Best Muscle Building Supplements

There are countless supplements on the market, many of which claim to help you improve muscle mass, strength or performance. Not all of these are what they claim, but there are a select few that go above and beyond and are definitely worth including on any list of the best muscle building supplements.

Protein Powder

Organic Vegan Protein Superfood

This should be considered essential for all bodybuilders and anyone who wants to pack on muscle. It is by far the best muscle building supplement because it’s as basic, as cheap and as essential as you can get. Your body needs protein to build muscle. The average person requires around 50 grams a day, but when you workout you generate additional stress and your muscles need more protein to recover, with many experts recommending around 0.8 to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight.

Of course, where possible you should always try and get your protein and other nutrients from food. Protein powders are not complete meal replacements and by filling up on them you could be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. There are times when you may be able to benefit more from a protein shake than a meal, such as immediately after a workout and on a nighttime (consuming a slow-release protein like casein). However, it’s best not to go overboard. And, if you are going to use a protein supplement powder, be sure it is clean and free of all artificial flavor, colors, and sweeteners. Go with an Organic Vegan Protein Superfood. 

A 2017 BBC documentary challenged an aspiring bodybuilder to go without any form of supplementation, including protein. He had been consuming 120 grams of protein a day and when he stopped and switched to food, he experienced a noticeable improvement in lean muscle mass.

In his case, he was overdoing it, to begin with, and the switch to an all-food diet allowed a wider range of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals to enter his body, which no doubt helped to improve on his previous diet. But a diet that is somewhere between the two, including high-quality protein from meat, dairy, nuts, and seeds, as well as protein powder, is probably best.

Creatine

There has been a wealth of studies done on creatine and most of them have been positive. It can help to improve performance, to build lean muscle mass and to give you a fuller look. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t need to be cycled and it won’t make you fat, but at the same time, it doesn’t work for everyone and creatine non-responders account for roughly 3 out of every 10 users.

There are some negative studies on the effectiveness or otherwise of creatine, but these tend to relate to low-intensity exercise and to activities that require short bursts of energy over longer periods of time. In other words, it probably won’t be beneficial if you are a middle or long distance runner.

The body just doesn’t use creatine for endurance activities in the same way it does for high-intensity ones. The added weight gain and water retention may slow you down and fatigue you sooner.  Of course, if you are a soccer player, rugby player or hockey player, requiring both strength and endurance, then it’s a trade-off that you might want to consider.

BCAAs

best bcaas

Branched-chain amino acids are three essential (which means the body doesn’t produce them and needs to get them from food) amino acids that play a huge role in protein synthesis and are essential in the muscle building process.

There are two types of people in the supplement industry: those who swear by BCAAs and those who say they are a waste of money. The latter says that there is no point because you get all you need from complete proteins; the former argues that extra protein synthesis can’t hurt and can actually go a long way, especially during a cut.

The science is somewhere in the middle. There are positive, neutral and negative studies and the opinions of the professionals are equally split. The reason BCAAs are on this list of “best muscle building supplements” is because when you ask the people who take them regularly, the feedback is 90% positive.

They claim to feel stronger and leaner, to be able to do more in the gym and to feel less soreness. Ultimately, when there is no strong evidence for something, either way, you can only take the word of the people that have used it and that’s why you should consider BCAAs. Just make sure you use a brand you trust as there are a lot of cheap and nasty supplements out there branded as BCAAs that contain inferior amino acids, filler and even no amino acids at all!

When choosing a BCAA, be sure to go with a supplement that does not contain artificial colors, sweeteners or other ingredients and is all natural. Also, be sure there isn’t any added sugar. 

Colostrum

There are a few studies that look at colostrum and the impact it has on performance. Many of these are positive, suggesting that colostrum can aid with explosive power, making it an effective supplement for sprinters and powerlifters, as well as anyone looking for that extra edge in the gym.

It doesn’t seem to have a direct impact on muscle growth, but if you lift more and push yourself harder, then you should get bigger and better gains, and colostrum can help with that. It’s also packed with nutrients—just make sure you get your supply from a reputable source.

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