The 6 Best Supplements to Gain Muscle

 Several supplements can be used to support muscle growth when paired with resistance training and a well-rounded diet. This includes creatine and protein supplements, among others.

One important benefit of exercise is gaining muscle and strength. Having a healthy amount of muscle allows to you to perform your best during exercise and daily life.

Three main criteria must be met for maximal muscle gain: eating more calories than you burn, consuming more protein than you break down, and an exercise program that is challenging to your muscles

The 6 supplements listed below may help you gain more muscle with your exercise program.

1. Creatine

Creatine is a molecule that’s produced naturally in your body. It provides energy for your muscles and other tissues. Creatine can also increase water content in your muscle cells. This may cause your muscle cells to swell slightly and produce signals for muscle growth . Furthermore, this supplement may increase levels of the hormones involved in muscle growth, such as IGF-1 . If you are looking for a supplement to help you gain muscle, consider creatine first.

2. Protein supplements

Getting enough protein is critical for gaining muscle.

Specifically, to gain muscle, you need to consume more protein than your body breaks down through natural processes. There are many different protein supplements available, but some of the most popular are whey, casein, and soy protein. Other supplements contain protein isolated from eggs, split peas, rice, and hemp seeds.

Research shows that adding extra protein via supplements causes slightly more muscle gain in people who exercise than adding extra carbs. In fact, some research shows that consuming very high amounts of protein supplements doesn’t help increase muscle if you are already following a high protein diet.

3. Weight gainers

Weight gainers are supplements designed to conveniently help you get more calories and protein. They’re typically used by individuals who struggle to gain muscle, even when consuming large amounts of calories and lifting weights. Although the calorie contents of weight gainer supplements vary, it’s not uncommon for some to contain over 1,000 calories per serving.

Many people think these calories come from protein since it’s so important for muscle building. However, most of the calories actually come from carbs.There are often 75–300 g of carbs, 20–60 g of protein, and 0–15 g of fat per serving in these high calorie supplements.

Overall, weight gainers are only recommended if you are struggling to eat enough food and you find it easier to drink a weight gainer shake than eat more real food.

4. Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that reduces fatigue and may improve exercise performance Beta-alanine is an amino acid that reduces fatigue and may improve exercise performance.

Additionally, beta-alanine may help increase muscle mass if you are following an exercise program.

One 2011 study showed that taking 4 g of beta-alanine per day for 8 weeks increased lean body mass more than a placebo in college wrestlers and football players

Therefore, more research is needed to understand the potential benefits of beta-alanine supplementation.

5. Branched-chain amino acids

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of three individual amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

They are found in most protein sources, particularly those of animal origin like meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish 

6. Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate

Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a molecule that’s produced when your body processes the amino acid leucine.HMB is responsible for some of the beneficial effects of protein and leucine in the diet. However, other research shows that similar doses of HMB are probably not effective at increasing muscle mass in athletes or adults with weight training experience. 

Other supplements

Several other supplements claim to increase muscle mass. These include conjugated linoleic acid, testosterone boosters, glutamine, and carnitine.

However, the evidence is mixed.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): CLA refers to a group of omega-6 fatty acids that exert several effects on the body. Studies on CLA for muscle gain have produced mixed results, and it isn’t clear if it’s beneficial.

Testosterone boosters: Testosterone-boosting supplements include D-aspartic acid, Tribulus terrestris, fenugreek, DHEA, and ashwagandha. It’s likely these compounds only benefit those with low testosterone .

Glutamine and carnitine: These are probably not effective at increasing muscle mass in young or middle-aged active individuals. However, some studies suggest that carnitine may have some benefits for muscle growth in older adults

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