Anyone who has started this fitness journey, knows building a lean physique takes wok and dedication. Exercise is an important part of obtaining results, however, if we do not have an adequate diet, if your muscles are not receiving the required nutrients, no matter how hard you work your body will not be able to grow.With the addition of both a proper nutrition plan and the right supplements you will be on the right path for successfully achieving your physical goals.
Outside of the gym there is an important battle. Diet and nutrition intake play a fundamental role. However, we also have at our disposal a series of supplements that can bring us where our diet does not reach, an extra help to improve our muscle growth.
How do Supplements Work?
Taking supplements is not essential to gain muscle mass, with good training and proper nutrition your goals can be achieved. However, these products can help you maximize every effort you make, reach your potential much faster and achieve the goals faster.
In the market, and increasingly, there are numerous supplements, with different objectives and that you must keep in mind. It is important that you know that these are not substitutes for food, but that they are an extra help to fill gaps in your diet. Some of the cases in which supplements should be taken are the following:
- To get enough calories or protein, especially for hard gainers.
- To be able to recover faster.
- To complete your diet if your schedule does not allow you to consume all the necessary nutrients throughout the day.
Next, we will talk about the best supplements to increase muscle mass and the characteristics of each of them.
What you Need to Gain Muscle Mass: protein
Every time you talk about gaining muscle mass, there is a word that immediately appears in the conversation. It is not another than the ubiquitous proteins, an essential nutrient that is responsible for the muscle processes involved in the development and growth of muscles.There are many products that you can introduce into your diet that are a great source of protein such as eggs, nuts, meat or fish, dishes with which you must provide your body with all the necessary proteins so that the muscle can grow.
Now, proteins are not everything and although it is true that they cannot be missing in your meals, it is not less true that you should not neglect the leading role that the rest of nutrient groups must have, whether they are vital carbohydrates in the energy supply- or fatty acids.
Studies that have been done in this regard show that if your goal is to increase muscle tissue, you need to consume 0.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilo that you weigh. Or what is the same, if you weigh 80 kilos you should eat between 40 and 160 grams of protein daily. Ideally, all these proteins come from the diet, however, sometimes it becomes impossible to achieve. In these cases, protein supplements will become an invaluable help to increase muscle mass.
How to take protein supplements
You should keep in mind that our body is unable to absorb more than 30 grams in each intake, so it is not feasible to consume all the necessary proteins in one shot. Ideally, let 3 hours pass between intake and intake so that the body is able to assimilate it correctly.
A good recommendation is to drink a shake with protein supplement in the morning and at the end of the training, in the afternoon, while the rest should be achieved through food. We emphasize taking it after training because the half hour after exercise is when the body assimilates nutrients more effectively.
Omega 3 fatty acid supplement
For years we have heard about the great benefits that omega 3 fatty acids bring to our cardiovascular health, however, their properties do not end here. It has also been possible to demonstrate that Omega 3 supplements can help you gain muscle mass, something of great importance for those people who want to gain muscle, but also for those older people who see how muscle tone loses over the years.
This type of essential fatty acid has anabolic properties that allow stimulating the activity of the mTOR protein and insulin. This has a direct effect on the synthesis of proteins that prevents them from degradation. The fact that it also improves insulin resistance causes these supplements to help create more muscle tissue.
BCAA to increase muscle mass
The branched amino acids, better known by its acronym in English BCAA, are made up of leucine, valine and isoleucine. These components play an essential role in both repair and muscle building. Not only do they allow you to gain muscle mass, but also:
- They provide energy.
- Cortisol levels decrease.
- Prevents the appearance of muscle pain.
In the creation of muscle, there are about 20 amino acids needed. Certain amino acids are produced by the body itself, but there are others that we do not create, so we have to extract them in other ways. BCAAs are 3 of these essential amino acids that our body does not manufacture and that can be of vital help when it comes to increasing muscle mass.
When one of these supplements is ingested, after passing through the liver, they pass directly to the muscle tissues, where they are transformed into energy for them to work.
Creatine to Gain Muscle
There are often supplements or techniques that become fashionable and overnight become the panacea. We have already explained to you throughout the article, none of these supplements will make you gain muscle alone, only through work and exercise you will get good results, what they can do is improve or accelerate those results.
Creatine is one of these useful supplements when it comes to building muscle mass and improving physical performance, however, it is not useful in all sports or viable in all cases. In training where it can be very useful is in those in which the so-called myofibrillar hypertrophy is worked, that is, series with short repetitions with a lot of weight and rest between them. In activities that need a lot of energy for a very short period of time.
This is because in this type of training the energy mechanism of phosphocreatine is involved, in which creatine plays a fundamental role. These supplements will allow you to do more repetitions, increase weight and, all together, will make you gain muscle faster.
Finally, it is necessary to talk about carbohydrates, one of the most consumed supplements by athletes across the planet. Carbohydrates give us glucose, which would be the gasoline of our body, the energy used by the body to perform high intensity physical activity.
Many people have the false belief that carbohydrates only get fat, so they have an undeserved bad image. The reality is that if you do not exercise, they accumulate in the form of glycogen and will be transformed into visceral fat and adipose tissue. But if you practice sports, something essential if you want to gain muscle mass, you will need the energy of carbohydrates to do so, so you will not get fat.
His case is very similar to that of proteins. With a good diet, complete and adjusted to the energy requirements you can get all the amount of carbohydrates necessary to recover the amount of glycogen you lose training and increase muscle mass. However, not everyone can eat everything they should, at the times they should and in the way they would like. In these cases, carbohydrate supplements are a perfect way for the body to synthesize proteins and you increase your muscles.