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Muscle Building Supplements: The Ultimate Bodybuilder's Guide!

guide to select muscle building supplements

So you have started picking up weights at the gym and you think you are ready to move on to the next level. Maybe you are aspiring to be the next Coleman, Schwarzenegger or Haney.  Maybe you are just training for your health and fitness. Regardless of your goals, you have heard of muscle building supplements and are wondering if they are what you need. Well, this article is going to tell you that and a lot more!

In fact, in this article, we will be covering everything that you ever wanted to know about muscle building supplements. We will be answering your questions so that you can take an informed decision. Let’s get started, shall we?

What are Muscle Building Supplements?

As the name suggests, these supplements are meant to help you increase muscle mass. How do muscle building supplements work? We’ll get to that in a moment. Apart from muscle growth, these supplements often come with other benefits such as improvement in athletic performance and an increase in body weight. In some cases, you can also use muscle building supplements to lose weight, depending on their composition.

Bodybuilding supplements are sold in two forms. The first are single ingredient formulations. The second are what are commonly referred to as stacks. These are blends comprising of multiple ingredients that are capable of providing a variety of synergistic advantages. Choosing a muscle building supplement package is typically dependent on your specific needs, tastes and goals.

Are Muscle Building Supplements Necessary?

Are muscle building supplements worth it? That’s often the first question that’ll pop into your mind when you are considering these products. The fact is that it all depends on your diet, lifestyle and bodybuilding goals.

muscle building supplement drink

For the majority of people, supplementation, especially of the muscle building variety, is mostly unnecessary as they will get all the nutrition they require from their diet. However, things change when you are working out with bodybuilding ambitions. Now, you can certainly get a lot of protein and other essential nutrients by following a muscle building diet plan without supplements. Be that as it may, it might not always be feasible for you to consume high-protein sources every day without breaking your calorie limits. This is where muscle building supplements come in.

You can try building muscle without supplements but you will soon hit a plateau. After all, there is only so much calories that you can consume. Supplements overcome this issue by giving you greater doses of nutrients at fewer calories. Of course, there is the convenience as well since drinking muscle building supplements protein shakes is easier than prepping heavy meals multiple times in a day to meet your macros.

What if you are a vegetarian or vegan? Vegan muscle building without supplements is not impossible but it can be difficult, depending on your bodybuilding goals. If you want more than just a fit body, supplementation is no longer an option but a necessity. While there are certainly several excellent plant-based protein sources, it isn’t easy to get the amounts of protein and calories you need to rapidly bulk up. However, there certainly are a number of vegan bodybuilding supplements out there you can try.

Are Muscle Building Supplements Safe and Healthy?

We do understand where this question comes from. There have been a lot of stories about how these products negatively impact health. However, the good news is that there are now a lot of regulations in place for supplement makers. As such, you should not worry if the supplements are good for you anymore as long as you follow a few guidelines.

Always check the ingredient labels. Read the online reviews of the products in different sites dedicated to bodybuilding and fitness. All reputed supplement makers will have a good online presence to show their trustworthiness. Of course, never go for supplements that do not have any ingredient list.

Now, let’s consider the ingredients themselves. Common dietary supplements such as caffeine, whey and creatine do not have any safety risks when used correctly. If you find something uncommon, check it out online or ask a medical professional. Good supplements will never use risky or unproven ingredients. At MMUSA, all ingredients in our products have been scientifically proven to be beneficial.

Keep reading to learn more about the safety of these bodybuilding supplements.

Do Muscle Building Supplements Have Side Effects?

Generally speaking, there isn’t much to worry about the side effects of supplements. However, it is a fact that all foods have side effects, especially when consumed incorrectly. The same applies for supplements.

supplements have side effects

The biggest no-no while using these products is moderation. Consuming anything in excess is unhealthy and this applies for supplements as well. You must always take note of the amount of muscle building supplements and vitamins that you are consuming so that you do not excessively consume any specific ingredients. Even when you are in a bulking phase, moderation is the key to success. Overdosing on nutrients or supplements is an actual issue and you must take steps to avoid it.

Side effects can also arise out of contraindication. If you are allergic to specific ingredients, avoid supplements containing them entirely. Certain health conditions may even exclude you from using specific products. For example, if you are a diabetic, you should only use muscle building supplements for diabetes. There are even gluten-free muscle building supplements if you are intolerant. Consult with your doctor if you aren’t sure about the suitability of certain ingredients.

If you do experience reactions, stop using the product immediately. For this reason, always try only a single new supplement at any given time to check its impact on your body. This way, you can derive the benefits of muscle building supplements without side effects.

Beside these, there are some common side effects to using certain bodybuilding supplements which are usually nothing to worry about. For example, consuming whey protein can lead to bloating and gas. Caffeine can cause jitteriness. Others include insomnia, headaches and dehydration. These are more prevalent among pro bodybuilders as they need to consume more of these products. Such effects can be easily countered with a variety of remedies such as reducing the dosage.

Which Muscle Building Supplements Actually Work?

There are a lot of supplements that claim to work. However, it all ultimately depends on the ingredients they have. Over the years, innumerable studies have been conducted on supplements and their ingredients. As such, we have, by now, a pretty good idea of what works and what does not. As a bodybuilder, you’ll surely want muscle building supplements proven to work. The ones we discuss below certainly fall into that category.

muscle building supplements actually work

Protein

By far the most commonly used supplement ingredient, protein is certainly the core for any bodybuilding workout. After all, it is the building block of all cells, including muscles. The body requires a lot of protein to repair and restore the muscles after workouts. Protein bodybuilding supplements provide enough quantities of the nutrient to boost muscle gain. Of course, the most common type of these products is the whey protein. Other popular choices include soy and casein. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.

Creatine

Creatine supplements have been enjoying considerable popularity since the 90s and for good reason. Creatine occurs naturally in our body and is a major source of cellular energy. As such, supplementation allows you to perform much better during workouts. Creatine also increases lean muscle mass and muscular strength while reducing muscle soreness. Due to its popularity, there has been a lot of research on creatine and they do show promising results.

Creatinol O Phosphate

As a supplement, creatinol o phosphate is capable of a great many things. It is capable of improving your performance significantly during workouts and reduces fatigue levels. It does so through the improvement of anaerobic glycolysis. At the same time, you will recover faster from your workout sessions. The benefits of creatinol are certainly impressive, making it a good choice for muscle building.

Beta Alanine

Another popular choice, beta alanine is often used in conjunction with creatinol for synergistic benefits. A lot of studies have been conducted on beta alanine and its effects on exercise performance. It is a non-essential amino acid which is, interestingly, not used for protein synthesis by the human body. Instead, it is capable of reducing overall fatigue by decreasing acid levels. As such, beta alanine supplements are worth adding to your diet plans.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

Also referred to as BCAAs, branched chain amino acids are capable of stimulating protein synthesis. They help in the regulation of protein metabolism as well. As a result, muscle damage and soreness after workouts are reduced while increasing endurance levels. The effects of BCAAs supplementation on exercise are well-documented through multiple studies. For these reasons, BCAAs have become an essential supplement for muscle building and other athletic activities.

There are quite a few other commonly used supplements but the above cover the main ones. There are even muscle building vitamin supplements as well which come with increased vitamin content for additional benefits.

How do Muscle Building Supplements Work?

Before we tackle how muscle building supplements work, we need to first understand what happens when you exercise.

how do muscle building supplements work

During workouts, you place more resistance on your muscles than what is normal. This increased resistance causes microscopic tears in your muscles. The severity of these tears and their size depend on how intense the workouts were. Increased severity leads to muscle soreness and excessive workouts can lead to muscle strains or worse. Nonetheless, the body begins to start repairing the damage to the muscles. During this repair process, new muscle strands are created which are stronger and bigger. This allows your muscles to be more capable of coping with similar levels of resistance in future.

Let’s now understand how muscle building supplements work.  The majority of these products are formulated to work in one of two ways. First, the supplement can increase the muscles’ ability to produce force allowing them to handle greater loads. Second, they can increase the muscles’ ability to recover, repair and re-build themselves. Both of these types have their advantages. In fact, you’ll need a combination of both if you want to successfully sculpt an impressive body.

Do muscle building supplements burn fat? That’s often a common question. The fact is that fat loss supplements work differently from bodybuilding supplements. The supplements for burning fat increase your metabolism or they decrease your appetite cravings. As such, they have no impact on muscles directly. However, there is a link between muscle building supplements and fat burning. Bodybuilding supplements make your workouts easier and more effective. As such, losing weight and burning fat become more manageable. Of course, you do need to exercise to achieve that effect.

Who Can Use Muscle Building Supplements?

The majority of high quality muscle building supplements can be used by nearly everybody. However, there are a few things that you should know beforehand. In fact, your age, sex, lifestyle preferences and other factors may have an impact on your choice of supplements.

use muscle building supplements

Muscle building supplements for men will be different from the supplements for women. Due to the natural differences in male and female bodies, women need slightly different formulations to see effective results. For example, women do not need supplements with testosterone. Moreover, women bodybuilders need lesser protein daily compared to male bodybuilders.

The age factor also plays a role. In fact, you may need to change your muscle building supplements over 50 or even 40. As your body ages, there will be a lot of changes that will impact your workout performance. For example, you’ll notice decreasing levels of stamina and energy. The risk of injury to your joints also increases. As a result, muscle building supplements for seniors must account for these changes. They should contain energy boosting products like creatine and BCAAs along with vitamins for joint protection among other things.

Lifestyle is another factor. Take the humble protein powder for example. Most muscle building protein supplements contain whey, casein or a mixture of booth. However, they are derived from milk which is an animal product. As a result, vegetarians or vegans cannot consume such products. However, there are alternative muscle building supplements for vegetarians and vegans. Such products are easily available these days.

There are quite a few health conditions which may affect your choice of supplements. Diabetes is one of them. People suffering from diabetes cannot have the same products as everyone else. They will need muscle building supplements for diabetics specifically to ensure that they do not exacerbate their condition. There are even gluten-free muscle building supplements for those with gluten allergies.

Of course, there are other factors which can limit your choice of products. For example, there are muscle building supplements for skinny guys. These products help them gain bulk faster and more effectively, allowing them to start bodybuilding quickly.

How to Use Muscle Building Supplements?

The variety of bodybuilding supplements out there means you cannot expect to use them in the same way. It goes without saying that you must know how to use the different products to gain the most from their use. Arbitrary and haphazard use of these products is not only unhealthy but can also be quite dangerous.

use bodybuilding supplements

Bodybuilding supplements generally come in three types. They are powders, capsules and serums. Each of them must be used correctly to get the benefits they offer.

Powders are the most common and the easiest to use. Muscle building powder supplements can be used as shakes and mixed with other beverages. There are many protein recipes as well which call for the use of these powders. However, some of them require loading phases for you to derive the maximum benefits for your workouts. Capsules or pills are meant to be used like any other pills. You simply consume them whole with some water. However, they generally offer limited amounts of nutrients. As for serums, they are taken as they are. They do not require loading. However, they are typically consumed as boosters to improve workout performance.

Which one do you need? Ultimately, it all depends on your specific needs. Typically, the muscle building supplements for beginners are all powders. Powder muscle building supplements and protein shakes are often enough to get started and see results. Some pro bodybuilders also use serums and sometimes capsules to get specific benefits for their performances. You should always consult a medical professional or a sports nutritionist to find out which products you should go for.

When to Use Muscle Building Supplements?

As mentioned previously, these products must be used correctly. That also means knowing when to use them. Here is a short muscle building supplements routine to help you out.

Basic muscle building protein supplements such as whey can be consumed throughout the day. However, they are typically consumed as a part of a meal. You may even consume them as a standalone meal in place of a snack. Pre-workout bodybuilding supplements, as the name suggests, are used before your training sessions. These products are designed to give you a burst of energy to help you maximize your workout performance. Some examples include serums like Xxtra Creatinol Serum. As for muscle building recovery supplements, they are used after the workouts. Their purpose is to help your body recover from the exercise by restoring energy levels while speeding up repair and recovery.

The ingredients present in all quality muscle building supplements will ultimately determine when to use them. You should always talk to a certified nutritionist and come up with a proper nutrition plan.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more questions about muscle building supplements to help you out.

How many/much muscle building supplements do I need?

Ideally, you should be consuming as few muscle building supplements and vitamins as possible. Most of your nutrients should come from your daily meals. Excessive supplementation is a major issue and it can even lead to serious health risks including liver damage. However, the amount of supplements ultimately depends on your specific needs. Pro bodybuilders will need significantly larger portions of proteins and other nutrients to maintain their muscle mass. However, those amounts will be far too much for beginners. In some cases, certain conditions may force people to take more supplements or less. For example, vegans are more likely to need vegan muscle building supplements to meet their protein intake requirements. Talk with a nutritionist to determine your exact needs.

Can Supplements Replace Meals?

You need to remember that supplements, as their very name suggests, are supposed to supplement your existing meals. They are in no way complete meals on their own. Bodybuilding supplements do not provide wholesome nutrients as they focus on only a couple, usually protein. As such, never drop an entire meal simply because you can drink a protein shake. Having said that, it is possible for supplements like protein shakes to replace snacks as they are healthier and more filling. If you are in a rush, you may cut down a bit of your meals and replace it with a supplement due to the latter’s convenience of use.

Can Supplements Replace Meals

Can Supplements Be Added To Meals?

The answer is situational. Not all supplements can be added to meals. However, some are rather versatile, especially protein powders. In fact, there is no shortage of protein recipes that use muscle building powder supplements as one of the ingredients. Nonetheless, always check the labels to find out if the product can be used with meals. Typically, it is best to have supplements before or after meals to avoid any issues.

How to Add New Bodybuilding Supplements to the Routine?

If you are already using bodybuilding supplements, adding new ones can throw up a challenge. Nonetheless, a little bit of planning is all you need for adding new products. Always add a single product to your routine at any given point of time. Use the product for a couple of weeks. This will give you enough time to find out how effective it is and, more importantly, if it is negatively affecting you. You can always switch back to your old product or find an alternative if it doesn’t work out. For best results, stay away from poor quality and cheap muscle building supplements.

Which Muscle Building Supplements Package To Start With?

Ultimately, your muscle building supplements package depends on your specific needs. However, most bodybuilders will typically start off with muscle building protein powder supplements. After a few months, once you get the hang of it, you can start thinking about pre-workout and post workout products. You can also begin to consider ingredients like creatine, creatinol, BCAAs and so on in time.

Last Words

There’s a lot of conflicting information on muscle building and cutting supplements out there. We hope that this article has helped to clear up a lot of confusion. Remember that it is always best to consult with a professional certified nutritionist to get the correct information.

When buying, always opt for the high quality muscle building supplements. This way, you can ensure the best possible results without risking your health. At MMUSA, you can find a wide range of scientifically backed premium quality muscle building supplements. Go on and check them out.