The 6 Best Supplements to Gain Muscle You Should Consider Now

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Muscles play a vital role in overall health, allowing the body to move freely, maintain strength, and even prevent injury. To maximize muscle growth and development, a process known as hypertrophy, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet and an exercise routine that features resistance training. Additionally, certain dietary supplements can help you achieve the desired muscle growth results, whether your ultimate goal is to compete in bodybuilding or simply become stronger and more active in your everyday life.

With so many supplements on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are worth trying — especially when it’s related to muscle support. Here’s your guide to the best supplements for muscle growth, along with expert-approved tips for gaining (and maintaining) muscle effectively and efficiently.

Why Nutrition Is Important for Muscle Growth

Nutrition is critical to gaining and maintaining healthy muscle mass . The right nutrients not only fuel your workouts but also support your body’s ability to grow and repair muscle tissue.

“Your muscle tissue can only grow if you have the proper building blocks in it,” says Nicholas Anastasio, MD, who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Mercy Orthopedics and Joint Replacement in Baltimore Board certified physician. “A healthy diet consisting of a broad range of nutrients and the right amount of calories can support the needs of muscle tissue growth. Supplementing with certain nutrients can also help ensure your body has the correct fuel it needs,” he says.

The 5 Best Supplements for Muscle Growth, According to Experts

While specific nutritional needs vary from person to person, there are several supplements research shows can help promote muscle growth and performance. Here are five science-backed, expert-recommended supplements worth considering if building muscle is a priority for your fitness goals.

whey protein powder

Whey protein powder is one of the most popular types of protein powder and is highly recommended by nutrition experts for muscle growth. It’s a complete protein—meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids—and many consumers find it easy to digest, making it an ideal fuel source for muscle growth, says Dr. Anastasio.

Research supports the use of whey protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle protein breakdown, ultimately leading to positive gains in muscle mass when adequate amounts are consumed.

“It is recommended to consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. However, if you are regularly strength training, the recommended maximum is 0.45 grams per pound of body weight per day,” he says. Adding a scoop of whey protein powder to a smoothie or shake can help you meet your body’s daily protein needs for muscle growth.

Creatine Monohydrate

Research shows that supplementing with creatine monohydrate can help people who engage in short, high-intensity resistance exercises improve muscle performance and strength.

While creatine is naturally produced by the body in small amounts and can be found in some foods, such as red meat and fish, it’s usually only available in small amounts, which is why creatine supplementation is common, explains Dr. Anastasio. Creatine is usually a powder that dissolves easily in any beverage, such as coffee, juice or water, he added.

Creatine supplementation usually begins with a loading phase, where a person consumes more creatine in a short period of time to saturate muscles more quickly. The loading phase is followed by maintenance doses. Experts recommend 0.3 grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight per day during the loading phase, typically for days 0 to 03, followed by 10.<> grams of creatine per kilogram of body weight per day for <> to <> weeks during the maintenance phase.

β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate

According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl butyrate (HMB) can help increase skeletal muscle growth, strength and power when used in conjunction with exercise. It is especially helpful for those just starting to exercise as well as the elderly.

“HMB is a metabolite of leucine, which means we get it in small amounts from foods that are high in leucine, such as eggs, beans, oats, and seeds,” said Dr. Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, professor and scientific advisor to Create Wellness, an all-natural creatine monohydrate supplement company, explains. “A typical diet usually includes 0.5 grams to 1 gram of HMB per day, but the most adequate HMB dose is 3 grams per day.”

Eating more meat products can help increase HMB in the body, although the conversion rate from whole foods to HMB is low. HMB supplements, available in capsule and powder form, tend to be a more effective delivery system, she adds.

essential amino acid

“Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins,” explains Dr. Anastasio. “When you eat protein, your body breaks the protein down into the amino acids that make up that protein. These amino acids are then used as building blocks for repairing and growing muscle tissue.

There are 22 amino acids in total, of which <> are considered essential because the body cannot produce them on its own. Therefore, essential amino acids (EAA) must be obtained through food sources (such as chicken, beef, dairy products, and eggs) or supplements, Dr. Smith-Ryan explained.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition reports that intake of 6 to 12 grams of EAA before and/or after resistance training can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, although doses of 10 to 12 grams of EAA may be more effective[1].EAA supplements are commonly in Capsule form or flavored powder mixed with water or other liquid.

beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that promotes muscle performance by increasing levels of carnosine, a useful antioxidant, in the body. Not only does carnosine aid in muscle contraction, it also helps to delay the onset of muscle fatigue during exercise, ultimately improving exercise capacity and performance during workouts.

“Studies have shown that supplementation with [beta-alanine] can increase power output during a maximal lift,” says Dr. Anastasio. “Other studies have also shown a link between beta-alanine and increased lean muscle composition. While it’s not a classic weight gain supplement, beta-alanine can help a person train harder, which in turn improves their of lean body mass.

Although beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid (meaning the body can produce it on its own), research shows that supplementing with 4 to 6 grams per day can be beneficial for those looking to intensify their workouts. It is usually sold in tablet and powder form.

Top Tips for Successful Muscle Gaining

When looking to increase muscle mass and strength, Dr. Smith-Ryan explains, the best results often come from a balanced diet focused on whole foods and a combination of adequate protein intake , resistance training, and supplementation .

She also recommends taking some extra steps to maximize muscle gain and performance:

  • Be consistent . If you want to gain muscle, you must take consistent actions to support muscle growth.
  • Space out your meals . The timing and size of meals throughout the day are also important. Eat protein evenly throughout the day and before and after exercise.
  • Be patient . Gaining muscle takes time; you may not see results right away. Stick to your plan and be patient. Listen to your body. Pushing yourself is good for growth, but resting is just as important.
  • Make sleep a priority . If you’re working hard, you’ve dialed in your nutrition, and you’re still not gaining muscle, consider your sleep because it’s also muscle recovery and growth. Aim for 10 to <> hours of quality sleep each night.

With the right diet, training and recovery methods, and careful consideration of which supplements may be beneficial for you, it’s possible to see significant results in your muscle growth, says Dr. Smith-Ryan. But before you start any new supplement regimen, check with your healthcare provider to make sure this product is safe for you.

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