5 Best Muscle Building Supplements (According to Science)

best muscle building supplementsWant to build lean muscle fast?

Then you're in the right place.

Because today I'm going to show you the best muscle building supplements that most athletes and bodybuilders use to speed up muscle growth.

The best part?

All of these proven workout supplements are natural and safe…

…and you don't need to pay thousand $$$ to get them.

But wait, there's more 🙂

I'll also show you the worst bodybuilding supplements that you should avoid…so you don't waste money on them.

Check it out:

The Truth About Muscle Building Supplements

If you've ever wondered:

What are the best supplements for faster muscle gain?

The best muscle building supplements are not a quick fix solution to building muscles.

Now:

Bodybuilding supplement manufacturers have made tons of money from consumers who don't understand this single FACT.

You cannot build muscles without a proper exercise and diet plan. Period.

Your exercise plan must involve muscle building workouts like weight training.

In fact, regardless of the supplements taken, if you are not involved in weight training and other forms of exercise, odds are the supplement will do nothing more than nourish your body.

Did you know that some products can actually induce weight gain…

…which is not what most people want.

Without good exercise and diet regimen, some people start to gain body fat. Because every person’s body is shaped differently and their metabolism rates vary, each person must create their very own program to achieve the desired results.

Relying on supplements to lose weight or build muscles isn't enough. It will help for sure, but supplements alone will not get you the results you want.

Let's Take a Look at Some of The Best Muscle Building Supplements

best muscle building supplements for explosive muscle growthYou must first understand that the most effective supplement would have to be a protein-based product.

After all, that’s what muscles are made up of – proteins. So it’s only logical that protein would be the best.

If you weight train, you will already know that in order for you to gain any muscle at all you have to workout your existing muscle and in the process, tear the fiber.

So if you are taking in a certain amount of protein on a daily basis, healing and building muscles will occur at a faster rate.

Let me explain.

The rule is 1.5 grams of protein for every lean pound of muscle you have on your frame. So your body recovers faster if you're eating more protein.

Eating more high-quality protein has been shown to increase the levels of the amino acid leucine helping reduce body fat while maintaining muscle mass.

Protein can be consumed in the form of food or supplements.

But there are some rules to follow…

If you're upping your protein intake via food items, then make sure you eat protein with every meal, and they are from lean sources like chicken, fish, turkey, etc.

Eat small meals throughout the day and try to space your meals 2.5 hours apart from one another to help balance your blood sugar and give you more energy.

If you choose supplements, make sure the protein you supplement with is of high quality.

Be consistent with your training and strictly follow your program and don't forget to drink lots of water.

1. Creatine

creatine muscle building supplementCurrently, creatine is one of the most widely used supplements in the athletic world.

You can expect several benefits while taking it such as:

It’s not only a supplement that helps with exercise, studies have demonstrated other benefits as well. [2]

Benefits of Creatine and How it Works

Look:

Creatine is a supplement that helps with rapid replenishment of energy. Simply put, supplementing with creatine allows you to knock out two more reps or to start the final push on your 5K 500 meters earlier.

Getting those extra reps or being able to sprint for longer is what gives you your added muscle mass, or quicker times.

It may inhibit or delay the production of lactic acid which is what causes that burning feeling.

It has been shown to reduce mental fatigue and enhance memory.

Creatine may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering the level of triglycerides. Heck, throw in working out and creatine supplementation and you may successfully ward off diabetes!

Without getting too scientific, creatine binds with phosphate when ingested to form Adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

ATP is your body's natural energy source and with more ATP, you can train harder and longer than you would be able to without a creatine.

Here's the best part:

Creatine helps your muscles retain fluid, which increases mass and size almost immediately!

By retaining the fluid in your muscles, the stored energy will allow you train harder and get the results you've been looking for.

But if you don’t exercise at all, won't need this supplement.

Creatine is not one of those get quick fit supplements. It doesn’t burn anything away; it doesn’t melt away rolls of fat. Which is precisely why it's a great supplement.

You have to work for it.

To see the full health benefits, like a lean muscle mass, and improved explosive strength, you need to exercise and eat a balanced diet.

Bottom line:

Creatine is the most effective muscle building supplement that can increase muscle mass significantly. Creatine Monohydrate is the best form you can take.

2. Whey Protein Powder

protein powder muscle building supplementWhey protein is a by-product of the cheese production process and is extracted from milk when liquid whey separates from casein (also known as the curd). Protein powder is a rich source of the amino acids required by the body for repairing cells, muscles, and bones and is also an energy source.

There are 3 types of whey protein:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate or WPC (25-89% protein and 4-52% lactose)

Whey concentrate is the least processed form of whey and one of the most common types of whey protein available. It is included in many products found on the shelves of supplement stores today.

As you can see from the protein content, you have to ensure that you choose a WPC product with a high protein concentrate or you may not get the required amount needed for your muscle building regimen.

This is whey in its purest form. WPI contains about 90-95% protein and is one of the best post-workout supplements to add to your diet.

  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate or WPH (80-90% protein and 0.5-10% lactose)

Hydrolyzed whey protein goes through a pre-digestion process during manufacturing. Using special enzymes, WPH is broken down before consumption to help our bodies easily absorb the protein and improve muscle growth.

Benefits of Whey Protein and How it Works

Whey proteins have been shown to decrease the appetite and promote weight loss.

The alpha-lactalbumin found in whey protein has been proven to help serotonin levels in people suffering from stress. Certain whey protein powder supplements appear to lower blood pressure in some subjects.

The best thing about whey is that it gives your body an instant shot of pure protein that can be used to build muscles instantly.[1] Whey has been proven time and time again in numerous studies to help boost the growth of muscles more than anything else.

You will not have to wait for ages to let whey do its work.

You will see action within a few days of using the powder. The first major sign is an increased energy level.

Muscles will be charged up by the amino acids present in the supplements and there will be greater reaction during push-ups and other exercises.

3. Branched Chain Amino Acids

BCAAs muscle building supplementsBranched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are made up of three different types of amino acids:

  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Valine

Leucine

Considered the most important of all the BCAAs, leucine contributes to both muscle growth and fat loss. Leucine is, therefore, the best BCAA for women.

Isoleucine

If leucine is fundamental to the building of muscle tissue, isoleucine is what matters most when it comes to fueling it. Having enough isoleucine in the body helps muscle tissue absorb glucose and convert it into energy, with a deficit manifesting in symptoms like fatigue. [3]

Valine

Valine is a substance that plays a supporting role.[4]

Like isoleucine, valine contributes to the process of muscle building by turning glucose into energy.

When we eat foods rich in these substances, we get more energy and strength to take our workouts further.

The body requires certain nutrients to function as nature intended. Unfortunately, some of these nutrients cannot be produced by the body, so they must be obtained through food.

Branched-chain amino acids fall into this category and are found in meats, legumes and dairy products. If you doesn’t get enough of these nutrients through their diet, you can supplement with BCAAs to ensure you're getting the proper amount of nutrients.

Benefits of BCAAs and How it Works

BCAAs are used by the body to repair and build muscle tissue. They do so by preventing muscle tissue breakdown during intense workouts and by boosting the release of human growth hormone.

Many experts recommend the supplement be taken before a workout, but others suggest taking the product once the exercise is done.

Each time frame has its benefits to be considered. Take them before a workout to help minimize delayed onset muscle soreness and after exercise to reduce the breakdown of muscle.

Studies continue to show that those who take more BCAA into their body tend to have lower body weight, a decreased rate of obesity and better overall body composition. [5]

When combined with a strenuous exercise routine, users notice a decrease in the degradation of muscle protein and a boost in the intensity of their workout.

Mental function and mood increases with the use of BCAAs, and depression becomes less of an issue. For those with diabetes, the use of a BCAA supplement can also help in weight loss.

4. Beta-Alanine

beta-alanine muscle building supplementBeta-Alanine is a dietary supplement that promotes muscle growth and feeling of well being. Unlike most new supplements that promise huge muscle gains, beta-alanine has been studied and scientifically proven to increase muscle mass.[6]

Beta-alanine is on its way to becoming one of the most popular muscle building supplements in the world.

The Beta-Alanine compound is an all natural substance that is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid in the human body and found in small amounts in some foods such as chicken breasts.

Benefits of Beta-Alanine and How it Works

One of the more important benefits of Beta-Alanine is that it helps your body produce carnosine.

Carnosine is well known for its antioxidant properties and helps balance the pH levels in your muscles. This keeps it from dropping during extensive workouts.

What this means is that you will be able to do more reps, more weight, and harder workouts in general.

While the naturally occurring Beta-Alanine production of the body is enough for the average person, it is not nearly enough for athletes, bodybuilders, or people who exercise regularly.

5. Carnitine

carnitine for muscle gainCarnitine is the generic name for several compounds including propionyl-L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and L-carnitine.

It is regarded in some bodybuilding communities as the single biggest nutritional breakthrough in modern times.

Benefits of Carnitine and How it Works

Even though it was first discovered over a century ago, carnitine only became a key bodybuilding supplement in the 70’s – when it was discovered that it helped increase the production of energy.

Research states that about 95% of our body’s energy is produced by the mitochondria, which in turn provides energy by using a chemical known as ATP.

ATP (or Adenosine triphosphate) is a complex organic compound that is used for many processes in the body including energy production.

As you already know, having more energy means building more muscles.

Energy + Workout = Muscles

The more you workout, the more you can bulk up. So energy is, in fact, the holy grail of muscle building and so is ATP!

Let me explain.

ATP works just like an energy transporter. Taking fatty acids and delivering it to the mitochondria for onward processing and conversion to energy.

While some types of fatty acids can make it to the mitochondrial membrane by themselves, long-chain fatty acids need the help of carnitine to get there. I call them the lazy fats!

Through research and clinical trials, there is a vast array of data which suggests l-carnitine benefits our health in more ways than one.

First the brain.

The “acetyl” part of acetyl l-carnitine benefits the brain in more ways.

Through the formation of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine, which is vital for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

It also has antioxidant properties which may help neutralize the free radical damage in our bodies.

There have even been studies which point to carnitine possibly being beneficial for degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s, but further research will be needed to find out. For these reasons, l-carnitine supplements have been nicknamed anti-aging “brain food” and have been highly recommended by many for supporting brain health.

Another benefit is for increased metabolism.

Most of us fixate on what we consume (calories, fats, carbs, etc.) but we really should take into account our metabolism, too.

Good metabolism is why some people seem to consume whatever they want without gaining a pound, while others become overweight from merely eating an average amount.

There have been studies that have demonstrated that the obese have lower levels of l-carnitine [7].

World-renowned nutritionist Robert Crayhon wrote a book called “The Carnitine Miracle.” In the book, he stated that it is the most important supplement for enhancing weight loss and energy.

Reportedly consuming healthy omega-3 fatty acids along with L carnitine benefits the metabolism by supporting energy production. This energy can be used to workout more and build muscles faster.

The above five products are the best muscle building supplements for any workout plan. So long as you are trying to build lean muscles, these supplements will help when combined with regular weight training and exercise.

The 3 Worst Muscle Building Supplements

what's the best supplement for building muscleThere are some products that I don't recommend. These products, in my opinion are highly overrated and not as effective as they claim.

1. Mass Gainers

People who want to lose weight or build muscles far outnumber those who want to gain weight. So the market is filled with a lot of ineffective products like mass gainers.

My advice is to stay away from mass gainers.

These supplements are usually filled with sugar, poor quality whey protein, and carbohydrates. You're better off hitting McDonald's a few days a week.

Mass gainer protein powders claim to be effective for bulking up, but in many cases, this is fat and not muscles.

2. β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB)

Beta-hydroxy beta-methyl butyrate is one of many dietary supplements that has been advertised to help enhance exercise performance and muscle hypertrophy. It is a metabolite of the branched-chain amino acid leucine.

HMB looks good on paper but on a scale of 0-100, has too many studies that refute its effectiveness.

Check out some of these studies here:

One study revealed that HMB was effective in preventing muscle atrophy, but in the same study, there were concerns about its effect on muscle strength and physical functioning.

Part of the problem is that HMB benefits are based on deductions and not actual science. For example, it is assumed that HMB metabolizes to β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate-CoA.

But this assumption is not enough to conclude that taking HMB will increase strength and endurance. Basically, the problem with this supplement is that there is insufficient evidence to show that it works well in building muscles.

3. Glutamine

Bodybuilders rave about glutamine supplements with many reviews stating it can be used to prevent muscle breakdown.

However numerous studies say otherwise!

Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11822473

Even though many bodybuilders swear by it, clinical studies have shown that about 65% of the time, when consumed orally, the amino acid never even gets to your muscles. Instead, it's used as energy by your intestines.

Glutamine has some powerful effects on the body because it is necessary for the biosynthesis of proteins. This is an ineffective supplement for bodybuilding, and in my honest opinion, it's a waste of money.

The Bottom Line

best bodybuilding supplements for menLook:

Choosing a muscle building supplement that is effective and safe is important if you want to bulk up faster with no side effects.

Even though a regimented exercise plan and diet are key ingredients, adding a great protein supplement is the fastest way to get results.

Bottom line:

Whey protein powder and creatine are the number one options for many bodybuilders because they are both highly bio-available.

They're great at promoting muscle protein synthesis, but the main difference though is the speed of absorption.

Whey is more rapidly absorbed than creatine and provides an immediate spike in blood amino acids. On the other hand, creatine is widely studied and offers many other benefits to bodybuilders.

Creatine Monohydrate really shines when your muscles are getting a good workout as it can help you make it through your last reps without quitting.

It's my number one choice for guys who do high-intensity workouts and need a push.

Overall, the above 5 best muscle building supplements (must have) are great and serve different purposes.

Just remember to stay away from the likes of mass gainers, HMB, etc.

Now:

Before you choose a muscle building supplement, define a workout plan that'll be based on your personal needs, then choose the right supplements to suit your plan.

Also, you must consult a physician before starting any supplementation regimen.

Even though these supplements are safe, certain people with pre-existing health conditions will need the support and guidance of a doctor.

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