What are the best supplements to increase muscle mass?

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Muscle mass is very important for any athlete, regardless of the sport they play or the goals they want to achieve. Whether we’re talking about bodybuilders, weightlifters, high performance athletes or simply that guy that just wants to stay physically fit by working out his body, we find a common connection between all of them: they all want to increase lean muscle mass.

When it starts getting harder to be in advantage towards your opponent, when age is also a factor to take into consideration or even when you change the type of your workout, you might get a little frustrated and you can start feeling lack of progress at any time. That’s why it makes perfect sense to rethink your eating habits and consider using food supplements to strengthen and stimulate the body.

Depending on your goal, on the way you use the supplements and on your genetic predisposition, your body can respond differently to some supplements. Some people need to use more supplements, some others don’t need as many. It’s all about getting to know your body’s real needs and learning how to take the supplements. As everybody knows, supplements bring benefits (guaranteed) when combined with a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

We point out 5 top supplements for the healthy growth of your muscles.

1. Whey Protein

Protein supplements are, without a shadow of a doubt, the main fuel you need to strengthen your muscle mass. Whey protein is usually taken before and after working out. If you’re following a diet to increase muscle mass or if you’re worried about fat loss, taking whey protein in an exercise routine can speed up fat loss and allow better muscle gains. Whey protein is easily digested and contains several essential nutrients for your body.
Whereas protein obtained from supplements may provide the most sustainable levels of protein, whey is rapidly carried out to the muscles, where it can ignite powerful anabolic effects. If you take it when you wake up, you’ll be ensuring its quick absorption in the muscle tissues and replenish nitrogen levels – they tend to decrease after a long period of fasting.

whey protein

2. BCAAs

The BCAAs, branched chain amino acids, composed by: leucine, isoleucine and valine, improve muscle density, speed up the muscle’s recovery process, reduce the feeling of fatigue and help to improve resistance by keeping the muscles “fed”, mainly during prolonged and/or high-intensity workouts. This is the type of supplement that should be at the top of your list, because it works as a primary source to help with muscle construction (combined with protein).

bcaa

3. Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue. It can be produced by the body in the right amounts, to ensure your daily needs. However, due to the workout’s intensity, the levels of glutamine drop drastically and it is only normal that it affects your performance (drastic decrease of maximum strength and resistance) and that it delays your recovery process. It can happen that it takes up to 6 days until your glutamine levels stabilize again.
A glutamine supplement will help you speed up the process of muscle recovery, to synthesize protein, stimulate the growth hormone and the normal functioning of the immune system.

glutamina

4. Creatine

In the beginning of the 90’s, creatine has become the top supplement for every athlete around the globe. Studies on this ingredient have multiplied due to the several myths that were generated and that still exist to this day. However, it has been proven that creatine can increase energy production and improve strength gains in the long term. Creatine increases the production of energy and allows you to improve your performance during the workout and gives you more resistance. Take a look at the most popular creatine cycles.

creatina

READ ALSO: 4 reasons to take creatine

5. Fish oil

Fish oil, as a supplement, provides the purest and most concentrated form of omega-3 possible. Among many other benefits, fish oil improves performance, lubricates the joints, and stimulates the blood flow’s good functioning in order to allow nutrients like protein and carbs to serve their purpose.

oleo de peixe

Here’s a suggestion of a daily supplementation plan.

Follow it for 3 months, combining it with a balanced diet. After 3 months, give your body a rest so it doesn’t get used to this routine and stop showing results.

When you wake up
30g Whey Protein
5g Creatine
1 serving of BCCAs

With breakfast
1 serving Multivitamin
5g of Glutamine
1 teaspoon of Fishoil

With lunch
1 teaspoon of Fishoil

Before working out
5g Creatine
5g Glutamine

Right after working out
5g Glutamina
30g Whey Protein

Before going to sleep
30g Whey Protein
5g Glutamine
1 serving of BCAAs

An athlete who works out intensely should use some type of supplement that helps him get the nutrients in the right amounts, to allow the body to function properly. If you have any questions, you should seek medical advice.

READ ALSO:

What to eat to build muscle mass?

The best vitamins and minerals for your workouts

Learn how to pick the best Whey Protein to increase muscle mass

References:

David Robson, 6 Supplements You Need For Explosive Growth This Summer, May 2010, translation and adaptation of the original version
Alex Stewart, What Are The Top 5 supplements For Faster Muscle Gain?, October 2010, translation and adaptation of the original version

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