If you’re like me and are on the hunt for muscle-building supplements that work, I’m here to help. I’ve actually been researching this very topic recently, so let’s get started!
I’ve been following the body-building community on Instagram for a while now, and I’ve seen some pretty interesting stuff over there. One of my favorite accounts is @dietitianmum, who posts pictures of herself eating healthy meals (and sometimes not) along with her daughter. She also has a fitness account (@iamdietitianmom), which she shares with her followers on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to share some of their advice on muscle building supplements and dieting with you guys. So without further ado, here are 7 muscle-building supplements that work, according to a dietitian.
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- Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular supplements that helps build muscle. It’s an amino acid that your body can’t produce naturally, so it needs to come from food or supplements. The best way to take creatine is through the powder form. You should only use 1 gram per day on top of your normal protein intake.
- Protein Powder
Protein powder is another supplement that most people in the gym will recommend as well. A good quality whey protein powder should contain around 20 grams of protein. It’s important to make sure that you drink plenty of water after taking this because protein is heavy. The more water you drink the better, but if you don’t have time to drink all of your body weight in ounces, then just make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water within the first hour after taking your protein shake.
- Fish Oil
Fish oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids, and these are essential for the growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. Omega 3s also reduce inflammation, which plays a huge role in muscle recovery. A great source for fish oil is salmon. Salmon is full of iron, protein, calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, and omega 3s. If you’re looking for an easy way to add omega 3s into your life, eat two servings of salmon per week.
Glutamine is often found in protein powders and shakes. As we age our bodies begin to lose glutamine stores, so adding glutamine back in may help us restore those stores. There aren’t any studies out yet proving how effective glutamine is, but it does seem to help with muscle recovery.
- BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAA’s are short chain amino acids that help with muscle repair, and they are typically found in protein powders. They are also used by the brain to synthesize proteins, so they’re really beneficial when trying to increase your muscle mass. Try to keep your total protein intake between 0.8g and 1g per pound of bodyweight.
- Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate contains the highest concentration of branched chain amino acids, and it’s the easiest type of whey protein to digest. It takes longer to digest than other types, so it gives you a higher release of amino acids into your bloodstream compared to other forms of whey protein. This can help you build muscle quicker.
- Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Supplement
A multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is a supplement that provides multiple vitamins and minerals for your body. These supplements are usually recommended by doctors and trainers as part of a balanced diet. However, many people think that taking multi-vitamins every day is unnecessary, especially since they already get their daily requirements of vitamins and minerals from food. But if you want to take a supplement, it’s a smart idea to do so.
Here are some things to consider before you pick up a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement:
Do you need it?
Many people believe that multivitamins are completely unnecessary, but if you have a medical condition where you’re deficient in certain nutrients, then it’s a smart choice to take them.
Are you getting enough of these nutrients?
If you’re doing everything right, but still feel tired, weak, and sick, it might just be because you’re missing something. Most likely, it’s because you’re not getting enough of a nutrient. If you’ve never taken a multivitamin before, then start with the lowest dose possible to see if you notice any improvements. If you find that it makes no difference, then try increasing it until you find what works for you.
What about antioxidants and phytochemicals?
Antioxidants are plant compounds that fight free radicals, which cause cell damage. The best sources of antioxidants include fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals are plant compounds that can prevent cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Some examples of phytochemicals are resveratrol, lycopene, curcumin, and sulforaphane.
As you can see, there are lots of different factors to consider when picking out a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement. My recommendation is to always consult with a doctor or a nutritionist before making any major changes to your diet or health regimen.
There are a few ways to make sure that you’re getting the maximum amount of nutrients from your food, including:
- Addressing nutrient deficiencies
- Try to eat more whole foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals
- Taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement
- Drinking plenty of water everyday
- Getting regular exercise
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some tips on how to pick out a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement:
It doesn’t matter how big or small your budget is; you can find a decent multivitamin/mineral supplement online. Just search for “multi-vitamin” or “mineral” in Google and compare prices based on reviews.
Check the ingredients list.
The main thing to look out for is whether or not it contains fillers, additives, or preservatives. Always check the ingredients list and read the label closely. Avoid products that contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats. Also avoid products that contain wheat, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, nuts, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, or gluten.
Consider how much you weigh.
Different brands of multivitamins can vary quite a bit in terms of dosage, so it’s always best to choose the right size for your particular weight.
Choose a product that includes both B Complex Vitamins and Vitamin C.
B Complex vitamins are extremely important for helping your body metabolize nutrients and energy. Vitamin C is necessary for the immune system and helps the body absorb amino acids.
Don’t forget to hydrate.
It’s very important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is key. If you haven’t been drinking enough water lately, then start off slowly. Add one ounce of H20 to each glass of water you drink.
Remember to check with a doctor or a nutritionist before changing anything. And if you’d like to learn more about supplements, I suggest reading the book “Diet For A New America”. It’s written by John Robbins, who is known for his research on animal farming practices and his advocacy of natural medicine. He was also the co-founder of EarthSave International and has done extensive research into environmental issues such as climate change and deforestation.
This information is written only to teach and inform. It is not meant to treat or cure any diseases or illnesses. If you have any questions about a medical condition or your health goals, always see a physician or other trained health expert.