Fit Knowledge

5 Best Supplements for Muscle Gain

For so many women out there, dropping a few pounds of fat and toning up is high up on the list of priorities when it comes to health and fitness. To help you on your road to a healthier lifestyle we’ve developed a definitive list of the best supplements for muscle gain. Check it out.

Just before we delve into the list, we want to clear a few things up.

Gaining muscle is something that comes with a healthy diet, active lifestyle and prolonged effort. A supplement alone cannot cause this kind of change in your body, they are simply there to support you in achieving your goals.

Also, when we talk about ‘weight loss’ in this article, we’re really talking about fat. If you’re gaining muscle at the same time, you may maintain your weight or even gain a few pounds. That’s totally fine, as you may be recompositioning your body to support less fat and more toned muscle.

Besides, who cares about what the scales say anyway! As long as you feel happy with what’s happening in the mirror then that’s all that matters.

The best supplements for muscle gain

1. Whey protein

whey protein for women

Right up in the top spot we have whey protein. Achieving a high protein diet is key to maintaining and building muscle [1], and whey is a fantastic way to up your intake.

Protein is the building blocks of muscle, so when you work out you need these amino acids to come in, repair the damaged tissue and build it back stronger than it was before.

Without enough protein in your system you’ll struggle to see the results you’re looking for from your training, which can be frustrating to say the least.

Whey protein is one of the best supplements for muscle gain because it’s just so convenient and reasonably priced too. You can buy a bag without putting yourself out of pocket, and include a shake a day to up your intake by between around 20g as standard.

If you’re looking to build muscle, you should aim for between 1.4-2g of protein per kg of bodyweight.

So if you’re a 70kg woman, you need to be consuming between 98-140g of protein a day, depending on your activity levels. The less active you are, the less protein you’ll need for repairs.

[Related Article: Whey Protein for Women – What is it and do You Need it?]

2. Creatine

Next up is one of the most highly researched and best supplements for weight gain.

Creatine came under scrutiny a few years ago, as many thought it was dangerous and led to nasty side effects. Fortunately all of these claims were disproved and it’s considered safe to use in the long-term [2].

This substance occurs naturally in your body, and is responsible for helping to produce the energy that allows your muscles to contract. Without creatine in your system you’ll really struggle to lift weights and build muscle.

While your own body creates creatine, and you can top it up by eating high protein meats, nothing compares to the effect of supplementing with it.

In one study, 28 days g regular supplementation of creatine in strength athletes resulted in a 15% performance increase during bike sprints, and a 6% improvement on bench press weights [3].

Another recent study found that taking additional creatine supplements lead to an increase strength and even promoted a leaner, lower fat physique [4].

3. Caffeine

best supplements for weight gain caffeine

You may think of this as the key ingredient to your favorite hot drink, and the savior of many drowsy mornings, but caffeine could also help you to build more muscle.

Before we get into how it works, we want to say that there are also risks involved with supplementing with caffeine, as many pre-workout supplements over-serve the stimulant.

Too much caffeine can lead to nausea, headaches, migraines, anxiety, high blood pressure and even in some extreme cases, death [5] [6].

As such, we strongly recommend speaking to your physician before you buy a caffeine supplement and taking no more than 200mg at a time.

When you take caffeine safely, it can result in some exercise performance benefits that could lead to a better workout and therefore, more muscle gains. This is why it’s one of the best supplements for muscle gain.

Low-to-moderate servings of caffeine have been shown to enhance the physical performance of athletes when examined in a study [7].

In resistance athletes (which is obviously all about muscle gain) researchers found that taking caffeine prior to training resulted in improved strength and delayed fatigue [8].

If you can put more work into every training session, you should be able to see better results from your training.

[Related Article: What is Pre-Workout and Should You Use it?]

4. L-Citrulline DL-Malate

This supplement isn’t as well-known as the others on this list, but it’s a firm favorite in the world of pre-workout supplements.

It’s a vasodilator, which means it increases the amount of nitric oxide levels in your body and expand your blood vessels so more blood can flow through your veins.

While many think this is just present to offer muscle pumps, research shows it can actually help to improve your physical performance in a workout.

It has been shown to delay the point of fatigue in your workouts, and increase endurance slightly.

One study found that taking an l-citrulline supplement led to heightened physical performance in time trial cycling when compared to a placebo [9].

Once again, if you can work harder when you’re training and add extra lifts to your workout, then you may be able to build more muscle.

[Related Article: Transparent Labs PreSeries Pre-Workout Review

5. Weight Gainers

best supplements for muscele gain weight gainers

We’ve put this last on our list, because while they can help you gain muscle, if misused they can also lead to additional fat too.

The way muscle gain works is that, it takes energy to build new muscle fibers. As such, you need to be eating between 10-20% more calories than you’re burning, as well as lifting weights and enjoying a high protein diet.

When you have that combination down, there’s no reason why you can’t gain muscle.

However, if you’re eating too much, don’t take on enough protein or aren’t lifting weights regularly enough, you may just add fat to your frame.

This is where the issue with weight gainers comes in. Often they are marketed as a fool proof way of adding muscle to your frame, when in reality it needs to work as a combination of the things we mentioned above.

On top of that, it’s usually better to get all your foods from whole, natural sources where possible. However, we understand that often a weight gainer can be a cheaper, more convenient alternative.

Having said that, if your nutrition and training is on point, there’s no reason why a weight gainer can’t work for you.

They’re essentially high in calories and high in protein to help you achieve that energy surplus and hit your macronutrient goals.

Look out for the weight gainers that contain high levels of sugar, as these aren’t very nutritious and can very easily lead to fat gains. Instead, look for something that offers low sugar, yet high calories and make sure it has the potential to fit within your nutrition plan.

[Related Article: 4 Gauge Pre-Workout Review

Final word – gymgirlfit hints and tips

There you have it, a list of the best supplements for muscle gain. With these supplements on your list, you should be able to add some lean, toning mass to your frame.

Just don’t forget to stick to your workout plan, be as consistent as possible and keep up the good work. Building muscle takes time but when you do all of the above and continue to push yourself both mentally and physically, everything should fall into place.

Lauren

Lauren is a health and fitness enthusiast, powerlifter and writer who's written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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