6 Of The Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

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Supplements For Muscle Building – I want to start this off right off the bat that if you think drinking a protein shake and swallow a few pills will make you big, then you have it all wrong.

That’s not how supplements work for building muscle.

Unfortunately, there is not a supplement out there that will help you if you don’t have the proper training and nutrition to back it up, as it will just make for very expensive urine.

To build muscle, you have to have all the basics covered with a great training and nutrition program to get the maximum benefit from nutrition supplements.

For the past year due to injuries, I lost a considerable amount of muscle mass, and the information below is the research I have come up with regarding rebuilding my lost muscle mass.

This post is dedicated to those who are looking at finding ways to help build muscle through bodybuilding supplements from someone who is still trying to build muscle as well.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR MUSCLE BUILDING
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Supplements - The Industry Today

Marketing is everything when it comes to the supplement industry.

In order for a product to stand out from the flooded supplement market, companies rebrand an old product with a flashy label and sell it off as a muscle miracle cure.

So, let’s just say that the supplement industry gets a bad rap, and rightfully so.

But, not all muscle building supplements are bad, just the ones that promise the world, and never deliver. 

When it comes to building muscle, there are the tried and true supplements that the majority of the bodybuilders out there trust.

In this article, I will discuss the six basic health supplements that are the most effective to help in reaching your muscle-building goals.

MUSCLE BUILDING SUPPLEMENTS – MY EXPERIENCE

I have been training for the past 5 years, and I still haven’t gotten it right.

I have a training program I follow, but my nutrition is not backing up all the hard work I am putting in the gym.

I seem to feel like a hamster on a hamster wheel, just running over and over again and getting nowhere.

From my recent experience, supplements enhance your program by:

Adding an element of convenience: Using food supplements like Meal Replacement Powders and whey protein help to kill the common problem of ‘not enough time’, by providing you with a quick efficient approach to get your required nutrients each day.

Increasing strength and decreasing recovery time: Using vitamin and amino acid supplements help to minimize the negative side effects of weight training and speed your recovery.

The Benefit of Convenience

There are many trainers and bodybuilders out there who have a firm stance that supplements for building muscle.

I read countless articles about them preaching they don’t work, and that supplements are unrequired in the muscle-building process.

Since I have been training for the past few years and using as many supplements I can get my hands on I can agree with them, somewhat.

What did the gladiators use back in the days to achieve the results they had? I don’t think there was a local GNC store near them to load up before the competition.

But somehow the Gladiators were able to build huge physiques without meal replacement powders, creatine or prohormones.

There was no such thing as exercise ‘machines.’ They used multi-jointed, compound free weight exercises that not only increased his/her muscular size but also make them incredibly strong.

So, if you look at that technique, it can be done and you don’t require any supplements.

However, the decision of whether or not to use supplements must involve the consideration of other factors that may come into play when speaking of dieting today.

The first of which is time.

Related Article: How To Build The Perfect Home Gym

What Our Lives Are Like Today

Many people today just do not have the time to live, eat, and breathe food. A very small amount of us likes cooking, and even fewer cooks regularly.

When was the last time that you had six meals that you cooked yourself?

Most of those who are against dietary supplements continue to preach you should get all the nutrients that you need from your diet. 

“Eat a balanced diet, and you will get all the nutrition you need.”

Well, 100 years ago that can have been a fact, but today this type of advice is questionable.

Experts will continue to preach we need to ‘eat a balanced diet,’ while most North Americans feast on nutritionless fast food and sugar.

Not only do our bodies have to deal with the ever-increasing external stresses of everyday life, but they also have to combat nutrient-depleting, tissue-damaging exercise.

The fact is, most of us believe that a decent meal is a restaurant or (even worse) fast food.

To ask someone to eat specific amounts of protein, fat and carbs seem like an impossible request since most people can’t even get their minimum requirements of good fat or fiber.

My Struggles

If I did not have the option to supplement my diet with whey protein over the past years, I probably wouldn’t maintain the muscle I have now. Which isn’t much mind you.

Now, I’m not saying the whey protein is why I maintained my weight, but it did help me a great deal.

I am usually extremely busy and merely don’t have the time, nor the need to eat six planned whole food meals per day.

Supplements like meal replacement powders and whey protein fill in this gap for me.

Related Article: Nutrition, Diet & Exercise Why We Need Them

What My Intake Is On A Daily Basis

Let me preface this by saying I am not a nutritionist, and I am still learning every day on my intake to at least maintain muscle mass.

I haven’t achieved my goals as of yet because I am not practicing what I preach. I fail to get my daily intake regularly to achieve the results I want.

But when things are working for me, I typically have three real food meals and three protein supplement meals which makes up my six meals each day.

When I’m away from home, or not able to get an adequate meal, my meal replacement shakes are always right there when I need it.

The meal replacement shakes give me just the right amount of protein so that I should keep up with my nutrient intake.

In my opinion, this is much better than merely grabbing something and then trying to guess at how much protein, fat, or carbs you purely ate.

Getting in all of your wanted meals and nutrient amounts is crucial to your success.

Sample Of What My Day Looks Like

How much protein should I eat in a day?

If you are asking this question, I will give you a breakdown of what my daily protein intake is.

To build muscle, your protein intake should be 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of body weight. I presently weigh 225 lbs, so to build muscle mass, I need to take in at least 225 grams of protein a day.

To give you an example of how much that is, here are some examples of what 200g of protein is equal to:

  • Tuna — 2 cans of tuna which is 40grams of protein chicken — 6 oz of chicken breast which is 50 grams of protein
  • Beef — 8 oz of lean ground meat which is 60 grams of protein Eggs — 6 large whole eggs, which is 36 gram of protein
  • Whey protein — 1 scoop which is 25 grams of protein 2 cups of 1% milk which is 16 grams of protein.

It is very possible to get this amount from eating whole foods only — But it will take work.

Also, as you could see from the above numbers, getting all of your protein from regular food can bring a lot of unnecessary elements like extra saturated fat.

Yes, the goal is to gain mass and to eat a lot of calories (including fat), but your main fat intake should consist of unsaturated fats that like olive oil and coconut oil.

Whey protein supplements will help to give you the extra protein without the fat.

Whey Protein

What is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is extremely popular in terms of supplementing more protein into a diet when building muscle. 

Whey is the liquid that is separated during the cheese-making process, then filtered and refined into a powder.

The two types of Whey Protein that are extremely popular in the market today:

  • Whey protein concentrate: (Click The Link To Learn More.) Which is the most common form of Whey Protein that contains around 80% protein. But not recommended for those who are lactose intolerant due to the lactose content.
  • Whey protein isolate: (Click The Link To Learn More.) This type of Whey Protein contains roughly around 90% protein or more and contains less lactose compared to Whey Protein concentrate.

Why Should You Take Whey Protein?

Research shows that supplementing protein into the diet helps your body recover quicker through strenuous workouts, and aids in weight loss by reducing your appetite.

Is Taking Whey Protein Safe?

For me, the side effect that I notice while taking Whey protein is that it causes digestion problems because of high levels of lactose in certain forms of Whey protein.

So, if you are like me, try looking for a non-lactose form of Whey Protein try whey protein isolate instead. Or, try a dairy-free form of protein powder like soyrice, or hemp. (Click The Links To Learn More.)

Is whey protein bad for kidneys?

There have been questions raised about too much protein intake because high levels of protein into a diet can raise the pressure inside the kidney which can cause the kidneys to filter more blood than normal.

Research shows this is a normal response for the body when filtering protein, so there isn’t a cause for concern.

But, for those with current kidney problems, consult your physician before taking Whey Protein.

Is Whey Protein Bad for the liver?

The liver needs protein to help repair itself, and I haven’t seen any research showing too much protein can damage the liver.

With the number of bodybuilders using Whey Protein to supplement his/her protein intake, there aren’t enough studies showing that it does more harm than good to the liver.

But, if you are suffering from liver problems like cirrhosis, I would suggest talking to your doctor before taking a Whey Protein Supplement.

BEST MUSCLE BUILDING SUPPLEMENTS TO COMPLEMENT PROTEIN

SUPPLEMENTS FOR MUSCLE BUILDING

In addition to a good whey protein supplement, I recommend that everyone should be taking a multivitamin, plenty of Vitamin C, BCAA’S, Fish Oil, and Glutamine.

Creatine could also be added if you are over 18.

MULTI-VITAMIN

The reasons why many of us as well as those wanting to build muscle incorporate multivitamins into his/her diet, is to help with nutrient deficiencies. 

Multivitamins ensure that you are getting the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help your body fight off any diseases. 

Deficiency symptoms include muscle defenselessness and suppression of the immune method, muscle cramping, and fatigue.

Weight training increases the body’s need for numerous minerals like magnesium and selenium. 

The multivitamin (Click The Link To Learn More.) ensures that I am not deficient in any major essential vitamin or mineral.

I do recommend introducing your diet, whole food sources that are not processed, so your body is getting the nutrients it needs. 

Then adding a multivitamin supplement to fill in the missing holes each day to keep your body performing at the highest level you need for building muscle.

Vitamin C

What vitamins should I take for muscle gain? Vitamin C is essential to prevent free radical damage, which is accelerated after the heavy stress of weight training.

It is also essential is helping to repair connective tissue which helps decrease the amount of time you are sore. 

I train very heavy and tremendously hard. When I teach my legs, I am usually sore for as for 5-6 days afterward.

If I do not supplement my diet with Vitamin C, I would normally be sore for almost 10 days! So, it helps me to recover and get back to training. 

I usually take around 3,000mg in divided doses. That would equal quite a few oranges!

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that is produced by our bodies, but during the muscle building phase, our bodies demand so much, that it can’t create enough. 

Complementing your diet with Glutamine can help you minimize muscle breakdown which makes it very beneficial if you are ever dieting and striving to torch fat, but don’t want to lose muscle.

Glutamine also helps boost your immune system. It’s your immune system’s primary energy source. For athletes at a higher risk of getting sick due to extreme diets, glutamine can be a great choice.

Just like multivitiams, if you are follwing a proper whole diet, and not a body builder, there isn’t a need to add Glutamine into your diet. 

But, if you are living an active lifesytle, and do quite a bit of strentgh training in you workouts, then adding Glutamine into your supplement aresnal is key.

Glutamine is a strong antioxidant, which helps to combat the stresses of exercise trauma and prevent muscle protein breakdown.

When it comes to my Glutamine intake, I take around 15g per day to prevent my body from breaking down my new muscle while I am asleep. 

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine’s purpose is to supply our muscle with energy. It is also found in red meat, but you would have to eat an enormous amount of meat to get the same benefits as taking pure creatine powder.

Creatine is well known in the muscle building world so I won’t go into too much explanation on what it does. Although, I do want to say that the major benefit of taking Creatine is that it will grow your strength.

This will enable you to lift heavier weights, which will contribute to more muscle growth.

The internet is crawling with comments over the muscle-volumizing effects of Creatine because if you stop taking it, you lose that extra fluid that Creatine brings into your cells.

So what! You certainly DO NOT lose the extra muscle Creatine helped you to gain.

Is Creatine Safe?

The debate is out there in regards to the benefits of taking creatine daily.

The research I have come across suggests that taking creatine is relatively safe when taking the supplement up to 10 grams daily.

One thing I have noticed from taking creatine daily is that it did cause discomfort in regards to muscle cramping and stomach pain.

I found out the reason for muscle cramping is that creatine causes muscles to hold water, and not builds muscle.

Does creatine increase testosterone?

Lifting weights during a strength training or muscle building program increases testosterone production.

The benefits of taking creatine are it allows you to lift more weights during your workout, and by lifting more weights creates more testosterone production in the body.

BCAAs

As you can tell from the video above that amino acids are the pieces of the puzzle in muscle growth. Branched Chain Amino Acids is a combination of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. 

The best place to find BCCA’s without supplementation is through meat and eggs.

Supplementing a diet with BCCA’s is really helpful for those that don’t get enough protein throughout the day in his/her diet.

Just by supplementing with BCAA’s can help support muscle growth and counteract fatigue in athletes.

Conclusion

I can honestly say that without the convenience and enhancements supplements provide, I wouldn’t be able to at least maintain my muscle presently.

I simply don’t have the time or desire to do it any other fashion.

The decision is up to you and you alone on what road you decided to travel down.

You will be spending your money on these products, so make sure you know their place in your program.

Just don’t get caught up in product hype, and understand that supplements will help, but they will NOT do all the work for you.

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SUPPLEMENTS FOR MUSCLE BUILDING – WHICH ONES WORK

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