Gaining weight sounds a lot easier than losing weight, doesn’t it? All you have to do is eat a little more, exercise a little less – and the numbers on the scales will rise. Can it really be that simple? Theoretically yes. But we don’t just want to gain weight, we want to build lean muscle mass and that’s a little more complicated.
Fortunately, there are a number of supplements that can help you gain weight. However, there are just as many remedies that do not help you at all, but rather do more harm than good to your losing weight. You probably know the miracle pills that promise to turn you from Bruce Banner to the Hulk overnight – which is exactly what you should avoid.
What are the best muscle mass nutrition supplements?
We have a list for you that will help you easily distinguish which supplements are useful and which you should avoid. With a scientific background, of course.
Let’s start with a classic. Whey protein has been shown to offer many health and fitness benefits. It is best known for building lean muscle mass. Whey protein contains amino acids that stimulate muscle protein synthesis (muscle building) and reduce muscle breakdown. Overall, this leads to an increase in muscle mass.
Building muscle mass without increasing your fat percentage is a challenge we would all love to see. Could whey protein be the deciding factor? Not only does whey protein reduce fat gain while building muscle – a post-workout shake can help you lose fat too.
In a double-blind study, male and female subjects completed eight weeks of strength training. They then consumed an unspecified shake (either whey protein, beef protein isolate, chicken protein, or a placebo). Those who drank the whey protein shake had the highest gains in muscle mass and lost more fat than the other control groups.
Whey protein is versatile and can be used in shakes, yoghurt, porridge or baked goods – it’s thanks to a very convenient formula of supplement powder for bodybuilding, allowing you to easily store and quickly prepare a meal containing a high amount of protein. Hearty dishes can also be upgraded if you opt for the tasteless variant.
Whether you are gaining (muscle), losing (fat) weight, consuming more calories or just looking for a tasty snack – whey protein can be the right answer for everything.
Creatine – why is it a crucial one?
Creatine is a non-essential nutrient that is produced in the liver, kidneys and pancreas and can be ingested from protein-rich foods. One of the main tasks of creatine in the body is to promote the rapid regeneration of adenosine phosphate (ATP) – the main source of energy during short, high-intensity exercises such as sprints. Hence, it is beneficial to increase the creatine stores in the muscles.
In addition to being used to improve performance, creatine undoubtedly affects body composition. One study showed that the combination of creatine and strength training – compared to strength training alone – leads to a greater increase in muscle mass and at the same time reduces the percentage of body fat.
Many athletes swear by creatine when it comes to gaining weight – from football players to weightlifters to the elderly.
If you’re not already taking creatine, you can start a loading phase to fill your creatine stores. To do this, you take 0.3g creatine per kg of body weight (approx. 5g, so a total of 20g) for a week. Then you can move on to the maintenance phase, in which you take 3-5g per day.
This non-essential nutrient seems pretty essential if the goal is to gain weight. Just a few grams a day can help you build muscle.
Take home message
The basic physiology of weight gain is that the energy consumed must be less than the energy supplied. So you have to eat more than you need. Gaining weight supplements can help you consume enough calories with a balanced diet and exercise to get closer to your goal – weight gain.
Regardless of age or activity level, there are studies that have examined and proven the effects of protein powder, creatine and weight gainer on weight gain. HMB can reduce a loss of body mass so that if you take a long break, don’t step backwards.
If a product promises to turn you into the Hulk overnight, then stay away from it. Do your research well and educate yourself.