The Best Supplements for Muscle Growth
Anyone who has started the process of building muscle will know that it's not only about spending hours in the gym if you want to grow muscle mass. Exercising your muscles is an important part of reaching your desired goals, however, if we do not follow a proper diet, if our muscles do not receive the required nutrients, no matter how hard they work they will not be able to grow and our effort will be practically useless.
Outside the gym there is a major battle, in which diet and food play a fundamental role. However, we also have certain supplements at our disposal that can get us closer to those places where our diet cannot get, an extra help to improve our muscle growth.
If you want to know which ones you should choose from, in order for them to work and keep healthy, in the following oneHOWTO article we will explain what the best supplements for muscle growth are.
What are the supplements for?
Taking supplements is not a must for muscle growth, it can be achieved with a good workout and a proper diet. However, these products can help you maximize every effort you make, reach your limit much faster and achieve your goals more quickly.
Every day more so, there are numerous supplements on sale, that are created for different specific purposes you should keep in mind. It is important to know that these are not substitutes for food, but are an extra help to fill gaps in your diet. Some of the cases in which you can take supplements are:
- To achieve get your daily intake of calories or protein.
- To be able to recover more quickly from a workout.
- To follow a complete diet if your schedule does not allow you to eat all the necessary meals.
Next, we'll talk about the best supplements to increase muscle growth and the characteristics of each one, but before we begin, we'd like to warn you that you may find certain fake or tampered supplements online or other secondary markets.
What do you need to gain muscle mass? Protein
Every time we talk about gaining muscle mass and muscle growth there is a word that immediately appears in the conversation. It is all about the omnipresent proteins, an essential nutrient that takes care of the muscular processes that take part in the development and the growth of your muscles. There are many products that you can introduce in your diet that are a great source of proteins such as eggs, nuts, meat or fish, dishes with which you must provide your body with all the proteins that are necessary for the muscle to grow.
Proteins are not everything although is true that you can not be missing in any of your meals, however, you should always remember that there are other nutrients you should never leave aside while gaining muscle mass whether carbohydrates - as an energetic supply - or fatty acids.
Studies have shown that if your goal is to achieve muscle growth, you need to consume 0.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilo of weight. In other words, if you weigh 80 kilos you should eat between 40 and 160 grams of protein per day. Ideally, all these proteins should come from your diet, however, it is sometimes impossible to get all of it. In these cases, protein supplements will become an invaluable aid in increasing muscle mass.
How to Take Protein Supplements
You should keep in mind that our body is unable to absorb more than 30 grams in each intake, so it is not feasible to consume all the necessary proteins from a single intake. The ideal would be to let 3 hours pass between your eating hours and supplement intake so that your body is able to absorb it correctly.
A good recommendation is to take a protein shake supplement in the morning and at the end of each workout session, in the afternoon, while the rest should be obtained through food. We highlighted you should take it after each training because the first half hour after exercise is when the body most efficiently absorbs nutrients. Take a look at the best homemade protein shakes to make them yourself at home.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplement
You have surely heard about the great benefits that omega 3 fatty acids contribute to our cardiovascular health, however, their properties do not end here. It has also been proven that Omega 3 supplements can help with muscle growth, which is for those who want to gain muscle mass, but also for those elder people notice how they lose muscle tone over the years.
This type of essential fatty acid has anabolic properties that allow to stimulate the activity of mTOR protein and insulin. This has a direct effect on the synthesis of proteins that prevents them from degradation. The fact that it also improves insulin resistance causes these supplements to help create more muscle tissue.
BCAA to Increase Muscle Mass
Branched amino acids, better known as BCAAs, are made up of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. These components play an essential role in both repair and muscle building. Not only do they allow you to gain muscle mass, but also:
- They give you energy.
- Decrease cortisol levels.
- Prevent the onset of muscle pain.
When building muscle, there are about 20 amino acids that the body needs. Certain amino acids are produced by the body itself, but there are others that it cannot create, so we have to extract them by other means. BCAAs are 3 of these essential amino acids that our body does not manufacture and that can be of vital help in increasing muscle mass.
When you take one of these supplements, after passing through the liver, they go directly to the muscle tissues, where they are transformed into energy for them to work on.
Creatine for muscle growth
There are often supplements or techniques that become fashionable and be all and end all overnight. As we have explained throughout the article, none of these supplements will make you gain muscle alone, only through hard work and exercise will you get good results, what they can do is improve or accelerate those results.
Creatine is one of these supplements that is useful in increasing muscle growth and improving physical performance, however, is not useful in all sports or viable in all cases. It can be very useful in those workouts or training sessions in which the so-called myofibrillar hypertrophy is used, that is, series with short repetitions with a lot of weight and short rests between them. In other words, they are useful in activities that need a lot of energy for a very short period of time. Take a look at our article Are pre-workout supplements safe?, if you'd like to know more about creatine.
This is because this type of training involves the energy mechanism of phosphocreatine, in which creatine plays a key role. These supplements will allow you to do more repetitions, increase weight and, all together, will make you gain muscle faster. However, you should make sure you know about the side effects of creatine before taking them.
Finally, it is necessary to talk about carbohydrates, one of the most consumed supplements by athletes from all over the planet. Carbohydrates give us glucose, which would be the gasoline in our body, the energy the body uses to perform high intensity physical activity.
Many people have the false belief that carbohydrates only make us fat, so they have an undeserved bad image. The reality is that if you do not exercise, these accumulate in the form of glycogen and will be transformed into visceral fat and adipose tissue. But if you practice sports, something essential if you want to achieve muscle growth, you will need the energy of carbohydrates to do so, thus avoiding fat gain.
This case is very similar to that of proteins. With a good diet, complete and adjusted to the energy requirements you can get all the amount of carbohydrate needed to recover the amount of glycogen you lose by training and increase muscle mass. However, not everyone can eat everything they should be eating and at the right times. In these cases, carbohydrate supplements are a perfect way for the body to synthesize proteins and build your muscles.
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