The summer is approaching. You’ve been hitting it hard at the gym. You were experiencing more gains when you first started lifting, but now you seem to be at a stopping point. Sound familiar? You may want to think about trying supplements that have been scientifically proven to improve muscle gain. The idea of achieving a thin beach body is a trend of the past. More and more people are now focusing on feeling happier and more confident by getting stronger, not skinnier.
These specific supplements can improve overall increases of lean body mass—in addition to eating a healthy diet of course.
The 3 Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. There are 20 amino acids in the body—the building blocks of protein. BCAAs are different than the other amino acids because they are broken down in muscle instead of the liver, making them play an important role in muscle metabolism. Leucine specifically has been shown to have the largest impact on building muscle (1), where isoleucine plays an important role in glucose metabolism. BCAA supplementation is particularly helpful for people who don’t get a lot of protein or animal products in their diet and has even been shown to reduce fatigue for athletes. More information about Persona’s BCAAs can be found here.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb that has been shown to increase muscle strength, size, and exercise-induced muscle damage (2). The subjects took 300mg twice daily for a period of 8 weeks and the authors concluded supplementation may be useful when combined with a resistance training program. Persona uses Sensoril®, which is a very potent more bioavailable form with enhanced benefits. More information can be found here.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a sulfur-containing compound naturally found in our bodies, as well as animal and plant foods. While not directly increasing strength, MSM has been shown to improve muscle recovery and muscle aches after hard exercise, which can help you get back to the gym quicker. An article from the Journal of Sports Medicine suggests MSM supplementation does this by lowering the inflammatory response experienced after strenuous exercise (3) and by increasing glutathione levels. More information about Persona’s high quality MSM supplement can be found here.
L-Arginine and L-Ornithine
L-Arginine and L-Ornithine are popular supplements in the weightlifting community. These 2 amino acids work together to stimulate vasodilation which can lead to increased muscle strength and growth when combined with a resistance training program (7). More information about Persona’s Arginine w/Ornithine can be found here.
While it’s important to get adequate protein from food, sometimes it’s more convenient to take a supplement, especially if you don’t get enough. Plus, if you are looking to gain muscle drinking a protein shake after your workouts has been shown to assist with that. It is recommended for athletes to get 1.2-2 grams per kilogram of body weight each day if you are looking to gain muscle (6).
Sometimes it’s not always easy to obtain that, especially if your diet doesn’t include animal foods. Taking a protein supplement may be an effective way to fill those gaps. However, use caution when purchasing protein powders. The Clean Label Project measured the amount of toxins in popular protein powders and found plant proteins to have the most contaminants (4). Consumerreports.org suggest this is because they are prone to absorbing heavy metals from soil (5). You can find the specifics to the study and ratings for high quality protein powders at https://www.cleanlabelproject.org/product_category/protein-powder/.
Want to know how you can integrate this powerhouse combination of muscle building supplements into your wellness routine? You can take our assessment for a personalized vitamin regimen based on your health and lifestyle. Persona is the only Science Based supplement provider on the web today! Take advantage of our knowledge and use it to benefit your health and support your fitness journey! Ready to find the right vitamins for you? Get Recommendations or check out our Fitness Formula available in our Essential Packs!
- Kimball SR, Jefferson LS. Signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms through which branched-chain amino acids mediate translational control of protein synthesis. J Nutr. 2006;136(1 Suppl):227S-31S.
- Wankhede S, Langade D, Joshi K, Sinha SR, Bhattacharyya S. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:43.
- Van der Merwe M, Bloomer RJ. The Influence of Methylsulfonylmethane on Inflammation-Associated Cytokine Release before and following Strenuous Exercise. J Sports Med (Hindawi Publ Corp). 2016;2016:7498359.
- Protein Powder. Clean Label Project. https://www.cleanlabelproject.org/protein-powder/. Accessed April 26, 2019.
- Hirsch J. Arsenic, Lead Found in Popular Protein Supplements. Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/dietary-supplements/heavy-metals-in-protein-supplements/. Accessed April 26, 2019.
- Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016;48(3):543-68.
- Zajac A, Poprzecki S, Zebrowska A, Chalimoniuk M, Langfort J. Arginine and ornithine supplementation increases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 serum levels after heavy-resistance exercise in strength-trained athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(4):1082-90.