There’s so many muscle gain supplements on the market.
Which ones should you consider first, and why?
To say that there is a plethora of muscle gain supplements out there on the market today is an understatement.
With each and every one of them vying for your hard-eared money, it can really be a headache when deciding which ones are worth the outlay – especially for the people who are new to bodybuilding supplements.
Read the rest of this article to find out which muscle gain supplements are actually worthwhile and which ones you might want to avoid.
Having said this, I cannot stress enough that muscle gain supplements will not do a thing for you unless you have your training right.
What I mean by this is that you need to be doing the right exercises in the right way in order to see any gains in terms of new lean muscle mass.
One of the first mistakes that beginners make is not even going to a bodybuilding orientated gym, they go to gyms with hardly any free weights – if any.
Those weight machines with the selectorised weight plates are really not what you want to be using for bodybuilding, you will see very little benefit from them.
They might be OK for certain exercises but for the main major mass building exercises they suck .
You really do need to get things right from the start, if you are going to commit yourself to the initial physical pain then you might as well get something positive from it in terms of maximum muscle growth.
I realise that you might feel intimidated at first by going to a bodybuilding orientated gym with all these other guys in there who are way bigger and way stronger than you but it is something you are going to have to get over, or there’s not much point in starting your new hobby.
When you do finally get yourself to a real bodybuilding gym, one of the first pieces of equipment you need to get friendly with is the Squat Rack .
I know a lot of people like to start with the flat bench press but Squats are simply amazing, they are even better than muscle gain supplements because they don’t cost anything and when done right, they cause your body to release powerful anabolic hormones such as testosterone .
This is because an exercise like the barbell squat makes you use the largest muscles in your body simultaneously, which in turn makes you very anabolic in terms of the hormones released by your body.
Obviously, with all those anabolic hormones swirling around your body it is going to make it much easier to build that big chest and biceps that most people want.
Anyway, now we have got this out-of-the-way we shall move on to the discussion of the muscle gain supplements .
It can really be overwhelming when you are just starting out with supplements.
Image/Noodles and Beef
The best muscle gain supplements
Without a doubt the first muscle gain supplement that you want to get started with is Protein .
If you are looking to gain some serious new muscle mass then you have to give your body what it needs to become anabolic.
You can’t make a car move without gas in the tank and its the same for bodybuilding.
Not enough protein = no lean muscle mass increase.
Different kinds of proteins are better suited to different situations, this is because different proteins digest at different rates.
Whey protein for example digests very quickly, which makes it great for post workout since you need to get the protein to the muscle ASAP straight after workout but you also need fast release carbs.
This is why I always recommend a dedicated post workout supplement that contains fast release protein as well as carbs in a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
However, post workout is the only time when its good to have fast release carbs.
They are good in a post workout situation because they will cause an insulin spike which in turn helps to shuttle the amino acids from the protein into the muscle quickly.
Insulin spikes every day multiple times are very, very bad indeed and can ultimately lead to horrible health conditions such as diabetes.
This is why I highly recommend you give up those sugary foods and drinks as soon as possible.
At other times other than post workout, I recommend that you use a protein supplement that also has slow release protein like casein .
This is because a slow release protein will help to keep your muscles fed with aminos over a longer period of time therefore keeping you anabolic for longer.
This is what bodybuilding is ultimately about – keeping your body in an anabolic state over its usual neutral anabolic/catabolic state.
These kinds of protein supplements are known as “blended” proteins and “Myofusion” by Gaspari is probably my favourite.
One other point I want to make about Whey Protein is that it is very high in BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) which account for 33% of muscle protein.
The BCAA content of Whey Protein is why it is so anabolic and consequently why bodybuilders like to use it so much, but remember to balance the fast release qualities of Whey Protein out with some slow release Proteins too so that you stay anabolic for longer .
Creatine has been out for quite a long time now and it is well-respected for its ability to help you build more muscle in a shorter amount of time.
It has to be significant that it is the best-selling supplement in history, so it is either worth using or the people selling it have genius marketers.
Creatine is actually just a combination of 3 different amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine – nothing sinister about it at all.
Although no one really knows for sure what are the long-term effects of using Creatine, there have been no major negative effects reported from short-term use.
In fact, the European Food Safety Authority published a report stating that long-term oral use of 3g Creatine is free of risks, you can also see for yourself what “MedlinePlus” says about it here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/873.html
Creatine occurs naturally in every vertebrate and it primarily helps to supply energy to the muscle cells.
Similarly to Protein supplements, there is a multitude of different Creatine supplements available such as Creatine Gluconate, Creatine Ethyl Ester, Kre Alkalyn pH Correct Protein as well as Creatine Monohydrate
The most tried and tested type of Creatine is just your bog standard Creatine Monohydrate .
Just get it from a well-respected brand in your country and go with it and you are likely to experience superior results in bodybuilding.
Creatine increases your body’s stores of ATP (your body’s fuel) so its easy to see how this is going to help with any sporting activity but it also does have another effect.
This other effect is to hydrate the cells of the muscle, and when this happens there is an increase in protein synthesis – this is because ions will follow the water into the muscle cell.
Taking creatine just before workouts and just after workouts is highly recommended, this is because before workout it will help you to have more energy to do the exercise reps, after workout it will boost the levels of IGF-1 which will help to enhance growth.
- Testosterone boosters
This class of muscle gain supplements are more for the older guys since if you are younger than about 25 then your levels of natural testosterone should be high anyway.
In the early days of this product category, the products that tried to pass themselves off as testosterone boosters frankly sucked.
You had things like “Tribulus Terrestris” which were marketed as being used by Eastern European athletes to give them an edge in competition as well as being used in the ancient medical system of India known as “Ayurveda” (https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurvedic-medicine-in-depth).
These stories may or may not have been true and Tribulus might have had some benefits under certain circumstances but the fact is that it is just not very popular.
Things tend to be popular for a good reason and unpopular for a good reason and its the same with muscle gain supplements.
But the good news is that it has turned around for the better with testosterone boosters and you can get some that work very well.
One of my favorites is Activate Xtreme from Driven Sports, another one is Triazole from the same company.
Another one that works well is D-Aspartic Acid , and there is a multitude of different supplements out there based on this ingredient.
One of them is “TestoFuel” and you can find my review of it on this website.
So there we have the muscle gain supplements that I know are the ones that are really worth it, with the exception that the testosterone boosters are more for the older guys.
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