Choosing the right supplements is completely overwhelmed in this vast market.
Especially when most muscle building supplements out there do absolutely nothing and take advantage of those who don’t know about supplements.
There’re a handful of supplements that, when used correctly they actually work and can help speed up our muscle-building goals.
In this article, we’ll cover the five best muscle building supplements and go through how they work and their benefits and uses to get optimal results. So, let’s get started!
Top 5 Best Muscle Building Supplements
If you only have the money for just one supplement made to build more muscle, you should go for a creatine supplement. It’s not only safe but also one of the most popular and well-researched supplements in the world.
According to a meta-analysis, creatine is considered the most effective natural muscle building supplements out there.
Benefits of Creatine Supplement
- It promotes muscle growth and size.
- May fight other neurological diseases.
- It helps to improve intensity and performance.
- It can improve brain function.
- Supports many different functions in muscles.
- Creatine may reduce fatigue and tiredness.
- It’s safe and easy to use.
Creatine supplement are widely available on the market with its many forms. The most well-researched form is creatine monohydrate. There’s two ways to take it:
- Week-long loading phase: 20 grams every day for 5 to 7 days and then transition to 3-5 grams per day.
- The other ways is you can take 5 grams per day from the start instead of loading, and you’ll still saturate your muscles with creatine.
Some people choose the cycle-creatine to take for 6 to 12 weeks and stop for four weeks. However, there is no conclusive evidence in favour of cycling or not-cycling.
Summary: If you choose to cycle, you may want to do a loading phase at the beginning of each of your cycles. On the other hand, if you consistently take it without stopping, you may drop to only 3 grams per day rather than a full five, as that should be enough to saturate your muscle with the creatine.
2. Whey Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient when we talked about muscle gain even though you don’t need protein powder supplement to build muscle since you can get all the protein from real food.
For an active individual trying to build muscle, 0.8-0.9 grams of protein per pound (1.4-2.0 grams per kg) bodyweight. If you are taking enough protein from your diet, then you no need to buy any supplement.
But if you struggle to take enough protein from your diet, a protein supplement can be an excellent choice you make.
However, a supplement can only help you get 25-40 grams of protein means you have to focus on consuming protein from your diet, where a supplement gives a convenient and easy-to-go option.
There are two common forms of whey protein — whey isolate and whey concentrate.
Whey isolate goes through high processing, resulting in higher protein content with fewer carbs, lactose, and fat, which will be more beneficial during cutting or fat loss. And whey concentrate is a cheaper option that contains less protein with more carbs and fats.
Besides isolate and concentrate, there’s also a hydrolyzed whey that is faster absorbing and bio-available. Still, no scientific data is showing that, and also, it’s a lot more expensive. I recommend saving your money and sticking with whey isolate.
Benefits of Whey Protein Supplement
- An excellent source of high-quality protein.
- It promotes muscle growth and maintains muscle mass.
- It May helps to reduce high blood pressure.
- It also may help to reduce inflammation.
- Whey protein has a better absorption rate.
- It helps to enhance the body’s antioxidant defences.
- Very easy and convenient to consume.
The best time to take whey protein is before or after a workout; around 20-30 grams at a time is perfect. You can also take it in the breakfast or before bed meal when your body needs the protein most. Or you can include it in any meal to fulfill your daily protein intake.
3. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Another supplement that most lifters and bodybuilders use to improve their performance and results is branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs.
Of the 20 amino acids which make up protein, branched-chain amino acids contain three individual amino acids — leucine, isoleucine and valine. The most essential of these three is leucine which known to stimulate muscle growth.
BCAAs are found in most protein sources like meat, chicken, beef, dairy, fish, and eggs. But for vegetarian, it can be very tough to get enough BCAAs from natural foods. If you’re not getting sufficient protein from your diet, then a supplement can be an excellent option.
Benefits of BCAA Supplement
- Rebuilt muscle tissues to grow muscle mass.
- It helps to reduce exercise fatigue.
- It can prevent protein breakdown and muscle wasting.
- Decrease muscle soreness after exercise.
- It can be beneficial for people with liver disease.
The first time is in the morning when your body in the catabolic stage; add 5 gram amino acids to prevent muscle breakdown. The second time is before workout — 5 gram, and the third time is post-workout — 5 gram. So total 15 grams per day in three times:
Important Note: If you eat eggs or whey protein in breakfast and post-workout, then you no need to take BCAAs at these times. In that case, you’ll be taking 5 grams of BCAAs before the workout means one serving a day.
Arguably caffeine is one of the most effective and safe exercise supplements that enhance our muscle contractions and benefits endurance performance and high-intensity exercises.
Those who consume caffeine regularly tend to see somewhat of a blunted response to its ergogenic effects. So, I’d recommend reserving its use for workouts where you’ll reap the most benefit from it.
The best time to take caffeine supplement is when you’re going to perform lower body workouts, early morning workouts, or days where you need that extra kick to push yourself.
Benefits of Caffeine Supplement
- It helps to reduce headaches.
- It gives a quick energy boost.
- Enhance athletic performance.
- It kicks us to do high-intensity training.
- Sharper focus and increase memory.
- It’s very cheap and safe to use.
Generally, caffeine pills contain 200-400 mg of caffeine per serving. People can take up to 400 mg per day without adverse side effects.
If you’re new to caffeine supplement, start with a 100mg dose as a pre-workout, and you can gradually increase its dosage. Typically 200 mg of caffeine is used as a fat-burning supplementation. However, the researchers tend to use a 4-6mg dosage per kg body weight.
Whether your goal is to building muscle or lose fat, a multivitamin is an essential supplement for all fitness levels. It helps to get all the micronutrient which we can’t able to take from the diet.
We need protein, carbs and fat for our energy and muscles, but why multivitamin? Because vitamins and minerals are essential for our body to maintain the proper function of our eyes, skin, nails, hair, heart, etc.
When you’re buying supplements, no matter your goal and fitness level, you should first purchase a good multivitamin that will provide all the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in a sufficient amount.
Benefits of Multivitamin Supplement
- Boost immune system.
- It helps to maintain muscle strength.
- Increases energy level.
- Can reduce stress and depression.
- Beneficial for skin and hair.
- It keeps our eye and heart healthy.
- It’s very safe and easy to use.
When you buy a multivitamin, you should make sure both vitamins and minerals are present in the right amount. You can check out the RDA here and compare them with how much the supplement will provide you to get the right amount every day.
So, no matter you exercise or not, take one or two pills (according to its brand recommendation) in the morning with breakfast.
Bonus #1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The omega-3 fatty acid is one of the most vital nutrients for our body, helping maintain our heart and brain health. No matter how big your biceps or chest muscles are, if your heart and brain stop working, what happens? — you know that better.
There’re two main ingredients in omega-3 fatty acids — EPA and DHA. EPA for heart health and DHA for brain health.
Before taking omega-3 from a supplement, I’d recommend consuming whole omega-3 rich foods such as whole eggs, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and fish.
But if you can’t take enough omega-3 from foods, it would be best to add a supplement to your diet. The best omega-3 supplements sources are fish oil and flaxseed oil; include any of these according to your convenience.
Benefits of Omega-3 Supplement
- It reduces risk factors of heart disease.
- Can fight depression and anxiety.
- It promotes brain and heart health.
- It can improve eye and skin health.
- It also helps to get a strong immune system.
- It may help to prevent cancer.
- It can help to reduce bad cholesterol.
- May improve bone and joints health.
- It’s very convenient and safe to use.
You should consume around 1,000mg (EPA+DHA) of omega-3 from either fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement at night. The dosage of EPA you can have around 500-700 mg and DHA about 200-300 mg per day.
Remember, if you eat fish or any other omega-3 rich foods, then there’s no need to supplement that day.
I hope now you have got the answer to “what are the best muscle building supplements?” Our list highlights some of the best supplements you can include in your diet to build muscles fast.
Remember, supplements can help you with only 10-20% of your muscle-building journey. So, your primary focus should be eating whole natural foods along with proper workout and recovery.
If you have any questions regarding muscle gaining supplements, feel free ask in the comment section below!