This is a guest post from the team at www.vivehealth.com who provide a range of health and medical products, check them out!
Most people fall into one of two groups depending on their fitness goals. They either want to lose weight or build muscle. If you fall into the latter camp, you may be interested in using supplements to help you reach your goals faster.
There’s no magic pill that will cause you to gain tons of muscle overnight. But, some supplements can help speed up the process if you’re putting in the work in the gym.
Listed below are five supplements are beneficial for those who want to build muscle.
Creatine is a molecule that the body naturally produces. Its main purpose is to provide muscles and other tissues with energy.
Most people get a sufficient amount of creatine if they eat meat on a regular basis. But, you can also take creatine as a dietary supplement to improve overall strength. By improving muscle strength, you can perform better during your workouts. This, in turn, will promote a greater increase in muscle over time.
Creatine also increases the water content of your muscle cells. This, in turn, can cause them to swell and produce a signal for muscle growth.
Many people also like to take creatine because they feel that it promotes recovery and helps decrease the breakdown of protein in the muscles.
Of all the muscle building supplements on the market, protein supplements are probably the most popular.
Protein is definitely necessary for gaining and retaining muscle mass. While it’s best to get the majority of your protein from whole food, some people have a hard time doing this, especially if they’re eating in a caloric surplus while they try to gain muscle.
If you’re in this boat, protein powders or protein bars can help you meet your daily protein goal.
Speaking of goals, you may want to double check yours and make sure it’s set at an appropriate place. Most people who are looking to gain muscle see the greatest benefits from consuming between 0.5 and 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, anywhere from 75-135 grams of protein is plenty.
Consuming more protein than that won’t help you build muscle faster, and it could negatively affect your digestion and kidney health if you do it for too long.
3. Vitamin D
Many people think of vitamin D only as a vitamin that maintains healthy bones and promotes a positive mood. These are benefits of sufficient vitamin D levels, but vitamin D has also been shown to be important for people who want to optimize their muscle strength and muscle mass.
One study found that people with higher levels of lean mass also had higher levels of active vitamin D.
There are a number of ways that vitamin D is good for muscle building. For example:
It regulates neuromuscular functioning and affects protein synthesis
It promotes proper immune system functioning; when your immune system is working properly, you’ll likely feel more inclined to workout and will perform better during those workouts
It promotes bone health; strong, healthy bones pull on the muscles and make them stronger
4. Beta Alanine
Beta-alanine is an amino acid (protein building block) that has been shown to improve exercise performance and reduce feelings of fatigue. If you’re less tired in the gym, you’ll be able to push yourself farther and see results a bit sooner.
Because it’s an amino acid, some studies also show that beta-alanine can help increase your muscle mass when you’re following an exercise program.
ZMA is a combination supplement that contains zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. These are essential nutrients that many athletes and gym-goers are deficient in. Zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 play an important role in maintaining healthy hormone levels and promoting sufficient sleep (which is essential for muscle building and recovery). Magnesium is also important for calcium absorption — this, in turn, makes it important for maintaining bone strength, which is also important for muscle building.
One study found that athletes who took ZMA saw increases in their testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) hormones. Both of these hormones are important for gaining muscle.