Welcome to my two part article about the best (and the worst!) Muscle Building Supplements out in the big, scary supplement world!
Scary because it’s easy to have your hard earned cash innocently ripped out of your pockets! In muscle building supplements, we have another area of the fitness industry that is very conflicting.
If you talk to anybody in your gym or read any of the fitness magazines you’ll be certain to get conflicting answers as to what’s good and what’s not for building muscle! (in the magazines case you’ll only be told what’s good for their fat wallets!)
Below are the supplements I’ve studied and personally used for myself.
This is a supplement that most people take for granted as you won’t see direct or ‘obvious’ effects from taking multi-vitamins but they are essential for people who are training for muscle growth.
The stresses that we place on our bodies when we lift heavy weights causes free-radicals to be released which in turn can cause muscle breakdown.
Being deficient in just one vitamin can start this process and/or stop new muscle from being built. Because of this, we need more vitamins than the average joe who does no activity!
‘Ok! Say hello to my lil friend!’ – Creatine has the reputation of being the big dog when it comes to muscle building supplements that you can purchase over the counter.
It has been the leading supplement for packing on size and strength for absolutely years and nothing has changed (apart from all the different Creatine variations there now are).
Creatine works, in simple terms, by adding to your bodies energy store and this form of energy is used to increase performance in exercises that require short, intense bursts of energy (i.e heavy weight lifting). So in the real world you’ll have increased muscular strength, increased muscular endurance and increases in muscle mass.
A non essential amino acid. The most abundant amino acid in the body but when all other parts of your body have run out of glutamine supplies (i.e Vital organs) your body starts taking glutamine from the muscles. This can cause catabolism (breakdown of muscles) which is why some people supplement with Glutamine.
It didn’t do much for me personally and I’ve read studies that claim externally ingested glutamine doesn’t actually make it to the muscles. Then again there are studies that show that it does have a positive effect! (another example of the conflicting fitness industry!)
Whey protein is a supplement that I have been using since I started training and it has remained a main staple in my supplement cupboard regardless of what I have been training for. Strength, muscle growth or a specific sport.
Whey protein has a superior bio-availability to other proteins, meaning that it contains a greater concentration of usable amino acids for recovery and muscle growth. Add to this the convenience factor of using whey and you can see why this is a favorite among bodybuilders.