Friday, 24 May 2013

Which Supplements To Take To Build Muscle

By Russ Howe

Nowadays, it would be impossible to teach somebody how to build muscle more effectively without touching upon the subject of supplements. Learning how to decipher which supplements to take to suit your goals can be a valuable asset in helping you to achieve your fitness goals.

While the huge advancements we have made in nutrition and sports science are a great advantage for our generation to have on our side in our quest to build better bodies, the sad fact of the matter is most people find this to be a disadvantage. They find this because it presents them with a situation where there is simply too much information.

Thirty years ago, the science behind growing muscle mass was still fairly basic and while those basics were great, the information was sometimes difficult to come by due to the lack of books and studies available. Compare that to nowadays and you'll notice the completely opposite situation, yet neither is good. People often can't commit to a routine or long-term plan because they are being told contradicting information everywhere they turn, so they quit.

Yet despite the great strides forward we've made in science and training, the basic principles remain almost exactly the same as they were 20-30 years ago.

One of the main reasons that people get lost in the world of supplements is that it's designed to get you lost. It's a billion dollar business each year, with a lot of that money being made at the expense of people picking up products they aren't sure if they really need. Plus, with so many companies competing against each other you tend to get tons of hype on every new item which is released.

While you could spend hours comparing the statements on different tubs of protein or creatine, the truth is you can learn how to pick the best product for you by simply teaching yourself what to look for, rather than which one claims to be the best.

* A tub of whey protein

* Creatine

* Casein

* Simple carbs are great for your post-workout period

* BCAA's (branched chain amino acids) are the building blocks of hypertrophy

* Glutamine can return enviable results in muscular recovery

The 6 items listed above are a great place to start if you were previously unsure which products would work best for your goals. If you are trying to become leaner and more muscular these are the foundation from which to base your supplement plan. Here is a guide of what each of them actually does.

Whey protein is easily the most popular health product on the market nowadays. Despite this, many people falsely believe that you should only use it if you intend to get bigger. This often puts many people, particularly women, off the product entirely and it is simply not true. Whey is a great way to pack in more protein to your daily diet and it's such a popular product due to the speed at which your body can digest it. There are three main categories of whey, they are hydrolized, isolate and concentrate. Hydolized is the quickest digesting form and therefore tends to cost the most money. Isolate is second and concentrate is third.

However, the massive difference in prices between these three formulas doesn't reflect the fact that there isn't too much difference in terms of the quality of the protein itself. While a hydrolized product would return optimal results, you will certainly still be able to achieve success using either of the other blends if money is tight.

The facts on creatine are needlessly murky. This product has been around for 20 years and it's effectiveness is proven. It is designed to increase your explosive strength, which can lead to greater muscle gain if you are training regularly and watching your diet. Creatine was first used by sprinters looking to improve their times over short distances, then adopted by bodybuilders looking to push out a few more repetitions in their workouts.

With countless different formulas and blends of creatine, it seems every trainer and gym user has a different opinion on which one you should use. However, if you want to base your decision on scientific evidence then you won't have too much difficulty finding the solution. Creatine monohydate is light years ahead of any other formula on the market, despite being the oldest and most easily available of all.

The process of protein synthesis can be manipulated further if you make use of a casein product, too. This has been available for many years now but, until recently, had no concrete evidence to back up it's effectiveness and survived purely because the theory behind it made sense. It now does have evidence, and is a great addition to a nutrition plan which includes products like whey and creatine. This slow digesting protein source is great for pre-bedtime consumption as it allows your body to continue building lean tissue while you sleep, feeding your muscles with a slow release of protein over an eight hour period.

Studies recently reveals that individuals who combined they regular whey product with casein were able to experience greater hypertrophy, due to the ability of casein to keep protein synthesis going overnight.

Over the last ten years or so, carbohydrates have got a bad rap from those in the fitness industry. This is mainly due to the celebrity diet trends which tell people to cut carbs from their diets if they want to lose weight. That approach is, of course, nonsense and results in the individual piling all of their weight back on and more when they finish their diet. Carbohydrates are very, very useful even if your goal is losing weight.

The overall majority of your carbohydrates should be coming from slow digesting complex sources such as oats, however the period following an intense gym session is ideal for the other type of carbohydrates. During this brief time, quick-release simple carbs will provide your body with the instant hit of nutrition it needs. This can be obtained through food so there is no need to grab a powder or pill, although they are available.

The effectiveness of BCAA products has been a revelation in recent years, with many fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders choosing to add them alongside their post-workout protein and creatine. While there are over 20 amino acids, the most important is considered to be leucine, which acts as a key turning on the building process. However, it is important to consume a BCAA product to obtain a good array of all the amino acids because they all work together, as opposed to opting for a straight leucine supplement which, for most people, would be like buying a car with an engine but without brakes, a steering wheel or seat belts.

There are three major benefits to the final product on today's list, which is glutamine. This is designed to help your body to release more natural growth hormone, enhance your body's immune system and help your muscles to recover faster from workouts. Combine those three facts and you have a product which is designed to help you hit the gym at maximum ability more often than you could without it.

The most important rule to remember, however, is that the key word in each of the products we have explained today is supplement. While every product on the market will lead you to believe that you won't be able to achieve your goals without it, the truth is you can go a long way to learning how to build muscle by simply taking care of your diet and training routine. With those two things in place, you will be able to decide which supplements to take to suit your goals and you'll notice great results from any of the items covered today.

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