You may have wondered which muscle-building supplements are best for you. There is in fact no shortage of supplements that claim to stimulate muscle growth, but a really fit body is primarily achieved through intensive training and a healthy diet. However, buying good and safe supplements can be seen as the icing on the cake.
Using supplements to build muscle
But when your training and nutrition are in order, five science-backed supplements can definitely help you get your new desired physique a little faster, improve the quality of your workouts, and help you recover. Those three things can certainly contribute to gaining more muscle mass!
In this article, we describe these five important nutritional supplements for athletes.
Creatine is made from three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. Scientific studies have shown that men who take creatine gain about 4.5 kilos of extra body weight. In addition, their strength is drastically increased.
Creatine works in a number of different ways. First, it increases the amount of quick energy in your muscles. This is necessary to be able to perform many repetitions in the gym. The more of this fast energy available, the more reps you can do with a given weight.
This will make you bigger and stronger in the long run. Second, creatine attracts more water into your muscle cells, creating a stretch on the cell. In the long run, this increases muscle growth. More recently, creatine has been found to increase levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in muscle, which is crucial for stimulating muscle growth.
In short: For avid athletes who want to build muscle mass, buying and using creatine should not be missing in their daily life!
Protein Supplements for Building Muscle
These cracks are caused when you push your limits in the gym. As the tears are repaired, your muscles get bigger and stronger.
Whey protein is broken down and absorbed very quickly by your body, making it the perfect choice after training. It will help your body recover and stimulate muscle growth. A good whey protein supplement also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles.
That is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training. In short: proteins, as supplements for building muscle, should not be missing!
Keep in mind that whey protein is not the only protein supplement. You can also use casein protein which is absorbed into your body much more slowly. This is a good choice for keeping your protein levels high while you sleep.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
The term “branched-chain amino acids” (or BCAAs) refers to leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are one of the most important amino acids for repairing and building muscle tissue.
Leucine is the most important amino acid of the three, as research has shown that it can stimulate protein synthesis on its own. However, it is still best to take all three amino acids together as they work in synergy to provide a multitude of benefits.
You can think of extra muscle growth, increased energy release during training, weakening cortisol (a catabolic hormone that inhibits testosterone and increases muscle breakdown), and reduced muscle soreness.
Dietary supplements that contain BCAAs are therefore extremely suitable supplements for building muscle.
In the body, the amino acid beta-alanine combines with another amino (histidine) to form carnosine. Research shows that when muscles have higher levels of carnosine, they have more strength and endurance.
Carnosine appears to increase the muscle fibers' ability to contract with greater force and do so for longer without becoming exhausted. Several studies show an increase in muscle strength in athletes who used beta-alanine.
A recent study found that subjects who took beta-alanine along with creatine gained more muscle mass and lost more body fat than subjects who took creatine alone.
The amino acid glutamine has been one of the most widely used sports supplements among bodybuilders for decades because it is central to muscle function and can be classified among the most abundant amino acids in the human body.
Glutamine offers numerous benefits for bodybuilding and athletes, such as helping muscle growth by increasing leucine in muscle fibers, helping to reduce muscle breakdown, and strengthening the immune system. A stronger immune system leads to less illness and ensures that you miss fewer workouts.
In addition, glutamine, taken before exercise, can reduce muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. This amino acid should certainly not be missing from the list of supplements for building muscle!