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  • The Best Scientifically-Supported Mass Building Supplements

    When it comes to building a strong, powerful, and lean physique, the first step should always be building an appreciable amount of muscle.

    Having more muscle mass obviously makes you look stronger, but it also does so much more than that. Muscle is highly metabolic tissue meaning that it uses a lot of energy every single day to sustain its physiological processes.

    This means that having more muscle can actually make the fat loss process easier.

    Moreover, you know that “defined” look that people are always trying to achieve? Well, that comes from having a good amount of muscle and a relatively small amount of fat -- which means it simply cannot be achieved without a little mass building.

    The kicker?

    Gaining muscle can be a little easier said than done. It takes a lot of hard training, in conjunction with adequate protein and a solid diet to see any results -- and even then, things can be slow going.

    Which is why we wanted to outline some of the best scientifically supported mass building supplements on the market at the moment.

    Scientifically-supported mass building supplements

    There are a number of different mass building supplements that actually have quite a bit of evidence to support their use -- and these are the ones that we want to highlight today.

    While these compounds will definitely not do all the work for you, they can absolutely give you a little a boost.

    The caveat is that for these supplements to demonstrate their effectiveness, you still need to be doing the right things. This means training hard on the regular, implementing progressive overload on a weekly basis, and eating enough to fuel your body.

    In this manner you can think of these supplements as the cherry on top -- the final piece of the muscle building puzzle, if you will.

    So, without further ado, the best mass building supplements on the planet.

    1.   Creatine

    Creatine is a compound made by your body and stored in your muscle tissue. With this in mind, it is actually broken down and used for energy during intense or explosive exercise -- like lifting weights, for example…

    Taking creatine increases the amount of creatine stored in your muscle. This provides an extra ‘reserve’ of energy that you can draw on during exercise.

    This improves your gym performance in a couple of different ways.

    Firstly, it causes an immediate increase in strength, meaning you can load a little bit extra on the bar. Secondly, it can increase the number of repetitions you can do per set.

    For example, without creatine you might be able to bench press 80kg for 8 repetitions. But with creatine, you might be able to bench press the same weight for 10 repetitions, or even 85kg for 8 repetitions.

    Both of which would cause an increase in the amount of total volume you perform each training session, which can lead to greater improvements in muscle size over the duration of a long term block of training [1].

    2.   Protein Powder

    Protein is made up of “amino acids”, which are often referred to as the building blocks of the human body. The reason being is that they are used to create every single one of your cells -- including your muscle cells.

    Every time you lift weights, you place your body under stress. This stress tells your body to adapt, causing your muscle tissue to grow bigger and stronger. However, if you are not consuming enough protein, this growth cannot occur, and you leave a heap of gains on the table.

    With this in mind, protein powders increase your daily protein intake and contribute in a meaningful way to muscle growth.

    In fact, there is a large body of research demonstrating that undertaking a weight training program with the addition of a protein supplement will lead to much greater increases in muscle size than performing that same program without a protein supplement [2].

    And regarding type, it doesn't seem to matter -- you can go with whey, pea, soy, or even rice -- just make sure you get it in.

    3.   Carb Powders

    Next up we have carb powders.

    These types of supplements are generally made from simple sugar molecules that are easily digested. As such, their consumption causes a quick increase in blood sugar, which in turn, causes an increase in insulin secretion.

    Because insulin helps shuttle glucose and protein into your muscle cells, this can have a profound impact on muscle growth.

    In fact, simply consuming a simple carbohydrate powder after training has been shown to cause a notable increase in muscle protein synthesis, without the consumption of any extra protein [3].

    As a bonus, carbohydrate powders have been shown to become even more effective when combined with a fast digesting protein powder like whey -- making them both a great option in your post workout shake [4].

    Some great carbohydrate powders include dextrose, maltodextrin, sweet potato powder, rice powder, and waxy maize powder.

    4.   MCT oil powder

    MCT Oil powder is a supplement that is composed entirely of highly concentrated medium-chain triglycerides -- which are a specific type of fat metabolized for energy in your body.

    While MCT oil powder is not often considered in most mass gaining supplement regimes, we would argue that they should.

    Firstly, MCTs are used for energy by the body after consumption. This means that by taking an MCT oil based supplement your body will use that for energy while “saving” the carbohydrates and protein for recovery and muscle growth.

    Secondly, there is some evidence to suggest that MCT oil supplements can improve exercise performance [5]. This means that it can help you get more out of your workout, this increasing muscle growth.

    5.   Beta-Alanine

    Last but not least, we have beta-alanine.

    Beta-alanine is most well known for its application as a primary ingredient in pre-workout supplements, where it can often cause a slight tingling sensation in the skin of your face and hands.

    However, it should be better known for its capacity to increase muscle growth.

    Beta-alanine is another specific amino acid that is found naturally occurring in your muscle tissue. During exercise, beta-alanine combines with another specific compound called “histidine” to form something called “carnosine”.

    So, how is this relevant to you?

    Well, carnosine plays an important role in energy production, where it reduces the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscle tissue during exercise. This prevents the buildup of fatigue during exercise, which improves your exercise performance.

    Now, under “normal” circumstances, the volume of beta-alanine stored in your muscle tissue is much smaller than the amount of stored histidine. This quickly puts a ceiling in your capacity to produce carnosine, making you more susceptible to the fatigue related effects of lactic acid.

    With this in mind, the supplementation of beta-alanine increases your body's carnosine production, improving your fatigue resistance.

    In a very similar manner to creatine, beta-alanine supplements increase the number of reps you can perform per set, leading to an increase in training volume, which contributes to long term improvements in muscle growth [6, 7].

    As a bonus, while they do somewhat similar things, beta-alanine and creatine work via two completely different pathways. This means that their supplementation becomes complimentary with respect to gym performance and muscle growth.

    Summary

    If your goal is to put on some serious size, then you need to make sure your training and diet is on point. However, once you have got those covered, there is no reason you shouldn't look to supplements for a little boost.

    And the five great options listed in this article should be your first point of call.

     

    References

    1. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):33. Published 2012 Jul 20. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33
    2. Morton, Robert W., et al. "A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults." British journal of sports medicine 52.6 (2018): 376-384.
    3. Roy, B. D., et al. "Effect of glucose supplement timing on protein metabolism after resistance training." Journal of applied physiology (1997).
    4. Tang, Jason E., et al. "Minimal whey protein with carbohydrate stimulates muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise in trained young men." Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism 32.6 (2007): 1132-1138.
    5. Gomes, Rodrigo Vitasovic, and Marcelo Saldanha Aoki. "Does medium chain triglyceride play an ergogenic role in endurance exercise performance?." Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte 9.3 (2003): 162-168.
    6. Hobson, R. M., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R. C., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino acids, 43(1), 25-37.
    7. Kern, B. D., & Robinson, T. L. (2011). Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(7), 1804-1815.
  • More Muscle, More Strength: Why You Must Use HMB

    Walk through any supplement store and you'll be swarmed by brightly coloured labels claiming to contain the most potent muscle builders known to man. The problem is that most of these claims are just hyped up advertising. Leave it to science to weed out the true muscle builders from the colourful powder that doesn't do much.

     

    One ingredient that has been getting a lot of attention in the fitness community is beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, more commonly known as HMB. Let's take a look at what HMB is and how it may the key to unlocking your muscle building potential.

     

    What is HMB?

    Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate is a metabolite of the essential amino acid, Leucine. This means that once Leucine is ingested and broken down, HMB is the end result.

     

    HMB has received a lot of attention recently due to its implications for lean muscle tissue. Originally utilized as a way to prevent muscle catabolism for people with degenerative diseases such as AIDS, HMB has now become a serious muscle building supplement contender in the fitness industry.

     

    The Benefits of HMB

    Protects Muscle

    • The benefit that first shined the spotlight on HMB is its ability to help protect lean muscle tissue. Studies have demonstrated that HMB is able to decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means it breaks down protein and muscle tissue when left unchecked. What's more, HMB may be able to boost protein synthesis, which helps in the development of lean muscle tissue. (1-3)

     

    Build More Muscle

    • Continuing with this idea of muscle building, HMB may be one of the best legal and proven supplements to support muscle building. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue. HMB comes from the amino acid Leucine, which has been the subject of a number of studies citing it as an effective ingredient for muscle building. HMB not only blocks catabolic breakdown of muscle tissue but it also promotes protein synthesis. As mentioned above, protein synthesis plays an important role in muscle development. Several studies have concluded that subjects supplementing with HMB saw greater muscle development than their placebo-focused peers. (1-3)

     

    More Strength

    • A study published in European Journal of Applied Physiology tested subjects on the bench press, squat, deadlift, and vertical jump. Subjects were provided with HMB supplementation 12 weeks in combination with a well-designed training program. Subjects saw a significant increase in total body strength and power across the board. (1-3)

     

    How Much HMB Should I Take?

    While there is no scientifically confirmed dosage, the industry standard seems to be 3 grams per day. Medical websites such as WebMD recommend 3 grams per day for 8 weeks then cycling off the supplement for 3 to 4 weeks.

     

    Conclusion

    Ready to support your muscle building goals?

    Want a pharmaceutical grade HMB?

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    Click here to check out the Amino Z Supplement Builder and create your very own supplement today!

     

    References

    1. Slater GJ, Jenkins D. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and the promotion of muscle growth and strength. Sports Med. 2000 Aug;30(2):105-16.
    1. Wilson, Gabriel J, Jacob M Wilson, and Anssi H Manninen. 'Effects of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB) on Exercise Performance and Body Composition across Varying Levels of Age, Sex, and Training Experience: A Review.' Nutrition & Metabolism 5 (2008): 1. PMC. Web. 2 Aug. 2017.
    1. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Jun;114(6):1217-27. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2854-5. Epub 2014 Mar 6.
  • Forskolin: Benefits for Muscle Gain & Fat Loss

    Unless you're a professional athlete trying to smash specific personal records, there's a good chance that your fitness goals are going to involve losing body fat and building solid, lean muscle tissue. Aside from the required training program and diet, the right supplement can make all the difference in your results. With all of the false promises on supplements, is there one that can help to boost fat loss and enhance muscle mass? The answer is Forskolin. Let's take a look at the scientifically proven benefits of this herbal wonder.

     

    What is Forskolin?

     

    This herbal remedy is more commonly known as Coleus Forskohlii. Despite recent scientific studies proving how useful it can be, Forskolin was used as a medicinal tool thousands of years ago. Jumping into the present age, Forskolin was being used as a way to naturally treat asthma and now it's a king in the supplement industry.

     

    The reason for the attention towards this ancient remedy has everything to do with its effect on your hormone levels. It's been shown to promote a positive response in your thyroid as well as testosterone levels. From this, you'll see a number of benefits.

     

    Blast Body Fat

     

    Thanks to the increased levels of Cyclic AMP from Forskolin supplementation, you'll see lipases also increase in your body. The effect that has on your body fat is very important. Studies show that when there is a higher level of lipases in the body, the more triglycerides are eliminated. Triglycerides are used to store fat. As you'd imagine, the less triglycerides, the less body fat comes as a result. Studies show that Forskolin is a very effective means to naturally support weight loss. (1)

     

    Boost Levels of Testosterone

     

    As mentioned above, Forskolin supplementation boosts levels of Cyclic AMP. As it turns out, Cyclic AMP will mimic the benefits of a luteinizing hormone, resulting in increased production of total testosterone. The primary human-based study showed that subjects saw up to a 33% increase in testosterone levels when compared to the placebo group. It's important to note that the study involved obese men and not athletically trained men. Given these conditions, it may be best to err on the side of caution and say that Forskolin can potentially boost your testosterone levels. (2)

     

    Supports Muscle Building

     

    Given that Forskolin is a potential testosterone booster, it will also be a useful tool to support muscle mass. Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the body that promotes the building and protecting of lean muscle tissue. So if Forskolin does boost your t-levels, your muscles benefit as a result.

     

    Just as important, Forskolin was shown to promote protein synthesis, a process that is at the heart of muscular repair, maintenance and growth. (2-3)

     

    Conclusion

     

    If you're trying to naturally support your goals of fat burning and muscle building, one supplement that has received plenty of positive attention is Forskolin. Taken as a part of a well regimented training and nutrition program, it may support fat loss, testosterone production, and muscle building.

     

    To maximize your benefits, it's best to take Forskolin in conjunction with other proven ingredients. Using a thermogenic blend such as with  Muscletech's Hydroxycut is an ideal and convenient way to get the compounds you need for results. Ready to give it a try? Buy Muscletech Hydroxycut!

     

    REFERENCES

     

    1. Asano Tsuguyoshi (2001). Clinical report on root extract of perilla plant (Coleus forskohlii) ForsLean® in reducing body fat. Asano Institute. Tokyo , Japan.

     

    1. Godard MP, Johnson BA, Richmond SR. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.

     

    1. Leamon, KB; Padgett, W; Daly, JW. 'Forskolin: Unique diterpene activator of adenylate cyclase in membrane and intact cells' Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 1981,78, 3363-67.
  • Designing A Beginners Muscle Building Program

    When first designing a beginners muscle building program it can be a little confusing on what to do, as there is so much misleading information from magazines, internet, people, the list goes on. What l would like to do is give my advice on a basic template you can follow when designing your own muscle building program. I will go through how to plan which muscles you will train on particular days, what exercises l believe are the most effective and rest time between workouts.
  • 7 Muscle Building Tips

    Let’s get straight to the point – you want to build muscle! So here are seven important and practical tips to developing muscle size and strength.
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