Muscle Building Supplements

BodyBuilding.com

There is literally thousands of different types of muscle building supplements available now, not all of them work and not all of them are safe – but most are.  We plan to list supplements we use, ones that work for us, and muscle building supplements we feel that we can safely recommend.

Americans spend about $25 billion a year on supplements. It’s a frightening figure because it seems like people are forgetting that supplements are supplements, not end-all solutions to muscle building. The benefits of certain muscle building supplements are undeniable, but it’s important that we remember supplements occupy a small role in overall health and fitness.

Having said that, there are certain supplements that work well for getting those extra muscle gains. Protein, for example, is always a popular supplement because it helps people reach their daily intake goals without having to scarf down six chicken breasts for dinner.

But once again, it is important to remember that muscle building supplements should only supplement a full and well-balanced diet.

Protein Supplements

If you’re having trouble reaching your daily protein goals, a simple protein shake may be all you need. Protein is the key to sustaining muscle growth, but it is also only available in filling foods such as chicken, tuna and eggs.

A protein shake can easily add 30-50 grams to your daily protein intake without making you uncomfortably full.

Like all muscle building supplements, protein is often a subject of debate between believers and skeptics. The thing to remember is that protein powders have their place in the world, but they shouldn’t be relied upon for all your muscle building nutritional needs.

This is fairly common sense stuff, but it’s easy for new bodybuilders to forget it in the heat of a new frenzied workout schedule.

A typical goal for people who want to gain muscle mass is to consume at least one gram of protein per pound in body weight. There have been studies that claim you don’t need that much protein, but there have also been studies that claim the opposite.

In the end, I tend to go with the people who actually use protein and get the results they want. I’ve never met anyone who gained lots of muscle while shorting themselves on protein.

Pre Workout Muscle Building Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you an extra boost in the gym. They are packed with energy so that you can stay focused during your entire workout and get that last rep in every time. The usefulness of pre-workout supplements is debatable, but I have personally had great results with them.

There are tons of pre-workout supplements to choose from, so you will want to check out some reviews or talk with other bodybuilders before you buy them. And please, whatever you do, do not buy anything from GNC.

They are way overpriced and the sales people are trained to sell you the most expensive crap possible, no matter what they think of it. Buy your muscle building supplements online and your wallet will thank you later.

Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that is used to supply energy to muscles. It occurs in small amounts in foods such as beef and tuna, and creatine supplements are designed to up the dosage.

There are a lot of misconceptions that have to do with creatine being some sort of steroid, but it’s just another naturally occurring compound like protein.

Bodybuilders use creatine to improve energy levels, recover faster after hard workouts and to build lean muscle mass faster. Multiple studies:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3145223.stm

http://www.springerlink.com/content/p2563121384n6331/

http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/full/52/4/854″  have proven that creatine actually does improve results and:

http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/ConditionsAZ.aspx?ChunkID=21706

more recent studies have proven it to be much safer than once believed.

Of course, you can also find studies that show opposite results, but so far the majority of scientists and bodybuilders agree that creatine is nothing but beneficial.

I recently started taking creatine and have noticed gains in muscle mass, better workouts and improved brain function (seriously!). Now obviously this personal story is not a scientific study, and there’s a good chance I’ve just been working out harder than usual, but I’m not going to be complaining or changing anything any time soon.

Arginine

This supplement is a vasodilator. It opens up your vascular system to allow more blood to flow to your muscles to deliver nutrients, hormones, and oxygen and flush waste.

Glutamine

The most abundant amino acid in the human body and helps prevent catabolism. One of the glutamine benefits is to replenish depleted stores after exercise and also helps keep the immune system functioning properly.

Leucine

An essential amino acid that helps prevent protein degradation and improve protein synthesis. Leucine also is used as the muscles fuel energy when exercising.

Taurine

An essential amino acid that plays an important roll in cell volumization. It helps increase water content in the muscle cells which in turn signals the body to increase anabolism.

Vitamin B

A good vitamin b complex helps you stay energized throughout the day. B vitamins help turn food into energy for the body. Start yourself on a b vitamin complex and you will notice your energy during the day will be a lot higher and you will feel a lot better.

Caffeine

We all know what caffeine does. It hypes you up, but by hyping you up it helps you focus and also speeds up your metabolic rate. There are a million caffiene nazis out there and I used to be one of them. These days I insure that I get my daily dose to get me going and focuse, especially before I work out.

Hard Work

There is no substitute for hard work. Your body wont grow if your constantly resting. Though rest is essential, more rest less work is counter productive.

Water

Also, no substitute for good old H2O. You need to stay hydrated or all the stuff your putting in your body won’t be delivered to the muscles and will become access waste. Too much water can be a bad thing but you need to drink plenty of water to deliver the supplements to your muscles. I’m not talking about a full glass of water to swallow them down, I’m talking about at least a gallon a day, and thats just my figure. Your kidneys will be working hard but they’ll be clean and free flowing.

Multi Vitamins

A strong multi vitamin is a must for muscle building. All that work you’re putting in at the gym, all the sweat you’re losing, the force you’re putting on your joints and the loads of water you are drinking all lead to depleted vitamins in your body.

A good multi vitamin will help replace what you’re missing.

However, do not think that multi vitamins are any sort of end all solution. You still need a well balanced to diet to stay strong and healthy. Don’t forget to eat your fruits and vegetables. It would be nice if multi vitamins could actually replace the nasty things we have to eat, but nobody has found that secret yet.

Remember: these are supplements, not solutions.