Most guys start working out with one goal in mind, to get ripped. The starting points sometimes differ, with some starting out skinny as a twig, while others start out looking to shed fat, but the ultimate goal is usually the same; to grow some muscle. The journey to large bulging muscles is long and requires a lot of discipline, coupled with a good number of hours in a gym. These are the dues you have to pay to play with the big boys, quite literally.
Once you have a mental image of your gym goals, there comes the nutritional aspect. As soon as you start lifting serious weights, the one thing that becomes a constant concern is your diet. Nutritionally, your diet needs to be balanced, with most of the calories you take in coming from proteins instead of carbs and the bad kinds of fat. This is where supplements come into play. They help you meet your daily calorific intake without having to result to unorthodox or unhealthy options such as fast foods. To help you come up with a proper dietary table, here is a list of supplements that are essential for muscle growth:
This is one of the most important supplements for anyone looking to gain muscle. It is full of amino acids that are essential for the building of muscle, while ate the same time providing you with the fuel to workout with heavier weights for a longer time. Whey being a milk based protein is also absorbed rather quickly in the body. It also increases the body’s ability to produce anabolic hormones that are essential in growing muscles. Whey protein also has the added benefit of containing Leucine, which has been known to activate muscle growth on molecular level. For anyone looking to bulk up in a healthy way, this is definitely a starting point. For best results, take 20 grams of high-quality whey protein powder, such as Gold Standard Whey, before you start your routine, and 40 grams an hour after you are done with training for the day.
Another favourite for anyone looking to gain muscle is creatine. It is made from three types of Amino Acids, namely Arginine, Methionine, and Glycine. They way this works is that it increases the amount of energy that your muscles produce. This in turn makes it possible for you to perform more reps with greater weight at the gym, which stimulates muscle growth and lets you get bigger. Creatine also works by increasing the amount of water that gets drawn into your muscle cells, which stretches them thereby stimulating long term growth.
For the most efficient results, take between 2 and 5 grams of creatine immediately before your work out. It could be in the form of creatine monohydrate, creatine malate, or creatine alpha-ketoglutarate. It is best ingested right before your workout, in order to flood the cells and keep you ready for your workout and the increased reps you are looking for.
Branched Amino Acids
This is a broad group of amino acids that are essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after the stresses of a brutal workout. They are referred to as BCAAs and typically include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Among these, leucine is considered superior, with research showing that it can stimulate muscle regeneration on its own. BCAAs provide the body with a host of benefits including increasing the energy needed for the workout, stimulating muscle growth, and reducing the effect of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that inhibits the production of testosterone while increasing the breakdown of muscles. They are best taken as 5-10 grams with your protein shake before and after a workout.
This is the other essential protein that is derived from milk. It comes in below whey in terms of importance, mainly because it is digested a lot slower in comparison. This particular quality however, makes casein the perfect supplement to take just before getting into bed. This is because it prevents catabolism by emptying at a slow and steady rate. It also boosts post workout muscle growth and recovery in a way that is similar to whey protein. Some people even suggest taking both in a post workout shake for better results. Casein protein is best taken at 20-40 grams right before you go to bed.
This is a little known miracle supplement. When ingested, this amino acid is combined in the body with histidine (another amino acid) to form something called carnosine. Research has shown that having higher levels of carnosine gives your muscles more strength and endurance. This comes from its ability to enable the muscles to contract more forcefully and for longer periods without giving in to fatigue. Studies conducted on athletes showed that using Beta-alanine allowed them to have more power and muscle strength. When taken with creatine, it causes increased muscle growth and a faster fat loss. Take 1-2 grams before every workout, together with creatine for best results.