Lifting weights and eating right will only get you so far when it comes to building muscle. Why? Your body doesn’t have the raw materials necessary to build more tissue. So, you need to provide your body with the necessary nutrients that make up these tissues to help your muscles grow larger than they would on their own. Simply speaking, you’re going to need some supplements in your routine. They are a requirement so that you can maximize your growth potential. But with so many out there, how do you know which ones are worth the investment? Read on below to find out some of the most effective and safest supplements for building muscle mass!
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAA’s are amino acids such as isoleucine, leucine, and valine. They have been shown to reduce soreness and speed up recovery after a strenuous and heavy-duty workout. Additionally, they’re essential for muscle growth because they stimulate the body to produce more HGH or human growth hormone. Generally, you can get BCAAs via food sources such as eggs, fish, chicken, dairy, and meat. However, supplements can help particularly with muscle recovery. You can find them in single supplements and protein powders.
To maximize proven results of BCAA supplementation, look for BCAA products that contain leucine at a 2:1 ratio per dose of valine and isoleucine. Why? Because this ratio is key for optimizing your production of HGH by enhancing insulin release from the pancreas. Insulin then blocks muscle breakdown and stimulates anabolic activity so that more proteins are produced to heal muscles quicker.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is another supplement excellent for building muscle mass. It’s a mixture of proteins segregated from whey (the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production). Unfortunately, whey protein doesn’t taste great on its own. That’s why whey protein is typically flavoured. There’s chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and more! Additionally, there are three types of whey protein:
- Concentrate whey protein contains lactose, sugar, and about 80% protein.
- Isolate whey protein contains fat, less lactose, and about 90% protein.
- Hydrolysate whey protein has been pre-digested so the body can absorb it faster.
They can vary in price, digestibility, and protein content. Consult your doctor to see which type would be best for you.
Creatine is made from methionine, glycine, and arginine. Studies report that people who take this supplement increase in strength significantly and gain at least ten pounds. That’s good news for those looking to build muscle mass quickly.
Creatine works in plenty of ways. For one, it draws water into your muscle cells, increasing their size; secondly, it increases the energy needed to exercise in the gym. Another thing, creatine has been shown to boost insulin levels, which is vital for stimulating growth. And to maximize its effects, take at least 2-5 grams of creatine in the form of alpha- ketoglutarate, ethyl ester, malate, and monohydrate with your protein shake right away before working out. Doing so will keep your muscles imbued with creatine. Thus, bringing forth the rapid energy needed to perform intense exercises. When not working out, take the same grams with carbohydrates diet.
Casein Protein Powder
Casein protein is also very effective for building muscle mass. This is because it has all the essential amino acids that the human body can’t produce. Best of all, casein protein provides considerable leucine, vital for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. However, the human body absorbs and digests casein much slower than whey or soy protein. For this reason, you should drink your casein shake just before bed to provide a steady stream of amino acids throughout the night while you sleep. The slow-digesting properties of this protein powder will also prevent you from having a spike in insulin, which is vital for maintaining muscle mass. Additionally, you can take it with or without food. However, taking it before your workout isn’t advisable as your body may not have time to digest it entirely before starting your workout.
Take note that building muscle isn’t just all about growing your muscles. It’s also about saving what you have. Cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress and other factors, can attack muscle mass and promote fat storage. Ashwagandha root has been shown to lower cortisol levels and help the body to recover quickly. The best time to take ashwagandha root is an hour before your workout (when cortisol levels are high), but you must take it with food because of its herbaceous nature.
But the benefits of this wonderful supplement don’t stop there. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia. It helps improve sleep quality and reduces insomnia by balancing the nervous system. It even has the potential to increase fertility and increase testosterone production in men. So if you’re looking for one supplement to build those muscles while improving your mental health and hormones, look no further than ashwagandha root!
Working out imposes stress and tension on the muscles, which signals the body to repair. If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, your body will break down muscle tissue for its use. Adding protein supplements to your diet can help you maintain and increase lean muscle mass. Protein supplements come in many forms, including powders that you can mix with water or milk and ready-to-drink products. The best type of protein supplement for you depends on your needs and personal preferences.
Try my protein calculator to see exactly what are your needs.