The Best Muscle Gain Supplement- Get Big By Keeping It Simple

“Dude, what’s the best muscle gain supplement?”  I was tired of not really seeing muscle gains and there I was asking the gym big guy what I needed to take in order to stop being a hardgainer.  I was hoping he would give me some advice and maybe save me a few dollars along the way.

“OK, MAN, WHAT YOU NEED TO TAKE IS 4 PROTEIN SHAKES, CREATINE, SOME GOOD VITAMINS, NITRIC OXIDE AMINO ACIDS… OH YEAH AND SOME TESTOSTERONE SHOTS.” (He had the most intimidating husky voice)

In my meek voice I replied, “you mean I’m taking this weekly?

”NO DAILY!”

So that was the solution to getting bigger muscle?  I knew there had to be a more sensible way of looking good than taking all these substances, steroids and without going bankrupt.

Leave The Juicing To The Pros

Before I begin I want to say that before you try out any supplement the best thing to do is to consult with a medical professional.

Very often when someone mentions supplementation the terms steroids and performance enhancement drugs follow.  Unfortunately, with professional athletes taking them as if they were children’s vitamins there is now an increase in performance enhancement consumption by common folk starting in the teenage years and going well in to middle age.

Taking dangerous and unknown substances is definitely not the way to go if you want to look athletic.  The adverse consequences of taking things like steroids are really something that should be left untouched or under direct supervision at best.

(photograph courtesy of Permanent Muscle Program)

The Most Important Factors In Muscle Building

One common misconception with using supplements to build muscle is that you need to take a huge inventory of products.  Sure there are many products that you can buy to assist you with feeding your muscles but the THREE components that are by far more important when it comes to building muscle are:

  • Working Out- Taking supplements are not a magic pill.  Put in the work if you want to see muscle.
  • Diet- Eat clean and eat right.
  • Rest and Recovery- taking enough rest time between workout and sleep is very important, perhaps the most important factor.

These factors are consistent with any solid muscle building program (for an example see Reuben Bajada’s Permanent Muscle Program)

The role of supplements is simply to help you get the right nutrients in your muscles that will help in repairing muscle tissue.  If you find products that claim that they give you the PUMP you need to put on mass then run from these.  Snake oil is not going to work no matter how you label it.

The Best Muscle Gain Supplements

If you want to know which is the best muscle gain supplement you need to know that it actually consists of the following short list.  Believe it or not the most basic supplements are the ones you need to lay a good foundation to your workout regimen.  The most important ones to include are the following.

  1. Multi Vitamin Supplements:  I cannot stress enough the importance of including these as your backbone of your muscle-building program.  Anyone who is leading an active lifestyle needs to include multi vitamins supplements tailored according to your needs.  Contrary to what you may have heard, not all multi vitamins are created equally.  These come tailored according to your gender and level of activity.
  2. Protein- There is various types of protein (casein and whey being the most popular).  For muscle building the best form of protein to take is whey protein.  Whey protein is a rich source of branched chain amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscle building.
  3. Creatine Monohydrate- although supplement companies often exaggerate the benefits where they promise that you will look as big as Mr. Olympia the reality is different.  Creatine helps in providing more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is simply the chemical that allows you to perform bursts of activity in a short period of time.  As you perform more repetitions of an exercise, for example, your ATP starts running out and you are able to run out of strength.  Creatine helps develop more ATP which in turn helps you lift more weight, perform more repetitions and that in turn leads to building more muscle mass.  Although it is common to see a gain of 5 to 10 pounds in body weight most of this is due to water retention.  However, you can simply produce more creatine by eating protein-based foods.
  4. Glutamine- Glutamine is an excellent recovery aid.  This substance is an amino acid that helps with protein synthesis and helps increase HGH levels.  The good thing is this substance is found in foods like chicken, beef, fish, eggs and vegetable juices.  This is a supplement that you really do not need to purchase as long as you are eating correctly.

Is It Necessary To Take Supplements?

The bottom line is that it is not NECESSARY to take supplements.  As stated earlier, training, rest and diet are by far the most important factors that will determine your success.  If you are eating a diet that is healthy and has the right quantities of protein and carbs you will see results that you will be pleased with.

A solid diet will provide you with proper amounts of glutamine and protein.  Remember, supplements are simply that. SUPPLEMENTS.  They supplement your diet; they are not a magic pill that will give you 20 pounds of muscle mass in a short amount of time.  These substances are simply there to add or make up for what you are lacking.  In reality, the most important supplements you need and should be a part of everyone’s regimen is a multi vitamin.  Whey protein comes in a close second.

Any other supplements promising to deliver you with a pump and more energy should be ignored.  If you need to look for the best muscle gain muscle supplement just stick with the basics and you will be fine.

Comments

  1. Good article! Most supplements are just the pharmaceutical hustle to get money from unknowing consumers. In lieu to what you mentioned, how much muscle a person gains also depends on genetics. Most people are just not meant to get as big as Arnold nor Ronnie Coleman(and I would not care to get that big…lol) yet some aim for that goal. Also, as far as eating is concerned, insulin plays a big role in muscle-building too. For example, eating a meal high in carbs post-workout really can help an individual gain muscle due to the release of insulin. Overall, besides a multivitamin and whey protein(only if they lack proper protein intake in their regular diet) I feel most of the other supplements are useless to a certain extent.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Marcus,
      Definitely agree with you on the points you mentioned above.

      So many supplements are pitched as if they were a solution to our muscle gaining needs when in reality the basic supplements are all you need. I can recall when I was starting out hearing about Amino Acid pills and how they would give me huge gains. Well, I walked in to a popular health store and asked about them. Well, the salesperson gave me the hype on the product and told me the immediate effect I would see is HIGH ENERGY. I bought them and lo and behold, 2 bottles later, no gain in energy and not much improvement in muscle mass.

      The funny thing is a second salesperson told me the same thing at a separate store (part of the same chain) when I asked him about the benefits of Amino Acids, and he said it was an immediate and very noticeable boost in energy. Almost like they were following a script…

      After all these years I know that a multivitamin and protein are definitely the foundation anyone needs when working out.

      Thanks for stopping by again.

      -Sam

  2. Sam,

    I agree you should keep it simple when it comes to muscle building supplements. Way too many scams out there. I stick with whey protein powder and creatine monohydrate. Also, getting adequate rest is key. This is more important than any supplement you can take.

    Alykhan – Fitness Breakout

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Alykhan,
      I totally agree with you. Rest will help you keep your energy levels up and will help you recover and build muscle when you are not in the gym, which is actually when muscle is being made. Not inside of the gym when you lift weights.

      -Sam

  3. Glad to hear that you DONT think it is necessary to take supplements. It’s annoying, but some people get into the mindset that the only way to perform better is to take expensive supplements.

    These same people often complain of their genetic limitations, taking the attitude that its not their fault that they suck in the gym. Little do they know the magic of hard work and what it can do to transform their lives and fitness.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Jeremy,
      Supplements are overrated and I am a firm believer that all you really need to benefit your body are the basic multivitamins and protein. Even protein shakes and bars are not necessary but definitely are a complement to healthy eating. Unfortunately, companies, magazines and acquaintances will push us to try the latest supplements.

      One of the products so many people swear by is Nitric Oxide. The pump many feel from that make them swear that their muscles are growing when in reality it is just a temporary effect. Also, the long term consequences of Nitric Oxide are really being looked in to by professionals.
      The truth is what many call supplements are not supplements but simply chemicals.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      -Sam

  4. Good one, Sam!

    It’s nice to see you clarify the issue for the beginner; many of them might be tempted simply because they don’t have access to the right training info and hence get no results.
    So then it might seem that you actually need to use all kinds of stuff, that you cannot reach your goals naturally!

    I paraphrase one strength coach:
    “If you’re training for a sex-change, go right ahead and give the juice a try … moobs and infertility are waiting just around the corner …”

    No, I can only highly recommend to anybody considering steroids and co to forget that real quick and learn how to lift, eat and supplement properly instead … on for example Look Like An Athlete.com!

    Mark

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Mark,
      That is a funny way of putting it! Steroids really take people down the wrong path. I have rarely seen anyone look amazing for a long period of time while on steroids. In fact, all I have ever seen is either huge freaks of nature, unwanted obesity or man boobs…
      You are right. The right kind of training and diet will take anyone, and their bodies, where they want to be.

      -Sam

  5. As you say, supplements can help make a little different in muscle gain but not nearly as much as the time and effort spent on dieting, exercising, and recovering. I’d throw BCAAs into the mix as well although if you’re drinking protein shakes, you’re probably getting enough of them. I find they’re more important when doing fasted training.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Dave,
      There are a couple of supplements I was tempted to throw in but I really felt that the basic ones are good enough for anyone at a beginner to intermediate level. However, BCAA’s are definitely a good option to add as well as fish oils. In fact, fish oil is not mentioned enough by supplement companies and I find this to be a shame.

      Thanks for your input.

      -Sam

  6. Ive been using supplementsfor years now (along with a good diet and exercise!). Initially i used them to lose weigh, then to build muscle, and finally to tone my body. Now i look and feel great

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