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How Do I Choose the Best Muscle Building Supplements?

Creatine powder is commonly used to build muscle.
Both protein and creatine supplements are popular in the bodybuilding community.
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  • Written By: J. Winchester
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 19 June 2014
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It is important to choose the best muscle building supplements to make the most of your hard work in the gym and maximize the amount of muscle you gain. That doesn't mean it's necessary to spend a lot of money; the basic supplements are the most effective, and they are usually fairly inexpensive. Protein powder and creatine are some of the most effective, popular, and widely researched supplements available. They promote muscle gain, are cheap, and are widely available. Both of these supplements — among the best muscle building supplements — can be found in most grocery stores.

It is common knowledge that your body needs protein to gain muscle mass. This is what makes protein powder one of the best muscle building supplements. Typically, it is recommended that 1 gram of protein be consumed per pound of lean body mass. This means a 200-pound (90.7-kilogram) person with 20 percent body fat would want to consume at least 160 grams of protein a day. Most protein powders contain from 20 grams to 25 grams of protein per serving, which makes it easy to consume enough protein.

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Protein powder is almost 100 percent pure protein, which makes it ideal for meeting your daily protein needs without having to consume an excessive amount of calories. Protein powders are typically mixed with water or milk to make a shake that is both convenient and portable. Many people trying to gain muscle mass carry protein shakes with them during their daily routines so they always have access to protein. It is recommended that you split your protein intake evenly throughout the day, and protein shakes make it convenient to do this.

Protein powders are usually made of whey, casein, or a blend of the two. Whey is absorbed the fastest and should ideally be consumed directly after a workout. Casein is absorbed slowly and should ideally be consumed before bed so your body has access to protein while you sleep; this helps to build muscle faster. Protein blends are also common and are typically a mix of whey and casein. It may be slightly more effective to have both whey and casein and to use them appropriately, but many would rather only have to deal with one protein powder, which makes blends popular.

Creatine is another of the best muscle building supplements. It is a naturally occurring supplement that is found in meat and fish. It helps supply cells with energy by increasing adenosine triphosphate synthesis. It has been widely shown to increase muscle mass and is very safe if consumed properly. There are many types of creatine available, but creatine monohydrate is the cheapest, most studied, and most widely available.

Typically, 5 grams of creatine monohydrate should be consumed each day. Creatine monohydrate increases water retention, which causes muscles to look larger and usually causes a gain of around 5 pounds (2.27 kg) of water weight. It increases water retention, so it is necessary to increase water consumption. At least 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water per day is recommended to avoid dehydration. Once consumption of creatine stops, the water weight is lost, but the additional muscle gained by the use of creatine remains.

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