Genetics play an important role in determining how quickly you’re able to pack on lean muscle mass. However, regardless of your body’s blueprint, a solid training effort and a clean diet will go a long way toward helping you create a chiseled physique. If you’re already following a precise diet and exercise program but just aren’t seeing results quickly enough, muscle-building supplements may help take your body to the next level.
Whey protein comes from milk and is the preferred protein powder for many because it’s assimilated by the body more quickly than other forms of protein. For this reason, many believe it’s the optimal protein source to use post-workout, when muscle fibers need a quick shot to begin repair. However, according to a 2007 study in the “American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism,” the rate of whey protein synthesis doesn’t vary much between pre- and post-workout consumption, suggesting that the timing of whey protein ingestion may not be as important as once thought. In 2012, a study published in “The British Journal of Nutrition” examined the optimal dosage of whey protein in subjects and found that 20 to 40 grams provides the biggest protein synthesis response.
Creatine is a natural constituent of red meat and dairy products that’s stored in the muscles. In the 1990s, creatine became a popular muscle-building supplement and countless studies on the compound soon followed. While some studies have shown mixed results, overall study evidence indicates creatine can improve both muscle mass and strength, reports MayoClinic.com. An initial daily dosage of 20 grams per day can increase anaerobic work capacity and strength. After this loading phase, a daily maintenance dose of 2 to 5 grams is recommended.
Branced-Chain Amino Acids
Branched-chain amino acids play an important role in both energy production and muscle building. Results from a 2006 study published in “Metabolism” indicate that the anti-catabolic effects of amino acid supplementation can reduce muscle fatigue and increase performance, aiding in strength and muscle gains. Another study in the “Journal of Nutrition” reported that amino acids have an anabolic post-workout effect, due in part to the activation of muscle-building enzymes by BCAAs.
Always talk with your doctor before adding any type of supplementation to your diet. Even natural supplements can be dangerous for some people, so be sure to discuss any medical conditions you may have or prescription drugs you may be taking to avoid unhealthy side effects or interactions. Because nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA, do your due diligence before making any purchases. If you decide to add muscle-building supplements to your diet, make sure you buy them from a reputable manufacturer.
References & Resources
- Muscle & Fitness: Best Muscle-Building Supplements for Beginners
- Muscle & Fitness: 11 Best Supplements for Mass
- American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism: Stimulation of Net Muscle Protein Synthesis By Whey Protein Ingestion Before and After Exercise
- The British Journal of Nutrition: Resistance Exercise Enhances Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis With Graded Intakes of Whey Protein in Older Men
- MayoClinic.com: Creatine
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Effects of Creatine Supplementation and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Weightlifting Performance
- The Journal of Nutrition: Branched-Chain Amino Acids Activate Key Enzymes in Protein Synthesis After Physical Exercise
- ExRx.net: Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
- Muscle & Strength: Nitric Oxide
- Metabolism :The Effects of Amino Acid Supplementation on Hormonal Responses to Resistance Training Overreaching