Are you looking to kick-start your progress with supplements? This is a good way to ensure your body gets enough of calories and nutrients it needs to support the heavy sessions and to help muscle recover. However, with such a wide variety of supplements out there how do you know which supplements actually work? Some of the most common questions are whether a person needs supplements to build muscle and strength and what ones work fast.
In this post we will go over the supplements that actually work and help you gain that weight that you desire. These supplements also apply to ectomorphs! We know the struggle, and don’t worry we have you covered.
Before we continue, please be aware that this article does not go into any detail on anabolic steroids, these are basic supplements that simply support natural muscle growth, strength and muscle recovery. If you’d like to check out information on anabolic steroids, please read our other post here.
Do you need supplements to grow muscle and strength?
This is a very common question, and the answer is yes and no because this is person specific. For instance, in order to grow muscle you need to consume more calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight (calorie surplus), and some people may actually struggle to do that, especially ectomorphs. This is when supplements can come in very handy.
Supplements specific for muscle growth and strength are specifically designed to add calories and nutrients like amino acids, HMB, creatine into your diet. This is to help muscle contract better, get enough of calories and to recover faster so you can train the same muscle group more frequently.
Supplements are a great way of ensuring you get all these nutrients, but if you are consuming a balanced diet then you don’t need to supplement. They are there to provide calories and nutrients but you can also obtain these from foods you eat. If you’d like to check that you are consuming a balanced diet, we can get this analysed. Check out our Nutritional Deficiency Analysis where you will get a complete insight into your macro-nutrients and vitamins and minerals. With this you will know what you are missing and how this is affecting your body.
5 Best supplements to gain muscle and strength
1. Whey Protein
The best type of protein you can feed your muscle is the Whey Protein. Whey is found to be superior to any other protein sources for muscle because of the following reasons:
- Easily absorbable by the body
- Perfect amino acid profile (BCAAs)
- Perfect amount of Leucine
All of the above trigger and support muscle protein synthesis (MPS). This is one of the most important body processes required for muscle growth and recovery.
Whey Protein Recommendations
2. Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Monohydrate is a no-brainer, it has been sufficiently researched and proven to support heavy training sessions. Creatine increases muscle concentrations of creatine phosphate which means it improves your ability to lift heavier weights or exercise harder, increases lean body mass during a caloric deficit, improves strength and power, and reduces fatigue (Norton and Baker,2019).
Please bear in mind that some people do not need creatine monohydrate as their body may be creating enough. If you’d like to know whether or not you need creatine, we can get this tested. Check out our our creatine test available for you to take.
Creatine Monohydrate Recommendations
3. Weight Gainers
Weight gainers are perfect for adding the extra calories muscle require to grow in size and strength. We know the struggle of eating more calories than you actually want, it’s like eating a steak dinner, feeling bloated and unable to move! However, the rule of thumb is that you need to eat 500 calories more than your body needs to maintain its weight in order to gain 1lb of weight per week. 1 weight gainer shake normally provides between 500-1000 calories (depending on what you have in it) so it’s perfect for obtaining those extra calories.
Weight gainer Recommendations
4. β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate and it is a chemical our body naturally produces when we begin to break down Leucine. Leucine is an amino-acid that supports muscle building so if our body breaks down Leucine, this may have negative effects on your muscle mass.
HMB is not a supplement you take to build muscle but rather to protect them. HMB protects muscle from damage. This can be particularly helpful if you are on a diet or under a caloric restriction.
HMB supplement recommendations
5. Branches Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs trigger muscle protein synthesis (MPS), this means that these are structured in a way to support muscle building and recovery. This supplement contains three main amino acids; leucine, isoleucine and valine. Those three amino acids can help you exercise for longer and help the muscle recover faster after training sessions. In addition, some studies also show BCAAs to burn fat. So, not only will your muscle obtain the nutrients it needs to grow in size and strength but you may also look leaner as the body sheds some fat.
BCAAs supplement recommendations
Most commonly asked questions
What are the best supplements for building muscle for Ectomorphs?
The biggest challenge for ectomorphs is obtaining enough calories to support the weight increase. We strongly recommend getting a weight gainer to get additional calories. MyProtein have great choices. Also, it may be worth investing into HMB to protect the muscle from breakdown if you ever fail to reach the daily calories. Check out this one by Myprotein.
In summary, building muscle and strength can be supported with supplements but it can also be achieved through a balanced diet. We recommend MyProtein for supplements simply because they use the finest quality ingredients and they formulate the supplements using recent scientific research so you can rest assured that the supplements contain the perfect blend of all nutrients. Check out MyProtein here and you can use code ‘AMBITION’ to get 35% off!
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