One of the hardest things to do is to increase size while keeping muscle definition. Nutrition and the right training regimen play an important role, but the addition of the right supplements can do wonders. There are a ton of products on the market that claim to increase muscle mass, decrease fat and get you cut. The hard part is finding the best supplement for your needs, so we broke down the top products on the market. Here’s a few of the best selling supplements and the benefits each of them offer.
The body obtains this naturally occurring non-essential amino acid through foods that are high in protein such as poultry. Beta-alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine and is used primarily to enhance muscular endurance. Many people report that they are able to increase muscle endurance when training in the gym. Beta-alanine can also improve cardiovascular exercise performance such as sprinting or biking. It works by increasing the intra-muscular levels of carnosine by as much as 60% after taking it for just one month.
Beta-Alanine is the preferred supplement by individuals who are involved in high-intensity exercise, because it combats severe fatigue from lowered pH levels and acidification. The ability to increase levels of carnosine through BA supplementation allows a body builder or athlete to push the limits and avoid early muscle failure.
Creatine is probably one of the best go-to supplements for gaining muscle and it’s a naturally occurring substance within our muscle cells. It can be found near skeletal tissue as well as throughout the entire body. Creatine monohydrate is the dietary supplement that was created to mimic the effects of the body’s naturally occurring metabolism. It’s used to aid in the following:
- Increase muscle
- Promote lean body mass
- Post-workout recovery
- Increase body’s glycogen storage ability
- Increase stamina for better muscle performance
Athletes tend to prefer creatine when looking to build muscle quickly and during weight training. The great part about creatine is that it is produced naturally by the body, so when you stop taking it the natural creatine levels in the body return to normal levels.
- Whey Protein
Another popular product used by body builders and trainers throughout the years to gain muscle mass is whey protein shakes or supplements. Whey protein gives the body the extra protein boost it needs to help jump-start the muscle-growing process. It’s is usually taken prior to and after a workout to increase protein synthesis and muscle restoration. The great thing about this supplements is that it’s easy to digest and easy on the stomachs for those who are lactose intolerant.
Another benefit whey protein offers is it’s natural ability to control the appetite. When you eat a diet higher in protein diet, you tend to eat less. This makes it easier to stick to a low-calorie diet without suffering from hunger. Whey protein supplements and shakes are the perfect meal replacement in-between snack. Just try to stay away from whey shakes that are packed full of sugar or fats.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA)
If you are trying to recover or improve your workout. These branched-chain amino acids are found in the food we eat. Your muscles use these amino acids for energy. The body contains 20 amino acid, but these key three are referred to as BCAAs: valine, leucine and isoleucine. These particular amino acids work to stimulate protein synthesis and regulate the body’s ability to metabolize protein.
BCAAs aid in muscle recovery and therefore allow you to have faster post-workout recovery. Taking this supplement can also help increase energy during exercise. This supplement offers other benefits such as reducing muscle fatigue and improving recovery. Athletes that engage in long-distance activities suggest that BCAAs help improve endurance by keeping muscles fuelled.
Glutamine is known for its ability to slow the breakdown of muscle-tissue during exercise. It improves both strength and endurance and is the most abundant amino acid found in the body. It’s basically the building block of protein. Glutamine is important for providing fuel, which allows body builders to lift heavier weights for longer periods of time. When muscles are pushed beyond normal limits, they tend to produce more lean muscle to compensate.
- Glutamine has many benefits when taken as a supplement:
- It preserves muscle tissue, so your body burns more fat
- Allows you to retain muscle while allowing you to lose weight and body fat
- Boosts the immune system during intense training
- Restores muscle tissue health and quickens post-workout recovery
While supplements are not the miracle cure to bigger and leaner muscle mass, they can definitely help speed up the process. The first step to an effective weight training routine is a good diet. Pair that with the supplements mentioned above and you should see better results in less time.
Jane Grates lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. She owns Nicershoes.com. When not busy managing her website, she mostly travels together with her husband to famous running destinations.