Today we’re going to list a few of the basic and most needed fitness supplements you should starting use if you want to build quality muscle and gain the strength necessary to learn new calisthenics skills.
Please note that as the name suggests, these are only supplements, and a healthy diet is a lot more important and effective in building muscle than any type of supplementation available on the market.
Protein Shakes ensure that you have enough building blocks to repair the damaged muscles. For best results you can have three protein shakes a day. One of them (25-30g of whey) about 2 hours before your workout, one right after your workout (25-30g of whey) with 40-50g of simple carbs and one shake before you go to bed. The last shake should be casein protein shake for slow absorption during the night.
Creatine has great effects on recovery as well building muscle mass. When it’s loaded in your system, creatine drastically increases the strength by loading more water and nutrients into the muscles as well as increasing the ATP levels. This will help you lift heavier weights and do more reps which will increase muscle size in the long run. The dose is anywhere from 5-10g of creatine a day split in two doses – with one of your meals a few hours before a workout and right after your workout with some simple carbs (a great way is to add it to your post-workout protein/carb shake).
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the body. It supports your immune system and recovery. It also helps the absorption of food and prevents muscle mass from breaking down (this happens when your body has depleted the glutamine reserves during intense physical activity). You can have up to 3 servings of glutamine a day – right after you wake up (5g), one before your workout (5g) and another 5g after you complete your workout.
Arginine helps in creating NO (nitric oxide) which helps in “pumping” the muscle. The “pump” is an effect created from dilatating the blood vessels and loading the muscle with blood. During this effect, more oxygen and nutrients are being stored into the muscle cells. The dosage is about 3-5 grams a couple of hours before the workout and another 3-5 grams some time after the workout.
BCAAs or branched chain amino acids are represented by leucine, isoleucine and valine and make up for 35% of the amino acids present in the muscles. They have a significant role not just in building muscle mass, but also in supporting the already gained muscle during intense diets. They work best when taken on an empty stomach in the morning (5-10g) as well as right before and after the workout. (5-10g each dose)
Vitamins and minerals don’t build muscle mass, but you can see them as your insurance policy. There are times when the body needs vitamins and minerals to speed up recovery, to support the immune system, to absorb certain foods and during many more biological functions. A good vitamin/mineral supplement should contain Vitamin C,D,E, vitamins from the B group as well as Zinc, Magnesium, Chrome etc.