Are you spending time at the gym but not getting the results you want? Learn how to bulk up with this guide to the best supplements for building muscle.
Getting big can be difficult. Are you lifting weights regularly, but not seeing the results you want? If you’re wondering how to pack on muscle mass, there are a number of supplements that can help you get bigger faster.
Read on for our definitive guide on how to bulk up fast.
How to Bulk up
Before we get started with the best supplements for muscle building, let’s have a quick word on food. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to build muscle is their diet. If you want to get big you need to eat big.
In order to grow, you need to be eating more calories than you’re expending. A simple way to work out how many calories you need is to multiply your weight in pounds by 16. So, let’s say you weigh 180lbs… You need to eat 2,880 calories a day, but that’s just to maintain your weight. If you want to grow (which you do), then you need to add an additional 20% (576 calories).
If you’re not eating enough then there’s no fuel for growth, and if you’re training like someone who wants to grow, then eventually you’re going to get ill or injured. Training and eating are the most important steps to getting big. After that comes supplements.
Essential Supplements for Building Muscle
You’re eating enough, you’re following a bodybuilding program for gaining mass. You’re all set to climb Mount Olympus, and then along comes the aches and pains associated with training like an animal every day. Let’s take a closer look at the supplements that will help you get big and keep going.
Trying to work out how much protein you need to consume daily can be tricky. Different sources give different amounts. We recommend using this protein calculator and using the upper limit of the CDC’s recommendation, which is about 30% of your daily caloric intake.
Just to confuse matters even further, not all protein powders are made equal. As a word of advice, try to avoid mass gainers. Most of them use maltodextrin to boost calories. Which means You’ll be consuming a huge amount of sugar, and inevitably be growing more fatter than firmer.
Whey concentrates and isolates are your best choice. Isolates can be absorbed quicker by the body, but they cost more than whey concentrates, so it depends on your budget. As long as you’re getting 20-28 grams of protein per serving, you’re good to go.
You can also try using Casein protein at night. Casein is a slow-release protein, so it’s great for supporting muscle synthesis whilst you’re sleeping.
Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) are definitely worth having on the shelf next to your favorite protein powder. They are broken down by the body much easier than protein so you can use them closer to training, or even during training.
Consuming EAAs before or during training can help prevent muscle breakdown, helping you train for longer. Unlike protein, they don’t offer anything in the way of calories, so if you’re looking to get big make sure you use them in addition to protein.
Creatine is a must-have for anyone looking to pack on muscle mass. Creatine is naturally stored in the body as phosphocreatine and is sourced from red meat and fish.
As well as how much meat you eat, age, and quality of sleep can also affect your body’s stores of phosphocreatine, making supplementation a popular choice. Taking 5g of creatine a day can help to increase strength, lean muscle mass, and endurance.
If you’re no stranger to a gym then ‘SARMs’ is probably a familiar term to you. The most commonly available being Ostarine, Ligandrol, Testolone, and Andarine. They sound a bit like anabolic steroids right?
Well, that’s because they’re a bit like anabolic steroids.
SARMs work in much the same way as steroids, but they are said to be ‘tissue-selective’ and only target the muscles. They essentially offer the muscle-building benefits of steroids without the long list of hormonal side-effects.
SARMS are legal to buy, but they’re not approved by the FDA for human use. This creates a bit of a minefield should you decide that SARMs are the way forward for you. How do you know what you’re actually getting?
SARMs, like steroids, is a shortcut to getting big, and as with any shortcut, there are risks. If you’re going to try SARMs then do your research and find the best place to buy SARMs first.
In order to build muscle, you need to sleep. 6 hours a night or less just isn’t going to cut it if you’re trying to get big. Eight hours of good, deep sleep is a bodybuilder’s best friend. However, good quality sleep doesn’t come so easily for all of us.
ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Bodybuilders tend to take it on an empty stomach, 30-60 minutes before going to sleep as it is said to improve sleep quality.
Citrulline will not necessarily make you bigger, but it will help you put in the hard work to get bigger. More citrulline in the body means more arginine, and more arginine means increased NO production. In layman’s terms, it increases blood flow to the muscles allowing them to last longer in the gym.
If you’ve ever taken pre-workout and felt that itchy, pins-and-needles sensation all over your skin, then that’s our good friend beta-alanine. Similar to citrulline, it won’t make you bigger, but it will help you to put in the hard work to get bigger.
Beta-Alanine is a precursor to carnosine, which increases muscle function and performance. The more you use your muscles the more you deplete your carnosine stores. By supplementing beta-alanine, the bigger your carnosine stores.
Last but by no means least is glutamine. Although its one of the essential amino acids mentioned earlier, it deserves a separate mention. Your body holds on to high levels of glutamine, but its stores are depleted under the stress of intense exercise.
If you’re trying to pack on muscle mass in the gym every day, then supplementing glutamine is a must. Not only does it prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, but it also does wonders for your immune system. Dragging your body to hell and back in the gym every day will make you more susceptible to illness. Supplementing 10-15 grams of glutamine a day can help keep your immune system on top of all your hard work.
Time to Grow
Consider this your bible on how to bulk up. If you combine hard work, good quality rest, lots of eating, and these supplements then it’s only a matter of time before the muscle starts piling up. When it comes to bodybuilding, its about hard work and persistence.
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Author: Darcy Reed