I have supplemented with many forms of supplements over the years and am sure I have had the placebo effects of every one of them!
After stripping all supplements from my daily routine and only reintroducing certain ones in line with guidance from some coaches and research papers.
There are 6 supplements I use when trying to gain muscle without fail (alongside a structured nutrition protocol ensuring a surplus is achieved).
Let’s first talk about growing muscle with little or no body fat gains versus the traditional “Bulking”, eats everything method!
In simpler terms, you will have to go into a calorie surplus, just as if you decided you wanted to lose weight you would want to go into a calorie deficit.
unless you are an assisted athlete utilising the pharmaceutical influences on the typical “Androgenic” hormones then your body can’t grow muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
There are no written definitives to growing muscle through manipulating macronutrients because the blanket prescription just isn’t viable because of dealing with peoples varied genetics and metabolic adaptations, that however is for another post.
When supplementing with any type of nutrition supplement you should always seek advice from your GP.
EAA- taking a quality EAA has been shown to lower muscle damage which results in less pain following resistance training, more muscle growth and elevated exhaustion time on all-out exercise tests.
Caffeine- Caffeine is a stimulant which can improve concentration, elevate your mood and enhance performance.
Caffeine quantity can be dependent on your tolerance levels but a dosage of around 5-6mg per kg of body weight will be sufficient in most people.
Beta-Alanine- BA, in short, has been shown increase training workload and time to fatigue during high-intensity cardio, improve muscle resistance to fatigue during strength training, increase lean body mass by approximately 1 kg and reduce perceptions of fatigue. The research for these finding was based on a 6g dosage daily for 4 weeks.
Creatine monohydrate- CM is the most researched supplement and has been branded the safest on the market to consume with no known adverse effects on kidney or liver function.
In numerous studies, 1-2kg of body mass was recorded in trained subjects when adding 2-3g of CM.
Loading CM for the first 4 days of the 28-day studies was one way of supplementing but there is no evidence to suggest it is more effective than a total increase of CM throughout 28 days.
Protein powder ‘Pea & Hemp vs whey - I have used various proteins in the past and fallen victim to the marketing ploys of companies selling the ‘best’ protein and end up feeling bloated and inflamed. Whey protein is by far the most researched and most popular among bodybuilders to gain lean mass but personally after various trials with other protein sources and learning to maximise absorption by keeping a healthy gut I’ve found rotating protein sources between Whey and Fermented pea with bcaa have worked well for me.
When purchasing a protein source I would recommend doing your research and going for quality over quantity.
I can refer to countless studies on the benefits of protein supplements post-workout and muscle growth so this is a must for me.
Signing off Tommy Owen AKA The Muscle Apprentice