The top 6 Supplements for Building Muscle Mass
When it comes to shedding body fat and packing on muscle, nothing can replace a strict workout regimen, a high-protein diet, and adequate recovery time. However, some supplements are scientifically proven to accelerate the process and improve your muscular growth. Below are the must-have supplements for anyone that is trying to increase muscle mass.
If you can only afford one supplement, protein powder should be your main priority. Whey protein digests quickly and provides your body with the essential building blocks for muscle. The peptides it contains improve blood flow to the muscles, while branched-chain amino acids provide the foundation for protein synthesis. For best results, mix protein powder with water or milk for a refreshing post-workout shake.
Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are amino acids that are essential to protein synthesis and muscle growth. BCAAs help repair the micro-tears in muscle tissue, which leads directly to increased muscle mass. Taking BCAAs before a workout can also reduce your rate of burnout, letting you push out a few extra reps for even more growth. BCAAs are available in both powder and capsule form–aim to ingest 2-3 grams before and after each workout.
One of the most effective and most widely studied supplements, creatine earns its place on this list by boosting ATP production for maximum endurance during a workout. Creatine is also great for building muscle mass because it promotes the retention of water within muscle cells, stretching them out and making them larger. Countless studies have shown that people who supplement their diets with creatine see noticeable size and strength gains, while boosting their exercise performance by more than 10%. To get the best results from creatine, take 5 grams each day that you work out and 2.5 grams on each rest day.
Whether it’s from a morning cup of coffee, an energy drink, or pure caffeine in tablet or powdered form, the powerful stimulant effects of caffeine is an excellent tool in the quest for muscle mass. Aside from keeping you awake, caffeine also increases blood flow to your muscles, creating more of the micro-tears that become new muscle tissue. Ingesting caffeine shortly before a workout has also been proven to increase muscular endurance, helping you get the most out of each workout without spending all day at the gym.
Fish oil pills, along with other competing supplements such as krill oil and flaxseed oil, contain high-quality omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients that the human body does not produce on its own. Most people don’t get enough omega-3s in their diet, so fish oil pills can fill that gap and improve muscular growth by promoting increased blood flow and reducing inflammation, both of which are essential for proper recovery. While working out is what tears muscle fibers, the rest period is when muscle growth actually occurs, so it is vitally important to aid recovery however you can.
While multivitamins are no replacement for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, they help make up for any weak spots in your diet. Research shows that people who engage in regular exercise are much more likely to be deficient in many vitamins and minerals, and even a relatively good diet may not be enough to make up for it. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to fatigue, joint pain, soreness, and many other serious medical issues that interfere with your exercise and stall your progress. To be on the safe side, simply take a quality multivitamin each morning.
A good workout regimen, proper nutrition, and the right amount of sleep are undeniably the cornerstone of muscular growth. But by adding the supplements above to your routine, it is possible to dramatically improve your progress, your endurance, and your rate of muscle growth without resorting to dangerous performance enhancers or expensive and over-hyped gimmicks.