Weight-Lifting SupplementsFind out which supplements pack on the muscle
There are mixed reviews about weight-lifting supplements, with numerous sites and studies both championing and writing off certain supplements. Caffeine is a great example of this.
The aim of these supplements aren’t to boost your energy, reduce fat loss or anything like that, it’s all about packing on muscle.
Below we take a look at the weight-lifting supplements you should take a closer look at if you want to gain muscle and take your physique to the next level.
Creatine is naturally produced by your body and is found in your muscle cells, it helps maintain high energy during high-intensity exercise.
Studies have found that taking it as a dietary supplement can increase muscle creatine content by up to 40% beyond its normal levels.
This impacts your muscle cells and exercise performance, promoting muscle gain. In fact, a large amount of research shows creatine improves muscle strength.
Greater strength allows you to perform better during exercise, leading to larger increases in muscle mass over time.
Creatine can also improve your pumps – it increases the water content in your muscle cells, resulting in the swole look we all aim for.
Creatine is one of the safest supplements on the market, with numerous studies to prove it.
As far as weight lifting supplements go, Creatine should definitely be towards the top of your list.
The key to adding muscle is making sure you’re getting enough protein. If you want to gain muscle, you need to consume more protein than your body breaks down. This is where Creatine also helps as it decreases the breakdown of protein in your muscles.
While you can ensure your protein intake is high enough from eating a protein-rich diet, not everyone is able to do so.
If you’re someone who struggles to eat enough protein then it’s definitely worth taking a look at supplementing protein.
There are quite a few protein supplements available, but some of the most popular are whey, casein and soy.
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 so make sure you track your macros.
If you’re unsure how much protein to eat daily, studies suggest that you should have 0.5-0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched-chain amino acids 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.
When it comes to muscle growth, BCAAs are critically important & make up about 14% of the amino acids in your muscles.
BCAAs are on of the most popular supplements despite almost everyone consuming BCAAs from their food each day.
A small amount of research has shown that BCAAs may improve muscle gain or reduce muscle loss, compared to a placebo.
Another study, published in 2019 found that supplementing BCAAs can also reduce muscle soreness and damage.
It’s likely that BCAA supplements may only benefit you if you are not eating enough high-quality protein in your diet.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that reduces fatigue and could increase exercise performance.
Additionally, beta-alanine may help increase muscle mass if you are following an exercise program.
One study showed that taking 4 grams of beta-alanine per day for eight weeks increased lean body mass more than a placebo in college wrestlers and football players.
Another study reported that adding a beta-alanine supplement to a six-week, high-intensity interval training program increased lean body mass by about 1 pound (0.45 kg) more than a placebo.
While more research on beta-alanine and muscle gain is needed, this supplement may help support muscle gain when combined with an exercise program.