In most supplement stores you can enjoy countless diverse products. However, which supplements for muscle growth are really worth their money? This article will help you on your way.
Firstly, supplements were created to support your daily effort to achieve dream silhouette. Dietary supplements do not serve to replace a good diet, but as a supplement to it. Athletes around the world of all levels take supplements to optimise their results in the gym and recover faster and better. Below, we present a list of most popular bodybuilding supplements.
Creatine is a substance that plays an essential role in cell metabolism. Creatine relates merely in the formation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which provides your muscles with ‘fast’ energy. Creatine is a non-essential nutrient and is formed by the body itself from the amino acids glycine and arginine. The majority of the creatine stores in the body – about 95 percent – can be found in the muscles. Creatine also occurs in food. In beef, you can find the highest concentrations of creatine, namely about 4.5 grams per kilogram.
Creatine supplementation allows you to train more intensively (more power and muscle strength), you don’t have to rest between sets, the muscle protein synthesis is stimulated, and creatine helps your muscles to recover faster. Besides, creatine prevents muscle breakdown during endurance efforts ( cardio ), which can be useful for bodybuilders in the cut.
There are different kinds of creatine on the sale. Creatine monohydrate is by far the most researched and advantageous.
Because the original creatine levels differ per person, there is no generally applicable optimal dosage of creatine monohydrate. But as a guideline, you can use at least 0.03 g per kg of body weight per day. If you weigh 80 kg, that means 2.4 g per day.
#2. WHEY PROTEIN
Protein supplements are sometimes said that you actually don’t need them at all. Strictly speaking, that is also true. But because you need to eat a lot of protein for optimal muscle growth and because you may benefit from the timing of protein intake, protein supplements are beneficial and perhaps even indispensable. Moreover, they are a relatively inexpensive source of protein.
Most protein supplements provide whey protein. There is nothing ‘magical’ about this protein for muscle growth, but because of the rapid absorption and the favourable amino acid profile, it is an excellent protein to consume after training, primarily if you train on an empty stomach. If you want as much pure protein as possible – so with a few sugars and fats as possible – choose whey isolate.
An alternative to whey protein is casein, an equally high-quality protein. Casein is digested slowly, allowing the amino acids to be taken up more gradually. For this reason, it is often advised to take casein (powder) before going to bed, so that your muscles are fed during the entire night’s sleep. However, this theory has not yet been sufficiently scientifically proven.
Caffeine (or caffeine) has been a athletes favourite for years. Caffeine has a slightly stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Most people, therefore, experience a more energetic feeling and better focus, more alertness and greater endurance. The latter is not only beneficial for endurance athletes, but also for strength athletes. Caffeine is also a solid ingredient of pre-workout supplements.
Perhaps even more interesting for strength building is that caffeine also promotes maximum strength and explosive power. However, these effects may only relate to the strong performance of the upper body. With your legs training, you might not notice it.
To benefit from caffeine as a bodybuilder, you have to get a lot of it. The advice is to take a dose of 3-9 mg/kg body weight approximately 60 minutes before the workout (or: 200 to 500 mg), depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine. Someone who weighs 75 kilos should, therefore, receive at least 225 mg of caffeine.
#4. WEIGHT GAINER
For optimal muscle growth, bulking is the most efficient method: training with a calorie surplus. So you have to eat more than your basic energy needs. As a general guideline, you can eat 200-500 kcal above your maintenance level. More is not necessary, because within a particular time you can only build up a limited amount of muscle mass.
Most bodybuilders get that calorie-surplus with ease. They are often even, consciously or unconsciously, over it. Some, however, have a hard time eating enough. Usually, people of a young age, which have a very high resting metabolism and thus burn a lot of calories at rest.
If you are struggling with muscle building, choose a weight gainer that contains complex carbohydrates and not too many sugars.
Supplementation with beta-alanine has a proven positive effect on muscle endurance. More concretely, on sports performances that last between 60 and 240 seconds. It can help you with all kinds of cardio on medium distances, but also with your strength training. In the latter case, however, only if it involves long efforts, such as long sets (> 12 repetitions), supersets and drop sets.
Keep in mind that beta-alanine does not work sharply, even though it often happens in pre-workouts. It takes a few weeks for the maximum effect to be achieved.