Without a doubt, eating well and lifting weights will assist you in gaining muscle. Supplements, on the other hand, are a popular way to maximise your capacity for growth. The only issue is choosing which ones to use.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 11 of the best mass-gain supplements worth your money. They’re classified in order of importance, starting with the most important, can’t-do-without supplements and ending with the optional (but still highly effective) ingredients for bulking up. The aim is to assist those on a limited budget in deciding which supplements to purchase. And, hey, if money isn’t an issue, go ahead and stock up—just make sure you’re using them correctly.
Whey is the most important supplement for increasing protein synthesis, so Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein is at the top of the list of mass-gain supplements. Whey is a form of milk protein that contains a lot of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, No. 4 on our list). Bottom line: Whey takes pole position because it digests quickly and quickly reaches your muscles, allowing you to begin building muscle. Peptides (small proteins) contained in whey help to increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always advise consuming whey protein right after a workout.
To get the most out of it, consume 20 grammes of whey protein powder 30 minutes before working out and 40 grammes within 60 minutes afterward. Also, to jump-start muscle development, take 20-40 grammes of whey protein first thing in the morning. Choose a whey powder that includes whey protein hydrolysates (whey protein that has been broken down into smaller fragments to aid digestion) or whey protein isolate.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein Powder, the other milk protein, comes in just behind whey. Owing to its sluggish digestion rate, casein has always been second fiddle. Nevertheless, this makes it suitable as a pre-bedtime snack because it avoids catabolism when you sleep by emptying slowly and steadily. Casein also helps you feel less loaded, making it an excellent snack for those looking to bulk up. Casein is giving whey a run for its money, according to new studies. When taken post-workout, casein boosts muscle protein synthesis in the same way as whey does. It’s also been proposed that a post-workout whey and casein protein shake boosts muscle development more than any protein alone.
To get the most out of it, pick a casein protein that contains micellar casein (the slowest-digesting casein available) and take 20-40 grammes right before bed. Add 10-20 grammes of casein to your whey protein after each workout. In addition, 20-40 grammes of casein can be included in your protein shakes between meals.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine. Arginine, glycine, and methionine are the three amino acids that make up creatine. According to anecdotal accounts and experimental research, men who take creatine gain 10 pounds or more of body weight and significantly improve their power. Creatine functions in a variety of ways. For starters, it increases the amount of quick energy stored in your muscles, which is needed to perform gym reps. The more of this quick energy you have, the more reps you can do with a given weight, helping you to gain strength and size over time. Creatine also attracts more water into your muscle cells, stretching them and promoting long-term development.
How to get the most out of it: Take 2-5 grammes of creatine monohydrate, creatine malate, creatine ethyl ester, or creatine alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) with your protein shake right before your workout. This will keep your muscles saturated with creatine, allowing them to produce the fast energy they need to perform more reps. Then, in addition to 40-100 grammes of fast-digesting carbs, consume another 2-5 grammes with your post-workout shake, at a time when creatine will be rapidly absorbed by muscle cells and the increase in IGF-1 levels will aid in further development. Take 2-5 grammes of creatine with a carbohydrate-rich breakfast on days when you don’t practise.
Optimum Nutrition BCAA Branched Chain Amino Acids. The three most essential amino acids for repairing and building muscle tissue are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are referred to as branched-chain amino acids. The most significant of the three is leucine, which has been shown in studies to promote muscle protein synthesis on its own. Even so, it’s better to take all three together because they work together to provide a slew of benefits, including muscle development, increased energy during workouts, cortisol suppression (a catabolic hormone that reduces testosterone and enhances muscle breakdown), and reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness.
How to get the most out of them: 5-10 grammes of BCAAs can be consumed with breakfast and in pre- and post-workout shakes. Look for BCAA supplements that have a 2:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine. If you take a 5-gram dose of BCAAs, you can get around 2.5 grammes of leucine, 1.25 grammes of isoleucine, and 1.25 grammes from valine.
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