“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?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.