With the world being so focused on losing weight, it can be tricky for the few who actually want to gain it. Gaining weight can be as hard as losing fat. As you probably well know, losing fat or ‘cutting’ depends on eating less calories than you burn and, therefore, gaining muscle or ‘bulking’ depends on eating more calories than you burn.
In order to make sure the weight gained is from muscle, there are certain tips and tricks you can implement, and one of these is to pick the right supplements.
The first tip is to eat protein at every meal. Protein helps to promote lean muscle mass and keep you in an anabolic state. Eating enough protein is an absolute must for muscle gain, and you should aim for about 0.8 gram per pound of bodyweight (1.6 g/kg). In order to help you hit this, a supplement such as protein powder can become invaluable. There’s nothing special or magical about protein powder, but it does help you to increase your protein intake in a very convenient manner. You can drink protein shakes wherever you are, and the only preparation needed is to mix with water or milk. Unlike cooking chicken breast, protein shakes can be made in an instant and taken anywhere.
You can get protein shakes in a variety of forms, but by far the most effective is whey (from milk). If you can’t consume dairy, then there’s also soy, pea, egg, hemp, and a variety of other options. The benefit to whey is that it’s fast digesting, making it useful for after or prior to your workout. The other dairy option is casein which is much slower digesting. Having a casein shake before bed helps you to build muscle whilst you sleep as your muscles will be drip fed throughout the night.
Obviously, gaining or losing weight depends on calories, so if you’re not eating enough calories, then you’re not going to gain muscle. Some people find it incredibly hard to eat enough calories for a number of reasons such as a poor appetite, not enough money, or not enjoying high-calorie foods. Because of this, you can also supplement with a weight-gaining shake which contains a large amount of carbohydrates alongside a bolus of protein.
We suggest you select better gainers with more complex carbs. They are slightly more expensive, but healthier. The thinner you are, the more carb-rich type of gainer you will need.
Eating enough calories isn’t just important for gaining weight, but also for helping with your performance in the gym. When gaining weight, you shouldn’t just focus on getting bigger, but getting stronger, too. Getting stronger means that you’ll be able to handle more weight, completing a larger volume of work, and creating a greater stimulus on the muscle. When it comes to performance, creatine is the one of the best supplements out there. Creatine helps to increase ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels in the body, which helps with energy production. In turn, this can help you to become bigger and stronger. As well as this, it’s extremely cheap and has very little side effects, making it one of the most widely used supplements around.
Another supplement that can aid in weight gain is a pre-workout. Pre-workouts contain specific ingredients designed to enhance your physical and mental performance in the gym. By far, the most potent of these is caffeine, so any caffeinated beverage can suffice. However, pre-workouts contain other ingredients designed to improve your mood, focus, and confidence, enabling you and pushing you to go that little bit further.
Pre-workouts should only be taken when necessary in order to avoid reliance on them. So, save them for when you’re hitting a new PB or if you’re particularly tired.
Are supplements necessary?
It’s important to note that no supplement is necessary. You can still get fantastic results from a solid diet, a good exercise plan, and hard work. As we’ve already stated, in terms of your diet, you just need to eat enough calories and protein. A good route to take is increasing your carbohydrate intake as this is less likely to turn into fat than consuming more fat. As well as this, carbohydrates support performance and help to increase glycogen stores in the muscles, making them look bigger. Eating slow-digesting carbs, such as oatmeal, prior to your workout can provide a sustained source of energy throughout your session.
When it comes to exercise, you want the main focus of your workouts to be on compound movements like:
- Bench Press
- Overhead Press
Together, these six exercises hit every muscle in your body to ensure that you build an equal and well-rounded physique.
However, if you have the money, then supplements can be a great investment to help with easing the process and making sure that you get the best results possible.