Building muscle and bulking up isn’t just about how many reps you can do or how much iron you can pump. Those things, obviously, play a role. What is just as important to training for more mass, is what you put in your body. Building muscle mass is not an overnight deal. It takes dedication, training, carefully monitored diet and any other safe help you can get. This is where supplements can add tons to your increased mass goal. The kicker is, you need to know what supplements will work the best. Look no further as the list below has been compiled in order of effectiveness, safety and by purity (natural).
1) Whey Protein - Time and time again, this is the number one supplement. It is by far the safest supplement, the most used and the one that will bring you the results you want. Protein is what makes muscles strong. It is essential to have protein – absolutely essential to build muscle. As odd as it may sound, every time you train, you are causing a “ripping” of your muscle fibers. The protein helps in healing these muscles at their new “size” and allows them to stay big and ready for the next training session. This next session causes the same effective “ripping”, protein heals it and the cycle goes on and on. Protein repair causes the mass. No other supplement can do this and none does it safer, purer and more effectively than Whey protein. Some may argue that casein protein is better. Understand that they essentially have the same proteins and amino acids, so yes, in a way. The issue is fast vs. slow. Whey protein is processed much quicker by the body –approximately 1 to 2 hours max. Casein is a slow processed protein that gives a little bit here and there over an approximated 7 hour time period. Big difference. For bodybuilding, you need the protein NOW. The quicker protein is more beneficial. Some may ask about beef protein. You are working to make your body into a healthy, strong machine, why would you put by-products in it? Beef Protein powder does have protein. That much is true. It is where this protein comes from that is a bit unnerving and disgusting. The joints, feet and hooves and other bones are used to make gelatin. The same gelatin that is used in protein isolate powder. You are drinking ground steer hooves. This is the same goo that people were freaking out about being in their hamburger meat – remember pink slime? The bottom line is this: Whey protein maximizes your muscles in the most natural, most powerful way possible.
2) Creatine Powder – Second only to whey protein for muscle building results, creatine has been tested for years and is a safe effective way to increase muscle mass. Unlike the whey protein, the muscle mass result is rather a secondary result. When you take creatine, you are basically giving yourself an increase in some fast energy. This is a result of the ATP that creatine brings that gives excellent bursts of energy. This increases your reps and weight ability, thus increasing the muscle training. This increases your muscle mass. Creatine also pulls water into the muscle tissue, causing an increase in the mass of the muscle. It is a smoother, look than defined, but is a mass increase. For bodybuilding, this is an excellent increase in mass as when competition time rolls around, creatine can be stopped and the newly increased muscle mass becomes defined as the water leaves the tissue. The result is amazing. The smooth, almost bloated muscle look is replace with a chiseled, well-defined muscle. Creatine is very safe and effective – what your body can’t use, it excretes, so there is no repercussion to increasing it, except that it is a waste of money. Creatine Monohydrate is the most studied, proven creatine so do not bother with other types or with those containing added fillers. Use only pure creatine.
3) L-Glutamine - This supplement is more of a muscle saver than muscle builder and best used in conjunction with Whey Protein or Creatine and recommended as a post workout supplement. The reasons for this are pretty simple and totally make sense. L-Glutamine is the most plentiful amino acid found in the muscle tissue. Because of this, after training, the body heads to the muscle tissue to try to restore what it has lost and to repair. It takes what it needs and what it needs is glutamine. To combat this reaction, supplementation of Glutamine after working out leads to no loss in glutamine. When under stress or even trauma, glutamine helps to build muscle and lessening a decrease in muscle mass. It is of utmost importance that this supply of glutamine be kept up. Thus, the supplementation benefits to maintaining the muscle mass you have been training to achieve. Glutamine also possess a strong immunity boost – great for keeping from getting sick. (3)
4) Food Supplementation – Common sense says to build more you need to add more. Adding more calories via protein intake is a definite winning combination. Increase your caloric intake with protein by eating protein rich foods. Diligence is important as anyone can pack on calories and weight by eating more, but to keep your well-oiled machine running at its best, you need to fill it with the good stuff – protein. Foods like lean meats and fish are great for natural protein intake.
Along with the training, the supplements (added note: you can use whey or creatine before working out and follow with glutamine with no safety issues) and dietary increase, one of the most important things you can do to keep all your training from going down the drain is to get enough sleep. Sleep is the time your body regenerates itself again and again. It is the time when your body goes into super healing mode. The combination of supplements, diet, training hard and allowing for sleep is guaranteed to give you the mass you desire.