Are you trying to build muscle over 35 and you’re wondering if some supplements might help?
Today I’m going to talk to you about five supplements that may or may not be useful for muscle building.
My name is Ivana Chapman.
I’m an online fitness and nutrition coach and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.
Make sure you stick around until the end because I’m going to tell you how to figure out which supplements are useful for you.
So let’s start by defining it.
A dietary supplement is a product that’s taken orally that contains one or more ingredients that are intended to supplement one’s diet and are not considered food.
Protein Powder Supplements
So the first supplement that I’m going to talk to you about is protein powder.
Now, I personally don’t consider protein powder a supplement.
I just consider it a food.
This is what I use here. It’s not advertising for anybody, but it just happens to be a really simple kind.
I use whey protein isolate. But when you think about it way, whether it’s protein isolate or protein concentrate, whatever you’re using just comes from milk and milk is already a whole food product.
We don’t consider this a supplement, we just consider it a food. Whey is just a component of milk. So in my eyes it’s not really a supplement, but some people do consider it a supplement. I use protein powder.
So I guess that gives you a fairly good clue that that might be a good muscle building supplement.
Reaching Your Protein Goal With Protein Supplements
The idea is that you get a little bit more protein than you normally would through just your food. And using a protein powder just means that you have a quick and easy method of delivering that protein to your body whenever you need it.
For me, I normally will put a scoop in one of these shakers, mix it with water, shake it up after my workout generally or any time I need between meals if I’m trying to fit in a little bit more protein. This is a really easy way of getting in protein, which your body needs to build muscle.
I generally recommend 0.8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Now that will vary a little bit from person to person, but that would be the maximum that I would recommend for anybody. If you’re struggling to get that amount of protein, protein powder can make it really easy to add in a little bit more. If I look at this one here, 31 grams of protein and that’s just one skip. I’ll drink about this much liquid with it and I get 31 grams of protein.
You pretty much need a whole chicken breast for that amount of protein. And there are a few things that are going to give you that much vegetarian sources or even worse in terms of obtaining the amount of that you need without getting excessively bloated or without adding a lot of carbs.
This is a really easy way of adding protein to your diet, which you absolutely need for building muscle.
The next supplement I’m going to talk to you about is creatine.
I’ve actually got some creatine over here, so it just comes in powder form and you take it by the scoop. I just put it into whatever liquid you forgot that sexually, not mine, I’m not using it at the moment, but my husband is. So this is probably the most well-researched supplement, particularly in sports science. It’s a known egogenic aid for athletes.
Research On Creatine
But the surprising thing about creatine is that it’s been researched in all populations from infants all the way through to the elderly. And there are benefits along each of those stages. They’ve actually even tested it with pregnant patients for particular issues as well.
It’s very well researched.
Creatine is known to increase muscle recovery and muscle growth, particularly recovery from intense exercise and being able to build muscle. And that’s what we were talking about. The interesting thing about creatine for those of us who are over 35 is that it helps you maintain muscle and they’ve tell us, tested this up to the elderly. So even in elderly populations when they’re not doing any training, it helps them to retain muscle.
And if you’re watching my videos you know that building and maintaining muscle as you get older is really important.
Creatine can help you do that.
These studies on creatine actually show that it is safe for both short term and longterm use up to five years, believe it or not, in healthy populations. Including as I mentioned, infants and the elderly. So in terms of supplements, this one has been shown to be very safe and it is effective for muscle building.
And now we’re going to move on to BCAAs.
These are branch chain amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. It’s become kind of popular to see people pretty much with one of these like during their workouts they’ve got like a blue liquid in there and it tastes like raspberry or something. That’s probably BCAAs because it’s been popular to take that. In recent years.
There is no evidence that it’s actually useful as long as your protein intake is adequate, then you don’t get any additional benefits from having the intro workout BCAs that you’ll see people having absolutely no need for it.
It’s just an additional cost that you don’t really need. If you just have your protein shake after your workout and you’re getting a lot of protein throughout the day, then you don’t really need those BCAAs.
The type of amino acids, the BCAAs are not any more effective than regular proteins. In fact, there’s other ones, the other amino acids that are more useful, uh, in terms of recovering your muscle after a workout session. So you can probably skip the BCAAs.
So let’s move on to beta alanine.
Now, this is an amino acid and this particular amino acid increases the storage of carnosine in skeletal muscle.
Carnosine is responsible for producing force within the muscle. Taking oral carnosine as a supplement isn’t really useful because it’s all absorbed in the gut before it ever gets to the skeletal muscle. So one way around that is taking beta alanine in order to increase the carnosine content of muscle and producing greater strength there and then as a result further growth.
So this one does seem to be effective for producing muscle building results. It is one that has, is considered useful, particularly for athletes who are trying to increase their carnosine levels.
And the last one I’m going to talk about is HMB.
This is a natural chemical compound. It’s a metabolite that’s derived from the amino acid leucine.
HMB has been shown to improve muscle recovery, strength and power. Also hypertrophy, which is what we’re talking about here, muscle growth. Um, I’m including links to the ISS position stance about each of these supplements. So if you’re interested in getting a bit more information about dosage and that sort of thing, you can have a look there. Um, has been shown to be effective. Haven’t tried it myself, but as far as the collection of things that you could potentially take for muscle building, this one could be there too.
Cautions When Using Supplements
Now I’m going to throw in some big cautions cautions. Make sure that before you consider taking any supplements, go see your doctor.
Make sure that you’re healthy. If you’re on any medications, they may interact with these supplements. So you also need to be aware of that.
The other important thing is that you’re actually doing the work first. You need to be doing proper weight training and you’re not going to get any results with any natural supplements if you don’t do the training. So you need to be pushing yourself relatively hard in the gym. It needs to be frequent and it needs to be consistent in order for it to be worth it to take these supplements in the first place.
Who Doesn’t Need Supplements?
There is no point for someone who’s a complete beginner who just wants to put on some mass to buy a bunch of supplements and then think that that’s going to get them results.I actually recommend most people start off and do a two to three years of proper training. That means the right frequency, intensity and volume in terms of your weight training.
See where that gets you. Then when you’re ready to take it to the next level, start adding maybe one supplement and then another supplement if necessary. You want to monitor how your body responds to these things. There’s no point in just throwing them all in together because you’ll be forced to take those things forever.
Protein powder perhaps is an exception. I recommend if people are having hard time getting enough protein. It’s just a simple convenient way of getting an extra protein. So that’s maybe excluded slightly from the supplement side there. But make sure that you’re ready to take supplements and then you actually are at the point where you need them.
The Cost Of Supplements
The other thing that you want to consider is the cost. My husband and I don’t really take anything besides our protein powders. He started with creatine recently. But even that can add up over time. So you don’t want to spend a fortune on supplements.
You need to focus on having good food. The base of your nutrition needs to be solid before you add supplements to it. Cause if you’re the kind of person who just thinks you’re going to have a crappy diet. Just adding supplements isn’t going to build muscle. You need to make sure that your nutrition is already in a good place.
Then you’re ready to take it to the next level.
What Supplements Have You Used?
Have you used any of these supplements?
What did you think? For myself, as I said, I just use the protein powder. And in the past I haven’t used creatine in my karate competition years. I found that it helped to build and maintain my muscle a little bit better.
If you are looking to take it to the next level. When you’ve been struggling for a little while, some of these supplements can help. But remember that none of them are necessary for building muscle. You need to have the right amount of calories and protein. And you do the right training.
You can build muscle without any supplementation whatsoever.