Muscle Supplements – What Works and What Doesn’t

Muscle growth secrets from experts and celebrities

If you’re looking for ways to boost your muscle growth and strength, you might be tempted to try some of the many supplements that claim to do just that. But do they really work? And are they safe?

 

In this article, we’ll review some of the most popular and effective supplements for muscle building, based on scientific evidence and expert opinions. We’ll also tell you which ones to avoid or use with caution.

 

Let’s get started!

 

 

Creatine

 

 

Creatine is one of the most well-known and widely used supplements for muscle gain. It’s a natural substance that your body produces and stores in your muscles. It helps provide energy for short bursts of intense activity, such as lifting weights or sprinting.

 

By taking creatine as a supplement, you can increase the amount of creatine in your muscles by up to 40%. This can improve your exercise performance, allowing you to lift heavier weights, do more reps, and recover faster. As a result, you can stimulate more muscle growth over time.

 

Creatine also draws water into your muscle cells, making them bigger and fuller. This can trigger signals for muscle growth and prevent muscle breakdown. Additionally, creatine may boost the levels of hormones that promote muscle growth, such as IGF-1.

 

Creatine is one of the most researched and safest supplements available. It has been shown to improve muscle mass and strength in various populations, from young athletes to older adults. It’s also relatively cheap and easy to find.

 

The recommended dose of creatine is 5 grams per day. You can take it before or after your workout, or at any time of the day that suits you. You don’t need to cycle or load creatine, as some people suggest. Just take it consistently and enjoy the benefits.

 

 

 

Protein

 

 

Protein is the building block of muscle tissue. Without enough protein, your body can’t repair and grow your muscles after a workout. That’s why protein is essential for muscle gain.

 

The amount of protein you need depends on several factors, such as your body weight, activity level, age, and goals. A general guideline is to consume 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for 105 to 150 grams of protein daily.

 

You can get protein from various foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy, fish, soy, nuts, and beans. However, some people may find it hard to meet their protein needs from food alone. That’s where protein supplements come in handy.

 

Protein supplements are convenient and portable sources of high-quality protein. They come in different forms, such as powders, bars, shakes, and cookies. You can use them to boost your protein intake throughout the day or around your workouts.

 

The most common type of protein supplement is whey protein. Whey is a fast-digesting protein that comes from milk. It contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs to build muscle. It also has a high content of leucine, which is the most important amino acid for muscle growth.

 

Other types of protein supplements include casein, soy, egg, pea, rice, and hemp. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of digestibility, amino acid profile, taste, and cost. You can choose the one that suits your preferences and needs best.

 

The recommended dose of protein supplements varies depending on the product and your goals. A good rule of thumb is to consume 20 to 40 grams of protein per serving, depending on your body weight and how much protein you get from food.

 

You can take protein supplements before or after your workout, or between meals as a snack. The timing is not as important as the total amount of protein you consume throughout the day.

 

 

 

Weight Gainers

 

Weight gainers are supplements that are designed to help you gain weight and muscle mass. They are basically high-calorie shakes that contain a lot of protein, carbs and fats.

 

Weight gainers are ideal for people who have a hard time eating enough calories from food alone. They can help you meet your calorie surplus, which is necessary for muscle gain. They can also provide extra energy for your workouts and recovery.

 

However, weight gainers are not for everyone. They are often loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients that can harm your health in the long run. They can also make you gain unwanted fat if you consume too much or don’t exercise enough.

 

Therefore, weight gainers should be used with caution and moderation. You should only use them if you have a very high calorie requirement that you can’t meet from food alone. You should also choose a weight gainer that has a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats, and avoid those that have too much sugar or additives.

The recommended dose of weight gainers depends on your calorie needs and goals. You can use a calorie calculator to estimate how much you need to eat to gain weight and muscle. Then, you can adjust your weight gainer intake accordingly.

 

You can take weight gainers before or after your workout, or as a meal replacement or snack. You should always mix them with water or milk, and not with juice or soda. You should also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid bloating.

 

 

Beta-alanine

 

 

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps your body produce carnosine. Carnosine is a molecule that buffers the acid that builds up in your muscles during intense exercise. This can delay muscle fatigue and improve your endurance.

 

By taking beta-alanine as a supplement, you can increase the amount of carnosine in your muscles by up to 80%. This can enhance your performance during high-intensity workouts, such as sprinting, cycling, or lifting weights. As a result, you can do more work and stimulate more muscle growth.

 

Beta-alanine is also safe and well-tolerated by most people. The only common side effect is a tingling sensation in your skin, which is harmless and usually goes away after a few minutes.

 

The recommended dose of beta-alanine is 2 to 5 grams per day. You can take it at any time of the day, but some people prefer to take it before their workout to feel the tingling effect. You can also split the dose into smaller servings throughout the day to reduce the tingling sensation.

 

 

 

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

 

 

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are three essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. They are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They play important roles in muscle growth and recovery.

 

BCAAs can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building new muscle tissue. They can also reduce muscle breakdown, which is the process of losing muscle tissue. This can help you preserve and increase your muscle mass over time.

 

BCAAs can also provide energy for your muscles during exercise and reduce muscle soreness after exercise. This can improve your performance and recovery, allowing you to train harder and more often.

 

You can get BCAAs from various protein-rich foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy, fish, soy, nuts, and beans. However, some people may benefit from taking BCAAs as a supplement, especially if they don’t eat enough protein or have a low-quality protein intake.

 

The recommended dose of BCAAs is 5 to 10 grams per day. You can take them before, during, or after your workout, or between meals as a snack. You can choose a BCAA supplement that has a ratio of 2:1:1 or 3:1:1 of leucine to isoleucine and valine, as this is the most effective for muscle growth.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top