Non-protein Supplements for Resistance Training

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PillsThe following supplements are scientifically and empirically proven to help improve muscle growth, muscle strength, or muscle recovery. Studies have shown that these supplements are also safe for long-term use. While these supplements are by no means necessary, they may aid in maximizing your muscle size and strength gains.
 

  • BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) – The branched chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids directly stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein degradation.1 Studies have shown that taking BCAAs before and after exercise significantly reduces muscle breakdown.2,3,4
    • Dosage: 5 grams
    • Dosage Timing: Before workout (Within 30 minutes); After workout (Within 30 minutes)
    • Side Effects: BCAAs are well tolerated; however, mild stomach irritation may occur.

 

  • Beta-Alanine – Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid. Beta-alanine increases the amount of carnosine in muscle tissue. Carnosine serves as a buffer for muscles, preventing muscle soreness, as well as an antioxidant. Additionally, carnosine helps to protect muscle protein breakdown. It should be noted, L-carnosine itself does not adequately increase muscle carnosine levels.
    • Dosage: 1-2 grams
    • Dosage Timing: Before workout (Within 30 minutes); After workout (Within 30 minutes)
    • Side Effects: Beta-alanine is generally well tolerated; however, certain individuals may experience paresthesias. Paresthesias is a non-dangerous flushing or prickling sensation of the skin. This effect usually begins 10-20 minutes after ingestion of a beta-alanine supplement and lasts for approximately 1 hr.

 

  • Betaine (aka trimethylglycine (TMG)) – Betaine is a derivative of the naturally occurring amino acid glycine. Numerous studies have suggested that betaine (or trimethylglycine (TMG)) supports muscle strength and muscle power.5,6,7 Betaine protects the muscle cells against dehydration, high salinity, and thermal stress.
    • Dosage: 1 gram
    • Dosage Timing: Before workout (Within 30 minutes); After workout (Within 30 minutes)
    • Side Effects: Betaine is well tolerated.

 

  • Creatine – Creatine is one of the most effective supplements for improving muscle size and strength. It works by increasing muscle creatine and phosphocreatine stores.
    • Dosage: Loading Phase: 20 grams daily for 5 days. Then 5 grams daily
    • Dosage Timing: After workout (Within 30 minutes)
    • Side Effects: Creatine is well tolerated; however, mild stomach irritation may occur.  In appropriate dosages, it does not impair kidney function

 

  • Fish Oil – Fish oil supplements provide a critical source of omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids enhance fat metabolism. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids have overall health benefits including lowering triglyceride levels8 and reducing cholesterol levels.9
    • Dosage: 1-4 grams/day
    • Dosage Timing: With meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
    • Side Effects: Fish oil is well tolerated; however, mild stomach irritation may occur. Search for burpless tablets to avoid odorous burps.

 

  • Multivitamin – A multivitamin provides all the micronutrients needed each day. By taking a multivitamin, you ensure that you get adequate levels of these micronutrients in order to help support your ability to gain muscle and increase muscle strength.
    • Dosage: 1 Dose
    • Dosage Timing: Upon Waking
    • Side Effects: Multivitamins are generally well tolerated; however, mild to moderate stomach irritation may occur.

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