I remember a few years back when I was shopping at a mall, I passed by a bodybuilding supplement store. Curious on what I found, I stepped in to see around. The store was fulled with tubes of supplement I had never heard about. A sales promotion girl approached me and offered me some help. Being new to this bodybuilding thing, I asked her what’s the best supplements for building muscle? Instead of offering me some muscle building supplements, she offered me fat loss products. Later on she offered me various muscle building powders which sounded like magic powders for putting on some mass. Since I still thought supplements are steroids (how stupid I was) I ended up buying nothing.
I’d worked out for one year when I reached plateau, blame my eating lifestyle. Preparing high protein food can be time consuming and nearly impossible when you are traveling. After one year of trying to build muscle, I decided to give it a try and see what all the hype is about. Here is what I think about them.
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- Whey Protein Powder: The King of Muscle Building Supplements
Whey protein powder is probably the best protein powder for building muscle. No protein no muscles. It is basically what your muscles are made of. We need around 1-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weighed 160 pounds, you would have to take in 160-320 grams of protein every day. That amount of protein would equal a large amount of meat, fish, or eggs. This is where whey protein comes in. One thing to remember. It’s a protein powder. It’s not supposed to replace a proper and healthy balanced diet plan.
How much and when should I take whey protein shake to build muscle?
Whey protein is extremely easy to digest. Taking whey protein shake after intense workout will speed up your muscle recovery. This really help me build some mass. Other than that, whole foods are good enough.
- Creatine Monohydrate, The Strength Building Supplement
Creatine monohydrate is really one of the top muscle building powder I’ve ever had. In my opinion, it is the best supplement to build more strength. When I had creatine I felt like popeye who had just eaten spinach. Stack it with whey protein and it’s basicly the best muscle building stack. I definitely looked bigger in the mirror. I got a great pump and my veins just jumped out like crazy. I also significantly increased my strength with creatine. I did feel stronger and could last longer between sets and reps. I lifted more than I could ever Imagine. The good part is, I still kept the strength and weight gains after I was off it.
How does it work? Creatine hydrates muscle cells thus make it bigger, and it boosts the production of ATP, which provides more energy while working out. With more ATP you can lift more and get stronger.
When and how much should I take creatine?
There are three stages of creatine supplementation: loading, maintainance, and wash-out.
- Loading phase
This loading phase is designed to supply your muscles with creatine in a matter of just few days. Take no more than 0,3 grams of creatine per each kilogram (2.2 pound) of body weight. As your body can only absorb 5-10 grams of creatine at one time, don’t take your entire loading dose at once. Distribute it evenly throughout the day. This phase should only last for five days, any longer of loading is a waste of time and money.
- Maintenance phase
During this phase of muscle building with creatine, the dose can be reduced to just a few grams a day for no longer than one month. The dose is about 0.03 grams per kilogram of body weight.
- Wash out
Simply take no creatine at all to allow your body to recover from the abnormally high level of creatine. One month is recommended for a complete wash out before starting the loading phase again.
My 1000 gram bottle of creatine monohydrate powder lasted for months. Buy it from a reputable company and you have nothing to worry about. It’s cheap. It’s effective. It helps bulding muscles for everyone who eats right and exercises.
I had been sceptical on glutamine as a muscle building supplement because it is quite expensive, but you know what? It was worth every penny. I experienced faster recovery with glutamine. The muscle soreness was pretty much gone when I started taking it. There was a time I stopped taking it for a few weeks and my gains drastically suffered because of constant muscle soreness.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acids in the body. Intense exercises deplete glutamine from your muscles so that it is necessary to replenish it. Glutamine works incredibly well when you are cutting. It preserves muscle mass thus prevent muscle loss while cutting.
Glutamine also undoubtedly boosts your immune system. I remember I took it for a cold and the symptoms were gone in a couple of days. Since it is quite expensive, take it if you have extra budget. Otherwise, eat foods high in protein as they usually contain glutamine as well.
How much and when should I take glutamine?
Right after workout. Five grams or more will speed up your muscle recovery and prevent muscle loss.
It’s so basic, isn’t it? I don’t really think it has anything to do with muscle building, but here’s the thing. People who are working out need more vitamins than the couch potato. It seems negligible but it’s very important for muscle building. If you are lack of one vitamin or mineral, your gains can be hampered. Even if you are not a bodybuilder, you still need those multivitamins. Multi-vitamins are used primarily because the strenuous diets often lack the very basic nutritional needs.
If you want to make noticable mass building progress, train intensively in a solid weight training program and add more weight to your exercises whenever possible. Eat six high protein meals every day and stay out of the gym every other day for muscle recovery so that you can build the muscle you’ve always wanted. Supplements help build muscle, but the capsules and powders are only supplements. They don’t replace real foods.