There are tons of muscle building supplements out there. Take one trip to the store section of bodybuilding.com and you’ll discover there are so many supplements out there that it’d be difficult to even learn what they’re all supposed to do.
But the real kicker is how much these muscle building supplements cost! Companies asking for $80+ for a month supply of a product is not unheard of. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the money to buy everything we want to try. On top of that many of these products are not tested for long term effect/safety. Most people don’t want to waste their money (or put their health in peril) on muscle building supplements that simply don’t work.
The good news is there are muscle building supplements that are worth your money. Let’s take a look at what I consider to be the top 3 muscle building supplements on the market…
Muscle Building Supplement #1: Protein Powder
Protein is the building block of muscle. While getting all your protein from high quality food sources would be ideal, it isn’t feasible for most people. We’re busy. We’re on the go. We simply don’t have the time to cook up all the protein we need for the day. Besides, it can be tough eating enough food to down 250+ grams of protein if you’re aiming that high.
This is where protein powder comes in. Simply mix the powder with water or milk and you have yourself 20-50 grams of protein in just a few gulps. They’re especially convenient for post workout protein. You can carry the powder with you to the gym and drink it up between sets or after you’re done lifting.
Whey is a popular choice. The problem with whey, however, is that it is digested quickly and doesn’t supply your body with amino acids for as long as other sources. Instead of whey I recommend casein. Casein digests much more slowly than whey, which means amino acids will be flowing through your blood stream longer. The longer amino acids stay in your blood the more those amino acids are used for muscle building purposes.
Muscle Building Supplement #2: Creatine
Creatine is perhaps the most studied muscle building supplement out on the market. Numerous studies on creatine monohydrate have proven this stuff works. And its one of the cheaper supplements out there.
Without getting too technical, creatine helps your body produce ATP (the bodies primary source of energy for heavy lifting) after it has been used up.
Your body produces creatine on its own but has the ability to hold more than it makes. Supplementing with creatine will help you squeeze out more reps or lift heavier weights since your ATP stores will be replenished more efficiently.
Muscle Building Supplement #3: BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAA’s are a bit different from many other muscle building supplements. Instead of working to build up muscle, they help prevent the breakdown of muscle during intense exercise. When you are lifting heavy weights (or during long duration aerobic exercise) your body tends to enter a catabolic state. This means your body is breaking muscle down for energy purposes. Breaking muscle down is exactly the opposite of what you want!
BCAA supplements work to prevent this catabolic state. Taking them ensures more amino acids will be in your blood stream. If your body starts using amino acids for energy (as is common with heavy lifting and long duration cardio) it can use these amino acids instead of breaking down your hard earned muscle for energy. This helps ensure you stay in an anabolic (muscle building) state.
These are what I consider to be the top 3 muscle building supplements (legal ones I must add) on the market. Others may (or may not) work, but if you’re on a budget (and who isn’t?) sticking with muscle building supplements that have been shown to work for many people will help you meet your goals without breaking the bank.