With muscle-bound superheroes and action movie stars seemingly everywhere we look these days, it’s no wonder that the world appears to once again be muscle mad, with more and more people now lifting weights in an attempt bulk up and beef up than there have been in years. With movie stars such as Hugh Jackman or The Rock being idols for a number of people all over the world, it seems as if people are swapping the TV remote for a set of dumbbells but unfortunately are just not seeing the results that they were hoping for.
Building muscle is a complex and highly difficult process that requires a great amount of determination, hard work, discipline, self control, and knowledge as well. Bodybuilding and weight training isn’t just a matter of lifting weights, in fact, bodybuilding is considered by most fitness experts to be a combination of around 30% training, and 70% diet and nutrition.
To build muscle you need to have your diet right on point, but what happens when your diet and your training are both perfect? Well, in that instance, you can then begin to think about supplementation. Bodybuilding and health supplements are incredibly popular and incredibly beneficial, if you know which ones to take and when. If you’re looking to bulk up and get the most out of your dieting and training then here’s a look at four supplement proven to pack muscle on, fast.
Creatine – Creatine is a compound that is actually naturally produced by our own bodies, only in very small doses. It basically works by allowing our bodies to produce more ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) which is actually a form of fuel or energy used by cells within our bodies. When we use creatine, not only does it allow the body to produce more ATP but it also helps to increase the volume of the cells within our muscles, meaning that they can absorb more ATP. The more ATP they absorb, the harder the muscles can work before lactic acid begins to build up and they fatigue. The harder they work, the more effective and efficient our workouts become.
Whey protein – Whey protein is the number one best-selling bodybuilding supplement in the world, and for good reason too. Protein is vital for the growth and repair of muscles and muscle tissue. When we lift weights, we don’t build muscle, we destroy it. We build muscle when we rest via protein synthesis, providing the body has enough nutrients however, nutrients which are naturally found within protein, including numerous amino acids. Whey protein is ideal because it’s so convenient and packs so much flavour and protein into each serving. It’s recommended that a person consume a post-workout whey protein shake mixed with water immediately following their workout, as this is when the muscles are most primed for nutrient absorption.
Pre-workout supplements – Pre-workout supplements are ideal for helping to build muscle because they actually fuel and energize our bodies, firing us up and helping to get us motivated. Pre-workout supplements often contain caffeine, taurine, and other stimulants which help to make us more energised and alert. They also often contain nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels improving circulation. The more blood that is able to flow through the vessels, the more oxygen and nutrients will be transported to cells within our muscles. Be careful not to consume pre-workout supplements too late at night however, otherwise you may struggle to sleep.
L-Glutamine – Glutamine is an amino acid that has been found to be hugely beneficial when it comes to post-workout muscle recovery. Studies have found that glutamine can increase natural growth hormone production within the body, it can help speed up protein synthesis, and it can help to inhibit muscle wastage and breakdown as well. Glutamine is best consumed mixed with whey protein in your post-workout shake.
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