Essential Supplements for Muscle Mass. Most supplement claims are no better then the words of a snake oil salesman…
–“Supplement X is proven to pack on 500% more muscle mass then its competitors!”
–“Just take one pill of Supplement Y pre and post-workout, and you will gain up to 25 pounds of rock hard muscle in 40 days!”
–“Stack Supplement A and Supplement B over 16 weeks, and experiencing the most incredible results! Bottle on sale now, only $89.99 each!”
Most popular bodybuilding magazines are filled with false claims like these. These claims only serve to muddy the supplement water; to make it more difficult for Average Joe and Jane to know what to spend their hard-earned money on.
The truth. Here’s the truth. Supplements are…well…supplements. Supplements can only assist a lifter when he is already eating, training and sleeping properly. Supplements are not magic, nor do they induce gains on their own. They are like the grease that helps lubricate a machine. Supplements assist your body in running at maximum potential.
They are not super pills, and none of them yield steroid-like results. Any supplement that claims it can pack on muscle mass in short periods of time is lying. The one exception is creatine (which helps with strength and some mass), but we’ll cross that bridge later.
So without further ado, I present to you…
The essentials. I am not telling you to run out the door and purchase all of these products. What I am telling you is this…if you have some extra cash, and want to supplement your training and diet, start with these products first.
- Creatine. Creatine is a natural substance found in the body. Supplementing your body with additional creatine generally produces more energetic workouts, better workout pumps, strength gains, and an increase in muscle cell volumnization…which equals muscle mass gain. Creatine is a must-try supplement. Some of the top selling creatine products are BSN Cellmass and Xyience NOX-CG3.
- Multivitamin and Mineral. This sounds like an obvious choice, but the amount of lifters who ignore a multivitamin and mineral supplement is staggering. For the body to run as it’s intended, a vast array of nutrients are required. Without these essential nutrients, you weaken the effects of your diet and training. Some of the top selling multivitamins are Universal Nutrition’s Animal Pak and Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men.
- BCAAs – Branch chain amino acids. BCAA is a term that refers to three essential amino acids…leucine, isoleucine and valine. These essential amino acids are extremely important to lifters, as they are metabolized in muscle, and not in the liver. Leucine, isoleucine and valine are used to build new muscle, or are burned to create energy. Some of the best selling BCAA products are Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Why Protein Gold Standard and SciVation Xtend.
Non-essentials. I know what you’re thinking…”that’s it?” Only three essential supplements? Yes. But if you have money to burn, there are also some quality non-essential supplements that are worthy of your cash.
- Fish Oil. Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked to lower incidences of heart disease. Fish oil supplements may also help fight or prevent breast and colon cancer. A good fish oil supplement is Optimum Nutrition’s Fish Oil.
- Glutamine. Glutamine is a very versatile supplement, and assists the body in numerous ways. It helps protect the immune system, promotes protein synthesis, promotes the formation of glycogen, elevates growth hormone levels, and appears to help prevent muscle loss. A quality glutamine supplement is AST GL3 L-Glutamine.