Muscle supplements are often taken by body builders or by those who are looking to increase muscle mass. These supplements may help build muscle if taken in conjunction with consistent weight-lifting exercise. There are several types of muscle-building supplements, the most popular include creatine, glutamine and whey protein.
Creatine occurs naturally in the human body; it is transported from the liver and kidneys, then carried into the bloodstream for muscle use. Creatine supplements are taken to build muscle strength and reduce muscle fatigue during workouts. Many body builders use creatine muscle supplements because they are known for hydrating muscle cells. Muscle hydration draws water into the muscles creating a fuller, larger looking muscle. Muscle hydration may also encourage protein synthesis and inhibit the breakdown of proteins which could reduce muscle mass.
Creatine supplements are generally taken in the form of a powder. It is often recommended to add a small amount of the powder to a smoothie in the morning or afternoon. This supplement is also available in pill form.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is found in abundance throughout the body’s blood and muscle tissue. Glutamine muscle supplements may help reduce trauma that occurs to the body after enduring intense periods of exercise. Not only does glutamine strengthen the immune system, it also supplies fuel for muscle cells. Glutamine supplements may be especially beneficial to those who are experiencing overtraining syndrome (OTS).
Glutamine supplements are also found in pill and powder form. The dosage is typically split up over the course of a day. One dose is typically taken early in the morning, one in the afternoon and another in the evening, just before bed. The afternoon dose is usually right before a workout on weight training days.
Whey protein is a major protein source found naturally in milk. This form of protein is often considered an essential supplement for muscle building by body builders. Whey protein supplements can be found in tablet form, but the supplement is considered more potent when taken in its powder form. The powder supplement may be added to smoothies, sauces or nutrition drinks.
Muscle supplements containing whey protein are typically digested easily and well utilized by the body. Additionally, whey protein contains high amounts of muscle building amino acids. Whey is also supportive of the immune system, which is essential if the body is continuously enduring intensive workouts. Whey supplements should ideally be taken in the morning when protein levels are at their lowest. It may also be beneficial to have a nutritional shake containing whey before or after weight-lifting workouts.