Why You Are Not Building Muscle
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Why You Are Not Building Muscle

 

There’s nothing as frustrating as thinking you’ve got your diet and exercise regime figured out, only to realize you’re not gaining muscle definition. Lifting weights until you’re blue in the face and following the most rigorous training programs won’t get you very far without adequate nourishment.

One of the biggest reasons individuals don’t build muscle is due to poor nutrition, and this can happen even if you think you’re eating well.

The most crucial aspect of muscle development is recovery. While training, micro-tears in muscles occur and heal repeatedly, leading the body to generate new muscle fibers. Recuperation requires sufficient quantities of critical nutrients such as glycogen, creatine, protein, and others that are rarely found in even the most well-balanced diet.[1] Workout supplements are an excellent option because they provide the body with the needed nutrients for optimal performance and recovery.

Grab a Post Workout Shake

A post-workout shake/meal is critical for proper recovery. When finishing a workout, muscles require nutrients metabolized during the session. Most individuals believe that a simple whey protein drink is all that is required following a workout. This is not accurate. While a protein drink is good, it falls well below the necessity of a proper post-workout shake.

Carbohydrates convert into glucose that gets stored in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen, the body’s main energy source. A low-carb post-workout shake may cause a glycogen-depleted body to break down muscle tissue to fuel itself.

An optimal post-workout shake contains carbohydrates, protein, and creatine. Research has shown that consuming carbohydrates post-workout leads to a significant increase in insulin levels. Insulin is a strong anabolic hormone that helps rapidly absorb molecules throughout the body. This ensures that creatine, protein, and BCAAs are swiftly absorbed into muscle cells for muscle regeneration.[2]

Protein Shakes

Protein should still be the priority after a workout. This is when protein’s function in muscle rebuilding is most important. Every cell in the body is composed of protein and essential amino acids. After a hard workout, muscles generate tiny tears to make space for fibers to regrow. These micro-tears require protein to grow and heal, and a post-workout shake accelerates the process to increase muscle growth. If enough protein is consumed every day in conjunction with effective workouts, muscles will grow. However, not enough protein will make the best workouts ineffective.

Creatine Powder & Capsules

Scientific research has determined that creatine is naturally present in muscle cells. Approximately 95% of the human body’s creatine is stored in muscles as phosphocreatine. The remaining 5% is found in the brain, kidneys, and liver.[1]

Creatine facilitates the production of energy by muscles during heavy lifting or high-intensity activity. Apart from being a common substance used by athletes and bodybuilders to develop power, increase strength, and improve workout performance, it has several chemical similarities to amino acids. It is made by the body from the amino acids glycine and arginine.

Several variables influence the body’s creatine storage, including meat consumption, exercise, muscle mass, and hormone levels such as testosterone and IGF-1. When  supplementing, boosting phosphocreatine storage helps the body generate more of a high-energy molecule known as ATP. The body can perform better throughout intense exercise when it has access to more ATP. Additionally, creatine affects various cellular processes, improving muscular growth, strength, stamina, and recuperation.

Creatine capsules or powder enable athletes to recover more quickly and be able to execute more repetitions between sets. Over time, greater strength and muscle mass develops. Increased muscle mass and strength will differ from person to person and will be affected by the amount of creatine consumed.[2] If already deficient, creatine supplementation will result in more dramatic effects.

The Importance of Other Supplements

The body is a machine that needs vital elements such as vitamins and minerals to function properly. Your body will not respond well to strength workouts if you don’t meet your body’s required daily intake of these nutrients. While protein and creatine might help gain muscle, other factors contribute to a well-rounded approach.

A well-balanced diet and daily vitamins can have significant benefits. However, it can be challenging to keep track of all of the vitamins and minerals consumed through diet alone.[3] Protein shakes, and creatine should be used with high quality multi-vitamins to achieve the maximum benefit.

There are numerous alternative supplements available for athletes and bodybuilders, and it can be difficult to understand the research findings. Other ingredients that may have been added to the protein and creatine formula may also have a unique role in athletic performance and muscle growth.

If you’re looking for the perfect post-workout supplements to boost your gains, enhance your performance and drive results, check out our selection at www.allmaxnutrition.com.

References:

https://www.popsci.com/supplements-help-build-muscle/

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/why-youre-not-building-muscle.html

https://www.popsci.com/supplements-help-build-muscle/

 


[1] Rossow LM, Fukuda DH, Fahs CA, Loenneke JP, Stout JR. Natural bodybuilding competition preparation and recovery: a 12-month case study. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013 Sep;8(5):582-92. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.8.5.582. Epub 2013 Feb 14. PMID: 23412685.

[2] Shimomura Y, Murakami T, Nakai N, Nagasaki M, Harris RA. Exercise promotes BCAA catabolism: effects of BCAA supplementation on skeletal muscle during exercise. J Nutr. 2004 Jun;134(6 Suppl):1583S-1587S. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.6.1583S. PMID: 15173434.

[3] Pakulak A, Candow DG, Totosy de Zepetnek J, Forbes SC, Basta D. Effects of Creatine and Caffeine Supplementation During Resistance Training on Body Composition, Strength, Endurance, Rating of Perceived Exertion and Fatigue in Trained Young Adults. J Diet Suppl. 2021 Mar 24:1-16. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2021.1904085. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33759701.

[4] Smith RN, Agharkar AS, Gonzales EB. A review of creatine supplementation in age-related diseases: more than a supplement for athletes. F1000Res. 2014 Sep 15;3:222. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.5218.1. PMID: 25664170; PMCID: PMC4304302.

[5] Coppens P. The Importance of Food Supplements for Public Health and Well-Being. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2020;121:66-72. doi: 10.1159/000507524. Epub 2020 Oct 6. PMID: 33502375.

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