by, Aug 2, 2012
What are the Best Supplements for Building Muscle Fast?
Professional athletes often preach that greatness in any sport starts with the fundamentals. You too have likely followed the fundamentals of building muscle to chisel the greatest physique possible. You probably train like a beast, letting the tiger out of the cage and treating each and every workout like it’s your last. You’re also probably eating 6 to 7 clean meals a day that are each like their own mini episodes of Man V. Food.
The discipline and dedication required to build lean and striated muscle can seem overwhelming at times. This is why it’s also important to understand the fundamentals of supplementation. Adding the following muscle building supplements to your regimen will help you win the war for muscle and make all your dieting and dedication worth it.
ZMA belongs at the top of this list for its ability to naturally boost levels of testosterone and growth hormones. Numerous studies have demonstrated that ZMA is capable of increasing IGF- 1, an anabolic hormone that has a growth promoting effect on almost every cell in the body.
ZMA supplements contain a blend of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. Zinc is an essential mineral that also plays an important role in the production of testosterone. Frequent exercise can lead to a loss of this mineral, causing the majority of athletes to have a deficiency.
How Much To Take: The optimal dose of ZMA includes 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium aspartate and about 11 mg of Vitamin B6, taken at before bed. More than this amount has been shown to weaken the immune system, and may also interrupt sleep patterns.
Creatine is one of the most ubiquitous and well-researched muscle building supplements available. A growing body of published articles have proven that creatine improves performance and leads to gains in size and strength. Creatine is utilized by the muscle cells to replenish ATP, the energy currency that fuels the body.
New forms of creatine are constantly in development to improve absorption and performance. The most popular of these, include creatine ethyl ester and creatine hydrochloride (HCL). These have a unique delivery system that works to eliminate the bloating associated with creatine, and improve uptake into muscle cells.
How Much To Take: Standard dosages of creatine monohydrate include 5 grams pre- and post- workout, along with a carbohydrate source containing simple sugars. Due to their enhanced absorption, smaller doses of creatine ethyl ester and hydrochloride range anywhere from 1- 3 grams a day.
Branch chain amino acids consist of three essential amino acids- leucine, isoleucine and valine. During exercise, a BCAA supplement can be used immediately for fuel. They can also spare the breakdown of muscle tissue for energy, allowing you to workout longer.
Protein Synthesis is the process cells use to build or manufacture proteins, enhanced by BCAAs
BCAAs also help to support Protein Synthesis and boost levels of growth hormone. This speeds up recovery for sore muscles, and helps to build muscle.
How Much To Take: Begin with taking 5-10grams of BCAAs pre- and post-workout.
If you’ve been in the game awhile, you know that building muscle doesn’t happen overnight. You need to stimulate every last muscle fiber to encourage growth, often training beyond failure.
Pre-workout supplements allow you to maximize your efforts in the gym, and train with intensity. They can influence everything from strength to energy levels, and provide the mental toughness needed to throw around serious weight. Many companies make stimulant free versions without caffeine, if pre-workouts make you jittery.
How Much To Take: Follow directions on the container, as every pre-workout is a little different. Generally, they are taken 20-30 minutes prior to training on an empty stomach.
Arginine is an amino acid that the body can convert to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is what’s known as a vasodilator because it dilates blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow and circulation.
By increasing arginine and nitric oxide levels in the body, more oxygen and nutrients can be flushed into the muscle. This promotes better recovery from workouts, produces a greater muscle pump and increases levels of growth hormone.
To receive all the benefits that arginine has to offer, special attention must be given to timing and dosage.
How Much To Take: Arginine is best absorbed on an empty stomach 30 minutes before a meal, or 1 ½ – 2 hours after a meal. For maximum effect take 3-6 grams of arginine before breakfast, pre- and post-workout and before going to bed.
Building a considerable amount of muscle requires a considerable amount of time and effort. Frequent training with all out intensity can affect the recovery of the central nervous system, and quickly lead to overtraining.
Incorporating these supplements into your supplement stack will allow you to push more weight and go beyond your limits. As the saying goes, “Unless you risk going too far, you’ll never know how far you can go.”