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The 5 Best Supplements for Muscles & Muscle Gain

Regular exercise is great for your health, but you might want to get more out of it than just staying healthy and maintaining your weight. 

Increasing muscle mass is an excellent way to safeguard your health, boost your metabolism and make your body more resistant to injury.

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to be interested in building muscle mass.

Supplements for Muscles and Muscle Gain

In fact, weightlifting is growing in popularity as a way to stay healthy and lean.

In order to gain muscle, you have to be engaging in workouts that challenge your muscles

You also need to pay close attention to your caloric intake to get enough calories and enough protein to build muscle.

When you decide it’s time to step up your gym workouts and focus on building muscle mass, you may want to add supplements to your routine. 

Supplements like protein powder and CBD oil will help to support your body and make sure it always has what it needs.

Supplements should never be used to replace a healthy and varied diet. Instead, think of supplements as a way to make sure you always hit your nutrition goals

This article will explore the best supplements for muscles and how to add these to your daily routine.

What's in this Guide?

Our Top 5 Supplements for Muscles

  1. Creatine
  2. Protein
  3. Beta-Alanine
  4. CBD Oil
  5. Multivitamins

What Are Supplements for Muscles?

Your body increases its muscle mass by breaking down muscle fibres and repairing them. Exercise that puts strain on your muscles will create small tears in the muscle fibres.

If your body has the building blocks it needs (nutrition) then it will repair these muscles by fusing them together, which increases the mass of the muscle

Your body can’t do this alone; it needs the right nutrients, hormones and conditions to be able to increase muscle mass.

While it is possible to build muscle mass from diet alone, supplements help to increase the availability of these nutrients and ensure your body has exactly what it needs.

What are supplements for muscles
The average person can gain muscle without supplements - but for looking for bigger changes, supplements may help

What Are The Different Types of Supplements for Muscles?

There are a few different types of supplements for muscles. These will either address nutritional needs or help to aid in recovery.

Your body needs protein to be able to recover and build muscle mass. You need to consume more protein than you use in order to build muscle. 

But rest is just as important for muscle growth.

Muscles aren’t built during the workout; they are built during the recovery. During your workout, your muscle fibres are torn and injured. After your workout, your body has to repair itself.

Supplements that help your body to recover are also essential for building muscle. And your body also needs essential vitamins and minerals to function. 

For example, you won’t be able to work out effectively and build muscle if you are always fighting off a cold. So, by taking supplements that support your immune system, your workouts will be more effective.

Different types of supplements for muscles
Supplements help your body to repair your muscles faster and more effectively which may mean greater muscle growth

How Do Supplements for Muscles Work?

Your body needs water, protein and an array of vitamins and minerals to build muscle. Your body also needs rest.

Supplements for muscles work by ensuring your body has everything it needs to be effective. It can be difficult to get enough vitamins, minerals and protein from your diet every single day.

To make life easier, supplementing your diet with these muscle-building components can help to increase your capacity to build muscle

By prioritising rest and recovery, you can also minimise downtime to allow you to get more out of each workout.

How do supplements for muscles work
Supplements are great for improving the overall health and wellbeing of our minds and bodies, which makes it easier for our bodies to repair muscles

What Do You Look For In The Best Supplements for Muscles?

As with any supplements, it’s important to choose high-quality products from reputable sources. The supplements industry is not very well regulated, and there is no requirement for supplements to be licensed or registered in the UK.

When choosing supplements to add to your routine, look for reviews from existing customers

Also check the origins of the ingredients, as this can be a sign of inferior supplements.

And finally, look for companies with a physical presence somewhere in the UK. If you’re struggling to find a physical return address, this could be a sign the company exists online only. 

Online-only sellers may be white labelling supplements without any knowledge of their contents or origins, so these would be best avoided.

Read more: CBD for athletes

What do you look for in the best supplements for muscles
Looking for background information on a company can also help you determine whether you're buying reliable products

Best Supplements for Muscles Reviewed

Creatine

Creatine is a molecule that is produced naturally in the body. By taking a creatine supplement, you can increase the availability of creatine by around 40%. 

Creatine provides energy for your muscles, so it is an essential supplement for muscle growth. Research suggests that creatine can increase muscle strength and performance, allowing you to work out more effectively.

Pros of creatine

  • Creatine increases hormone levels associated with muscle growth, including IGF-1.
  • Adding creatine to your diet could help to decrease the breakdown of proteins in your muscles.

Cons of creatine

  • May lead to bloating, stomach discomfort and digestive upset.
  • May cause kidney and liver damage in those with pre-existing conditions.

Protein

Protein is the building block of life. You need around 0.5-0.9g of protein per pound of bodyweight to build muscle mass.

Adding protein to your diet can also aid with weight loss as protein helps you to feel fuller for longer. 

If you struggle to get enough protein from your diet, adding a powdered protein supplement to your workout routine could help you to reach your fitness goals.

Pros of protein

  • Helps to speed up recovery after exercise.
  • Helps to curb hunger to maintain a healthy weight.

Cons of protein

  • Too much protein can lead to nausea, cramps, headaches, fatigue, bloating and kidney damage
  • Relying on protein powder supplements could lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Beta-alanine

This is an amino acid that is thought to help contribute to athletic performance

Adding beta-alanine to your supplement routine could help to increase lean body mass and improve performance during high-intensity interval training.

Pros of beta-alanine

Cons of beta-alanine

  • There are no known bad side effects of taking beta-alanine.
  • Long term use could cause a tingly sensation in your skin.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is a supplement derived from the cannabis plant. But until THC, it will not get you high or alter your mental state. It is thought to help contribute to overall wellness by balancing the endocannabinoid system.

Read more: How to take CBD oil

CBD may be useful for recovering from an intense workout. One of the side effects of using CBD is sleepiness, so it could help individuals to sleep better after a workout.

Researchers are also exploring if CBD could help to reduce post-workout inflammation. Inflammation is what causes sore and stiff muscles after a workout.

Pros of CBD oil

  • May help you to recover after a workout.
  • Promotes wellness through improved sleep.

Cons of CBD oil

  • Not enough research to confirm how CBD could help your post-workout routine.
  • May lead to dry mouth, stomach upset, drowsiness and fatigue.

Multivitamins

Your body needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to function correctly, particularly when undergoing an intense workout routine. Supporting your body with a multivitamin is one of the simplest ways to make sure it has everything it needs.

Your body needs vitamin D, B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E to be able to increase muscle mass. 

Iron and calcium are also useful for maintaining a healthy body. A multivitamin supplement taken every day is one of the simplest ways to make sure your body has everything it needs.

Pros of multivitamins

  • Contains everything you need in one daily pill.
  • Supports overall health.

Cons of multivitamins

  • Risk of taking too much of a particular vitamin if you eat fortified foods or have vitamins in other supplements. 
  • A build-up of water-soluble vitamins can be bad for your health.
Best supplements for muscles reviewed
Taking the time to thoroughly research the different types of supplements will mean you're more likely to benefit from their effect

Final Thoughts On Supplements for Muscles

If you are thinking about increasing your muscle mass and want to support this with diet and supplements, a registered dietician may be able to help. 

Working with a professional will help you to identify any potential deficiencies.

You might not need to take all of the supplements listed above, so pay close attention to your body and determine what you need to be able to move forward with your training.

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