your muscles to help prevent acid build up. But your carnosine supply is limited to the pool of its root enzymes, amino acids l-histidine and beta-alanine. That means supplementing with beta-alanine helps replenish your stores of carnosine. Research found that taking beta-alanine supplements can help your muscles’ endurance and specifically your performance during high-intensity exercises like weight lifting, meaning you can work out harder. The supplement has been shown to support lean muscle mass and enhance muscle fiber synthesis.
6. Nitric Oxide Boosters
Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule found throughout the body that's involved in multiple processes. The one that bodybuilders are most interested in is its ability to dilate blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the muscles for enhanced delivery of oxygen, nutrients, anabolic hormones and water (blood is mostly water). This gives you more energy during your workout, an improved muscle pump, and better muscle recovery and growth after the workout. NO boosters don't provide NO, but rather the amino acid arginine, which is readily converted to NO in the body.
This amino acid has been a favorite of bodybuilders for decades because it's central to muscle function and is one of the most plentiful amino found in the human body. Glutamine provides numerous bodybuilding benefits, such as aiding muscle growth by increasing levels of leucine in muscle fibers, helping decrease muscle breakdown and bolstering the immune system, which helps prevent you from getting sick and missing workouts. Glutamine that is taken before workouts can help reduce muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. Recent research shows that glutamine might also play a role in fat loss by increasing a number of calories and fat burned at rest and during exercise.
ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6. It's an important supplement because hard-training athletes such as bodybuilders are often deficient in these critical minerals, which are essential for maintaining hormone levels and aiding sleep.
Besides being a popular fat-loss supplement, carnitine is now known to enhance muscle growth through some mechanisms, all of which are supported by clinical research. For one, carnitine can increase blood flow to muscles, which means it provides similar benefits to NO boosters. It also increases testosterone levels post workout and the amount of T receptors inside muscle cells, which allows more testosterone to stimulate more growth. Carnitine supplements have been found to increase levels of IGF-1. Add all these benefits together, and you have the potential to gain enormous amounts of muscle.
10. High Molecular-Weight Carbs
Molecular weight is a term that refers to the mass of one molecule of the substance. Therefore, high molecular-weight carbs (HMCs) are primarily made up of huge, heavy molecules. HMCs such as the patented Vitargo brand are typically made from waxy maize or cornstarch. What makes these carbs so special is their ability to rapidly pass through the stomach to the intestines where they can be absorbed and enter the blood. Research shows that HMCs pass through the stomach at a rate almost 100% faster than sports drinks. This is important after exercise because consuming carbs at this time blunts cortisol levels, prevents muscle breakdown and raises insulin levels to help promote muscle growth and replenish muscle glycogen levels.
High-intensity exercises are not enough to gain muscles; you need supplements to gain muscles quickly. In this post, I shared with you 10 of the best supplements to gain muscle.
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