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Health & Fitness

Best Supplements for Packing on Muscle

Making a good mass gain is not something that cane be easily achieved. A mass gain can be poorly done if you don’t know how to manage it. However, in order for you to gain mass and muscle, it is essential to be in caloric surplus and therefore to absorb more calories than your daily caloric expenditure.

It is quiet possible to gain weight without using any supplements. However, you need to be able to eat solid food five to six times a day. And these foods should be rich in micronutrients, fiber, protein, carbohydrates and fats to be sure to consume enough amino acids, vitamins and minerals: to not only feed your muscles, but also to maintain good health.

However, you will quickly realize that following 6 times a day diet is not only expensive, but also time-consuming, in addition to being difficult to digest. When it comes to muscle growth supplements, they can help fill a void. Some beginners struggle to consume enough calories to have a sufficient surplus to help build lean muscle mass, others know that to build mass and huge lean muscle, it is almost necessary to supplement what you can’t fit into your diet.

Supplements for packing on muscle

The big three products for all body building or weight training athletes are protein, creatine and glutamine. This assumes, of course, you’re already taking the Foundational Products (multi-vitamin, whey protein and flaxseed oil).

Protein Meal Replacement

If you want to build muscle, take a certain type of protein powder known as a meal replacement powder (MRP).  A meal replacement provides your body with high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in a low-calorie way like a full meal. This way you can ensure that your body is supplied with all the necessary nutrients, even though you are eating fewer kilocalories.

MRPs include protein, carbs for energy and fat, plus 25-50% RDI for most vitamins and minerals. Essentially, they’re a complete, high protein meal.

When to take

For bulking up, take an MRP between meals for extra protein and nutrition. If you’re trying to lean down, use one in place of a meal.

Meal timing is extremely important after a workout. After hitting the weights, immediately consume a shake made with an MRP and 1-2 scoops from a gainer (high carb). Mix creatine and glutamine into it. The carbs help spike your insulin levels. Insulin is extremely anabolic (muscle-building), and it increases your body’s uptake of amino acids, creatine and other nutrients. You only have a short 30-60 minute window of time after a workout for maximum effect.

Tip: Take a shaker bottle full of your protein powder, creatine and glutamine to the gym, fill it up at the water fountain after your workout and drink it on the way home. This is what numerous bodybuilders do. After an hour, you should be ready for a solid food meal, like dinner.

How much to take

Consume roughly the equivalent of your ideal body weight in grams of protein per day. For women, that’s about 100-150 grams a day (25g from whey, 40g from an MRP and the remaining amount from food). For men, that’s about 150-200 grams a day (25-50g from whey, 40-80g from an MRP and the rest from food).

You should already be taking at least one serving of whey protein from your Foundational Products. You can even make your own MRP by taking a whey protein powder and combining it with carbs like fruit. This will boost the calorie content by and extra 100-200 calories, more in line with the protein to carb content of an MRP.

Some of our favorite MRP and best-sellers include Garden of Life Meal Replacement, Labrada Lean Body Carb Watchers, EAS Myoplex Original and Kaged Muscle Clean Meal.

Creatine

No product has come along in years that works as well as creatine monohydrate. Creatine is a natural amino acid derivative. It is naturally present in the body and mainly in muscle fibers and the brain. They are synthesized by our kidneys, liver and pancreas, from 3 amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine. It’s good for your workout: when your muscles have a lot of energy available, you have more explosive power during your exercises.

Creatine monohydrate can help you weight train harder by extending the ATP energy cycle. That translates into getting stronger, faster. Nothing will help you push through plateaus on the bench press like creatine. The positive effect is not only limited to muscle cells, but also applies to neurological and cardiovascular performance. The positive influence of creatine on muscle strength has been proven by a large number of studies.

When and how much to take

The first week on creatine, super saturate your muscles by taking 20-25 grams a day (loading phase). Thereafter, take about 5 grams a day (maintainence phase).

Best form to take

The most popular and economical form is pure creatine. We prefer Fitness Labs German Creatine and Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine. They are the best creatine that you can find.

Creatine transport (includes carbs): Studies done during the loading phase have shown creatine to be more effective when taken with high glycemic sugars. These pre-mixed products are known as creatine transports, which combine creatine with dextrose.

Popular transports include Fitness Labs CreaFit Creatine Transport and BSN CellMass. For convenience, they can’t be beat. If you’re in a leaning down (getting cut) phase, stick with pure creatine to avoid the extra carbs in these pre-mixed formulas.

Read also: Basic Beginners Guide To Nutrition

L-Glutamine

Growth hormone is another of the most anabolic (muscle building) hormones your body makes. One study showed that a 2-gram oral dose of L-glutamine given to healthy athletes produced a 430% increase in growth hormone compared to a placebo. Another study showed 5 grams of L-glutamine helped endurance athletes stay healthy after strenuous bouts of exercise. The research is compelling, which is why it ranks as one of our core Muscle Building recommendations.

L-Glutamine allows for better physical recovery especially during high intensity training, such as weight lifting or body building. They also contributes to optimize the work of the muscles. It is said to be “ergogenic”: it improves physical performance. In other words, l-glutamine acts on the quality of sports performance.

L-Glutamine prevents the body from using protein and muscle reserves to produce energy during long, intense workouts. By doing so, glutamine helps to reduce muscle wasting.

How much to take

Take about 5 grams daily, right after a workout, along with creatine. We recommend Fitness Labs L-Glutamine Powder or IDS Sports L-Glutamine with MSM. If you prefer capsule form, Fitness Labs L-Glutamine 500 mg or Optimum Nutrition Glutamine 1000 Capsare good choices.

Our next favorite products are in the second tier of recommendations.

Read also: 10 Ways to Make Your Healthy Food Taste Delicious

Thermogenic Diet Formulas

Thermogenics are foods or chemical substances that accelerate the body’s metabolism and help burn calories, promoting weight loss. The name thermogenic comes from the ability to increase the body temperature through the acceleration of the metabolism, also causing a decrease in fatty tissue.

These ephedra-free products are commonly known as complete diet formulas. They typically have the stimulant caffeine with other ingredients like citrus aurantium (bitter orange) or green tea, which can rev up your metabolism when used together.

Thermogenics  are considered to be extreme fat burners. Calories are burned faster, storage fat is mobilized, so the body becomes able to use these fats for energy.

When to take

Take a complete diet formula before meals or workouts. Complete diet formulas help pep you up to train harder. Also, use them to strip the layer of body fat that might be hiding some hard-earned muscle. They work by preventing your metabolism from slowing during calorie restriction and typically contain ingredients that help trigger your body’s natural fat burning process.

Try any of these top sellers: Fitness Labs Diet Stack, BPI B4 Once Daily Fat Burner, Nutrex Research Lipo 6 Black Ultra, and Fitness Labs ThermoRip Diet.

ZMA

This completely safe supplement really packs a punch and is an excellent alternative to andro. The ‘Z’ in ZMA is for zinc and the ‘MA’ is for magnesium aspartate. Both are naturally occurring minerals. You take ZMA at night before bed on an empty stomach. It helps maximize your body’s own anabolic functions. Studies have shown it to increase free testosterone levels as well as improve strength, endurance and muscle recovery in strength-training athletes. Women don’t need ZMA, nor do teenagers who already have enough testosterone and growth hormone.

Try Fitness Labs ZMA, Muscle Pharm Z-Core PM, or Twinlab ZMA Fuel.

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris, also known as the puncture vine plant, contains a powerful element that may help the body increase its own ability to produce testosterone naturally. Studies indicate that tribulus can increase the body’s production of luteinizing hormone (LH) by as much as 70%. LH, in turn, stimulates the Leydig cells of the testicles to release testosterone. This process may elevate testosterone production by as much as 40%.

Today, it is not uncommon to consume tribulus as a natural booster in order to increase testosterone levels naturally. And not only for sexual performance. Throughout the world, more and more body-building enthusiasts are turning to this plant.

Our most popular sellers are Fitness Labs Tribulus Ultra, Allmax Nutrition TribX90, iForce Tribulus 2400, Nutrex Research Vitrix, and MHP T-Bomb 3xtreme.

There are numerous other supplements you can use to complement these core products. But if you start with these, you’ll have 85% of your nutritional bases covered.

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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