Top 6 Supplements to Build Muscle Mass

In the past, supplements to build muscle mass were reserved for body-builders, personal trainers and athletes. Today, muscle mass supplements can be purchased in major grocery stores, allowing anyone to benefit from the advantages of introducing supplements into their mass building workout routine.
Getting started with supplements for building muscle will require a small investment since you will most likely be consuming them daily and some may only be available in small, yet expensive, doses. It is therefore very important to choose the best supplements for building muscle when you are getting started with supplementation to ensure that you increase muscle mass without burning a hole in your wallet. Here we have listed the 6 best supplements to build muscle mass in the order of effectiveness.
Remember that using supplements to build muscle mass without following an efficient muscle building diet and workout regime will not result in quick muscle growth, so be sure to get these 2 crucial components in order first before beginning to supplement your efforts.

1. Whey protein 

ON whey protein

If there is 1 supplement for muscle growth that every muscle building enthusiast must take, Whey Protein is it!  This is without a doubt the best supplement to build muscle mass and is found in every serious athlete’s diet, from pro bodybuilder to long-distance runner.
During the conversion of milk to cheese, whey protein is created as a by-product.  It is then further processed to extract fat and lactose to leave you with what is known as whey protein isolate.  This is the best-known source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) containing 90% pure protein.
Protein is essential for muscle growth and along with being extremely high in BCAA’s, whey protein is digested very quickly by the body and quickly used for the repair and building of muscle fibers.
Whey protein is also essential when learning how to get ripped as daily supplementation with whey protein not only aids muscle growth but also leads to an increase in metabolism and therefore an increase in calorie and fat burn. This muscle building supplement is also known to help with the prevention of inflammationcancer and heart disease providing additional benefits to its use.
Whey protein cannot be found in food and therefore the only way for you to incorporate it into your muscle building diet is through supplementation.  You will find whey protein sold in powder form and is not very expensive compared to other supplements to build muscle mass.  A 3lb container of whey protein powder will cost you anywhere from $45 – $65 depending on the brand.

2. Creatine monohydrate 

bcaa creatine

The second best supplement for building muscle mass after whey protein is creatine monohydrate, often simply referred to as creatine, and is also used widely by muscle building professionals.  Creatine monohydrate is produced naturally by our bodies and is converted to creatine phosphate which is crucial to the creation of adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
Due to this process, there are two major benefits to the use of creatine in muscle building.  The first and most common benefit is its ability to increase your strength allowing you to lift more weight than you could without it. By lifting more weight muscle are placed under greater stress, leading to increased muscle growth.
Also, its second benefit is that it helps your muscles recover faster after an intense weight training session. Generally, after working out your muscles will be fatigued and require rest.  After all, it is during this recovery time that your muscle fibers are repaired and growth occurs.  However, while supplementing with creatine, this muscle recovery period is drastically shortened allowing you to get back in the gym and training sooner.
Creatine can be consumed in powderpill or serum form but most people choose the powder as it is often mixed with simple carbohydrates to allow for quick ingestion into the body.
Unlike whey protein, creatine must be taken in cycles for it to be most effective.  Essentially you begin at a high dose for approximately one week, known as the loading phase.  This saturates your muscles with creatine.  You then drop to a lower dose for about 30 days, supplementing daily after workouts and at bedtime.  You then stop taking creatine for seven days and then repeat the process.
In the past creatine powder use to be fairly expensive but has decreased in price drastically over the last few decades, with 1lb of creatine starting as low as $12.

3. Branched-Chain Amino Acids  


Branch-chained amino acids are made up of the 3 most essential amino acids required for the synthesis of protein and muscle growth. These are leucineisoleucine, and valine and are not produced by the body.
Many amino acids are metabolized in the liver, however, BCAAs are not.  The pass through the liver remaining in your bloodstream and are instead taken up and metabolized in your muscles. This occurs while the BCAA stimulates the secretion of insulin leading to an increase in muscle protein synthesis.
Along with protein synthesis, each of these 3 amino acids also plays their own unique role in building muscle mass. Leucine is essential for preventing the breakdown of muscle tissue and therefore helps maintain muscle mass.  Isoleucine acts as a source of energy for your muscles helping to reduce muscle fatigue as you power through your workouts, as well as allow for quick post-workout recovery. Lastly, Valine also helps your body to produce energy as well as plays a vital role in muscle repair.
Branched Chain Amino Acids are also known for their positive effect on cognitive function, helping to maintain efficient energy and concentration levels.
BCAA’s are most commonly sold in pill form in a 50-25-25 ratio of leucine to isoleucine to valine respectively. Many muscle building supplement manufacturers also sell them as a powder. It is recommended that you take this supplement with your meals, especial your pre and post-workout meals for maximum effectiveness.  The average daily dose of BCAA’s is approximately 5 to 20 grams at a rate of 4 to 8 grams per meal.
If you are interested in incorporating this supplement to build muscle mass a bottle of 180 capsules will cost you about $35 – $60 while a bottle of 428g of BCAA powder will cost approximately $32 – $38.

4. L-Glutamine 


L-Glutamine, often referred to as simply glutamine is one of the many essential amino acids and therefore plays a vital role in the metabolism of protein.  However, you may wonder why would you supplement with glutamine while you already taking BCAA’s?  Well, the true power of glutamine for muscle mass comes from its strong ability to protect your muscle from damage during intense workouts.
As we weight train to get ripped, our body uses up glutamine and other essential amino acids that are stored in our muscles to produce energy.  This process is known as catabolism.  As our glutamine stores are depleted in our muscles this leads to muscle degradation.  By supplementing with glutamine we help slow down the process of catabolism and ultimately reduce muscle tissue breakdown.
Glutamine also as an immune system booster which is very beneficial when weight training to build muscle mass and get ripped.  As you weight train you place your muscles and body under immense stress.  This makes your body more susceptible to illness.  By supplementing with L-glutamine you help reduce your risk of getting sick and causing setbacks in your goal of getting ripped.
Glutamine is most commonly taken in powder or capsule form and the dosage varies. The recommended amount is approximately 5 grams per day but some recommend as high as 15 grams per day.  It is always best to start low and increase the dosage of any supplement to build muscle mass that you choose to take.
You can take your glutamine supplement any time of the day, provided your stomach is empty. This is because glutamine can react with stomach acids so it is advised that you take it before or after meals.
Prices also vary for this supplement so be sure to shop around. For example, you may expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50 per bottle or container.

5. L-Carnitine 

The 5th supplement in the top 6 supplements to build muscle mass is the quaternary ammonium compound L-Carnitine.  Carnitine is found naturally in your body as it is metabolite made by the liver and kidneys. Its main function is to provide your body with energy by turning fat into energy, achieved by aiding in the transportation of fatty acids into the mitochondria of your cells. This essentially provides you with more energy to carry you through your muscle-building workouts while helping you get ripped via fat burn.
Carnitine also acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting your muscle tissue from harmful compounds known as free radicals.  Free radicals destroy the cells of your muscles by attacking them on a molecular (DNA) level.  By supplementing with Carnitine you will not only be burning fat and producing more energy but also protecting your muscle from breakdown by these compounds.
Lastly, Carnitine has anti-lactic acid build-up properties reducing the amount of lactic acid that builds up in your muscles during a workout.  By reducing lactic acid build-up you will not feel as intense of a burning sensation in your muscles, allowing you to complete the final reps of your sets with ease.
When looking to purchase L-Carnitine, you will find it in capsule form and common supplement doses for helping you build muscle mass range from 500mg to 1500mg per day. It is best to take carnitine on an empty stomach just before your work.  This allows the carnitine to be absorbed quickly and ready to offer you the extra energy needed.
Popular brands of L-Carnitine are sold for approximately $40 for 100 500mg capsules.

6. Zinc, Magnesium Aspartate & Vitamin B6 (ZMA)

Another completely natural muscle building supplement, Zinc Magnesium Aspartate aids in fast muscle repair and recovery while you sleep and increases testosterone levels due to its anabolic effects.
ZMA is a combination of three elements; zincmagnesium and vitamin B6.
The first element of zinc is essential for the synthesis of protein and muscle cell growth. Throughout your intense muscle-building workout, you will lose large amounts of zinc through your sweat, resulting in a decreased level of zinc.  This ultimately will cause your hormone levels to decrease resulting in reduced performance.  By supplementing with ZMA you will keep your zinc levels at an optimal level.
The second element in ZMA, magnesium, is crucial for sleep and it is this element helps you sleep better providing your muscles with adequate recovery time.  Many athletes find that this leads to improved endurance while you train. The magnesium found in ZMA is in the form of magnesium aspartate which also your body to absorb it quickly.
The final element found in this supplement to build muscle mass is vitamin B6.  The reason vitamin B6 is added to this complex is to improve the absorption and bioavailability of the zinc and magnesium.
Taken in capsule form, ZMA should be a part of your pre-bedtime routine, taken 30 – 60 minutes before sleep, and you should try to take it on an empty stomach for best results. The recommended daily dose of ZMA is 30 milligrams of zinc, 450 milligrams of magnesium and 10.5 milligrams of vitamin B6.

You can find a 90-day supply for approximately $15.

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