When choosing sports supplements, all kinds of confusion are usually generated.
Following the recommendations of friends or gym partners often results in not gaining muscle mass but rather a loss of money.
To remove all doubts, this article compares the effects of the best sports supplements in increasing muscle mass.
What are sports supplements?
Sports supplements are pills, powders, or liquids used to increase muscle mass, lose weight, or improve endurance.
They are usually made in a laboratory, and some are capable of improving results and providing nutrients necessary to gain muscle mass.
However, as the word sports supplements indicate, they should be viewed as a supplement, not as the basis of feeding.
Some sports supplements may be better for building muscle mass and others for toning muscles.
Sports supplements – Effects and differences in gaining muscle mass
Choosing a good sports supplement can be difficult; prices and compositions are very varied. Also, the technology by which sports supplements are obtained can vary. It is always recommended to evaluate the nutritional value of each one and to compare the labels before buying. Here are the best supplements to increase muscle mass:
- Creatine monohydrate
There is a tendency to believe that the contraindications and side effects of Creatine are serious. However, today’s research has made it clear that taking Creatine cyclically is safe for your health. (2,3,4)
Creatine is one of the best supplements to increase muscle mass because it can optimize the processes of obtaining muscle ATP. Taking 2 to 3 g of Creatine is enough to see changes in performance in the gym. Ultimately, Creatine is capable of increasing the volume and strength of muscles.
Best Creatine Monohydrate Brands:
- Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
- MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine
- Dymatize Micronized Creatine
- Whey protein
Whey protein is one of the best supplements for increasing muscle mass. In particular, it is useful when you cannot cover the recommended amount of protein per day through food. Before buying, make sure that it does not contain high content of poor quality ingredients such as sugar, sweeteners, and soy.
It is essential to know that the maximum protein absorption limit is 10 g per hour. (1) The equivalent of one serving of protein supplements every 3 hours. An excess of this type of sports supplement will not lead to any extra benefit in increasing muscle mass.
Best Whey Protein Brands
- Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein
- BSN Syntha-6
- Dymatize ISO-100
- Gainers or mass gainers
The gainers or mass gainers are sports supplements based on carbohydrates and proteins. These are ideal for an ectomorph to gain muscle mass. To train, the body needs an extra 100 g of carbohydrates per day; gainers are one way to provide this source of energy.
Mass Gainers are generally made up of maltodextrin and whey proteins. When the goal is to increase muscle volume, these are one of the best options. If the goal is to burn fat, they are not the most suitable sports supplements.
Best Gainer Brands:
- MuscleTech Mass-Tech
- Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer
- Universal Nutrition Real Gains
- Branched amino acids bcaa
The BCAA amino acids are a sports supplement composed of amino acids lysine, arginine, and valine. These amino acids are the first to be released from your muscles when you start training.
Although the results in increasing muscle mass are good, they are more expensive, so they tend to take in lower doses. Studies have confirmed that taking 44 g of amino acids per day, the results are excellent. However, this would be economically unfeasible. So they are usually taken in combination.
- Pre-workout supplements
The pre-workout supplements (or pre-workout) are a type of sports supplement taken before training. They serve to increase athletic performance, usually by stimulating the nervous system.
Most of these supplements are high in caffeine, vitamin C, and essential amino acids. Pre-training is considered one of the best sports supplements to increase muscle mass not because of its nutritional effects but because of its impact on increasing physical activity.
High concentrations of caffeine will lead to an increase in the intensity of your workouts. It is essential to know that this type of sports supplement should be used in moderation; its excess can cause psychological disorders. The most frequent are nervousness and insomnia.
How do you combine sports supplements to increase muscles?
A beginner should start by combining a carbohydrate source with a protein source. This is the basis for improved results in increasing muscle mass through exercise. Taking BCAAs (amino acids), pre-workout supplements or fat burners is not a good idea to start with.
If you are looking to economize, you can combine maltodextrin with creatine and a protein and carbohydrate food source. The maca is one of the best natural energy supplements. Taking 5g of maca before training with a protein source is an excellent performance-enhancing combination.
The best combinations of sports supplements to increase muscle are:
- Mass Gainers + Creatine
- Whey protein + 1 fruit
- 5 g of maca + whey protein + Creatine
- Creatine + bcaa + maltodextrin
- Pre-workout + whey protein + creatine
How to choose the best proteins?
To buy good quality sports protein supplements, the ideal is:
Read the ingredient listen isolate high in additives, flavorings, sugar substitutes, and thickeners are often poor quality. Saving on the purchase can lead to stomach problems.
- Check the carbohydrate, protein, and fat content.
Whey protein can vary substantially in carbohydrate, protein, and fat content depending on the price. The most expensive shakes are usually higher in protein and the cheapest in carbohydrates or fat.
- Hydrolyzed or laboratory isolates
Laboratory hydrolyzed isolates are usually the best to control their production. This is important to avoid the consumption of possible impurities in the cheapest shakes.
- The higher price is not always equal to the quality.
Some brands can be more expensive, with glossy packaging, and promise magical results. However, everything has a limit. The most important thing is that it has been purified and elaborated under strict controls. Ask your supplier to test a portion to distinguish between marketing strategies and quality.
When the goal is to increase muscle mass, the best sports supplements are Creatine, whey protein, and gainers. Bcaa amino acids and workout supplements can also be used in combination. The latter can also be used to tone and dry the body. To choose the best accessories, read the nutritional value and, compare their price, make sure they are not high in impurities and are from a registered laboratory.