The best weight lifting supplements are here. There is no doubt, you can put on muscle with a proper nutrient rich diet and aggressive strength training. But to seriously maximize your full potential, supplements are not optional. So, we've put together a well researched list of the three best weight lifting supplements to spend your money on. We’ve listed them in order from the most to least critical for packing on lean muscle so that those who are with tight budgets can pare their routines down to the absolute necessities.
Whey tops out our list of the best weight lifting supplements because it is the most important for the promotion of protein synthesis in the body. Whey protein powder is a milk protein with a very high proportion of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). Whey protein powder ranks number one because it metabolizes the fastest and is available for use by the muscles very quickly to start building muscle quickly. It also contains small proteins called peptides that boost blood flow to and through the muscles. That’s why we recommend that all strength trainers use whey protein right after every single training session.
For maximum effect: Take 20g of whey powder 30 minutes prior to your workout, and take 40g within 60 minutes after training. It would be wise to consider taking 20 to 40g of whey right after you wake up each morning in order to kick-start muscle production. The best way to go is to select a whey powder that is made with whey protein hydrolysates or whey protein isolate. This is whey protein that has been broken down into fragments which accelerate the speed of metabolism.
The other milk protein on our shortlist is casein, which is only the second on our list, of best weight lifting supplements, compared to whey by a very narrow margin. Casein has always run second string to whey due to its considerably slow rate of metabolism. However, the very slow utilization rate makes it an ideal pre-bedtime supplement as it prevents the dreaded effect of catabolism during sleep. It does this by emptying into the bloodstream slowly and steadily. Casein has the added benefit of making you feel less full, which makes it great for users who want to pack on a lot of muscle. Recent research shows that casein still gives whey protein a run for its money. When taken after your workout, casein will boost muscle protein production much in the same way that whey does. It's even been suggested that a combination of whey and casein shake taken following a training session can promote muscle growth even better than either of the two proteins taken singly.
For maximum effect: Use a casein protein made with a micellar casein. This is the slowest-digesting type of casein available. Take 20 to 40g before bedtime. Add 10 to 20g after workouts to your whey supplement. Also, use 20 to 40g of casein mixed in with your protein shakes between meals.
Made from three key amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine, creatine rounds out our list of the best weight lifting supplements. Studies find those who use creatine can gain upwards of 10 pounds of lean body weight and boost their strength dramatically. Creatine increases the amount of fast-use energy stored within the muscles. The more fast energy weightlifters have, the more repetitions they can do, promoting greater strength and endurance in the long run. Creatine also draws water into muscle cells. This stretches the cell, increasing long-term growth. Recently, creatine was found to raise the level of insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This is critical for the stimulation of muscle growth.
For maxim effect: Take 2 to 5g of creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine malate, or alpha-ketoglutarate with a protein shake right before workouts. This will saturate the muscle tissue with the quick availability type energy you’ll need to do more repetitions. Then take another 2 to 5g after workouts with 40 to 100g of fast-digesting carbs. This will enable the creatine to be rapidly absorbed by muscle tissue and boost IGF-1 to prompt growth. On your off days, take 2 to 5g of creatine with a carbohydrate-rich breakfast.
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