Lifting weights can help you to sculpt a strong, resilient body. Still, supplements can do a lot to help you achieve your goals. Sadly, most of the supplements out there are useless snake oil or worse. Even experienced weightlifters can have a hard time navigating the playing field to know what works and what’s just junk.
With that in mind, here are some of the best supplements for strength training that go beyond simply putting on muscle mass. These will also help to aid recovery, which is essential – your muscles don’t grow while you’re working out, but when you’re at rest.
What’s more, we’re not just going to tell you what to buy, we’re going to tell you why you’re buying it. That will help you build a medicine cabinet full of useful supplements without spending money on junk you just don’t need.
Creatine, occurs naturally, albeit in small amounts in food (most notably red meat). It’s a go-to supplement for weightlifters seeking improved performance and muscle development. One of creatine’s key benefits is enhancing cellular energy production. When engaged in high-intensity weightlifting, your muscles require a rapid and sustainable energy source. Creatine helps replenish adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy “currency” of cells. This allows you to exert more force during your lifts and extend your training sessions.
What’s more, creatine increases muscle hydration, promoting cell volumization. This process not only contributes to a fuller and more defined appearance but also stimulates protein synthesis, fostering muscle growth. Additionally, creatine has been shown to buffer lactic acid buildup in muscles, reducing fatigue and allowing weightlifters to push through more reps with greater intensity. This is one supplement that has stood the test of time, continuing to be a cornerstone in the toolkit of weightlifters, offering tangible benefits that translate to improved strength, endurance, and overall athletic performance.
Protein supplements are an efficient and convenient way to meet those often tricky protein requirements for increased muscle growth. Protein powders often come with just the right balance of essential amino acids, providing the raw materials your muscles need for repair and growth.
What’s more, protein supplements offer a rapid and easily digestible source of amino acids, making them an ideal post-workout option. The post-exercise period is characterized by heightened protein synthesis, and consuming protein supplements during this window can maximize the body’s ability to recover and adapt to the stress of weightlifting.
Beyond muscle-centric benefits, protein also plays a role in satiety (the feeling of “fullness” after eating), making it a valuable component for weightlifters looking to maintain a balanced diet while striving for optimal performance.
ZMA (zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate, and vitamin B6) is renowned for its role in supporting healthy testosterone levels, a key factor for muscle growth and recovery in weightlifters – yes, even female ones. Zinc, one of the components of ZMA, is a critical mineral playing a critical role in the synthesis of testosterone. By ensuring optimal zinc levels, weightlifters may experience enhanced muscle protein synthesis and a more favorable environment for strength gains.
Magnesium, another essential mineral in ZMA, contributes to muscle function and relaxation, aiding in the prevention of cramps and supporting overall muscle health. The combination of zinc and magnesium in ZMA is particularly relevant for weightlifters engaging in intense training sessions, as these minerals are often depleted through sweat and increased metabolic demands.
Moreover, the inclusion of vitamin B6 in ZMA further complements its benefits for weightlifters. Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, ensuring that the protein consumed by weightlifters is effectively utilized for muscle repair and growth. As a result, ZMA stands out as a holistic supplement that addresses not only the physical demands of weightlifting but also the intricate interplay of hormones and nutrients crucial for optimal performance and recovery.
These are the three best supplements you can buy for weightlifters. Stay tuned, because next time we’re going to tell you all about the three worst supplements people are wasting their money on.
Do you have any of these in your daily stack? What else do you use and why? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.