Muscle gain is the primary goal when it comes to bodybuilding. However, sometimes this is easier said than done – even when it’s your main focus. It takes the right diet, the right workout regime, and all of the right supplements at the right time for maximum results.
The supplements we’re going to discuss are all meant to increase muscle gain, build lean muscle, maintain that muscle, and restore the body after a strenuous workout session so that you can keep going back at it. Every bodybuilders responds to supplements differently, especially ones that greatly change your body physically. However, these supplements are all somewhat basic and show positive results in just about everyone. Nothing too crazy here, only the good stuff!
10. Creatine Monohydrate:
Creatine is an all natural compound that can regenerate ATP stores in the body. ATP, which stands for adenosine tri-phosphate, is the main source of energy currency in the body. When short term anaerobic energy is produced, the ATP splits into ADP, which stands for adenosine-diphosphate as well as an extra phosphate ion. Creatine can recycle the ADP into ATP again. This allows a short burst of energy that can increase strength levels up to at least 20%.
Creatine also retains water. This means that for every bit of creatine stored in your cells, a hefty amount of water is also stored. This temporary size increase is great and all, but the stored water also attracts more nutrients in the cells which can lead to long term muscle growth. If you’re looking to gain muscle, creatine is always a good idea. You need creatine while growing muscle because it promotes energy, increases strength, increases your size, and draws more nutrients to your cells.
9. Beta Alanine:
Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid. This means that it can be found naturally in our bodies and we don’t need food to have it provided to us. However there is nothing wrong with needing a little help, especially if you are bodybuilding. When exercising heavily, our bodies are quickly depleted of nutrients. When our bodies recognize Beta-Alanine, we convert is to other chemicals that effect our muscles in a positive way.
Beta-Alanine is most commonly used for improving your athletic performance, building lean muscle mass, increasing exercise capability, and improving physical functions. This is why mixing some Beta-Alanine into your shaker bottle will have all your friends asking you what you’ve been doing to get those muscles!
8. Whey Protein:
Whey protein is a rapid acting milk protein. It can help increase rates of protein synthesis by delivering amino acids to your muscles. This gets the anabolic process into motion.
Bodybuilders need whey protein in their diets to increase muscle gain because it is proven to improve performance as well as gain muscle mass. Whey protein provides our bodies with a high amount of protein that can help kick start the muscle growing process…which is the whole reason you’re reading this, right?!
7. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs):
BCAA’s or branched chain amino acids are most commonly known for their anabolic and anti-catabolic properties. The three similar amino acids the term refers to are – Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Muscles cannot grow without protein and proteins consist of 20 different amino acids. Each amino acid has different effect on our bodies and we focus on each one for different reasons.
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are the amino acids associated with BCAA that help us increase muscle growth and delay fatigue, as well as a few other benefits. Isoleucine is used for increasing glucose levels in the cells. Leucine is used to improve muscle protein synthesis. Valine is necessary for protein intake and is crucial for health and growth.
BCAA’s can be found in any foods that contain protein. For example, eggs and meat. However, supplements are created to give us the extra push we need. BCAA’s are important for anyone growing muscle.
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that can be found naturally in our diets. It can be found in foods such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, cabbage, beans, beets, and more. However, sometimes these foods just aren’t enough. Especially if you don’t eat animal products!
Glutamine is popular in the bodybuilding world because it’s of it’s positive effects on the body. It supports the production of muscle, supports and regulates the immune system, is used as an alternate fuel source for the brain, supports and regulates the dietary system, and so much more! It removes excess ammonia as well as regulates your body’s acid-base balance. Glutamine will not drastically change your body or workout regime like some other the other supplements we have discussed will, but if you’re doing some intense exercising you can definitely benefit from taking this supplement in order to maximize your muscle gain.
Caffeine supplements have a long list of benefits when taken in the correct dosages at the right times. Caffeine is actually a staple ingredient in most dietary pills and supplements, this is because it can aid in fat loss. And less fat means more muscle!
Caffeine can aid in gaining muscle by helping you lose fat as well as increasing your energy levels for longer and more intense workouts. Caffeine helps you lose fat by boosting your metabolism. Taking caffeine jumpstarts your lipolysis process. This process helps your body release fatty acids into your bloodstream. During this process your body breaks down the fat stores and converts it to energy. In simpler terms, caffeine helps you burn fat by boosting your metabolism.
Another way that caffeine can aid in far loss is by giving you a necessary energy boost. You probably already guessed this one. That’s why we drink coffee in the morning, right? Caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness, keeps drowsiness away, and helps you perform, no matter what you’re doing, for longer. This means that you will be able to spend more time exercising which will help you gain muscle.
4. Fish Oil:
Fish oil is an extremely beneficial supplement for bodybuilders. Fish oil can be consumed in two ways. One is to eat fish, the other is to take pills. Fish that are especially rich in beneficial oils, otherwise known as omega-3 fatty acids, are mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, and seal blubber. Fish oil was created in pill form to fill the gaps in people’s diets who either don’t eat fish or don’t eat enough of it. It’s simple, gets the job done in one pill, and has some serious perks.
When taking fish oil, you are aiming to intake as much omega-3 fatty acids as possible. Two of the most important fatty acids in fish oil are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil is FDA approved to lower triglyceride levels.
Bodybuilders swear by fish oil because of it’s aid in post workout recovery. Fish oil is proven to reduce inflammation, reduce joint pain, boost your immune system, and so much more. While fish oil does not directly increase muscle mass, it does make the process much smoother which makes you want to keep working for your dream bodybuilding body!
3. Essential Fatty Acids:
Essential fatty acids are one of two essential nutrients that the body cannot make on it’s own. This is where our diet and supplements come into play. There are two essential fatty acids for the body, omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA). Both of these two are available in foods and supplements. When deficient in essential fatty acids, protein synthesis and muscle repair both slow down due to a lack of necessary materials for growth. Essential fatty acid deficiencies can also make your body retain body fat because it knows that it is lacking materials and nutrients.
In sum, without essential fatty acids, muscle is not gained and fat loss is decreased. Why would you want either of those?!
2. Growth Hormone Boosters:
A growth hormone is a powerful hormone that is produced naturally in the body. It essentially drives muscle growth…which is exactly what we’re looking for here! However, while men between the ages of 18 and 30 tend to produce high amounts of growth hormones, the amount decreases with age. Growth hormone boosters are popular in the bodybuilding world for younger bodybuilders who want to seriously maximize their muscle growth and for those over the age of 30 who are lacking the natural growth hormones.
1. Weight Gainer Powder:
Weight gain powder is popular in the bodybuilding world and it’s no secret why. Weight gain powder is similar to protein powders in the sense that they are a quick and easy way to maximize protein intake in addition to regular meals. However, the difference lies in the ingredients. Weight gainer powder has additional carbohydrates and fat calories. When looking to gain muscle, bodybuilders must take in more calories than normally required in order to maintain their bodies and muscle mass.