If you are dedicated to going to the gym, pushing yourself, and changing your lifestyle to achieve your dream body, don’t you want to get the most out of it?
While the nutritional intake from your diet and workout effectiveness are the most important components of gaining muscle, supplements can give you an added boost that will have people turning their heads when you walk by. Below, we will discuss the top 5 supplements you can take that will help you gain muscle.
In order to gain maximum muscle, three main criteria must first be met. You must eat more calories than you burn, consume more protein than your body breaks down, and exercise properly to challenge your body. While you can gain muscle without supplements, these 5 supplements will help you gain muscle more effectively.
Top 5 Supplements to Gain Muscle
Your body naturally produces creatine to provide your muscles and other tissues energy. It is also one of the primary sources of cellular energy. When you take a creatine supplement, you can increase your body’s creatine content up to 40% above it’s normal levels.
Benefits of taking creatine include:
- Improved muscular strength
- Decreased muscle soreness
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Increase levels of muscle growth hormone IGF-1 (source)
- Decrease exercise induced muscle inflammation
Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that reduces fatigue and may increase exercise performance (source). We mainly get our daily intake of beta-alanine through protein-rich foods, including poultry, fish, and meat. However, when you increase your beta-alanine intake through supplementation, you are able to last longer in your workouts and increase your muscle mass over time.
Benefits of taking beta-alanine include:
- Increases effectiveness of creatine
- Increases lean body mass
- Ability to increase amount and duration of training
- Delayed fatigue during intense training
3. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. We receive BCAAs through eating foods such as poultry, eggs, meat, dairy, and fish. However, if you are unable to get adequate amounts of these types of proteins in your diet or are vegetarian/vegan, taking BCAA supplements may help you gain muscle.
They make up %14 of the amino acids in your muscles, making them critically important in muscle growth.
Benefits of taking BCAAs include:
- Decrease in muscle damage during exercise
- Decrease in muscle soreness
- Reduce muscle loss while improving muscle gain
- Improved endurance
- Increase levels of muscle protein synthesis
4. Protein Supplements
It may seem obvious to some that protein is one of the top 5 supplements to gain muscle, but many people struggle to get enough protein in their daily diet. This takes us back to the three main criteria for gaining muscle mentioned previously: eat more calories than you burn, consume more protein than your body breaks down, and exercise properly. If you are consuming less protein than your body is breaking down, you are going to find it very difficult to gain muscle. This is where protein supplements step in and save the day.
Benefits of taking protein supplements:
- Increases level of daily protein consumption
- Improves levels of muscle gain
- That’s all you really need to know!
Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a molecule your body produces when it processes the amino acid leucine. While your body naturally produces it, taking a daily supplement and increasing levels of HMB in the body may help with muscle gain.
Benefits of HMB include:
- Reduces breakdown of muscle proteins
- Improve lean body mass when weight training
- Increases beneficial effects of leucine and protein