Are you juicing bro? I remember it like it was yesterday. Years back when I was really into lifting, I remember more than one friend asking me if I was “on the sauce”. It’s funny now when I look back but at the time it was the greatest compliment anyone could offer me. The answer was no, I wasn’t using steroids, but I was able to pack on about 40 lbs in less than a year. I did this, however, through tons of food and calories, but also had the help of a few key supplements along the way. While I do think some people put too much faith in some of these dietary supplements, expecting them to be miracle pills or potions, there are a few “weapons” you may want to look into adding into your arsenal. In my opinion, the best supplements for building muscle mass.
Take Your Vitamins!
You’ve more than likely heard it since you were a kid. Don’t forget to take your vitamins! But why? Because they are vital to your health and well-being, that’s why! Vitamins are naturally found in the foods we eat every day. They are essential nutrients which perform a slew of functions inside our bodies and have numerous benefits. The problem is most (if not all) people fail to consume enough of these vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. That is where a good multivitamin comes in. the one I took for many years was GNC’s Mega Man Sport (they also have a womens version called Ultra Mega Active). Taking this supplement every day will help ensure your body is getting adequate levels of these nutrients to function at its highest level and keep you going strong for years to come.
Yes, you’re right in thinking you should get the majority of your protein from whole food sources. But, in those times when you may be in a rush or away from home and do not have a steak on hand, reach for a good of’ protein shake. These are not your old school, sand tasting, concrete consistency protein shakes. They have come a long way over the years and many of them are actually quite tastey. With flavors like cookies n’ cream or strawberry banana to name a couple, there is bound to be a winner with even the pickiest of people. Protein shakes help ensure you are getting enough protein and amino acids to help rebuild and recover between workouts. One of my favorite products is called Up Your Mass by MHP. It contains about 500 calories when mixed with water with 46 grams of protein and a nice carb blend without much sugar. Taste is pretty good in my opinion as well. Even better when mixed with milk – also increases to over 800 when doing this, perfect for people who need help getting enough calories into their diets. Not too expensive on amazon. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Uh, duh. If mass is your goal, then creatine should be a very real staple in your muscle building line up. Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Taking creatine as a supplement is very popular among bodybuilders and athletes alike in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance. There are many different forms of creatine out there, but do a little research and see what works best for you. A good place to start may be Old School Labs Classic Creatine – good clean source without anything extra added to it. Very inexpensive way to start without going crazy spending tons of money on products you are new to.
So Many Choices…
The local stores and websites are packed with literally thousands of different dietary supplements from hundreds of different brands. Some may help, some may not. I worked for many years at local supplement stores and tried dozens of different products over that time. A lot of my money was wasted on products with big claims but no proven results. I’m not telling you to never try any of the new products out there. What I am going to say is to start with the proven building blocks – vitamins, protein, creatine – and from there you can start branching off if you so choose. Remember, muscle is not built overnight, no matter what those fancy bottles say.
It All Starts With the Solid Foundation
Now that you know where to begin your next shopping trip, don’t forget the basics. You can’t build a strong house without the proper foundation. You need to cover the building blocks before you can move on to anything else. Otherwise, it will all come crashing down. My hope is that everyone who reads this and joins our community achieves the results they seek. Do your research, build a solid workout routine, get those calories in, and then worry about the supplements. They are meant to fill in the gaps, not be the sole tool in your toolbox.