I am sure that those of you who are interested in muscle gain wonder what supplements you can take to help you get swole as f*!@.
If you’re reading this, then you are clearly interested in how effective supplementation can help you can gain muscle. This article is all around supplementation for muscle gain.
I did a post on my Instagram the other week which you can fly back to, all around muscle retention during lockdown.
That was mainly about training, nutrition and things that you can do to retain as much muscle as possible in these quarantine times, and I did mention a couple of supplements there.
However, in this article I’m going to mention the supplements that can definitely help you with effective muscle gain in this time and also in the future.
I will preface this article by saying that supplements are the last thing you should be focusing on. Training, sleep and food are always going to be much more important than supplements when it comes to muscle gain.
Don’t get sucked into pro-hormones or steroids or anything like that. If you’re in a sport where you get tested then you’re not going to be able to take steroids anyway. If you want to do it for recreational muscle gain, then you can be my guest, I’m not going to go into the highs and lows of it.
I personally don’t think they are a great idea for long term health and there is plenty of evidence on side effects. You’ve got to make that choice yourself if you want to go down that road, I’m not going to be talking about steroids.
I’m not going to be talking about pro-hormones either and I’m not going to be talking about sarms. If you’re interested in any of those, you’ll need to read up on them from trusted medical resources, not from bodybuilders on YouTube.
In terms of supplements that actually work for effective muscle gain;
Omega 3 fish oils, the research from Smith et al in 2010, shows us that fish oils improved anabolic resistance in elderly patients. If you are someone who is an elderly gentleman or woman and you’re looking to avoid sarcopenia, then taking omega 3 fish oils can definitely help.
Importantly for everyone else, if they improve the anabolic resistance in the elderly, it’s not a massive leap of faith to see that they will help anabolic resistance in the younger generations.
Improving anabolic resistance, basically means, improving your muscle mass retention, lowering your risk of losing muscle tissue and lowering your risk of suffering poor bone health.
If you’re training less at the moment as well then that’s something that you want to be interested in. Therefore Omega 3 fish oils definitely make the list.
How much you should take depends on how much oily fish you eat. If you eat a lot, you probably don’t need to take them. If you don’t eat much or any, then somewhere between 300 to 1000 milligrammes of EPA and DHA. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, then I would recommend getting algae oil to help.
Vitamin D is the next supplement you need to think about. If you get plenty of sun exposure throughout the day, you don’t need to supplement with it. If you don’t get out in the sun much then I would highly recommend getting some high quality vitamin D.
The research by Tomlinson et al in 2015 showed that vitamin D supplementation increased upper and lower limb strength in relation to Vitamin D levels. This was a remote study with randomised control and with a bunch of different studies in vitamin D usage.
If you have a lighter skin pigmentation you’ll absorb vitamin D from the sun better, so during the summer, you might not need any if you’re getting plenty of sun exposure. In the winter, you’ll want around 1300iu, per day. If you have a darker skin pigmentation, then you will need 2100iu to 3100iu, per day, year round.
The last supplement you need to consider when it comes to muscle gain is creatine monohydrate. You might have heard me talk about creatine in the sports performance podcast.
Creatine monohydrate improves your training quality and your strength within a session. It improves your recovery session to session as well. It lowers your rate of perceived exertion, so you’re able to lift heavier and it also improves the response of anabolic properties.
Basically, it improves the muscle growth response to exercise, so plenty of reasons there to take creatine monohydrate. In terms of the amount that you need to take per day, three to five grammes per day.
You can take it every day with amount depending on your body weight, so less if you’re lighter, more if you’re heavier. Make sure you stick to just creatine monohydrate and not some other variant.
I personally prefer powder over pills, because I find that it mixes with liquid really easily and digests well.If you get a mixed digestive response from creatine monohydrate, then I would recommend taking it with food post workout, then you should be able to digest it perfectly fine.