Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
Brian Casad
Casad44

What's Sup?

Muscle-building supplements often promise vein-popping gains in a week,
but how can you tell fact from fiction?

3 Types Of Muscle-Building Supplements For Overall Growth

In its inaugural edition, TRAIN magazine, the newest health and fitness bible, reveals the truth about how they work and what you should be taking when.

Lift big weights. Eat protein. Get muscles. Simple, eh? Unfortunately, no. It's all too easy to hit a muscle-building plateau, and supplements can seem like the answer. But, before you blow your hard-earned cash on whatever supps your local gym has in stock, you should learn how your muscles work.

Your body has two forms of muscle fibers: type-I fibers (aka slow-twitch) help you perform endurance exercise, and type-II fibers (aka fast-twitch) are the large fibers responsible for strength and size when weight training. To damage these type-II fibers enough to cause growth, you have to lift weights and keep your muscles under enough tension to recruit satellite cells.

These cells sit on the top of muscles and help grow, maintain and repair your muscles. They often lie dormant until you do heavy lifting. The heavy lifting causes tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibers, which triggers your satellite cells to multiply and move toward the areas you damage. They use the proteins from food to thicken and strengthen your muscles and you end up with tighter sleeves.

Fortunately, scientists have developed supplements that can help these efforts by influencing your nutritional, hormonal, and energy systems. Learn how to use them to your advantage.

Hormonal supplements

Supplements may help your muscles repair and regrow.

Hormones are the 2 a.m. phone call, the hand-delivered letter, or the email marked urgent. They carry messages that demand your body take instant action. And supplements can gear these hormones toward gaining more muscle.

The two main hormones are testosterone and growth hormone. Yes, messing about with synthetic versions of these hormones is what got Ben Johnson and Arnie into hot water, but you can increase your levels to their highest natural concentrations without running the risk of handcuffs or a hospital visit.

Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone occurs naturally in your body and bumps up your muscle mass by improving muscle-protein synthesis.

Fortunately if you're between the ages of 18 and 35, testosterone boosters probably won't create too much difference because your body already produces enough of its own.

Even if you're older, these supplements won't put your testosterone levels through the roof, but they will put your body in a position to increase your testosterone to its highest natural levels.

Living in a polluted area, using soaps with triclocarban, having a high-sugar diet, and enduring stress can dampen your supplies.

Growth Hormone Supplements

Your body naturally produces growth hormone, and, as the name implies, it's responsible for cell growth and regeneration. It gradually declines with age, transforming your Zac Efron face into a George Clooney.

Without GH, you won't build muscle. Supplementing with it does the same as testosterone boosters, increasing your levels to their highest natural peak.

Age and high training loads can mean you naturally produce less of this hormone, so supplementation can be beneficial before bed.

Energy Supplements

Getting more energy to train will obviously help you work harder in the gym, helping your muscles grow. The trouble is that plenty of energy supplements can leave you more jittery than the junkie Jesse Pinkman from "Breaking Bad."

Energy supps can often also cause weight loss. To make sure your supplement regimen isn't working against your brawn-building goals, you should stick to the supplements listed.

Caffeine

It's pick-me-up in your morning brew blocking the brain chemicals associated with sleep. It also causes your heart to beat faster, opens your airways, and increases muscle blood flow.

Research published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" showed that taking caffeine before resistance training improves the total number of reps done and overall strength. It essentially gives you the oomph to train harder.

Trouble is, the more caffeine you have, the more resistant you get to it. It's best to cycle caffeine intake for when you train hard.

This suspicious white powder is helping me get huge, officer!

Creatine

This bread-and-butter for gym enthusiasts is a combination of three amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine. When you drink it, it gives you more adenine tri-phosphate (ATP), which is your body's main energy source. But you only have a finite amount, which is part of the reason your muscles fail on the final rep.

Creatine increases these levels for a few extra reps, helping you get stronger and bigger. It also hydrates your muscles' cells, which improves recovery and ability to build size.

Research published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" showed creatine can improve your ability to build muscle by 14 percent.

Recovery using Nutritional Supplements

You cannot supplement yourself out of a bad diet so supplements should be treated as supplements, not substitutes.

Whey Protein

Your muscles break down during exercise and remodel when they repair. Research found that this remodeling process is accelerated by as much as 33 percent when people drink a whey protein shake directly after exercise. That's not enough evidence to suggest protein shakes work better than salmon steaks—it only means that they can work just as well.

Shakes are a valuable asset if you aren't a heartbeat away from your kitchen and are traveling home or going back to work. Your approach should be to drink a protein shake directly after training, then have a high-protein meal at least 60 minutes afterward.


Fish Oil

This supplement has accrued a lot competition since people caught on to its benefits. Despite all the other competing supplements such as krill oil, chia oil, and flaxseeds, fish oil is still the top choice.

The unique fatty acid is rich in omega-3 vitamins, and helps strengthen your cells' membranes, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow to your brain. These are important recovery aids that will help you repair the damage done to your muscles when training. And the faster you can recover the faster you'll be able to go hard again the next day.

That's What's Sup!

So now you know how all those supplements affect your muscle-building regimen the next step is to work out when you should take them. To save you the trouble, TRAIN has put together a detailed 12-month schedule that'll have you stacking on the brawn quicker than it takes Usain Bolt to get out of the starting blocks. All you have to do is go out and pick up the first edition. We guarantee you won't be disappointed.


One Month Pump

A perfect day of muscle-building supplementation leads to a perfect year!

7 a.m. Breakfast
11:30 a.m. Mid-Morning
12:30 p.m. Gym Routine

Weight training for 45-55 minutes is the ideal time period to train. Research in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" found that short, yet intense, weight sessions gave lifters some of the biggest surges of testosterone—your chief muscle-building hormone.

1:30 p.m. Post-workout Refuel
2 p.m. High-Protein Lunch
4 p.m. Snack
  • Protein and Carb Shake Protein Shake

    If you don't have time for a high-protein real food snack.

6 p.m. Dinner
8 p.m. Pre-Sleep Routine

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Molinski44

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Molinski44

Great article.

I would caution beginners with testosterone and growth hormone supplementation.

Jan 2, 2014 5:34pm | report
 
jables5000

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jables5000

Why is that?

Feb 7, 2014 4:29pm | report
BannoSantoro

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BannoSantoro

Synthetic supplementation - Yes
OTC supplementation - No, hardly anything really works! Only DAA has any statistically significant effect! Tribulus is highly debatable. Growth hormone supps are BS, nothing has any real evidence to show it works! Try heavy squats and heavy deadlifts, that'll boost your test and growth hormone!!

Feb 9, 2014 1:30pm | report
miguel51

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miguel51

Great article! This is one of the articles that I gave time to read! Thanks :)

Jan 2, 2014 7:59pm | report
 
JABE00

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JABE00

Interesting.
I understand the cycle of the other supplements
But, if doing intense workout, how a 5 month off creatine will help? Anyone???????

Jan 2, 2014 8:20pm | report
 
AJG1991

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AJG1991

I've heard from Dr. Jim Stoppani (the Supplement Guru) numerous amounts of time that cycling with creatine is unnecessary and you should be taking it pre and post workout for maximum gains year long.

Jan 3, 2014 6:14am | report
14dpauls

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14dpauls

I think the chart is trying to show how you can go from not supplementing at all, to having a good stack. So in January, you start off with testosterone, caffeine, fish oil, and protein. But by the time you get to December, you're taking everything except growth hormones.

Jan 11, 2014 3:39pm | report
ThatDudeCheek

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ThatDudeCheek

Is it necessary to cycle off of creatine for that long? Nice article overall though.

Jan 2, 2014 10:41pm | report
 
AJG1991

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AJG1991

I take it year long pre/post workout. 2-3 grams before and after training.

Jan 3, 2014 6:15am | report
CycloneCup

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CycloneCup

Great article. Love the Cyclone Cup you are using in the picture! :)

Jan 3, 2014 11:00am | report
 
kellycatherwood

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kellycatherwood

Do you have a similar guide for women?

Jan 3, 2014 3:26pm | report
 
YupImHere

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YupImHere

There are numerous, numerous articles and studies that show 5g of creatine a day will boost performance as much as 10 to 15g/day.

Jan 3, 2014 4:26pm | report
 
KettleBellFreak

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KettleBellFreak

that's what I'm saying. I'd **** lava with 13 g of creatine..

Jan 28, 2014 10:20am | report
Miamiboy87

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Miamiboy87

I like the idea of a shake after workout with a solid meal about an hour later . I'm scared to try the growth hormone though, being a beginner and I'll stay away from testosterone .

Jan 3, 2014 8:01pm | report
 
yomuju

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yomuju

Well, like the article said, unless your pretty old, there is no reason to take it. I personally think that those supplements are BS, companies throw things at your for money. The supplement industry is a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry for a reason. The only thing that will really boost your testosterone is using steroids. Same with growth hormone. The only thing I really rely on is creatine. Whey protein and fish oil shouldn't even really be considered supplements. To me, those are just essential food.

Jan 4, 2014 9:26pm | report
NickC1983

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NickC1983

I would have to disagree with the above post. Natural Test Boosters are effective. Numerous users of Bioforge V3, Activate Xtreme, APE have posted bloodworks online before and after, and results have shown an increase in free testosterone. The beneficial side of these product are that they don't shut down your testosterone production through an exogenous intake. It simply stimulates your natural production. When coming off these products, your natural production isn't affected - like you'd be using steroids and need to go through PCT (Post Cycle Therapy).

Jun 16, 2014 7:11am | report
NatsR

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NatsR

I have been using creatine in a 2week on 10days off cycle
Am I doing it wrong

Jan 7, 2014 9:13pm | report
 
JABE00

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JABE00

Nothing wrong with that. Depends on training, I do 5 days on, 2 days off.
Keep on working out.

Jan 8, 2014 6:25am | report
NickC1983

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NickC1983

I take 5gr a day, every day, 7 days a week. It's the safest supplement out there. Consult your doctor if you have any doubts.

Jun 16, 2014 7:13am | report
michaelfrbs

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michaelfrbs

Good article, I always wondered when should a person stop taking testosterone supp's. I heard you can take it as long as you want because all it does is raise your natural supply.

Jan 8, 2014 11:38am | report
 
ToMi22

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ToMi22

AweSome article and I gave time to read this, learned something new! Thanks ^_^

Jan 16, 2014 12:53am | report
 
nysoriano53

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nysoriano53

LOL @ growth hormone

Jan 27, 2014 2:33pm | report
 
hmshoulders

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hmshoulders

Love the article, thanks for the information.

Feb 2, 2014 8:26am | report
 
BannoSantoro

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BannoSantoro

Is it just me or is that 12 month supps schedule garbage? It seems to be randomly adding and removing stuff for no reason?? Also I have read a bunch of study findings lately showing high doses of Omega 3 actually damages cell membranes and can accelerate numerous other unwanted ailments! Saturated fats from animal and dairy have been shown to be more protective and beneficial to cells than omega 3 and polyunsaturated fats etc. Sooo much conflicting info out there how are we supposed to know what's real and what's BS? I certainly won't be having 7000mg Omega 3 a day just in case it really does cause the huge increase in Prostate cancer risk I've read about! No sense gambling with that one!! I'll stick to 1 or 2 capsules a day thanks. Creatine, 3g before and after training. Protein shake, on waking, mid day, after workout, before bed.

Feb 9, 2014 1:23pm | report
 
tmittan

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tmittan

Yeah, it seems a bit random to me as well. That and the fact that everything I've read in the past year says that you don't need to ever cycle off creatine doesn't inspire much confidence in this list. This is from the same Train Magazine that had an article on why Multi Vitamins were junk that you shouldn't waste your money on followed by and article saying you should take a Multi every day.
I just find what works for me and stick with it

Mar 3, 2014 2:15pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 34 Comments

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