In this new series, we look at the best five supplements for your training needs. This week, we focus on muscle growth.
If you go looking for supplements to help with a regular exercise plan and healthy diet, you’ll notice there is a huge array of options. How do you choose the right supplements to fit your current training needs?
That’s where UsFitties comes in. In this new series of articles, we’ll expose the top five supplements for a range of results. In this episode, we’ll cover the pills and powders that will help you with muscle growth.
This is the easiest addition to your diet and workout regime, and probably the most effective.
When you workout you need to replace muscle glycogen quickly and effectively. The best way to do this is with a high-quality whey protein. Not all whey protein powders are made the same though, so be sure to choose wisely.
While whey protein is perfect directly after you finish at the gym, casein protein isn’t. Casein protein is known as the ‘slow protein’, because it is digested slowly over a number of hours. This makes it perfect for consumption just before bedtime, as it helps the body recover while you sleep.
As a result, the muscle-building process will continue while you get the all-important rest associated with good results. For overnight protein needs, you can’t do better than casein protein.
Again, our favourite comes from MyProtein – their Bedtime Extreme is perfect for the job.
BCAA, or ‘branched-chain amino acids’ to give them their full name, are a good choice of supplement during workouts because they help keep a steady supply of protein going towards your muscles. Not only do they aid muscle growth, they also protect against muscle loss during exercise.
Opinions vary on doses of BCAAs, as do dosage patterns. Some suggest taking them first thing in the morning followed by another course during workouts. We tend to recommend taking them during and after a workout if you go to the gym first thing in the morning, but during the workout only if you go to the gym after a full day of food intake.
Creatine helps to supply energy to all cells in the body. In fact, creatine primarily focuses on supplying energy to muscle. It achieves this by increasing the formation of adenosine triphosphate; otherwise known as ATP. Effectively, creatine helps you lift bigger for longer.
Importantly, you need to drink plenty of water when taking creatine. It sucks water into your muscles and can leave you dehydrated unless you drink a good amount of the clear stuff. We recommend taking 2-5g of creatine monohydrate before a workout and another equal dose after to replenish lost stores.
Leucine is an effective muscle booster. It can stimulate the muscle building process and the science around leucine supplementation as part of a muscle growth program is strong.
A 5g dose after training and in between meals can assist with the anabolic effect of food, especially if your diet is low in naturally occurring leucine.
There you have it – the best five supplements for muscle growth. Have you tried any of these? Tell us your results in the comments below…