Everybody wants a killer, ripped, jacked (and other adjectives that you can think of) body to show off. So you join a gym, eat healthy, work out diligently. You do everything right. But you are just not gaining muscle mass. You are fitter, but you don’t want to be skinny. You want to be muscular. So what do you turn to? That’s right! Supplements to gain weight with muscle mass!
So here are the top 5 supplements to gain weight with muscle.
This must be something that you must have heard on a daily basis at your gym, or must have read numerous times in various fitness articles. I am here to tell you that creatine works!
Our bodies utilize glucose to produce something known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to produce energy. We can’t store this ATP for longer than 10 seconds as it gets broken down immediately.
So, while exercising for some time, our body stores of ATP get depleted and we get tired. But creatine helps in the production of more ATP, resulting in our body’s ability to push through that last set, run longer, lift more. But only for a short period of time. Not long.
It also increases the water content so you don’t get dehydrated, and also increases the level of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), which helps to increase the muscle mass.
Since you get more energy to exercise, you get more benefits too! The more sets and reps you can do, the more visible your end results will be.
On a side note, do not confuse this with creatinine, which is the end product of ATP synthesis and break down.
Creatine makes ATP while creatinine is the waste product of ATP break down. It is excreted through the kidneys.
How to start taking it? Take 5 grams of creatine powder 4 times a day for the first one week. After that, reduce it to 5 grams per day. And remember to drink a litre of water more than your regular intake.
But those with kidney problems might need to watch out as creatine might worsen any pre-existing conditions.
Fish oil is something that is very healthy for our body. It is naturally occurring in fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, etc. and the omega-3 fatty acids are extracted from their flesh and are made into supplements. Being good for your heart, it also helps in gaining muscle.
Fish oil increases the insulin sensitivity of your body, so the muscles can take up more glucose than before, giving you more energy to push yourself, and so more muscle gain in the long run.
Fish oil also reduces inflammation, thereby reducing post-workout muscle fatigue and so it helps you to push forward to do more sets and more reps.
Another way it helps is by increasing the blood flow to the muscles, thereby increasing the number of new muscle fibres being produced and helping the strained muscle fibres to heal faster.
Fish oil also reduces the adipose tissue in your body, making you lose weight faster, and increases the lubrication of your joints.
Glutamine make up roughly 60% of the muscle proteins. After intense exercise sessions, your muscle proteins are being broken down and new muscle fibres are being made/synthesized.
So what can a glutamine supplement do? It can help reduce the rate of the breakdown and increase the rate of the synthesis of the muscle fibres.
Because it helps prevent the breakdown of the muscle fibres, it helps you to lose fat without losing muscle mass. This is a big plus point.
And what happens if the muscle fibres rate of breakdown is decreased? Post-workout fatigue is also reduced by a big margin.
This gives you a boost to workout continuously and not take rest days.
It is also one of the major and most abundant amino acid that is present in our body, and so it is beneficial to take this supplement to help boost the immune system and help in the overall long term health of our bodies.
Weight gainers, or mass gainers, are supplements that are designed to help you gain weight fast. They can be either powders or capsules. But the capsules form do not provide enough calories, so the powder is preferred.
Now, how do they work? They have a high calorie count. One serving is equal to one full meal, and all you have to do is add the required amount of powder into milk and then blend it into a shake. Voila!
You can gain weight by eating donuts all day, but I am pretty sure that you will also have to set aside a hefty fund for the heart surgeries that you will definitely undergo in the future because of the unhealthy food habits now.
Protein powders are usually the go-to food for bodybuilders, but because weight gainers have a decent amount of proteins in them, they also opt for these.
But there are many side effects associated with weight gainers. They cause kidney stones, liver problems, muscle cramps, breathing difficulties, nausea, diarrhoea, increase in the fat percentage (if your calorie intake is not equal to the amount you burn), acne, hair loss, dehydration, heavy metal poisoning and severely low blood pressure.
Testosterone has been proved to boost muscle gain. People who exercise have a higher testosterone level than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Common supplements include vitamin D, DHEA, D-aspartic acid, zinc and ashwagandha are some common supplements that are taken to boost the testosterone levels.
There are other ways to increase your testosterone levels, like avoiding alcohol, smoking, and drugs, eating a balanced diet, losing weight and having a low BMI, reviewing your prescription medicines, and reducing stress. Read our article on 7 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS.
But the new age fad is supplements, so go ahead with them. But keep in mind that there are many side effects like oily skin, acne, high blood pressure, male sexual characteristics in women (deepening of voice, facial hair), hair fall, increased risk of certain cancers like prostate, breast and ovarian.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Now that you know the supplements that you can take to boost your muscle mass gain, also listen to this.
There’s a reason why these are so common everywhere. It is because the FDA, CDSCO and other food and drugs agencies do not have to give approval to these supplements.
They are foodstuffs, and not drugs, so they can be sold by anyone without much testing and research gone into it.
But what you have to understand is that these are potentially harmful. They can aggravate health conditions and cause many other problems that are not fully explored.
The main reason why I am playing the devil’s advocate is that the side effects and the long term effects of these supplements have not been researched fully. Nobody knows what might happen.
So, just please go natural. Yes, you will require some more work, some extra effort and time and money, but it is beneficial to you in the long run. Your old age will thank you for it when you reach it.
But if you stick with the supplements, who knows? You might not get to grow old.
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