You have probably noticed the huge number of supplements you can buy. According to the adverts, they can solve almost all your problems. But is it really true? Do you really need any supplements?
As you may have guessed, most of the supplements are not worth paying for. Despite all the promises, independent studies have only found a few supplements that are worth paying for. There are no magic supplements that will build muscle mass but whey protein is actually worth paying for if you want to build muscle mass.
In order to grow, your muscles need protein. You can of course make sure to eat enough protein but if you want to grow muscle mass, a lot of protein is required. Protein supplement is a convenient way of making sure that you get enough protein. You have plenty of different protein supplements to choose from but studies have shown that whey protein supplements are by far the best for muscle growth.
Needless to say, not all whey protein supplements are created equal. There are three main types of whey protein, whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolysate. Just to complicate things, there are also whey protein blends, containing more than one type of whey protein. Whey concentrate is the cheapest of three types of whey supplement and whey hydrolysate is the most expensive. It can be very confusing trying to compare prices and products. If you want good value for your money, try to find a whey supplement that contains about 80% protein and does not cost a fortune. Read the labels carefully, many whey concentrate contain as little as 30% protein. They may be cheap but are not really good value for the money anyway. As a rule of thumb, the more protein, the better.
You don’t really need any other supplements but in some cases creatine may be worth testing. Creatine has number of useful functions, including reducing muscle damage, improving endurance and boosting muscle growth. Creatine is found naturally in the body and how much creatine supplement helps varies from person to person. Also creatine supplements come in all possible shapes and forms. It looks like cheap creatine monohydrate is as good as more expensive forms of creatine. Our recommendation is to buy 100% pure creatine in powder form and mix it with fruit juice.
What about all other muscle supplements? Although the adverts promise a lot, independent studies have not been able to find any evidence that they significantly boost muscle gain. You can of course try a pre-workout drink if you think it helps you do your workout, caffeine gives you a temporary energy boost. But it does not make sense to pay much for pre-workout drinks with caffeine, they will not build muscles for you.