The Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

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By Leslie Waterson

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

The Best Supplements For Muscle Growth

If you have been wondering how to build up strength, feel, and look better, then finding the best supplement for muscle growth is key. There are so many supplements out there claiming to help you build more muscle mass faster, but which ones are the best? In this article, we will tell you all about it.

What Are Supplements For Muscle Growth? 

When you are into working out, lifting weights, or just feeling your best, you may want to dabble into growing your muscles to become stronger.

Not everyone can do this on their own, as it requires eating a lot of protein and paying detailed attention to your diet. Instead, you can safely rely on some supplements that will promote muscle mass growth.

Most of the supplements in this article are easy to find, and you can use them in your day-to-day without any problems. Be sure to read the descriptions on all of them and choose the right one for you.

Best Supplements For Muscle Growth Intro


What is Creatine? 

Creatine is an amino acid that is produced by the human body and is also found in meat. It exists primarily in muscle tissue and provides energy to your muscle cells and other tissues, which is why it is often linked to muscle strength and a decrease in muscle fatigue.

What Does Creatine Do? 

  • This amino acid increases lean body mass and strength when used in conjunction with lifting.
  • Creatine may increase the amount of weight you can put up and the reps you’re able to do.
  • Because creatine increases the water content and stimulates the receptors inside muscle cells, it can also enhance muscle growth.
  • Studies have shown that creatine can increases certain anabolic hormones, like IGF-1, that can boost muscle growth too.
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Creatine Safety and Side Effects

Creatine is generally well-tolerated and safe for most people. However, certain populations, like growing teens should avoid it because there is not enough research on the safety for them.

There have been some reports of stomach pain and/or nausea when taking creatine, but these effects can be lessened or eliminated with proper dosing.

You should also know that creatine supplements slightly increase the level of creatinine in the blood.

Elevated creatinine can be a marker for kidney disease, so taking creatine as a dietary supplement could potentially result in a false positive when screening for it.

Do not worry, creatine does not damage the kidneys when dosed properly, but those with pre-existing kidney disease should avoid supplementation.

What Is The Best Form of Creatine To Take? 

The most studied and popular form of creatine is creatine monohydrate. Stick with it because its safety has been tested rigorously, and it is well-absorbed.

Creatine Dosing

Creatine monohydrate dosing usually requires a loading phase that can stimulate muscle protein synthesis. During this phase, a person consumes a large amount of creatine for a short period.

The recommended dose for creatine loading is 20 grams per day for the first 5 to 7 days. Usually, the doses are divided into 5 grams per meal. This method has been shown to promote muscle growth by 10 to 40%.

When the loading phase is over, a person can maintain and gain muscle mass by keeping creatine levels balanced. If you continue to use 2 to 10 grams of creatine daily, you are aiding muscle growth every day.

Be careful not to exceed this dose as it could potentially have a detrimental effect on the kidneys.

The Bottom Line On Creatine 

Creatine is one of the most well-researched and effective muscle-building supplements out there. It can increase lean muscle mass and help you lift more, and as you know training increases muscle mass and prevents muscle breakdown.

This supplement has been used for decades and is worth trying if you have not done so already. It does not work for everyone, but creatine’s potential benefits, safety profile, and price make it worth a shot.

The Best Supplements For Muscle Growth Creatine


What Is Beta-Alanine and What Does It Do? 

Beta-Alanine increases the levels of carnosine in muscle tissue. Although it is not one of the essential amino acids, it still promotes muscle recovery.

You may have heard of the amino acid arginine and how much arginine increased muscle strength. But do you know why muscle recovery is important?

Carnosine helps neutralize the lactic acid released in your muscles when you lift. Lactic acid increases acidity that often leads to muscle fatigue, so supplementing beta-alanine to reduce that acidity can help you push past your threshold and lead to bigger gains.

With beta-alanine, you may also have better push muscle recovery during your weight training, and your body will be pushing protein synthesis too.

Beta-Alanine Safety and Side Effects

Beta-alanine appears to be safe when dosed correctly.

Some people have reported a tingling sensation in their extremities with bigger doses. Even if this happened to you, it would only be temporary. If you do notice a tingling sensation, cut and/or split up the dose or opt for an extended-release supplement.

Beta-Alanine Dosing 

For best muscle building effect, dosing should be 4 to 6 grams daily, divided in 2 grams or less per meal for at least two weeks. If you experience tingling, you can divide your dose into 800 milligrams-1.6 grams and spread it out throughout the day.

The Bottom Line on Beta-Alanine

This supplement can decrease muscle fatigue and allow you to put up more weight in muscle gain, which would help you build muscle faster.

Combining it with creatine might help in stimulating protein synthesis. Since the amino acid beta-alanine is safe when it comes to side effects, it is worth a shot as it is relatively inexpensive (especially when bought in bulk).

Since some over-exercising increases muscle breakdown, you can also combine the amino acid arginine with your beta-alanine for better anabolic properties.

Best Supplements For Muscle Growth Beta Alanine

Branched-Chain Amino Acids

When you hear branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), you are thinking of three specific amino acids in specific. These amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

While you can find BCAAs in protein sources, like eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy, you may want to consume protein supplements that contain these and increase muscle mass.

Even though most people get enough of these three amino acids from their diet, there may be some benefits for muscle gain, and it could be helping decrease muscle breakdown.

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Protein Powder

Protein is the building block of your cells and muscles. By lifting weights and doing intense training, you are tearing your muscle fibers with the intention of them bouncing back stronger.

Feeding your muscle enough protein through your diet is essential for your muscle fibers’ ability to grow and bend, so protein supplementation could help in building muscle tissue and increasing blood flow.

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Is Whey Protein Really Necessary? 

If you are not getting adequate protein from your diet, it may be worth finding a protein supplement. You can try a whey protein shake immediately after working out or before bed. Other options like pea protein or chickpea protein are good if you do not consume dairy.

The recommended daily protein intake to maximize muscle protein synthesis is 1.3-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. So using an average weight of 195 pounds (89 kilograms), the optimal dose range would be from 115-160 grams of protein per day.

A whey protein shake or other protein shakes of your choice contains more amino acids than regular meals. When it comes to muscle-building supplements, protein shakes are great if you are looking for muscle gain, and they are effective because they increase blood flow to the muscles.

Keep in mind that you need more protein when lifting than you do for just cardio by itself.

Do You Really Need Protein Right After your Workout? 

One school of thought is that the timing of supplemental protein is crucial, and you should take it right after you lift. Many people believe in taking whey protein right after the gym for that reason – the protein is more rapidly absorbed when compared to something like a chicken breast.

If you workout in the morning or afternoon, then timing does not matter, and taking a scoop of whey protein powder right after your workout will not make a difference. Your muscle function will still be better, but the timing of the protein supplements is not as important.

However, if you work out in the evening, take a scoop of whey protein isolate, or another protein, right after lifting. This can help with overnight recovery and then take another one when you wake up to kick start muscle growth.

What About Casein Powder?

Casein is the other protein in milk, and consuming it can improve muscle mass. Unlike whey protein, though, it is considered to have a very slow digestion rate.

Consuming a casein protein shake postworkout can replenish muscle glycogen levels by maintaining leucine levels in muscle cells more balanced.

Adding casein powder to your diet may also help your body experience delayed onset muscle soreness, and therefore muscle growth can occur more easily.

By now you know that training increases muscle growth

What Is The Right Amount Of Casein For Muscle Protein Synthesis?

Using micellar casein has numerous bodybuilding benefits, so you can take between 20-40 grams before bed. You can also a 10 or 20-gram scoop of casein to your whey protein for more muscle mass increase.

The Best Supplements For Muscle Growth Protein Powder

Other Supplements 

There are several other supplements on the market that claim to help build muscle. In particular, HMB showing promise in building muscle strength.

HMB is especially promising for athletes training in combat sports, but more testing is needed to determine whether it is safe.

The same is true in determining whether other supplements are safe and effective for maximizing muscle gains for people looking to improve their results in the gym.


We suggest you start with a creatinine or protein powder after your workout or before bedtime. We suggest you try whey protein, though a vegan option can also work!

Move onto something like BCAAs or HMB after giving these others a try. Always check with your doctor too.

What do you think? Get ready to take control of your performance at the gym and build more muscle mass every time.

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Leslie Waterson

Leslie has been passionately involved in the health and fitness industries for over a decade. She is constantly reviewing the latest scientific research and studies in order to take a research-backed approach to lifestyle optimization. Her main areas of interest include nutrition and supplementation. Leslie shares her findings on Fitness Clone to help other health enthusiasts choose the products and routines that will help them achieve their goals.