Exercising regularly and eating right is on way of gaining muscle mass and building your body. However, many times it happens that even though you are exercising regularly and also eating the right foods, sometimes you just want to gain more muscle. Having the right amount of muscle is important as it allows you to not only exercise at an optimum level but also helps in your day-to-day life. For gaining maximal muscle, there are certain criteria that you have to follow. These include having a workout routine that challenges your muscles, consuming more calories than your body can burn, and eating more protein than your body is able to break down. While in most cases it is possible to follow these three criteria and gain muscles, sometimes it becomes necessary to take certain dietary supplements to gain muscle.
Taking These 6 Supplements Can Help You Gain Muscles
Today we take a look at some of the best supplements for gaining muscle that you can include along with your diet and exercise routine.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is perhaps the number one muscle mass gaining supplement being used around the world. Whey is important for pushing the process of protein synthesis in the body. Whey, a milk protein, contains high levels of branched chain amino acids. This makes it easier to digest and it boosts your muscles to further start building muscles at a rapid pace. Whey is also rich in small proteins, which helps in increasing the blood flow to muscles. This is why trainers often recommend that you consume whey protein immediately after your training session. You should also consume around 20 to 40 grams of whey protein powder immediately after getting up in the morning as it helps kick-start the growth of muscles. Try to choose whey powder that also contains whey protein hydrolysates or whey protein isolate.
Creatine is also produced naturally by your body. This molecule is responsible for providing energy for your tissues and your muscles. However, when you take creatine as a dietary supplement, it helps increase the level of creatine present in your muscles by nearly 50 percent above the normal levels. This boost in creatine helps your muscle cells and also boosts your performance during exercise, thus promoting muscle gain.
There have been many studies that have shown that taking creatine supplement can improve muscle strength drastically. A study done by the Global Fitness Services in New York showed that when there is an improvement in muscle strength, it allows you to perform much better during your exercise routine. This leads to a bigger increase in muscle mass over a period of time.
Creatine is also known to increase the water content in the muscle cells, causing these cells to swell, signaling the need for muscle growth. Creatine supplement is also known to increase the levels of IGF-1 in the body, which is a hormone that is responsible for muscle growth.
This supplement has been studied extensively over the years and has shown to be relatively safe for consumption by everyone. Studies have also shown that creatine helps reduce the breakdown of proteins in the muscles. Many experts even recommend that if you want to take supplements for muscle gain, then creatine should be your first choice.
Many people are generally unaware of the benefits of beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps lower fatigue and also boosts exercise performance. If you are following a strict exercise regimen, then beta-alanine also helps increase your muscle mass.
A study done at the Human Performance and Physical Education Department of the Adams State College in Colorado showed that consuming 4 grams of beta-alanine every day for eight to ten weeks helps increase the lean body mass in football players and college wrestlers. Another study done by the Department of Health and Exercise Science at the University of Oklahoma showed that when you add a beta-alanine supplement to a high-intensity interval training program of six weeks, helps increase the lean body mass by 0.45 kilograms or by 1 pound.
While more research is still needed on how beta-alanine helps with muscle gain, it is definitely certain that this is one supplement which helps support muscle growth when used in combination with an exercise program.
Commonly referred to just as HMB, the actual name of the supplement is beta-hydroxy beta-methyl butyrate. This is a molecule that is produced by the body during the processing of leucine, an amino acid. HMB is what boosts the beneficial effects of leucine and other proteins in your diet. HMB also plays an important role in decreasing the breakdown of muscle proteins.
HMB is produced naturally by the body, when you take it as a supplement, it benefits your muscles as the level of HMB increases in the body. Many studies have shown that adults who are taking around 4 to 6 grams of HMB every day are able to improve their numbers of lean body mass from doing weight training.
On the other hand, though, some research also shows that taken in similar doses, HMB is not as effective at increasing muscle mass in individuals who are undergoing weight training. This probably indicates that HMB is most effective for individuals who are just starting out with exercise or those who are increasing the overall intensity of their exercise routine.
It is very important that you are getting a sufficient amount of protein when your aim is to gain muscle. To build your body, you need to ideally consume more protein than what your body is breaking down daily through natural synthesis and other processes.
While it is very much possible to meet your entire protein requirement by consuming protein-rich foods, many people, however, often struggle with this for various reasons. If this is the case, then you should think about starting a protein supplement.
There are many types of protein supplement available on the market today. While some are more popular, such as whey protein powder as discussed above, others are not that popular, such as the supplements that contain protein derived from beef, chicken, eggs, etc.
Studies have indicated that when you add more protein through supplements, it boosts your muscle gain slightly as compared to people who are only exercising. Protein supplement also causes more muscle gain as compared to an intake of extra carbohydrates.
The effect of protein supplements on muscle gain is the largest and the most obvious for people who are not getting sufficient levels of protein from their normal day-to-day diet. Be mindful, though, that studies have shown that if you are already on a high-protein diet, then the protein supplements will not increase your muscles too much. There will only be a slight increase in muscle gain.
Other Supplements for Gaining Muscle
Apart from the popular supplements discussed above, there are many other types of supplements also available which can be used for increasing muscle mass. These include carnitine, glutamine, testosterone boosters, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). However, the results from these supplements are quite mixed.
- Carnitine and Glutamine. These two supplements have not shown positive results in middle-aged and young individuals. However, in the elderly population, carnitine has shown benefits in muscle gain.
- Testosterone Boosters. Supplements that are testosterone boosters include fenugreek, DHEA, ashwagandha, D-aspartic acid, Tribulus Terrestris, amongst others. These compounds have shown to only benefit those who suffer from low testosterone levels.
- CLA. People who have used conjugated linoleic acid as a supplement have reported mixed results. Some reported muscle gain while others reported no change. This is why it remains unclear whether CLA actually works for muscle gain or not.
While supplements can help boost your muscle mass, keep in mind that ultimately supplement will not work for you unless you back it up with the correct nutrition and exercise routine as well. You need to continue eating enough number of calories as well as protein to gain muscle. This has to be paired with the correct exercise, particularly weight training. Once you are clear that both your nutrition and exercise regimes are correct and working for you, and you still want to gain more muscle mass, then you should consider choosing a dietary supplement. If you suffer from any health condition, then make sure to discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of taking a supplement for muscle gain before you start having any supplement.
- Calcium Supplements & Heart Health|Is There a Link Between Heart Problems & Calcium Supplements
- Foods & Supplements That Help Produce More Breast Milk
- Symptoms of Menopause & Top 10 Supplements for Symptoms Relief
- The Best Supplements for Joint Health
- 11 Supplements for Fibromyalgia
- Can Garlic Supplements Cause Indigestion?
- What Supplements Are Good For Kidneys?