How to Use Supplements to Gain Muscle
Regardless of your goals in the gym, gaining muscle can get you there faster. Therefore, muscle gain should be a top priority for most people.
People with higher percentages of lean muscle have:
- Better posture
- Longer lifespan
- Stronger bones
- Higher metabolism
More muscle means a higher metabolism, which helps you lose weight. Your muscles make you better, stronger, and faster. If your goal is to increase strength and endurance, you guessed it: you want to increase muscle mass. If your goal is to gain weight, you likely want to increase muscle more than anything.
Now that we’ve determined that you should be attempting to gain muscle regardless of age, gender, or goal, let’s talk about how to do it.
Lifting Weight to Gain Muscle
Adding lean muscle mass to your frame is a scientific equation that involves eating, sleeping, and exercising. In this equation, your general limit is the size of your skeleton. People with a larger frame can add more muscle than people with smaller skeletal frames.
Gaining weight of any kind, muscle or fat, requires excess calorie intake. It would be best if you ate more calories than you burn to put on weight or build muscle. It’s helpful to plug your body statistics into a calculator to figure out your basal metabolic rate, then account for your activity level and add calories to suit your goals.
It’s not as simple as increasing your daily calorie intake by 500 calories, though. You need to add stress to your muscles to signal your body to increase muscle fibers’ size to account for your workload. Gradually increasing your muscles’ time under tension is key to continuing to build muscle.
Rest is as essential to the equation as lifting is; you cannot have results without both. For your muscles to increase in size, you must remove the stimulus (weights) and allow your muscles to recover. Get adequate rest in the form of sleep and rest days. You should allow a muscle group at least one day of recovery before lifting that group again.
Once you’ve found a lifting program you enjoy and you have accounted for your calorie requirements, you can add in supplements to help you:
- Consistently hit nutritional goals.
- Temporarily increase muscle strength and endurance for your workout, which will allow you to push your muscles harder and thus reach goals faster.
How Supplements Can Help You Gain Muscle
A personalized workout and nutrition plan with your goal in mind is the cake. Supplements are the cherry on top. Supplements are not a magic pill that will have you hitting your goals with zero effort. They are tools to aid your nutrition and fitness goals.
Protein to Gain Muscle
Protein signals your body to convert surplus calories into muscle cells instead of fat. Carbs and fats are essential too, but you should make sure you’re hitting your protein requirements first. For building muscle, you should aim for 1.2-2.0 grams of protein for every kilogram you weigh. You already get protein from food, but a protein supplement can help you hit those goals.
Protein supplements are also essential for the anabolic window that follows exercise, which tells your body to switch into recovery mode and start building muscle. Additionally, protein supplements help ensure your body has all the amino acids necessary to form complete proteins.
Supplement Superstores Protein Supplement Recommendation:
Whey Isolate is the king of protein supplements. It is easy to digest and quickly goes to work in your muscles. Often, whey protein might also include a dose of BCAAs. Allmax Isoflex contains 27 grams of protein, one gram of carbs, and zero fat in one serving. The nutrition breakdown combined with the excellent taste and quality ingredients makes Isoflex our go-to whey protein supplement.
BCAAs to Gain Muscle
BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and recovery. Twenty amino acids compile the building blocks of protein. Nine of the twenty amino acids are essential to the human body, but we cannot make them. Instead, we must consume them through our food. Three of the nine essential amino acids are branched-chain, referring to their molecular structure. BCAAs are unique because they can bypass the liver and move directly to the muscles via the bloodstream. Once there, the BCAAs provide energy and muscle building and recovering qualities.
Including a BCAA supplement in your stack is helpful to those who want to increase muscle mass because they:
- Ensure you consume the amino acids most involved in muscle production and recovery.
- Make your recovery faster and easier, meaning you can get back to work after adequate rest.
- Provide an additional energy source when consumed prior to lifting.
Many BCAA supplements also include factors that aid in hydration, another essential part of the fitness equation.
Supplement Superstores BCAA Supplement Recommendation:
You can find protein supplements and pre-workouts that include BCAAs, or you can take them on their own. ANS Performance Quench BCAA is an excellent option with added hydration. Quench includes 7.2 grams of BCAAs and electrolytes from coconut water and Himalayan salt.
Creatine to Gain Muscle
Creatine is the premium of all supplement cherries. Creatine is one of the most widely researched and trusted sports supplements on the market with various benefits. One main benefit of creatine is its unique ability to increase muscle strength and endurance.
There are multiple ways to include creatine in your stack. Many pre-workout supplements include creatine, or you can take it on its own. Taking creatine on its own allows you to follow a dosing protocol, which people sometimes use to optimize effects.
Supplement Superstores Creatine Supplement Recommendation:
PVL 100% CreaPure Creatine is a great option for a pure creatine supplement that allows you to control your dosing. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout is an excellent pre-workout supplement containing creatine and other stimulating ingredients to get you pumped up before a workout.
Weight Gainers to Gain Muscle
Weight gainers are an often-overlooked supplement, but they can certainly aid in building muscle. Weight gainers are essentially a protein supplement that also includes fats and a significant amount of carbohydrates. Due to the addition of these other macronutrients, weight gainers are a more appropriate choice if you are looking for a meal replacement shake.
Before, we mentioned that increasing caloric input is essential to building muscle. Weight gainers make it easy to increase your overall caloric intake without introducing an additional meal or snack and ensuring you’re cleanly getting these additional calories. Check the label on your weight gainer, and make sure that it fits into your calorie and macro split to ensure you’re eating enough but not overeating.
Supplement Superstores Weight Gainer Supplement Recommendation:
Mammoth Mass Weight Gainer is a superior weight gainer supplement with an amazing taste. Each two-scoop serving contains 5 grams of fat, 115 grams of carbs, and 30 grams of protein. You can take up to four scoops at a time, making it an easily customizable weight gainer.
Gaining muscle can be challenging. There are multiple influencing factors, and the most crucial piece is that you’re showing up in the gym and lifting heavy weights. Supplements like weight gainers, creatine, and protein supplements are products that can help you reach your goals. Ultimately, it’s up to you!