If you want muscle growth you need to have a number of contributing factors all working together. You may go to the gym 3-4 times a week, but if your diet is poor and you’re not hitting your macros, you’ll really struggle to make any gains. If your training is good and you have a diet and supplementation plan to match it, you will undoubtedly reap the rewards.
Supplements can give you that little extra you need to make really good gains and make all that hard work in the gym worth it. Here are my 5 most important workout supplements you need to be taking for muscle growth.
Best Supplements For Muscle Growth
Creatine is the most well-researched supplement on the market and the conclusion of the research is that it works. Creatine monohydrate is go-to supplement, proven to increase strength, endurance and muscle size. It’s completely legal as it is a naturally occurring substance within your body and it’s also very cheap. Taking 5-10 g a day will put you on the right path.
During exercise, creatine is converted into Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a major energy source within the body and allows muscles to work harder, for longer, so you can complete more repetitions of heavier weight to stimulate greater muscle growth.
Many people will not see this as a necessity, however, I will challenge anyone to say they never have a day where they don’t feel like hitting the gym or a day where their energy levels are low. For those days pre-workout becomes a necessity. I take MYPRE before every workout, but you could do one week on, one week off, or only take it for more intense sessions; however, I would always keep some close to hand.
The beta-alanine promotes the synthesis of Carnosine, which in short absorbs hydrogen ions that are released when you work out which cause a drop in pH levels. By absorbing these ions, you prevent the energy drop and can push yourself harder.
How could this not be here? Protein is the most important nutrient when it comes to building muscle and subsequently gaining strength. Whatever your goal is you need to make sure you are getting enough protein and that you get it when your body needs it.
The general rule is that you should consume 1 g of protein for every pound of your bodyweight. If you are training regularly this could even increase to 1.4 g of protein per lb of bodyweight.
Protein powder specifically is an absolute must for making sure you’re eating enough protein. There really is a no more convenient way of getting in a good amount of protein quickly. This could be after your gym session when you’re busy at work and don’t have time to eat a full meal or can be added to your morning oats.
I would recommend Impact Whey Protein – it comes in dozens of flavors, so it doesn’t get boring, and each serving contains 21 g of protein and 4.5 g of BCAAs.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and allow you to fuel your muscles without adding unnecessary calories. They increase protein synthesis and reduce breakdown of muscle fibres, which means you maintain and build more muscle. BCAAs are perfect for when you wake up or during cardio sessions to prevent any muscle catabolism and they are also great to aid hydration throughout the day.
They also come in lots of flavors, which can help satisfy your cravings when you’re just stuck with water and these are cost effective. As an added benefit they compete with the amino acid Tryptophan for entry into the brain. Tryptophan causes serotonin levels to rise. When exercising this can increase the feeling of fatigue, which lessens the intensity you can workout at. By taking BCAAs you can help prevent this and push yourself harder every time you’re in the gym.
This is another very cheap supplement that produces big results. It is sometimes forgotten by the masses flocking to the next new exciting supplement, however, it has stood the test of time and continues to be part of any top athlete’s supplement stacks.
It can be added to pre-, intra- or post-workout shakes, making it a very convenient supplement to take with so many benefits it seems crazy not to take it. 10-15 g of Glutamine per day helps protein synthesis, maintains cell volume, increases human growth hormone you produce naturally and boosts your immune system.
Muscle Building Checklist
Make sure these supplements are part of your muscle building stack, so all your hard work in the gym pays off. Of course, supplements are just that, they should supplement a well planned training program alongside a healthy, balanced diet in order to see the best gains possible.