Supplements for building muscle mass, part 2

The next five top supplements for building muscle mass are here! Just a head’s up… you don’t necessarily need to be taking ALL of these supplements. Adding all of them all at once may shock your system, so add them slowly and listen to your body – it will let you know if it doesn’t like something that you are giving it. Always ask your doctor first if you are unsure of anything!

1)    Nitric Oxide Boosters: Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule found throughout the body that’s involved in multiple processes. The one that bodybuilders are most interested in is its ability to dilate blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the muscles for enhanced delivery of oxygen, nutrients, anabolic hormones and water (blood is mostly water). This gives you more energy during your workout, an enhanced muscle pump, and better muscle recovery and growth after the workout. Nitric Oxide boosters don’t provide Nitric Oxide, but rather the amino acid arginine, which is readily converted to Nitric Oxide in the body. Research has found that subjects who were given arginine increased muscle strength and growth and lost body fat. How to maximize their effects: Take an NO booster that provides 3—5 grams of arginine in the form of L-arginine, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, arginine ethyl ester or arginine malate. Also, consider NO boosters that provide ingredients such as citrulline, pycnog-enol and American ginseng, which enhance arginine’s ability to increase NO. Take one dose at each of the following times: in the morning before breakfast, 30—60 minutes before training, immediately after training and 30—60 minutes before bedtime. When possible, take each dose without food and consider combining it with 500—1,000 mg of vitamin C, which can help maintain levels of NO for longer

2)    Glutamine: This amino acid has been a favorite of bodybuilders for decades because it’s central to muscle function and is one of the most plentiful aminos found in the human body. Glutamine provides numerous bodybuilding benefits, such as aiding muscle growth by increasing levels of leucine in muscle fibers, helping decrease muscle breakdown and bolstering the immune system, which helps prevent you from getting sick and missing workouts. Glutamine taken before workouts can help decrease muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. In addition, recent research shows that glutamine might also play a role in fat loss by increasing the amount of calories and fat burned at rest and during exercise. How to maximize its effects: Take 5 to 10 grams of glutamine in the morning with breakfast, with your pre- and post-workout shakes, and with your nighttime snack

3)    ZMA: ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. It’s an important supplement because hard-training athletes such as bodybuilders are often deficient in these critical minerals, which are important for maintaining hormone levels and aiding sleep (essential for recovery). Intense training can compromise levels of testosterone and IGF-1. In fact, one study found that athletes who took ZMA significantly increased their levels of testosterone and IGF-1 during eight weeks of training, while those who took a placebo experienced a drop in both T and IGF-1. Naturally, boosting testosterone and IGF-1 can make huge impacts on muscle gains. How to maximize its effects: Use a ZMA product that provides about 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium and 10.5 mg of vitamin B6, and take it 30—60 minutes before bedtime without any food or calcium. Taking ZMA on an empty stomach will enhance its uptake and utilization and improve your sleep quality for optimal recovery

4)    Carnitine: Besides being a popular fat-loss supplement, carnitine is now known to enhance muscle growth through a number of mechanisms, all of which are supported by clinical research. For one, carnitine can increase blood flow to muscles, which means it provides similar benefits to NO boosters. It also increases testosterone levels post workout and the amount of T receptors inside muscle cells, which allows more testosterone to stimulate more growth. In addition, carnitine supplements have been found to increase levels of IGF-1. Add all these benefits together and you have the potential to gain enormous amounts of muscle. How to maximize its effects: Take 1—3 grams of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine or L-carnitine-L-tartrate with breakfast, your pre- and post-workout shakes, and nighttime meals

5)    Beta-Ecdysterone: Beta-ecdysterone is a phytochemical found in plants such as spinach, where its main function is to protect the plant from insects. Russian scientists discovered many years ago that beta-ecdysterone has anabolic properties. In fact, it’s similar in structure to hormones found in insects and crustaceans. Yet beta-ecdysterone doesn’t behave like a hormone in the body, but rather works by stimulating protein synthesis and therefore muscle growth. Anecdotal reports suggest that it’s very effective for producing increases in both muscle size and strength. How to maximize its effects: To get the most out of beta-ecdysterone, make sure you get a high enough dose and take it frequently throughout the day. Look for products that supply about 100 mg of beta-ecdysterone and take it with meals in the morning, before and after workouts, as well as with lunch and dinner, for a total of 400 to 500 mg per day.

There are many, many other supplements out there, but if your goal is to build muscle mass, then these are the best ones to start off with. Combine your supplements with drinking lots of water (no soda pop!), getting in some pretty heavy exercise at least three or four days each week, and getting enough sleep (7 to 9 hours per night).

Living healthy is easier than most people seem to think… it just takes the right ingredients, having a plan for success, and determination. If you are ready to take those first steps toward a healthier life, contact Heroic Health & Well-Being today and get started down the road to better health now!

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