If you have ever looked for muscle growth supplements before, you will know that the market is absolutely flooded with products – Shakes, powders and pills; it can be really hard to know where to start. Here we cut through the smoke and mirrors and take a look at 6 of the best supplements for muscle growth and why you should start using them straight away.
Navigating the Minefield of Supplements
One of the biggest problems with supplements targeted towards the health and fitness market is that they are often labelled as ‘dietary supplements’. As soon as they receive this label they are technically not classed as a food or a drug and instead get put into their own sub category. They do not have to adhere to many of the rules that other foods or drugs have to adhere to by the FDA.
One of the rules that don’t really apply to dietary supplements is around what manufacturers can claim that the products actually do. E.g. support muscle growth.
A manufacturer is able to claim various things about a product on its label and through advertising and doesn’t have to back these claims up in the same way that is required with food and drugs. For example, clinical trials with results may not be are required.
Forget the Rest and Start With 6 of Best Supplements for Muscle Growth
New products are launched all the time and claim all sorts of magnificent things, so it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately there are some that have been around for a while now and have a good amount of scientific evidence to back them up.
1. Whey protein
Whey protein is a milk protein that is quickly digested and contains branched-chain amino acids needed to prevent muscle protein breakdown. Taking whey protein before and after workouts helps increase protein synthesis, which is important for initiating muscle growth in the cells.
The peptides in whey also increase blood flow to muscles and supply them with nutrients and key anabolic hormones like insulin and testosterone.
BCAAs stands for branched chain amino acids. They consist of three important and essential amino acids; valine, leucine and isoleucine. Research has proven that ingesting supplements with BCAAs helps with increaseing both body mass and strength.
Moreover, BCAAs’ have been show to provide more benefits than just muscle growth. They improve energy during workouts and they lower the hormone cortisol, which causes muscle breakdown and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
This in turn allows you to workout more effectively and for longer, while also reducing your down time between workouts. Because of their wide range of benefits, anytime is a good time to supplement with BCAA’s!
The amino acids methionine, arginine and glycine combine to create creatine in the liver. With the help of creatine supplements, it is possible to quickly restore ATP, the energy that muscles use for work.
This increased creatine level allows you to perform more reps and more sets, which in turn is going to lead to more muscle growth. In addition to this, creatine helps provide anabolic support by pulling water into cells. This makes the cell stretch to let water in, and thus leads to an increase in size and fullness of the muscle.
There have been many studies that have shown creatine to be effective, especially in its mono-hydrated form.
Beta-Alanine is a relatively newly researched amino acid that combines with other amino acids on ingestion to form carnosine. Carnosine in turn helps increase both strength and endurance levels, as it appears to allow the muscles fibers to contract with more force while also improving their endurance.
In addition to this, further studies have shown that beta-alanine/carnosine improves creatine’s effectiveness in stimulating muscle growth. Excellent.
While a long time popular fat-loss supplement, clinical trials have also shown L-carnitine to improve muscle growth. It achieves this by a couple of mechanisms. First, it has an ability to dilate blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the muscles, delivering not only more oxygen, but also key nutrients.
This results in more energy during your workouts and better muscle recovery following your workouts. Secondly, L-carnitine increases testosterone levels and the reception of testosterone within the muscles, which in turn leads to more growth.
Is another important amino acid that stimulates protein synthesis (muscle growth). Though the body naturally creates glutamine, it is easily depleted when you exercise (especially heavy exercise).
Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with glutamine can improve physical performance and support muscle growth through increasing muscle endurance and boosting growth hormone levels.
As an added bonus, glutamine also helps support the immune system so hopefully you will miss fewer workouts due to sickness.
The Path to Muscle Growth is Now Clear
With so many supplements out there and many of them not having any proof of results, it would be easy to spend all of your hard earned money and still not see any real results.
Do yourself a favour and stick to these 6 best supplements for muscle growth, as they actually have the science to back them up.