The 3 Best Muscle Building Supplements

 

If you are putting in the hours at the gym, the trail, the road or wherever your focus your training, you want the best results possible.  The first step is to understand your your current fitness levels by being tested for your body fat and body composition. This will provide a starting point to see how you respond to supplementation as an individual.

For many people, the best recognized and tested supplements work well.  However, due to the nature of our individual bodies and training demands, athletes will respond differently to the supplements.

Scientifically speaking, there are a number of overpriced placebos on the market with no evidence that many popular supplements even work. With that being said, not all supplements are worthless for natural athletes.

There are a number of supplements that show the greatest benefit and the most return across the board. They may not be as important as maintaining proper diet and training, but they will help your fitness journey and support body composition goals.

Supplements are expensive, so I want you to get your money’s worth.

  1. CREATINE

Creatine is one of the most heavily researched supplements in the history of sports nutrition, and creatine’s effectiveness  cannot be denied.  Creatine is a naturally occurring substance within our muscle cells, mostly found around the skeletal muscle tissue. Roughly 95 percent of the body’s creatine supply can be found. The remainder is stored throughout the rest of the body.

This naturally occurring metabolite is found as creatine monohydrate as a dietary supplement purposes where the body utilizes it for cellular energy production and modulation.

  • The perks of creatine supplementation:
  • The promotion of lean body mass
  • Increased muscle cell volume
  • Faster post-workout recovery
  • Increased glycogen storage
  • Increase high-intensity muscle performance

Many athletes typically prefer creatine when weight training and bodybuilding it assists muscle mass development.

How much to take: 5-10 grams. Take half of your daily supplementation with your pre-workout meal and the second half with your post-workout shake.

 

  1. BETA-ALANINE

Beta-Alanine is another naturally occurring non-essential amino acid (your body can make it) that comes into the body through protein rich foods. The enhancement in beta-alanine (BA) is the results of its ability to increase significant levels of carnosine.

Why is this important? During high-intensity exercise our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen which causes our pH to drop (whereby our bodies more acidic). This acidification (lactic acid) causes severe fatigue, decrease muscle performance, and can slow or shut down the neural drive which pushes our muscle to premature failure. With increased levels of carnosine via Beta-Alanine supplementation, athletes can help delay the accumulation of hydrogen (acidic conditions) and the resulting acidity which can help delay muscle.

Additional benefits of beta-alanine supplementation:

  • Elevated endurance
  • Improved force output
  • Delayed fatigue
  • Improved repeated sprint ability
  • Works synergistically with creatine

How much to take: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day to reduce the common skin-tingling sensation.

 

  1. WHEY PROTEIN

Whey protein is one of the most effective supplements that can be used to improve performance, gain muscle mass and assist in body composition changes. Whey protein provides the body with a high amount of protein that helps activate the muscle-growing process.

Whey porotein is commonly taken before and after a workout to increase protein synthesis and to improve muscle recovery and restoration. Whether you are trying to add lean mass or drop body fat, adding a whey protein supplement to an exercise routine can speed the gain and loss process. Here are some key benefits to whey-protein supplementation:

  • Easily digested- Whey is a fast-digesting milk protein that acts almost immediately to help deliver amino acids to the skeletal muscle.
  • Lactose intolerant – Whey protein isolate, which contains a higher percentage of pure protein and can be nearly lactose-free.
  • Improved muscle repair- Taken immediately after a workout, whey protein triggers rapid muscle recovery.
  • Amino acids- Whey protein supplements contain very high concentrations of the essential quality amino acids that provide assistance during protein synthesis and muscle repair.

How much to take: Consume 20-30 grams of whey protein per serving.  Research shows it’s best utilized for pre- and post-workout routines. It’s also a great way get in the necessary amount of your daily protein requirements when whole food meals are not available.

Remember you can achieve your desired results without adding supplements. However, your results may take longer to achieve. To get the body you want, remember to start with a great, well-balanced diet, and then use supplements to help fill in the gaps.   Results gained from supplementation will vary from person to person. Athletes will have different workouts (intensity, length, goals, etc.), so maximize your whole food diet and try these supplements to make additional progress.