3 Essential Supplements for Building Muscle
So, you’ve been hitting the gym, and you’re finally getting serious about putting on some muscle. By now, you’ve probably realized that packing on muscle isn’t the easiest thing to do. Striving to achieve the body you want can take months and even years, and that includes plenty of hard work in between.
You’re not going to put on any muscle if you’re not getting enough calories to fuel your body, and a good portion of those calories need to come from protein, the building block of muscle growth. After an intense training session, your muscle tissue is broken down, and the one thing that can help it recover and grow is an adequate amount of quality protein.
Enter: whey protein. Derived from cow milk, whey protein is sold in powder form, and is easily mixable with milk or water. I’m sure you don’t want to be scarfing down a whole chicken breast after a long workout, which makes a quick whey protein an attractive option for refueling your muscles. Not only is it convenient, it is proven to be highly effective. Research shows that whey protein consumed after intense training can enhance muscle growth, strength, and performance.
Must-try whey protein: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard, Cookies and Cream
One of the most studied supplements of all time, creatine is used by professional athletes and gym-goers alike to increase strength, performance, and most importantly, muscle growth. A substance found naturally in muscle cells, creatine helps your muscle produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity training. Creatine also alters several key cellular processes that lead to better recovery times and increased muscle mass. Not only is it working at the cellular level to help increase muscle mass, it is also fueling your muscles with a high-energy molecule called ATP, which will help you smash through workouts with focused intensity.
In addition to a fantastic list of benefits, creatine has been shown to have a very strong safety profile, with very few (and rare) side effects. A comprehensive review of workout supplements even ranked creatine as the most beneficial supplement for adding muscle mass. Seems like a no-brainer, huh.
Must-try Creatine: BSN Creatine DNA
Found in most pre-workout supplements, beta-alanine is the culprit behind the infamous “tingles” you feel. Don’t know what i’m talking about? That means it’s time to incorporate beta-alanine in your supplement stack. When consumed, beta-alanine combines with L-histidine to form carnosine, a cellular juggernaut that will effectively hold fatigue back while training. Carnosine works to reduce the amount of acid that builds up everytime you contract your muscles, reducing that burning sensation you start to feel on your last few reps. This means you’ll be able to hammer out a few extra reps than normal, and with weightlifting, its those last few reps that count the most. In addition to being a powerful muscle building supplement, it can also have antioxidant and immune enhancing properties.