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What Are the Best Supplements for Building Muscle?

November 11, 2014

What Are the Best Supplements for Building Muscle?

The supplement industry is flooded with over-hyped, ineffective products that are simply not worth their high price tag. We’re here to fill you in on the five best muscle-building supplements that are scientifically proven to help bring out the best results possible from your work in the gym.

Top 5 Best Muscle Building Supplements

1. Creatine (creatine monohydrate)

How it Works:

Creatine is a time tested and proven supplement that can help produce significant lean muscle gains by allowing the body to exert more force and contraction on its largest and strongest muscle groups.

There’s a lot of false information floating around regarding creatine, so let’s discuss what makes it such an effective muscle building supplement.

First of all, an important note: the majority of the research that has been conducted on creatine has been on one specific type: creatine monohydrate.

This is the superior form of the compound, and other types often fall into the ineffective/over-hyped group of supplements. Monohydrate is the most effective, researched, and supported form, and is the form used in Jacked Factory supplements.

Creatine is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. It enables muscles to handle greater amounts of overload during maximum intensity exercises. It is most beneficial for athletes who focus on movements that target fast twitch muscle fibers such as weight lifters and sprinters.

So how does it help your body add lean muscle mass? Consider the basic concept of heavy weight training to build lean muscle mass. The stronger your muscles become, and the more overload placed on them (more heavy training volume), the more your body will experience hypertrophy (muscle growth).

Creatine allows the body to exert more force from its fast twitch muscle fibers, which means gradually lifting more weight with each workout. More heavy sets, increased training volume, and progressive overload will lead to more muscle gain. Creatine sets the stage for maximum hypertrophy and consistent progressive overload.

How to Take It:

Creatine is most effective when taken both pre and post-workout. A full clinically effective dosage of creatine monohydrate is contained in our pre-workout supplement Altius, as well as our post-workout supplement POWERBUILD.

2. Beta-alanine

How it Works:

Beta-alanine has risen in popularity among athletes and bodybuilders over the last several years thanks to its extensive performance benefits. Supplementing with beta-alanine causes muscle carnosine levels to rise, which leads to a significant increase in high-intensity exercise performance. Clinical research suggests that carnosine not only increases strength, power, endurance levels, and recovery but also stimulates fat loss and muscle growth. Beta-alanine is a performance benefit powerhouse.

How to Take It:

To make sure you’re getting an effective dose of beta-alanine, aim for at least 2 grams before working out and another 2 grams post-workout. Altius, our pre-workout supplement, contains 3.2 grams of beta-alanine per serving, and POWERBUILD, our post-workout recovery supplement, contains 2 grams so you can train hard knowing you’re always covered with Jacked Factory products.

3. Whey protein

How it Works:

Your body needs protein to build muscle, plain and simple. The amino acids present in whey protein help your body initiate protein synthesis and recover quickly from intense training. Following a strenuous workout, you want a protein source that will be digested quickly, and that contains a significant amount of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids). Whey protein digests rapidly and includes an array of BCAAs, making it the ideal post-workout protein source.

Since whey protein is digested much faster than whole food forms of protein such as chicken, fish, and beef, it is the perfect muscle building catalyst to consume immediately after a workout. It also has a very high net protein utilization and biological value ranking, which are two crucial components for evaluating how effective a protein is at initiating muscle growth and repair.

How Much to Take:

For post-workout supplementation, aim to consume at least 25 grams of whey for optimal growth and recovery. This provides the body with a fast digesting protein that it can utilize for growth and repair. Whey protein shakes can also be consumed throughout the day and will help you to meet your daily protein intake. Protein shakes work well with a busy lifestyle because they’re fast and easy to make, and can be drunk just about anywhere.

Hint: Try adding some fruit, peanut butter, greek yogurt, and/or oatmeal to your shakes for some added flavor and nutrients!

4. Citrulline malate

How it Works:

Citrulline malate is a powerful supplement that increases nitric oxide in the bloodstream, as well as a laundry list of other important benefits. Citrulline malate is more effective at increasing blood plasma levels of L-arginine than actually using L-arginine itself! It is also effective at increasing strength and endurance, as well as decreasing muscle soreness and necessary recovery time following a strenuous workout. No wonder it’s one of the most widely used supplement ingredients!

It’s also known to increase blood flow to muscles and increase muscular capacity during training. Try taking it before your workout to experience amazing vascularity and pumps.

How Much To Take:

Consume eight grams of citrulline malate (2:1 ratio) about 30-45 minutes before weight-training for maximum effectiveness. Most supplements available actually contain very little (less than 1 gram) of the ingredient due to its high cost. Our premium pre-workout supplement, Altius, contains a full, clinically effective dose of 8 grams per serving.

5. Betaine anhydrous

How it Works:

Betaine anhydrous increases muscular strength and endurance in high-intensity training by enhancing muscle oxygen consumption. This means helping you lift more weight for more reps, which results in more muscle growth and better workouts.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that weight-trained athletes taking 1.25 grams of betaine twice per day increased their muscle strength by 25% and their muscle power by 20%. They also found that subjects consuming 1.25 g of betaine two times per day for a period of two weeks resulted in a 10% greater increase in GH levels (growth hormone), a 15% greater increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and finally a 15% drop in cortisol levels compared to placebo following a weight training workout. Talk about anabolic hormone boosting! Betaine anhydrous is a natural athlete’s dream come true.

Another separate study shows improved body composition, arm size, bench press work capacity, and overall power in just six weeks. It was also shown to boost muscle protein synthesis following a workout.

No doubt about it, this stuff works.

How Much To Take:

Aim to consume at least 2.5 grams of betaine per day for optimal results. Both Altius and POWERBUILD (our delicious pre and post-workout supplements) contain 2.5 grams of betaine anhydrous per serving.

 




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