The best ways to gain strength and muscle mass are to eat right and lift weights. Supplements for muscle building can be an effective addition to your workouts.
Supplements can increase your gains when combined with resistance training, which can be any type of strength training, according to Michaela Devries Aboud, assistant professor at the University of Waterloo’s kinesiology department. This will allow you to grow and maintain muscle mass more effectively, she says.
Here are the top supplements to build muscle.
The building block that makes up all cells in the body is protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth because it serves a primary function: to repair and build muscle cells. A protein supplement can help you reach your fitness goals.
A 2018 review examined the results from 49 studies to determine how protein supplementation affects muscle strength and mass. This review showed that protein supplementation had a significant effect on muscle strength and size over prolonged periods of resistance training.
The ideal time to build muscle mass is to consume protein within two hours of your workout. Jose Antonio, professor in Exercise Science at Nova Southeastern University, said that you can use it as a post-workout meal supplement or as an alternative to a protein-rich meal if time is tight.
Health Risks: Some protein powders can be high in calories and added sugar, so make sure you read the label carefully.
Creatine, an amino acid found in your muscles naturally, is an amino acid. Your body converts creatine into phosphocreatine, which is stored in your muscles. It then uses it for energy. Creatine supplements are often taken by people to increase their athletic performance and muscle mass.
Antonio says that five grams of creatine per day have been shown to increase body mass and improve endurance. There are no side effects.
Devries-Aboud says that this is the best amount of creatine to supplement to maintain muscle strength and mass. She recommends that creatine be consumed in combination with a carbohydrate such as juice. This has been proven to increase muscle creatine and prevent urinary creatine losses.
Creatine supplementation during resistance training can lead to greater muscle strength, muscle mass, and functional performance in older and younger adults. The Mayo Clinic states that creatine is most useful for athletes who require short bursts or muscle like weightlifters and sprinters.
Beta-alanine, an amino acid found in meat and poultry, is made in the liver.
It can increase endurance and may even help you do a few more reps during strength training, according to Jacob Wilson who is a doctorate holder in exercise physiology and serves as the CEO at Applied Science and Performance Institute.
Beta-alanine buffers the pH of our muscle cells. This causes a burning sensation that can feel both good and bad at the same moment, he explained. Beta-alanine can slow down the pH drop, so our muscles can continue to function normally for a little while longer.
In a small study, two grams of beta-alanine was found to increase time to exhaustion during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) by 19% after six weeks. Over the course of the day, participants received five doses each of 400 mgs of the supplement.
Supplementing with beta-alanine before you do a workout is the best way to maximize its effectiveness. The current recommendation for supplementation is to consume 4 to 6 grams of beta-alanine daily in healthy individuals.
leucine (or isoleucine) and valine are the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Because it is known to stimulate muscle growth, leucine is the most important. You can get BCAAs from foods such as red meat, eggs, milk, and chicken. Supplements can be helpful in muscle recovery.
A small 2010 study examined the effects of BCAA supplementation on squatting. Participants who took 100 mg of BCAAs per kilogram of their body weight before performing a squat exercise had a lower rate than those who received a placebo. These results indicate that BCAA supplementation could reduce muscle damage.
Antonio says that BCAAs can help reduce muscle soreness when taken pre-exercise in the range of 10-20 grams.
BCAAs should be taken as a supplement. There are generally no health concerns with BCAA supplementation. Follow the directions and ensure that you take the correct dose.
HMB is also known as beta-hydroxy-betamethylbutyrate. This may lead to a decrease in protein breakdown and an increase in protein synthesis. This can result in increased muscle strength. HMB, like beta-alanine speeds recovery after high-intensity exercise.
Wilson refers to HMB as the latest muscle building supplements that is recommended for certain situations. HMB is recommended if you are a morning person who likes to exercise before breakfast. It can reduce protein breakdown.
When we train while fasting, our bodies may break down muscle tissue in order to give us energy. HMB and other supplements can reduce this breakdown. This means that we can train in an anabolic state to build muscle mass, and may not feel as sore the next morning.