The following muscle building supplements can potentially improve recovery, increase energy and enhance overall athletic performance. But before we dive into types of supplements, it’s important to consider whether they’re safe to take long-term.
Are Workout Supplements Safe?
- Conversations centered around performance supplements are often surrounded by hype and hyperbole. There are many muscle supplements on the market that simply lack quality or are supported by biased studies to showcase their effectiveness. On top of that, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not put all available products through premarket approval to validate their scientific claims.
- A recent report stated that the global dietary supplements market is expected to reach almost $200 billion by 2025, despite the fact that there are tons of misinformation about the benefits and risks of available products. Today’s market is driven by hectic work schedules coupled with fluctuations in diet intervals. These factors have promoted the sale of workout supplements worldwide.
- With the government not regulating these products in the same way that prescription drugs are, it can be difficult to determine if muscle building supplements are safe. However, manufacturers are responsible for making sure claims on labels are not misleading. Once it hits the market, if it is found unsafe, the FDA can ask the company to recall the product.
- With all of that being said, there are plenty of ergogenic aids (workout supplements) that do have scientific credibility, and when taken from reputable manufacturers, in correct dosages, can greatly compliment your workout routine and achieve maximum results. The important thing is to be a smart and educated consumer, and carefully read labels.
Best Muscle Building Supplements to Incorporate into Your Fitness Routine
1. Organic Whey Protein Powders
- Any trainer or nutritionist worth their salt knows that muscle building requires more than just pumping iron. A good organic whey protein powder is vital in repairing sore muscles and triggering growth, partly due to its amino acids.
- Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey – the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production (think, the clear liquid floating at the top of your favorite yogurt). Its muscle-building properties are well supported by research. Consuming high quality whey enhances muscle protein synthesis, which in turn leads to muscle mass.
Immediately following a strength-based workout, our muscles need nourishment for growth. Taking one to two scoops of whey protein is highly recommended to add to your agenda. Active individuals should aim to consume one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 145 lbs, it is recommended that you aim for 145 grams of protein daily.
Additional Benefits of Whey Protein:
- Improves body composition
- Improves metabolism
- Helps balance blood sugar
- Prevents age-related muscle loss
- Increases muscular strength
- Aids in weight loss
Maximizing your workouts while also ensuring you’re not cannibalizing hard earned gains can be easier said than done. It’s important to understand what is happening within our bodies when we endure the stressors of training. This means gaining an understanding of what our bodies are doing to achieve the goals we’ve put in place for ourselves.
During a high-intensity workout or endurance training, natural L-Glutamine stores are depleted, which creates a deficit that requires either supplementation to be restored, or a period of waiting a few days until it is naturally replenished. Keeping levels up is advantageous for both performance and growth, as our skeletal muscle is tissue is largely made up of L-Glutamine.
Benefits of Glutamine as a Muscle Building Supplement:
- Promotes exercise recovery
- Reduces body fat in people with metabolic disease
- Helps fight off infection in endurance athletes
- Increases plasma growth hormone levels (a necessary component for making gains)
- Maintains cell volume and hydration
3. Fish Oil
- Fish oil is extracted from fish known to contain fatty acids, such as omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids may improve muscle strength and function, reduce muscle damage and soreness, and improve the overall function of the heart and lungs, thus making it important to incorporate it into your daily fitness regime.
- In fact, the American Heart Association has even recommended consuming fish at least two times (two servings) a week.
- If you don’t get enough omega-3 from your diet, fish oil supplements are a great alternative to providing your body with this essential nutrient. However, as with all supplements on this list, there are hundreds of different brands to choose from, making it very overwhelming to know which is the best choice for you.
- Select fish oil products that are labeled with NSF International, Underwriters Laboratory, Consumer Lab or US Pharmacopeia seals, as these confirm the accuracy of the label’s ingredients.
Additional Benefits of Fish Oil Bodybuilding Include:
- Speeds up recovery time
- Helps your body burn excess fat
- Maintains healthy cholesterol levels
- Promotes heart health
Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) play an important role in protein synthesis and glucose uptake into our cells. They are incredibly useful in that they not only help during your workout, but also after. In fact, they shine brightest in post-workout stages.
Leucine, isoleucine and valine are three vital amino acids that comprise BCAAs, which are essential for muscle repair and recovery. Their main responsibility is to push your muscle along towards a faster recovery. This means you can take less rest days as a result of your muscles not being sore and can spend more time back in the gym.
Benefits of BCAAs Include:
- Reduces exercise fatigue
- Improves endurance
- Creates Lean muscle mass
- Reduces muscle damage during high-intensity workouts
- Improves muscle strength among people with liver cirrhosis
No matter where you are in your fitness journey, there are just some days when you feel tired and a workout seems impossible to complete. These are the days you could use something to help you feel a bit more energized and motivated right before you start your workout.
Caffeine is a widely used stimulant, and for good reason. Time after time, it’s not only been shown to provide mental alertness, but also acts as an effective and safe ergogenic aid in both high-intensity and endurance workouts. Classified as a nootropic, it sensitizes neurons and provides mental stimulation, providing you more focus and concentration on accomplishing your workouts successfully.
While there is no meaningful effect on muscle growth, caffeine does bear weight as a muscle building supplement. A recent paper from the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed the ergogenic effects of caffeine on muscle endurance and strength. You can use those performance-enhancing effects to increase your muscle mass.
Benefits of Caffeine as a Workout Supplement:
6. B Vitamins
Of all the vitamins recommended for muscle gain and overall health, B vitamins could be the most important, as their effects are multifarious and specifically beneficial to athletes looking to significantly increase muscle mass. B vitamins also play a big role in energy production, which can be helpful in impacting your overall athletic performance.
B vitamins are necessary during the body’s process for converting proteins and sugars into energy, and are used during the repair and production of cells. Individuals deficient in B vitamins may inhibit their body from repairing itself, operating efficiently and fighting off disease. This makes B vitamins stand at the top for one of the must-take nutrition supplements.
Benefits of B Vitamins
- Maintains muscle tone
- Supports and increases and rate of metabolism
- Eases stress
- Increases energy, allowing for a more efficient workout
- Improves mood and fights fatigue
During exercise, vitamins are lost in your body through perspiration and metabolism - especially B vitamins because they are water soluble. Vitamin B6 and B12 act as assistants to metabolic enzymes to initiate certain steps in the metabolic process. Without adequate amounts, you cannot properly convert these nutrients to energy. Consuming B vitamins post-workout will help increase absorption rate.
Neuro’s functional gum and mints are an incredibly convenient and effective source of consuming B Vitamins. Our product contains a nootropic blend of natural caffeine + L-theanine + B-vitamins, which gives you that lasting energy to take on the day upon completing your workout.
Interested in giving Neuro’s products a try? Check us out today to learn more!