We can never have too much muscle. Truly elite physiques are built by rigorous training or lifting weights and doing squats, eating right and taking in mass-gain supplements to truly maximize your growth potential. These three things will definitely help you gain weight – the good kind!
A lot of people think simply hitting the gym will help you get results with your plan to gain muscles but without an adequate nutrition plan, you could be wasting all your hard work. What you should do is when you are at the gym or in your favorite place to work out, you should remain focused on training hard. Once you hit the gym, your concentration should be shifted to getting the right nutrition. You should have a solid nutrition plan to sustain your muscle growth. Protein is the number one macronutrient for muscle growth and development. You should not forget the other essential macronutrients though such as carbohydrates and healthy fats for your big guns.
Supplements come in next to your dietary plan if you are really serious about muscle building. These will provide nutrients necessary to fuel you with your pre-, during, and post work out routines. While it shouldn’t replace real food, it will aid with your diet and training goals.
Here we shed light on the 10 Best Muscle Building Supplements to help you experience more explosive muscle growth and development than ever before:
Top 10 Best Muscle Building Supplements
Of all the protein powders on the market, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard whey protein may be the best-known and most widely consumed. It’s the number one seller on Bodybuilding.com and Amazon.
Gold Standard 100 Whey comprises three forms of whey proteins; whey peptides, whey concentrate, and whey isolate. Apart from building muscles, whey proteins are essential in repairing body tissues and building stamina as well. Apart from whey protein, Gold Standard 100 Whey also contains amino acids, which aid in the breakdown of proteins. Apart from protecting the body from various diseases and ailments, Gold Standard 100 Whey enhances the user’s stamina. By eliminating radicals from the body, Gold Standard 100 Whey helps the body in building immunity power. It also lubricates all the joints in the user’s body and gives them a perfect shape. Furthermore, Whey protein plays a key role in the repair of muscles and the formation of new muscles.
All these nutritional makeup makes Gold Standard 100 Whey an ideal protein supplement injection between meals. Nonetheless, users should note that this product is not a meal replacement or mass gainer. It is a compliment for meals to assist users in attaining the daily-required protein levels.
- Fast absorption into the body
- Great taste
- An optimum serving of protein
- Numerous awards
- Slightly expensive compared to competitors
Casein is the main protein in raw milk, making up about 80 percent of its protein content.
Casein protein is a form of protein that is higher in calcium content that also proves to be a benefit in terms of total fat loss. Many individuals are quick to turn away from dairy products while attempting to lose body fat because they feel it will slow them down.
Another benefit you’ll receive by introducing casein protein into your diet is that of it being one of the best high-quality sources of protein available. While meeting your minimum protein requirements is always a top priority, if you’re taking in high-quality sources of protein to meet these requirements less will be excreted by the body and you’ll need less overall to maintain lean muscle mass. On the other hand, If you were taking in lower quality sources of protein and just meeting your recommended minimum requirements, this will negatively impact you because if not all of that protein is absorbed, you then will not actually be meeting those minimum requirements.
- Has anti-catabolic properties, it helps reduce muscle breakdown, even in the absence of food.
- Greater Fat loss
- Common side effects of casein include indigestion or heartburn, bloating, and bad aftertaste.
Taking creatine will help to increase your overall workout intensity, allows you to train at a higher frequency which means quicker and more significant muscular gains plus you will achieve a higher level of muscle mass.
The creatine will allow you to keep pushing hard in the gym at a time when you would usually have to decrease the load or stop entirely, so this helps in terms of building muscle faster. But note that you will still need to push yourself with each and every session and feed your body enough calories for the muscle mass to be built but supplementing with creatine makes this very possible.
Individuals who struggle to maintain enough volume in their workout program will be the ones to really benefit from using creatine
- Helps increase strength and power
- Helps expand muscle cell volume
- Retains muscle during a cut
- Safe in short or long-term
- Creatine causes water retention, which may also cause weight gain. It can also cause you to feel bloated and sluggish. This can be very bad for weight regulated sports like wrestling.
- Cells in the body cannot absorb water as well when using creatine. This may result in dehydration which can be dangerous and has negative side effects on its own.
- Once the supplemental creatine is metabolized inside the body, the compounds called as metabolites may be filtered on the kidneys and excreted in the urine. With an increasing number of metabolites, they may put excess stress in the bladder and kidney that potentially increase the risk of kidney stones and kidney damage.
Optimum Nutrition is one of the biggest names in the supplement industry and you may already know about their famous protein powder, Gold Standard Whey, which is probably the most popular whey on the market. But “ON” sells a huge variety of other supplements, and we’re checking out their branch chain amino acid capsules, which are called Mega-Size BCAA 1000 Caps.
This is something all bodybuilders and powerlifters would want to take. The formula of the product will provide building blocks of muscle growth and size. Each two-capsule serving a little much only contains one gram of branch chain amino acids: 500mg of leucine and 250mg each of isoleucine and valine. That’s a 2:1:1 ratio, which is common in these kinds of supplements.
The other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, an anti-caking agent made from wood pulp, and magnesium stearate. That’s what is called a “flow agent” that helps to stop ingredients from sticking to the machinery in the factory where the product’s made. The capsules themselves are made of gelatin. We called ON and confirmed that the gelatin is made from “beef and/or pork,” so note that these capsules aren’t vegetarian, kosher, or halal.
- Easy to swallow capsules
- Supports muscle building and exercise recovery
- Contains magnesium stearate
- Capsules are made of gelatin
Of the 20 or so amino acids that the human body is able to use some are deemed “essential” and some “non-essential”. Amino acids are the chemical building blocks of proteins.
Essential amino acids have to be consumed as our bodies cannot build them from scratch. Beta-alanine (as opposed to regular “alanine”) is a different type of amino acid than most as it is not thought to be utilized in the construction of proteins. Regular consumption of the organic dipeptide compound carnosine through protein-rich foods, such as fish, pork, beef and chicken provides us with our greatest supply of beta-alanine. Small amounts are also produced by the chemical breakdown of nucleic acids in our liver.
- Improve endurance
- Improve fatigue resistance
- Improve training volume
- If supplementing >10mg per kg of body weight, then you can be at risk of paresthesia
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a gas that’s naturally produced in the body; it’s used to communicate between cells.
Nitric Oxide’s main job is to deliver messages between the body’s cells. It also plays a key role in controlling the circulation of blood and regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs. But from a muscle-building perspective, NO affects the release of hormones and adrenaline. It’s also said to speed growth and recovery time as well as increase blood flow, thus delivering more nutrients to muscles, helping them grow. Many athletes take NO supplements because they believe it makes them workout harder and for longer.
- Increased vascularity
- Better post-workout pump
- Quick recovery time
- Possible side effects include digestive discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, lower back pain, leg restlessness, and changes in blood sugar.
Optimum Nutrition is a company best known for its amazing nutritional supplements, and their ZMA is no exception to the rule.
ZMA holds the potential to provide benefits specific to athletes. ZMA is a supplement made up of two minerals – zinc and magnesium – and vitamin B6. It has many beneficial factors, including better muscle recovery, increased strength and size, better sleep and some even report it as a weight loss aid to boot.
- Aids sleeping problems
- Consumption or taking too much of ZMA may lead to extreme accumulation of vitamins and minerals in the body
Glutamine is the most plentiful amino acid in your body. Your body makes enough of this protein building block on its own, so it is not an essential amino acid. However, when under extreme stress such as a severe illness, an injury or very heavy exercise, your body might need more glutamine than it can make.
Glutamine also may help endurance athletes or overtrained athletes avoid upper respiratory tract infections after strenuous exercise events such as marathons, which is a common occurrence.
- Helps the immune system to function properly
- Removes excess ammonia
- Helps to normal digestion, and brain function
- If you are well-nourished, a glutamine supplement may not do much for you—even if you’re an athlete who trains extremely hard
One particular health supplement gaining popularity is L-carnitine. With decades of studies to prove its performance, it is considered safe and effective. In fact, it is now a popular option among health enthusiasts.
Located inside every cell are microscopic batteries known as mitochondria. L-carnitine’s purpose is to transport fatty acids from the food you consume into the mitochondria, thereby allowing them to be converted into energy for immediate use. This process fuels literally every single movement you make. With sufficient L-carnitine levels, your body will not be more vulnerable to fatigue, muscle failure, and overall lethargy. Having enough L-carnitine allows your body to convert stored fat into energy for your training sessions and other activities of daily living.
- Boost Cellular Energy
- Provides Greater Stamina and Endurance
- Can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, heartburn, diarrhea, and seizures.
Beta Aldosterone is a phytosterol or plant sterol that is steadily gaining popularity as a supplement for bodybuilding and muscle building. It stimulates protein synthesis which leads to an increase in muscle mass. Beta-ecdysterone is often included in nutritional supplements to promote muscle growth and gain without negative hormonal effects. It is considered a natural alternative to steroids.
Beta-ecdysterone is believed to be of benefit to anyone who wants to develop significant amounts of lean muscle mass quickly, thanks to its positive effects on protein synthesis. Men who find it difficult to build bigger and stronger muscles can benefit from this product.
It can improve athletic performance and strength naturally. Beta-ecdysterone is a popular supplement among bodybuilders who want to increase their muscle growth.
- Helps improve protein metabolism
- Helps decrease breakdown of muscle tissue
- Build lean muscle
- Improves stamina and endurance
- Comes in capsule
- Can be expensive
What are the Advantages of Adding Muscle Building Supplements to Proper Nutrition and Training?
Just like any other dietary supplements, muscle gaining supplements will definitely aid in providing nutrients that you otherwise don’t get enough of just by eating alone. You wouldn’t want to put too much pressure on yourself as you struggle to get the daily requirements for certain nutrients by eating food. It would probably make you sick to the stomach if you intake a lot of eggs and lentils just to get enough proteins.
Muscle building supplements also help you recover quickly after sweating it out at the gym or with your other daily activities. For example, Whey is a nutrient absorbed fast just within 30 minutes after your workout. Supplements will push you harder to work out and decrease soreness and stiffness afterward. You wouldn’t have too much of a hard time finding the energy to pick up the weights and start lifting again when you take these supplements.
Bodybuilding supplements wouldn’t hurt to add to your muscle building plan. It can adjust your physical appearance for the better. They can also have positive effects in other parts of your life to be it by adding strength or to simply impressing other people by how you look.
Can Minors Take Muscle Gaining Supplements?
Those who are 18 years old and below are NOT recommended to take muscle building supplements because they are naturally gaining muscle and weight anyway. For the younger people, proper diet and exercise are enough to be in top shape.
Risks such as increased hormones should also be taken into consideration by teenagers who wish to take muscle building supplements. At this age, it is already typical to generate sufficiently high levels of muscle building hormones. This natural process should never be messed with unless under the care of a professional.
Teenagers also have a lot of energy to be working out so the stimulants on the muscle gaining supplements would do more harm than good to them. Younger people don’t need these kinds of motivation to keep working out at the gym or wherever. Self-motivation or getting a mentor for them will do just fine.
How Much Can One Gain Using Muscle Building Supplements?
You have to remember that every person is different. Individual results depend on how long you have been training and how much weight you have already put on, what your exercises are, your diet, genetics, stress levels, drug/ alcohol consumption and your previous or current supplements use.
No one can give you solid promises but if you stick to the instructions in the products, your training course, and your diet plan then you will get the best results possible.
Important Factors to Keep in Mind
Side Effects of Muscle Building Supplements
It can be confusing to decide to start taking muscle building supplements as there are a lot of comments such as these online. This discussion is to debunk those myths.
Keep in mind that any supplement can have bad side effects when misused or abused. For example, even too much vitamin C can cause severe diarrhea to some people. However, this does not mean that vitamin C is dangerous.
Testosterone Boosters are often used thus they are the most discussed supplements when the topic of side effects is brought up. Prostate enlargement, hair loss, gynecomastia, acne, testicular atrophy and increased estrogen levels are all common side effects.
The practice of loading creatine in high doses without drinking adequate water can cause some side effects too. These side effects are stomach cramps, muscle cramps, nausea, diarrhea, kidney stress and dehydration.
Some supplements such as those containing arginine can cause a harmless tingling sensation to the surface of the skin. This side effect is harmless but can be irritating to some users.
Stimulant based boosters’ side effects can include nervousness, irritability, insomnia, addiction (dependency), heart palpitations, tremors, mild hypertension, convulsions and heart attack.
Always be sure to follow the instructions in each product strictly to avoid these side effects. Consult your doctor when adverse effects start to occur.
This is a rare thing but it happens always due to a reason that can be easily addressed. If you are not seeing any results you expect it could be due to some reasons listed below:
Low protein intake. Increase protein by adding protein-rich food to your diet or switch or add protein-packed supplements.
Overtraining. More is often not for the better. Train hard and heavy but not too often. You also don’t want to be undertrained. Moderate your exercises to break down enough proteins but also not to drain too much energy from you.
Bad diet. You should always keep in mind that for muscle growth there should be more protein and carbohydrates in your daily meals. You need to eat like a big guy to look like a big guy!
High-Stress Levels. Relax! Stress produces cortisol which destroys muscle and stores fat.
Alcohol and Drugs. This needs to be avoided
Most people in the quest of building muscles have some holes in their diets that can be fixed up with intake of muscle building supplements. It is a great addition to proper nutrition and hard exercise to achieve those muscle goals.
The Top Muscle Building Supplements are Whey Protein, amino acids BCAA, L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, and Creatine. Make sure to look for these when choosing which best muscle building supplement is for you.
Alongside you should have proper nutrition rich in protein and carbohydrates. You would also want to consume plenty of calories in liquid form so be sure to have superfood shakes with you while you’re on the go or at the gym.
Opt for muscle training instead of cardio workouts for your exercise. Make sure to include heavy weight training of 6-12 reps, five days a week, 45-75 minutes a day. When you choose to do cardio, opt for burst training instead.
Keep in mind to follow the instructions on your chosen supplements to avoid adverse side effects and stick to your dietary and exercise plans to see results in no time.