Supplements For Weight Gain!
Supplements 101. This supplements guide gives you a brief overview of the supplements you can use to increase muscle mass and strength. We’ll explain how each supplement works and how you should use it to get BIG and STRONG! In this guide we’ll cover whey protein, creatine, glutamine, carbohydrates, vitamins and nitric oxide supplements. Whey [...]
Supplements 101. This supplements guide gives you a brief overview of the supplements you can use to increase muscle mass and strength. We’ll explain how each supplement works and how you should use it to get BIG and STRONG!
In this guide we’ll cover whey protein, creatine, glutamine, carbohydrates, vitamins and nitric oxide supplements.
Whey protein is the most essential supplement for increasing muscle mass. Protein is the building blocks of muscle, in fact, most of muscle tissue is protein.
When you hit the gym, you’re actually damaging your muscle tissues. You’re tearing them apart, literally. Most people believe that their muscles are building when they’re in the gym, but it’s actually the recovery process when muscle growth takes place.
After you finish at the gym, your muscle tissue is depleted of vital nutrients and is in a catabolic state. This means, all the glycogen has left your muscles and muscle tissue is being broken down for fuel. You don’t want this, your muscle are literally being eaten.
What you want to do is switch your body from a catabolic state into an anabolic state. Anabolic simply means muscle growth. This is where whey protein is vital. Whey protein is fast digesting, has a high biological value (BV) and has a complete amino acid profile for muscle growth.
When you have a protein shake after your workout the nutrients from that shake will be delivered to your muscle tissue within minutes! This limits muscle breakdown and maximizes muscle growth potential.
Although your post workout protein shake is the most important time to get nutrients, it’s also important to get enough protein throughout the day. A good guide for weight gain is 1-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight. So a 200lb man would need about 200-300g of protein per day.
How to take whey protein:
As I mentioned above, straight after your workout is the best time to get your whey protein. Whey is the fastest digesting of all natural protein sources, which also makes it ideal for first thing in the morning when your body has not received any nutrients fro 8 hours (you’re all getting enough sleep right?!). Whey can also be taken before bed. However, I recommend taking casein protein before bed because it’s slow release and can provide your body with slow release protein throughout the night. Usually 2-3 whey protein shakes are enough when combined with a high protein diet.
Protein is the single best supplement for muscle mass. As I mentioned above, whey protein is essential for muscle repair, and creatine is essential for energy and strength.
Creatine and protein work together. Let me explain how creatine works…
Creatine is made in the liver, pancreas and kidneys and is transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Your body only has a limited amount of ATP available, enough for a huge burst for energy for 5-10 seconds. Once your ATP stores are depleted, your muscles rely on glucose for energy. What creatine does, is quickly replenish ATP stores when they are depleted.
What this means in the gym is, you can push more weight and more reps. Think of it like this, you’re doing your normal bench press set. You’re looking to do a set of 10 but can only get to 8 reps. After 8 reps your ATP stores are depleted and you have no energy left. This is when creatine phosphate is quickly converted into ATP to give you the energy you need to push out those last 2 reps.
Creatine supplements are cheap and can help you achieve massive strength and weight gains in a very short time frame. Creatine is 100% natural (found in some foods) and is used by athletes across the board from cyclists to Olympic sprinters.
How to take creatine:
It’s important that you take creatine correctly for the maximum benefits. First, you need to “saturate” your muscles with creatine. This is referrered to as the “loading phase”. For the first 5 days of taking creatine you take 20g per day, which is 4 x teaspoons per day. You take it 4 times, first thing in the morning, lunch, dinner and before bed.
Once your muscles are completely saturated with creatine you just need to take a “maintenance” dose of 5-10g daily. This dose can be taken in your post workout shake, pre workout or alone with simple carbohydrates like grape juice or dextrose.
Simple Carbohydrates (dextrose):
Most people believe that a good post-workout shake consists of whey protein and maybe creatine or dextrose. This is wrong! Simple carbohydrates are essential for post workout nutrition. Here’s why…
After you complete your workout your body is craving nutrients. It needs protein and simple carbohydrates as soon as possible to replace nutrients lost in muscle tissue during training. So how do you get those nutrients in fast? You create an insulin spike.
Insulin is an extremely anabolic hormone. Dextrose has a GI (glycemic index) of 100, which is the highest possible. When you take a large amount of dextrose (50g+) in one sitting it creates a huge insulin spike. On most other situations, you would not this to happen as this excess energy would be stored as fat. But post-workout, this is exactly what you want.
The insulin drives nutrients into the muscles fast. The body is able to replace lost proteins and glycogen fast, and turn from an catabolic state (breaking down tissue) to an anabolic state (building and repair). So you can see just how essential dextrose is to post workout nutrition.
How to take dextrose:
Dextrose should only be taken post-workout. Studies have shown that the optimal dosage of dextrose is 60-75g.
For more information on supplements, and what supplements to take for weight gain check out the bodybuilding supplements section. Also check out the creatine supplement guide for some good information on creatine and creatine products.