The most important aspects to consider when you want to gain muscle weight are diet, rest and the workout program. Nevertheless, there are a few supplements that can really help you reach your goals faster, or promote even greater muscle mass gains.
Although there is a large number of supplements on the market, only a few actually work in order to provide an increase in muscle mass. In this article you will find honest information about the the more efficient supplements to promote muscle hypertrophy, that are supported by scientific research.
Creatine is the most effective supplement that currently exists to increase strength and muscle mass, and despite being recommended especially for vegetarians, it is also indicated for the purpose of muscle hypertrophy (1).
Creatine is the most studied supplement and it has been shown that its consumption is safe for healthy individuals and also in aged persons (2).
It is generally recommended a loading phase (20 grams per day for 5-7 days) if you have never used creatine before, but only because the gains will arise more quickly that way, or you can just take 5 grams per day without the need for perform cycles or stop taking this supplement.
Note that there is a group of people (about 30%) of people who do not respond to creatine supplementation, but these people also don´t gain any weight with this supplement.
If the loading phase doesn´t increase your body weight, it is a clear sign that it doesn´t work for you and you can feel free to stop taking creatine.
Whey protein is the protein of the highest biological value that currently exists and there are studies that proves that this supplement can promote an increased in muscle mass, especially when consumed in the pre-workout and post-workout meals (3).
This protein can also provide other benefits, such as increased insulin sensitivity.
A 2007 study confirms that individuals who are overweight can lose weight and improve markers of metabolic health just by drinking a whey protein shake 3 times a day.
The increased protein intake which occurred with the administration of whey protein shakes, improved insulin sensitivity, blood glucose levels, levels of satiety and the triglyceride levels also decreased, as well as abdominal fat (4).
This protein, although not as popular as whey protein, occupies an important place in the diet of many bodybuilders. I dare say that casein should be mandatory to use all those in all those looking to maximaze muscle anabolism.
At least one study showed that casein has anti-catabolic effects, especially when consumed before bedtime. Furthermore, it also seems to promote a faster muscle recovery (5).
And i believe it can also be a great ally when the goal is to retain the maximum amount of muscle mass when dieting for weight loss.
In a 2000 study, volunteers who ingested casein were those who lost a greater amount of fat and at the same time gained more muscle mass compared with volunteers ingesting whey protein (6).
These “gainers” may be useful to promote an increase in muscle mass as they are easy and convenient to increase the number of calories manner.
Since in most cases it is necessary to follow a hypercaloric diet to gain muscle, it is easy to understand the utility of such supplements. However, be careful as an excessive intake of calories can make you gain fat too.
Consider this supplement optional. BCAAs are basically a combination of three amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine, and several studies indicate that BCAAs possesses anti-catabolic effects (7), in addition to decreasing the fatigue levels when consumed before training.
Additionally can also function to reduce the increase in the percentage of fat that occurs during diets during hypertrophy / weight gain (bulk) (8).
The appropriate dose is about 85 mg of BCAAs per kg of body weight, equivalent to 5-8 grams of BCAAs for persons that weight between 110 and 207 pounds, which should be taken before, during and at the end of the workout. Dissolved in a drink, for example.