If you want to get in shape, taking a muscle building supplement might seem like the quick-fix. Essentially, it speeds up the process of gaining muscles. But, putting safety into consideration, are these supplements a good idea?
Understanding The Need For Muscle Building Supplements
The main reason why many people engaging in resistance training are hooked to these supplements is that they can improve performance and stimulate the growth of muscles. The most favored supplements that can have these effects are whey protein, creatine, and caffeine.
Any type of resistance training stresses your muscles, but your muscles adapt to it over time and become larger. Fortunately, some people find it hard to build muscles, even when spending plenty of time at the gym. This is precisely what muscle-building supplements are designed for- to conveniently help these individuals maximize their muscle gains and improve their physique.
You may have heard your gym instructor nagging about the importance of protein supplements. While this sounds annoying, there’s one thing he is getting right: it is crucial to get enough protein when working to build muscles. As mentioned, resistance training puts a lot of strain on your muscles, and that’s how your body knows it should build up more of them. If your body is not getting enough protein, it is missing one requirement to fuel that muscle growth- the amino acid building blocks. And then you are working out endlessly for nothing.
Continue reading to learn more about the role and benefits of these supplements when building muscles.
Learning The Best Muscle Building Supplements
Whey Protein. Plant-based protein products are good, but they lack a wide range of amino acids. This is where whey protein supplements come in. One of the essential amino acids that whey protein seems to have in abundance is leucine. This amino acid is a requirement for turning on muscle building at a cellular level.
As discussed, protein is the building block of all the body’s cells. This makes an important element of the growth of muscles. Sure, you can get this macronutrient from the foods you eat, but if you want to realize your workout goals, a protein supplement is the best way to go.
In one systematic review, researchers studied the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength during periods of prolonged resistance training. It was concluded that there is a significant increase in muscle size and strength, thanks to the protein supplementation. The best time to consume a protein supplement is post-workout since that is when your muscles need protein the most. The supplement will flood your bloodstream with the essential amino acids, and these amino acids quickly go into your muscle cells, where they can be turned in as new muscle tissue.
Creatine. The amino acid creatine is naturally produced by the body in the pancreas, kidneys, and liver. It also occurs naturally in fish and meat. This amino acid is converted into creatine phosphate, which is used for energy during resistance training. You can buy creatine supplements in various forms, from pills to flavored powders. These muscle building supplements are formulated to increase muscle size and strength, much like their protein counterpart. If you are doing heavy weight lifting, the increased energy from this supplement allows you to lift more and, in turn, build more muscles.
Also, this amino acid creates an illusion that you have gained weight and larger muscles because of increased water retention. Along with the amino acid, water is drawn into your muscles, causing these muscles to look bigger and gain several grams of weight. While you can source creatine from the foods you eat, supplementation is far more convenient because it yields easier and faster results.
Caffeine. It’s been demonstrated that caffeine lowers your perception of pain, decreases fatigue, and increases energy. When you participate in resistance training, your body is constantly sourcing the energy to give the training your all. Once you use up all your energy, your body gets into a muscle exhaustion state. This energy comes from your body’s stored form of carbohydrate called glycogen. To prevent your body from using up all this energy, caffeine promotes the use of fat as fuel. Because glycogen is less abundant than fat, caffeine metabolizes the fatty acids so that the working muscles are encouraged to use fat in place of glycogen.
You can get caffeine from tea and coffee; however, if you look through the prism of muscle building, the tea and coffee variations are not an effective energy source for resistance training. That is why you can benefit significantly from caffeine muscle building supplements, which contain enough amount of caffeine in combination with additional useful ingredients.
Knowing The Risks
Other than protein, creatine, and caffeine, there are probably a half dozen supplements that improve your resistance training. Still, we are just not certain at this point if these supplements actually maximize your muscle gains down the road. At this point, whey protein, creatine, and caffeine muscle building supplements are the best options.
Besides, other muscle-building supplements could be risky and deadly, as warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA issued a warning about taking the Mass Destruction supplement, which is supposedly used to increase energy levels and muscle mass. The Mass Destruction supplement should not be considered a supplement at all. Accordingly, one user ended up undergoing a liver transplant after taking the supplement for a couple of weeks. The agency found one synthetic and illegal anabolic steroid in the formula, and it is still running more tests to detect other harmful and life-threatening substances.
The FDA also warned against using other muscle-building supplements with steroids or steroid-like substances like Mass Destruction. The side effects of these steroids or steroid-like substances include stroke, an increased risk of heart attack, dangerous changes to blood cholesterol levels, and liver failure. In addition to these physical health risks, the presence of steroids and steroid-like substances can also seriously affect one’s mental health. The adverse effects can include seriously impaired judgment, jealousy, paranoia, delusions, and extreme irritability.
The main point of interest for us is the safety of muscle building supplements. Overall, not all muscle building supplements are good for you. Some bring harm more than good. How can you be sure that a muscle-building supplement you want to use is safe? Even the Food and Drug Administration admit that it can be hard to tell. Nevertheless, sticking to the most recommended muscle building supplements- whey protein, creatine, and caffeine- can make all the difference.