If you exercise regularly or go to the gym often – even if you’re not completely serious about it, you likely still want to be sure you’re getting the most out of it.
A benefit of regular resistance exercise is gaining muscle and more strength.
Having a healthy amount of muscle will allow to you to perform your best when exercising and even just daily life, you will also feel better for it too.
These three things should be met for maximal muscle gain:
- Consuming more calories than you burn each day.
- Consuming more protein than you break down each day.
- Having an exercise program that is difficult enough for your body.
While it’s possible to meet all these criteria and gain muscle and strength without taking supplements, certain supplements may help you meet your goals quicker, faster and easier.
The 2 supplements listed below may help you gain more muscle with your exercise program.
A lot of information for this article came from Real Muscle and you can also learn more about creatine here
Creatine is a molecule that is also produced naturally in your body, creatine provides energy for your muscles and many other cells within your body.
However, taking creatine as a supplement can increase your muscular creatine stores by up to around 40% past its natural levels (Source).
This excess creatine storage will effect your muscles and can improve exercise performance, thus promoting muscle gain and strength gains.
In fact, an array of research shows that creatine actually directly improves muscle strength (Source).
This is obviously a good thing if you’re trying to gain muscle or strength.
Increased strength will allow you to perform better during exercise, thus leading to greater increases in muscle mass over time (Source).
Creatine has many other effects in the body that also help develop muscle, such as an increase in cellular water content, increased anabolic hormones such as IGF-1 and reduced protein breakdown, all detailed below.
Creatine can also increase the water content inside your muscle cells – this can cause your muscle cells to swell to a bigger size and this effect will also produce extra signals for muscle growth (Source).
Some research shows that creatine could decrease the breakdown of proteins in your muscles, acting as an anti-catabolic agent (Source).
This supplement can also increase levels of the hormones involved in muscle growth, such as IGF-1 (Source).
Creatine has been extensively studied and is believed to have an outstanding safety profile.
A lot of information for this article came from Bodybuilding.com and you can learn more here
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids known as leucine, isoleucine and valine.
BCAA supplements are often taken as a way to boost muscle growth and improve exercise performance.
These three amino acids are grouped together because they are the only amino acids to have a chain that branches off of them – hence the name branched chain amino acids.
Together, BCAA’s represent around 35–40% of all essential amino acids present in your body and around 14–18% of those found in your muscles (Source).
BCAAs make up a large percentage of the body’s total amino acid pool.
BCAA’s are also thought to play a role in energy production during exercise (Source).
They also have several other mechanisms in your body too, detailed below.
Your body can use them as the building blocks for protein and muscle tissue (Source).
They may also regulate your blood sugar levels by preserving liver and muscle sugar stores and by stimulating your cells to take in sugar from your bloodstream (Source).
BCAAs may also help reduce the fatigue you feel during exercise by reducing the production of serotonin (a brain chemical called a neurotransmitter)(Source).
Out of the three branched chain amino acids, leucine is thought have the biggest impact on your body’s ability to build muscle proteins (Source).
BCAA’s have the following benefits:
- Reduce fatigue during exercise.
- Increase lean muscle mass.
- Reduce muscle soreness.
- Lower blood sugar level.
- Enhance weight loss.