**This is a Guest Post by my friend Greg Black**
We exercise for all sorts of reasons. One of which is to strengthen and build our muscles. Lifting weights and working out is only one piece of building muscle, though. We also need to give muscles the substances they need to thrive and strengthen. We can do that with muscle-building supplements.
You’ll also find that many people call these products legal steroids due to having the benefits of steroids, but not the negatives.
In this article, you’ll find information about the benefits of muscle-building supplements, how they work, how often you should take them, and what’s in them. Read on to find out how muscle-building supplements will help you reach your goals and how to choose the best ones.
Benefits of Muscle-Building Supplements
You build muscle through conditioning and lifting weights. You can give yourself back up by adding muscle-building supplements into your health regimen.
Supplements that build muscle do so by boosting your performance while you’re working out. They act as a stimulant to your muscles, making your workouts more effective. You’ll get better results in less time.
Another benefit comes in the form of recovery. Muscle-building supplements help muscle tissue to recover faster. Tired, sore muscles don’t perform as well, so it’s important to give them what they need to aid in their recovery.
Some muscle-building supplements have ingredients that open up the blood vessels. Increased blood flow within muscles allows for a larger delivery of nutrients into the muscles being worked. Better nutrients mean better results.
How Do They Work?
These supplements work in various ways, depending on what type you choose to take. Generally, they do one of two things:
- help the muscle recover better
- improve the muscle’s ability to perform.
To understand how supplements work, you have to understand what happens when you’re body is building muscle.
Muscle builds when muscle fibers increases or when the size of those fibers increases. During a weightlifting session, you put a load on the muscles you’re working. The muscle fibers sustain small tears. While your muscle recovers, those tears heal increasing the size of the muscle. Muscle building is essentially a repetitive process consisting of tearing and recovery.
How Often Should I Take Them?
Muscle-building supplements should be taken daily. Start your day with a whey protein supplement and give it a boost with a good carbohydrate. This first step takes your body from a catabolic state to an anabolic state quickly. The anabolic state protects your muscle mass and prepares it for work. When you’re in a catabolic state, your body seeks fuel. Sometimes that fuel is muscle mass.
Pre-workout supplements should be taken with enough time for them to digest so you get the full effect. You’ll want to take them about 15 to 30 minutes before the start of your workout. Many of these have ingredients that help to open up blood vessels, as well as some type of stimulant like caffeine to give you that boost of energy.
After a workout, drink a protein shake or some other type of post-workout supplement immediately. They give your muscles what they need for a fast, healthy recovery process.
Creatine should be taken before and after a workout. Pre-workout creatine increases energy so you can work out with more intensity. Post-workout creatine gives your body back phosphate it loses through intense activity. It helps with the recovery process.
What’s In Muscle-Building Supplements?
While some might refer to muscle-building supplements as “legal steroids,” they’re not steroids at all. Much of what is included in these supplements are natural substances. Some ingredients are found naturally in foods and others are made by the body.
Muscle-building supplements just allow you to give your body more of the substances that might be hard to get enough of from food or that will help your body build muscle more efficiently. Here are some of the most common ingredients:
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
- Weight gainers
- Beta-hydroxy beta-methyl butyrate (HMB)
Muscle-building supplements have a lot of benefits for anyone looking to gain muscle. Some ingredients help to energize you while others support the recovery of muscle fibers. Still, others help your body use protein more effectively. The timing of your supplement regimen is highly important in determining what kind of results you will get. You can optimize your workout results with the right supplements at the right time.