Building muscle can be a long and arduous task after the newbie gains subside.
This article will investigate the 5 BEST muscle building supplements that have robust clinical data and real-world application.
Before we get into the supplements, it’s important to understand the body builds muscle by adapting to increasing load.
This means you must overload your muscles in a way that doesn’t cause too much damage. This means periodically changing the exercises, rest period, number of sets and weight.
Let’s assume you have your training dialled in. What are the best science based supplements that will turn your efforts into a result the quickest?
1. PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT
Protein is the building blocks of muscle tissue. In fact, it’s the amino acids that make up the protein that is the building blocks.
Consuming adequate protein from food and supplements is critical to building muscle. Otherwise, you will do the hard work with little return. However, it’s good to note also, too much protein can slow progress 1.
So, what’s the sweet spot? 1.2 – 2.0g of protein per kilo of bodyweight2. This volume is difficult to get from food alone and often won’t supply amino acids on demand when you need them as food requires more digestion.
The best option is to supplement with a plant-based protein through the day like PROTEIN SWITCH™. This protein has the highest PCDAAS (Protein Corrected Amino Acid Score). This is score given to the protein with the best amino acid profile.
PROTEIN SWITCH™ achieves this incredible profile with a precise combination of sprouted organic plant proteins which makes it as good if not better, than whey.
It has one other advantage… it is slower digesting, so you absorb and use more of the total aminos from the protein.
These qualities make it the best protein supplement to use through the day.
After training the best protein option is AMINO SWITCH™ which contains all 9 essential amino acids at a ratio that is perfect for muscle recovery and growth. 1 serve is equivalent to 30g of WPI. However, it is 5x faster absorbed.
SUMMARY – Use AMINO SWITCH™ after or during training and use PROTEIN SWITCH™ through the day or before training to support maximum muscle growth.
Creatine is a tripeptide protein made up of 3 amino acids. It is made naturally in our body and found in high amounts in red meat. For this reason vegetarians and vegans may be deficient and benefit most from supplementation.
However, supplementing with creatine (even in red meat eaters) has shown to increase lean muscle, strength, power, and speed3.
It elicits most of its benefits by improving the levels of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in the muscle cells.
Creatine can also increase cell hydration which means it makes more space in the muscle and activates muscle protein synthesis (building)4.
Some research also shows creatine can increase IGF-1 which is involved in muscle growth. It can also reduce muscle breakdown during intense training5.
It has an incredible safety profile and 5 – 10g daily will work effectively to boost muscle building. It is important for you to get a quality creatine. Switch Nutrition CREATINE is 200 mesh 99.9% pure HPLC tested creatine. This is gold standard and means it’s the highest quality microfine powder that will absorb and work better than other creatines.
3. BETA ALANINE
Beta Alanine is an amino acid that reduces fatigue and increases muscle performance6.
In your body Beta Alanine binds with L-Histidine to make a dipeptide called Carnosine. This dipeptide buffers lactic acid which helps improve your repeated working rep performance.
One study showed the consumption of 4g of Beta Alanine daily for 8 weeks increased lean muscle mass7. Another study showed adding Beta Alanine for 6 weeks saw a statistically significant gain in lean muscle vs placebo8.
While more research for Beta Alanine is needed, the early research is promising and the benefits in performance are also very rewarding.
Please note, Beta Alanine does give a tingly itchy feeling of the skin for a lot of users, which some people like and others not so much.
Switch Nutrition BETA ALANINE is the highest quality HPLC tested pure Beta Alanine on the market. It is manufactured in the state-of-the-art HACCP & GMP licenced facility.
4. TEST BOOSTER
There are some sketchy ingredients being promoted as testosterone boosters across the internet. Some work but many don’t. That is why its important to find a product like ALPHA SWITCH™ that has all the clinically proven ingredients at effective doses that support testosterone production.
There is no doubt if you optimise your testosterone, you are certainly going to build muscle faster and increase performance.
- Vitamin D - supplementation of Vitamin D daily was able to normalise serum Vitamin D (increase above 50nmol/L) and noted improvements in testosterone 25.2%, bioactive testosterone 19%, and free testosterone 20.2% in men that were at the low-end of normal.
- Boron - there is nothing boring about Boron. In fact, a recent study gave healthy young males (18 -29 yrs) 10mg of boron for 7 days. At the end of this short study their testosterone levels increased by a whopping 28.3%.
- Fenugreek - a 12-week study in 50 men consuming concentrated fenugreek experienced significant improvements in testosterone levels by up to 46% in an impressive 90% of the participants. What’s more, the fenugreek supplement group experienced improvements in mood, energy, libido, and sperm count.
- Spilanthes - a recent 2015 study showed an increase in sexual desire, ejaculation rate and sexual consistency. Plus, Spilanthes is a potent nitric oxide booster so it will increase the pump and muscle growth.
- Ashwagandha - in one study using the same extract ratio found in ALPHA SWITCH™ the supplemental group saw a reduction of cortisol by 32% and a 15.3% increase in testosterone.
- Shilajit - in a well-designed 2010 study using 200mg of shilajit 35 male subjects saw an average increase of serum testosterone by 29.0%. In another more recent study researchers gave shilajit to healthy men aged 45 – 55 and saw an increase in Free Testosterone of 19.1% and DHEA 31.3%.
- Magnesium – in one study in Tae Kwon Do athletes showed an increase of free testosterone by 26% at rest and 18% after a shuttle run test when using magnesium citrate as found in ALPHA SWITCH™ and ADRENAL SWITCH™.
- Zinc - one study found that young men who avoided zinc in their diet for 5 months saw an average drop of testosterone by 50%. Conversely, researchers gave older men who had low testosterone extra zinc and saw 100% increase in testosterone. Let that sink in for just a moment!
These are the key ingredients we know work to support testosterone and therefore muscle gain.
5. EAA’s (BCAA’s)
EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids) contain the 9 amino acids our body can’t make. This includes 3 BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids). However, having the 3 BCAA’s alone is like having a 9-piece muscle building puzzle you only have 3 pieces to complete it.
Therefore, AMINO SWITCH™ is formulated with the (MPR) MUSCLE PERFECT RATIO of EAA’s needed to build muscle and accelerate recovery.
EAA’s outperform BCAA’s by no less than 50% and are absorbed by the body 500% faster than the essential aminos found in Whey Protein Isolate9.
In addition to this, AMINO SWITCH™ has added electrolytes for cell hydration which we know leads to greater recovery and muscle growth.
Plus, it contains Schisandra which is an adaptogen that reduces cortisol which is responsible for breaking down muscle. Schisandra also increases Nitric Oxide (Pump) and improves your bodies response to training and stimulants.
Did I mention AMINO SWITCH™ comes in 5 delicious award-winning flavours that are simple thirst quenching.
- If you stick to the 5 supplements mentioned above, you will no doubt be well on your way to maximising your muscle gain and exercise recovery.
- PROTEIN SWITCH™ – Amazing tasting sustained-release high quality protein you consume during the day.
- Switch Nutrition CREATINE – Highest quality micronised Creatine Monohydrate you consume 5 – 10g daily for 8 weeks.
- SWITCH BETA ALANINE – Highest quality lab tested Beta Alanine you consume 4 – 6g daily for at least 30 days. Longer use seems to get greater results.
- ALPHA SWITCH™ – A test booster with clinically researched ingredients and levels that will get the best result. 2 caps morning and 2 caps evening with food.
- AMINO SWITCH™ – Muscle Perfect Essential Amino Acid blend that outperforms BCAA’s alone and tastes incredible. Use 1 serve during and 1 serve after training. This can replace a BCAA (during exercise) and a WPI (after exercise).
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training, or nutritional strategy. Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods must not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone consuming prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by a qualified health care provider.