The winter brings bulking season, which means packing on mass as quickly as you can so you can shred it off for summer next year. To build this mass, you’re going to need to eat a calorie surplus and train hard in the gym.
Of course, you can always use bodybuilding supplements to help pack on size. However, they’re not a one-stop-shop for results – you still need to work hard. The current market is flooded with different types of products and it can be hard to know which one is best and how each type can help support your goals.
Protein is a vital nutrient, an essential part of your diet that you need to get a good amount of in order to build muscle. Protein supplements are very popular as they let you top up your protein levels without having to eat more. Generally, these supplements are made from whey protein powder, which is a fast-absorbing protein that is perfect for post-workout nutrition. By consuming a shake after training, you’ll give your body what it needs to recover and regrow.
Creatine is one of the most commonly used supplements for beginners in bodybuilding. It’s great for packing on mass as it helps you in short bursts of high-intensity exercise – which essentially means it can help you get out a few more reps at a higher weight, which in turn increase hypertrophy. Wondering how it actually works? The creatine helps pull water into muscle cells, which provides increased energy.
Creatine needs to be consumed in doses of at least 5g to get any significant effect from it. It can also lead to water bloating, so be careful when you start a cycle.
Branch chain amino acids, or BCAAS, are the building blocks of protein as a nutrient. Using them as a supplement provides a boost of energy and they’re generally taken during workouts as part of your water. The best lean protein sources like chicken and fish tend to have a full BCAA profile, but taking them as a supplement is a good idea if you find yourself tired at the gym.
Caffeine is usually the main ingredient of any pre-workout supplement. It aids the body by decreasing fatigue and increasing energy, but can make you jittery if you take too much. Caffeine supplements are a great way to help you push that little bit harder, which in turn will help you gain a little more muscle.
ZMA is a blend of zinc and magnesium which helps increase your natural pre workout supplements for hormone levels, namely testosterone. They help aid sleep, which also produces a growth hormone – so are generally good for upping your testosterone levels and muscle-building capacity.
Mass gainer shakes are a mixture of protein and carbohydrates designed to help you pack in calories without having to fork down more food. They’re ideal for people looking to drastically up their calorie intake – but if you’re preparing plenty of meals, you don’t really need them.
Ultimately, whatever supplements you decide to use, the results you’ll get depend entirely on your training plan. Just as you would with clothing, don’t buy cheap or you’ll buy twice. Instead, get quality UK supplements from the likes of MaxiNutrition, or quality supplements in your own country.