Lifting weights and eating a healthy diet can, without a doubt, help you enhance your workout and performance, thereby allowing you to attain your exercise goals, such as gaining lean muscle. With that said, these two alone can’t help you fully realize your workout goals, and this is where using muscle-building supplements comes in handy. These supplements do by ensuring you get the most out of each workout session and boost your workout performance.
In this guide, we’ll look at different muscle-building supplements and how they can help you optimize your workout performance. Let’s get started.
While caffeine is best known for improving mental alertness, which has led to the popularity of tea and coffee, this natural stimulant can also come in handy to boost your workout performance. This ergogenic supplement provides you with a much-needed energy boost that keeps you going to burn as much fat as possible during your workouts. It also helps boost endurance by reducing your pain levels and fatigue. In addition, caffeine enhances your brain functioning and metabolic rate to keep you motivated during your workout sessions.
For optimal results, your preferred supplement should contain low to moderate doses of caffeine, ideally between 150 to 300 mg of caffeine if you weigh around 150 pounds. This is because the recommended caffeine dosage is 1.36 to 2.5 milligrams for each pound of body weight.
You must incorporate this muscle-building supplement into your workout routine as it helps promote protein synthesis. For it to be most effective, this supplement should be used after working out to enhance muscle recovery and restoration as well as boost protein synthesis.
Whey protein effectively promotes your workout performance thanks to small protein fragments known as peptides that promote blood vessels to constrict. As a result, this boosts blood vessel dilation and promotes blood flow to the muscles being exercised. Thanks to this, anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, oxygen, and nutrients such as amino acids reach the muscles when working out.
Some of the advantages of using whey protein to boost your workout performance include:
- It enhances your appetite control by giving you a feeling of satiety which helps you when dieting to further help streamline your workout performance.
- It boosts muscle mass growth, more so if used after exercising.
The recommended dosage of whey protein is 20 to 30 grams before you start your workout session. It’s also recommended to use an equal amount of grams of this protein right after waking up to promote muscle growth.
This supplement contains three amino acids, and these are methionine, glycine, and arginine. Even though the human body naturally produces the creatine molecule, using its supplement is advised as it helps boost its levels in the body and helps offer added energy to the muscles and other tissues. It also has other advantages that better help improve your workout performance, including;
- Reduce workout-induced inflammation and muscle soreness
- Increase your body’s muscle mass, especially if you’re focus is on strength training
- Boost your performance when undertaking high-intensity workouts
- Improve your body’s blood flow
- Boost your muscular training
You should use between 2–5 grams of creatine daily in its different forms, such as creatine ester, creatine malate, creatine alpha-ketoglutarate, and creatine monohydrate, before exercising together with a protein shake. Doing this saturates your muscles with creatine, thereby giving you the added boost of energy needed to do more workouts, thereby improving your overall exercise performance.
Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA)
Working out usually causes damage to the body’s muscles. This is why branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) consist of valine, isoleucine, and leucine. These amino acids are essential because they help build and repair muscle tissue. According to researchers, leucine is especially crucial because it can promote muscle protein synthesis by itself. Nonetheless, these three individual amino acids offer the best effects when they work together due to their interaction.
The benefits of using BCAAs to improve your workout performance include:
- Boosting your energy levels when exercising.
- Reducing delayed-start of muscle soreness.
- Lowering the body’s cortisol levels with this hormone is notorious for promoting muscle breakdown and inhibiting testosterone.
- Promoting muscle growth
For optimal effectiveness, you should use 5 to 10 grams of BCAAs before and after working out as well as with breakfast.
Another important supplement that can help enhance your overall workout performance is beta-alanine which you should use either 4 to 6 grams before your workout session. Using this supplement helps in numerous ways, including:
- Boosting your endurance when undertaking hard training
- Boosting your power production
- Reducing your fatigue levels when carrying out high-intensity workouts
- Boost muscle building.
Using beta-alanine helps you realise these benefits because it acts as a buffer to hydrogen ions produced when exercising, which subsequently cause a drop in your blood pH. As a result, this causes reduced muscle performance, reduced time to muscular failure, and extreme fatigue.
Alicia Saville did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.