The best sports supplements for building muscle
Every time you step into the gym, you should know what you want to achieve.
What’s your goal? If it’s to build and protect muscle, you absolutely must get to grips with the best sports supplements for muscle gain. Here’s what your body needs to build and retain lean muscle mass, from mass gainers to post-workout shakes and the essential building blocks of protein itself.
Top four sports supplements you need to build muscle
For Hard-gainers: Mass gainer protein shake. If you’re training hard and find it difficult to put on weight, you need a mass gainer recovery shake. If you find it easy to lose weight, and worry that you’re losing muscle mass, choosing a mass gainer shake will put your mind at rest. Getting really big is about much more than just smashing it hard in the gym. You need to make sure you’re taking in enough calories to grow, and you must pay attention to the quality of the nutrition you’re taking in. Choose a mass gainer which combines proteins (a blend is good, to ensure time-released amino acids), carbohydrates (from fast-acting sources like maltodextrin or oats) and some healthy fats from MCTs, flax, seeds or nuts. A quality mass gainer sports supplement will help you get huge!
For fast-acting protein after your workout: A fast-acting protein supplement like whey protein isolate (WPI) or hydrolysed whey protein isolate (HWPI) if you have access to it. HWPI is only manufactured in the USA and New Zealand so, if you can buy it, count yourself lucky! WPI and HWPI are manufactured using advanced micro-filtration processes which separate the fats, proteins and sugars (lactose) and result in a really top-quality protein which gets straight to work. It’s absorbed quickly, contains a huge hit of protein, and barely any fat or carbohydrates.
The muscle-building must-have: Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine is one of the most well-researched, trusted and scientifically proven sports supplements out there and is a staple item in every strength and athlete’s supplement stack. It’s cost-effective, easy to take, tasteless and gets results, fast. It increases power, boosts your rate of recovery and encourages muscle growth. Supplementing with creatine powder really is a no-brainer.
Stay on top of the building blocks of muscle: BCAAs (branch chain amino acids). BCAAs are what protein is made of. Some are essential (meaning the body has to get them from our diet, nutrition and supplement regime. Many protein shakes will have a decent amount of BCAAs as standard, but it’s good sense to supplement with a BCAA powder to ensure you’re getting the optimal amount. Using a BCAA supplement during training and between meals will ensure your body is kept in an anabolic environment, reducing the risk of losing any muscle mass. It’s also a great supplement for anyone on a cutting diet, helping you get the amino acids your body needs when you’re most at risk of losing mass through dieting down.