Once in a sports nutrition store, it is easy to get lost in so many supplements. Today, there are a wide variety of products and brands that are sold to gain muscle mass.
Protein Isolate, ZMA Supplements, Microcrystalline Creatine with Transport System, Mass Gainers, Casein, Bcaa Amino Acids and the list goes on and on. Actually, only a few sports supplements that are really useful.
This article reviews the best sports nutrition supplements and brands for both bulking and muscle mass, and for toning.
Related: Nutrition to gain muscle mass
Sports nutrition to gain volume in the muscles
Below is the classification of sports nutrition, ordered by level of effectiveness, from the most important to the additional supplements to gain volume in the muscles.
1. Protein supplements
Proteins are the classic sports supplement for muscle growth. Protein is one of the most important elements for increasing muscle volume.
Although they are not proteins, they are not the only types of sports supplements, it can be said that they are the most classic to gain muscle mass.
Protein sports nutrition supplements have a high absorption rate. So the advantage of whey protein over food is that it can be absorbed in just a few minutes.
Studies suggest that athletes need at least 1.5-2.5 g of protein per kg of body weight per day. This is the equivalent of about 120 grams for a 70-pound man. (1,2)
One measuring spoon contains up to 20-25 g of protein and is equivalent to a steak.
- Proteins – Importance, benefits and amount per day
- How many protein shakes to drink per day?
- How long does a protein shake last after preparation?
2. Creatine monohydrate
Creatine is a substance contained in meat. In supplement form, it works by optimizing energy during strength training.
In addition, creatine helps to increase body weight, since the supplement causes fluid retention in the muscles (they become more voluminous).
There is a tendency to believe that taking creatine is dangerous for health. However, today studies have made it clear that taking creatine cyclically is safe. (2,3,4)
Creatine is one of the best supplements to increase muscle mass because it is capable of optimizing the processes of obtaining muscle ATP.
Taking 2 to 3 g of creatine per day for 2 months is enough to be able to see changes in performance in the gym. Ultimately, creatine is capable of increasing the volume and strength of muscles.
Gainers or mass gainers are a mixture of fast-digesting carbohydrates and proteins. They serve as a sports supplement to increase muscle volume.
Since the body requires 100-150g of glycogen for each gym workout, providing carbohydrates is a good way to ensure energy during workouts.
However, an excess of giners can lead to an increase not only in muscle mass, but also in fat.
4. BCAA amino acids
BCAA amino acids are the most effective sports nutrition supplement to prevent muscle breakdown.
BCAAs are the three amino acids that begin to be released from the muscles when there is little energy in your body.
Taking amino acids serves as a supplement to sports nutrition in toning or definition processes
// Read more:
- Bcaa or branched amino acids – What are they and what are they for?
- How to tone the body? – Nutrition and exercises
- Protein Bars – Are They Good?
The world’s largest sports food brands are Optimum Nutrition and BSN, owned by the Irish company Glanbia. Cellucor, Dymatize and Universal Nutrition are popular in the US market, and MyProtein in the European market.
Although all brands can have their pros and cons, when buying sports supplements make sure they have a quality certificate and are made in a laboratory.
By buying cheap and poor quality supplements you run the risk of taking not only proteins and nutrients but impurities that can affect the health of your stomach.
Sports supplements to tone
Here are some toning and complementary supplements that can also help you improve results in the gym.
- Pre-workout or pre-workout supplements . The main ingredients in this sports supplement are caffeine and nitric oxide. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and nitric oxide activates blood flow in the muscles, which not only makes them visually larger, but also optimizes the delivery of nutrients after exercise.
- Omega-3 capsules . Eating bad blue fish (salmon, tuna) or taking omega-3 capsules is essential to reduce micro-inflammation in muscle tissue.
- Multivitamins – If you exercise too frequently, you are likely to lose more vitamins and minerals. These supplements can help you get back to normal values.
- Melatonin – Good sleep is not only the key to successful strength training the next day, but also the body’s primary assistant in muscle recovery processes. Taking melatonin can help you fall asleep faster.
- Supplements with zinc and magnesium – ZMA . This supplement contains zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. In case of a lack of these elements in the diet, taking ZMA in tablets can increase testosterone levels . However, the evidence base for this type of sports nutrition is quite weak, which is why it closes our rating list of supplements for gaining muscle mass.
Sports nutrition – How to choose to choose the best supplements?
To buy good quality protein sports nutrition supplements you should:
1. Read the ingredient list
A sports nutrition supplement that is high in additives, flavorings, sugar substitutes , and thickeners is often of poor quality. Saving on the purchase can lead to stomach problems.
2. Check the carbohydrate, protein and fat content
Depending on the price and brands, the carbohydrate, protein and fat content can vary substantially. For example, in the case of proteins, the most expensive shakes are usually richer in protein and the cheapest in carbohydrates or fats.
Laboratory sports nutrition supplements are usually the best in terms of controlling their production. This is important to avoid the consumption of possible contaminants or residues that the cheaper brands may have.
Some brands can be more expensive, with glossy packaging, and promise magical results. However, many times this does not translate into the quality of the product. One of the most important things when choosing sports nutrition supplements is that their purity is high (close to 99%).
The best sports nutrition products for gaining muscle are protein, creatine, and gainers. In fact, these three supplements are enough for a gym novice to build muscle mass.
Pre-workout supplements, BCAA amino acids, and Omega-3 capsules serve as a supplement to help you tone your body.