Looking to bulk up and have the perfect body this summer season? Check out our guide to the best muscle building supplements of 2019.
When it comes to common fitness goals, most people want one of two things. They either want to burn body fat or build muscle.
If you fall into the latter category, you know that you need to lift heavy weights and follow a strict program to increase your muscle mass and get stronger.
In addition to following the right program, you can also use supplements to take things to the next level. Supplements won’t do the work for you, but they can give you a bit of an edge.
Listed below are some of the best muscle building supplements that are available on the market today.
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (also known as HMB) is a leucine metabolite. Leucine is a branched-chain amino acid (one of three) that stimulates protein synthesis and promotes muscle growth.
Leucine helps to promote protein synthesis. It also helps to decrease protein breakdown when it’s consumed in high doses.
It can be challenging to experience this benefit of leucine, though, because it only prevents protein breakdown at very high doses.
This is where HMB comes in. HMB can also reduce protein breakdown. It does it at a much smaller dose, though.
HMB also helps to promote faster post-workout recovery. It can improve aerobic performance and help you to maximize strength and power during your workouts, too.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid. It’s a precursor to carnosine, which is found in the tissues of the muscles and the brain.
Carnosine helps to maintain the pH levels of your muscles and slows down the buildup of hydrogen ions. When this happens during your workouts, you’re able to do more work without getting fatigued.
If you can train at higher volumes without fatigue, you’ll be able to enjoy faster strength and muscle gains.
Carnosine also plays an important role in combating the buildup of advanced glycation end products (also known as AGEs). AGEs contribute to conditions like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
You can get a good amount of beta-alanine and carnosine in your diet if you consume animal protein on a regular basis.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, though, this can be hard to do. For those who eat a plant-based or mostly plant-based diet, a beta-alanine supplement can be especially beneficial.
Of all the muscle building supplements on the market, creatine is one of the most heavily studied and most effective.
Creatine helps your muscles to produce the energy they need to contract and perform work.
Your muscles’ energy source comes from the breakdown of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The body breaks ATP down into adenosine diphosphate and inorganic phosphate.
During long, intense workouts, you have to break down a lot of ATP to give your muscles the energy they need. Creatine helps your body to rebuild ATP faster and maintain your supply so that you can continue to push yourself while exercising.
Consuming creatine on a regular basis will help you to lift more weight and perform more repetitions. This, in turn, will help you to build more muscle and increase your strength.
In order to increase your muscle mass, you need to make sure you’re consuming adequate amounts of protein.
In a perfect world, you’d get all of the protein you need from whole foods. That’s not always possible, though. This is especially true if you’re a large person who requires a lot of calories and a lot of protein.
If you have a hard time eating all the protein you need, protein powder can be a helpful supplement to add to your diet and fill in the gaps.
Whey protein is more bioavailable than many other types of protein. This means that the body can absorb it and utilize it better.
If whey protein upsets your stomach, though, you can still see benefits from using a plant-based protein powder.
Most people think of caffeine when they’re looking to learn more about fat loss and cutting weight. Caffeine can be an effective muscle building supplement, too, though.
Caffeine is a stimulant, as you probably know. Consuming caffeine before your workout can give you an extra boost of energy and allow you to push yourself further during every workout.
Here’s the caveat, though. Your body can build up a tolerance to caffeine very quickly. Because of this, you shouldn’t consume it before every single workout.
Use caffeine in a strategic way before your most challenging workouts. That way, you’ll feel more of a performance-enhancing effect and will see greater results.
Remember, if you use caffeine before every workout, you’ll need it just to get to a baseline energy level and will stop noticing significant benefits.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body. This, in turn, can help you to recover faster and repair itself after tough workouts.
If you want to build muscle and get stronger, you need to be able to recover. Remember, you break your muscles down in the gym and build them back up when you’re resting and recovering.
There are two omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to repair damage and minimize inflammation:
- EPA: Short for Eicosapentaenoic Acid
- DHA: Short for Docosahexaenoic Acid
These two omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines. You can also consume adequate amounts of them by taking a fish oil or cod liver oil supplement.
There is another omega-3 acid known as ALA or alpha-linolenic acid. ALA is found in plant foods like flaxseeds and chia seeds. Your body cannot use it as well as EPA and DHA, though.
Learn More About the Best Muscle Building Supplements
As you can see, there are tons of different supplements you can use to build muscle or maintain the muscle mass you currently have.
Keep this list of the best muscle building supplements in mind so you know where to invest your money and which products you can skip out on.
Do you want to learn more about building muscle and increasing your strength? If so, be sure to check out the health sections of our site today.
You’ll find all kinds of information here that will help you become the strongest, healthiest version of yourself.