The Best Supplements for Muscle Building

Is your goal to increase muscle mass? Looking for supplements for building muscle? Here are the best scientifically proven supplements for muscle growth.

Diet and exercise are the foundation of building muscle, but supplements can also play an important role in muscle growth. Let’s take a look at a collection of proven supplements for building muscle fast.  

Pre-Workout

How will you build muscle if you can’t make it through the workout? This is where a pre-workout comes in handy. High quality pre-workout supplements should be a mix of performance-boosting nutrients and energy-igniting ingredients.

Stimulants like caffeine are the go-to for energy. However, an elite-level pre-workout goes beyond what you get out of a cup of coffee. Ingredients like ginseng, glucuronolactone, and l-theanine are the mark of a supplement that will provide steady energy for hours to come.

But the best pre-workout supplements go one step further, supplying your muscles with energy on a cellular level. Branched chain amino acids and creatine are fuel for your muscle tissue, ensuring you’re able to maximize your performance and increase your muscle growth potential. [1] [2]

When Should You Take a Pre-Workout?

We recommend taking a pre-workout supplement 20 to 30 minutes before you plan on really getting into the meat and bones of your workout. For example, if you have a lengthy warm-up, take it at the start of your warm-up so that it will start to kick in once you step onto the gym floor.

Pre-Workout That We Recommend

MO90 delivers intense energy on all levels. It contains all the ingredients we mentioned above and much more, including beta alanine, agmatine sulfate, and hordenine HCL. This pre-workout increases physical performance and cognitive ability, ensuring one hell of a workout.

Nitric Oxide Booster

Bodybuilders and muscle-building enthusiasts are always chasing the “pump” or that feeling of blood pooling in the working muscle. Think about it: Have you ever performed several sets of intense bicep curls? The veins in your biceps are bulging and your arms feel like balloons by the end. This is the pump.

While the pump isn’t required to build muscle, some studies suggest it is effective as long as it’s combined with heavy training sets. [3]

Another way to increase the pump during your muscle-building workouts is with nitric oxide supplements, better known as N.O. boosters.

Citrulline malate, in particular, increases athletic performance during high-intensity anaerobic workouts. It’s also great for alleviating post-workout soreness. [4]

L-arginine is another popular N.O.-boosting supplement, but it is notorious for having poor bioavailability. Thankfully, there is nitrosigine. This lesser known ingredient is a combination of L-arginine with inositol, a carbocyclic sugar. Studies show that nitrosigine has a high level of bioavailability, ensuring optimal absorption and assimilation. [5]

When Should You Take a Nitric Oxide Booster?

The best time to take a nitric oxide supplement is with your pre-workout supplement. Twenty to thirty minutes before you dive into the workout is ideal as this gives the supplement plenty of time to get absorbed and prep your muscles for the workload to follow.

Nitric Oxide Supplement That We Recommend

XP96 is a nitric oxide supplement that contains ingredients shown to increase nitric oxide levels and intra-workout pump. What’s more, XP96 provides clinically proven dosage levels for all ingredients.

XP96- Xtreme Pump- Nitric Oxide Booster

Whey Protein

Without a doubt, the quintessential supplement for ensuring muscle growth is whey protein. Containing the very building blocks of lean muscle tissue, whey protein has been shown time and time again to be effective at promoting protein synthesis, muscle repair, and muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth. [6] [7] [8]

When Should You Take Whey Protein?

Whey protein is most effective immediately after a workout. Depending on your budget and size goals, you can also drink a serving before a workout and two hours before bed. The latter will promote protein synthesis while sleeping.

Protein That We Recommend

SP50 is a blend of the most effective protein types and powerful digestive enzymes, ensuring optimal absorption and bioavailability. Providing you with 28 grams of whey concentration, whey isolate, whey hydrolysate, caseinate, and egg, SP50 will help you reach your muscle building goals.

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)

When protein is digested and assimilated in the body, the result is a wave of amino acids that flood the muscle tissue.

There are 20 amino acids but only three are considered essential for promoting muscle building. Studies show that leucine, valine, and isoleucine are effective for building muscle at a respective 2:1:1 ratio. There should be at least three grams of leucine. [9] [10] [11]

When Should You Take BCAAs?

To maximize your results, we recommend taking a BCAA supplement during your workout. You can also take BCAAs in the evening with a meal or just before bed.

BCAAs That We Recommend

Containing the ideal ratio of essential amino acids, MR46 is the BCAA recovery supplement that you need to promote protein synthesis and muscle repair.

MR46- Muscle Recovery Supplement

Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid that is converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) once ingested. ATP is the preferred fuel source for muscle tissue during weightlifting and moderate-intensity workouts.

One of the best supplements for building muscle, creatine supplementation promotes intra-workout strength and endurance. Studies have consistently shown that subjects are able to perform more repetitions and sets using heavier weights. [12]

When Should You Take Creatine?

Creatine is effective regardless of when you take it. The important thing is to be consistent by taking it every day. We recommend taking it with your pre-workout supplement or with your post-workout protein shake.

Creatine That We Recommend

ATP48 is a super-charged creatine blend that combines several top-performing types of creatine along with CoQ10 and fenugreek extract.

Testosterone Support

Testosterone is a sex hormone that is dominant in men. It triggers the onset of sexual organ development, facial hair, and a deeper voice when you’re an adolescent, but it also plays an important role in lean muscle mass growth.

Healthy and elevated levels of testosterone support muscle growth so long as the individual is consistently performing a resistance training workout.

When testosterone levels are low, symptoms such as weight gain, muscle loss, and depression can occur. By promoting the natural production of testosterone in the body, guys can support their goals of muscle growth. [13]

Zinc and magnesium are two-thirds of the ZMA formula and both have been shown in several studies to promote healthy testosterone production. [14] [15]

While more research is needed, animal studies suggest that stinging nettle can prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This implies that testosterone levels will increase and there will be more bioavailable testosterone in the body. [16]

When Should You Take Testosterone Support?

Most testosterone supplement brands recommend splitting the dose into two separate servings throughout the day. Most people will take the first half of the serving as soon as they wake up and the second half before their workout. If it’s a rest day, you can take the first half upon waking and the second half in the evening.

Testosterone Booster That We Recommend

AT100 Alpha Test is a proven testosterone support supplement that contains all of the ingredients mentioned above and many more. This comprehensive testosterone supplement can boost natural levels of testosterone, supporting muscle growth.

AT100- Testosterone Booster

Muscle-Building Stacks Are the Way to Go

Instead of buying all of the supplements for building muscle we mentioned above, you can save yourself time and money by opting for a muscle-building stack.

Check out our collection of muscle-building supplement stacks for men and women who want more lean muscle in less time.

References

  1. Maridakis V, O’Connor PJ, Dudley GA, McCully KK. Caffeine attenuates delayed-onset muscle pain and force loss following eccentric exercise. J Pain. 2007 Mar;8(3):237-43. Epub 2006 Dec 11.
  2. Costill DL, Dalsky GP, Fink WJ. Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance. Medicine and Science in Sports [1978, 10(3):155-158].
  3. Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Strength and Hypertrophy Adaptations Between Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Dec;31(12):3508-3523. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002200.
  4. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb28e0.
  5. Rood-Ojalvo S, Sandler D, Veledar E, Komorowski J. The benefits of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate as a workout ingredient. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12(Suppl 1):P14. Published 2015 Sep 21. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P14.
  6. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.
  7. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. “Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation.” Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.
  8. Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A. Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012;9:54. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-54.
  9. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan; 136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
  10. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
  11. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
  12. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
  13. Almaiman AA. Effect of testosterone boosters on body functions: Case report. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2018;12(2):86‐90.
  14. Prasad AS, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, Hess JW, Brewer GJ. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition. 1996 May;12(5):344-8.
  15. Maggio M, De Vita F, Lauretani F, et al. The Interplay between Magnesium and Testosterone in Modulating Physical Function in Men. Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:525249. doi:10.1155/2014/525249.
  16. Moradi HR, Erfani Majd N, Esmaeilzadeh S, Fatemi Tabatabaei SR. The histological and histometrical effects of Urtica dioica extract on rat’s prostate hyperplasia. Vet Res Forum. 2015;6(1):23‐29.
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