How to Take Advantage of Shakes to Build Muscle

Creatine is an ingredient many shakes contain. It helps increase muscle strength and improve body composition in professional and amateur athletes. In this article, discover how to take advantage of shakes to build muscle.
How to Take Advantage of Shakes to Build Muscle

Last update: 26 September, 2020

The main goal of many athletes is muscle hypertrophy. To achieve it, they need to follow a high-protein, albeit slightly hypercaloric, diet, and do strength exercises on a regular basis. However, they can also take some dietary supplements with shakes to build muscle more quickly. Do you know about them?

We need to clarify that the substances we’ll mention below aren’t magical. However, as part of appropriate habits, they can help build muscle.

Shakes to build muscle

Protein is an essential nutrient for muscle building. In fact, your body depends on it to make new lean tissue. For this reason, not consuming enough protein can hinder body composition changes.

Protein shakes have proven effective both in building and preserving muscle. For example, an article that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that consuming protein shakes in the hours before or after exercise helps build muscle and increase strength.

Creatine enhances the effects

A substance known as creatine improves the effects of protein on building muscle mass. Experts have proven that taking three to five grams of creatine every day can help build lean tissue and increase strength.

A 2017 study shows these effects. This study details that creatine produces a stimulus in the (mTOR) signaling pathway, a central regulator of metabolism in all cells, which is associated with tissue building.

A woman taking creatine.

On the other hand, this substance is one of the main energy pathways in anaerobic exercise. Consuming it improves performance in strength sports and, therefore, muscle adaptations.

HMB for hypertrophy

Another effective supplement to improve body composition that you can add to your shakes is HMB. This leucine metabolite is able to help you build muscle. In addition, it can help increase strength, especially in amateur athletes.

In fact, taking three grams of HMB a day in three equal doses has proven effective in improving body composition. The fact that it manages to increase muscle growth has a positive impact on energy expenditure at rest, which allows you to lose fat mass more easily.

Beware of marketing!

These three supplements are the only ones that have proven to impact muscle gains in controlled human studies. Nevertheless, the sports supplements industry tries to sell other products whose building effects haven’t yet been proven.

Although these products don’t cause side effects and are safe to use, their impact on sports performance hasn’t been backed by science.

An example of this is glutamine. The industry states that this substance can increase anabolism and reduce the loss of muscle mass in a hypocaloric diet.

However, scientific tests haven’t been able to support these effects. Although it’s a useful substance health-wise, it hasn’t been proven to have beneficial effects in sports.

A glutamine protein mix.

Protein shakes can help you gain muscle

Although taking sports supplements can help build muscle, you won’t see results if you don’t adopt a series of dietary and sports habits.

To achieve the desired effect, you need to follow a balanced, varied, and protein-rich diet. In addition, it’s essential that your workout plan fits your muscle-building goals.

If you follow an adequate diet and workout plan, the next step is to include supplements. A regular intake of protein, creatine, or HMB shakes can boost muscle building and increase athletic performance.

Before deciding to consume any of these nutrients, remember to consult your nutritionist so that they can advise you on the optimal dose and how to take it. In addition, this way, you’ll enhance their benefits and achieve your goals faster.

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  • Morton RW., Murphy KT., McKellar SR., Schoenfeld BJ., et al., A systematic review, meta analysis and meta regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training induce gains in muscle mass and strenght in healthy adults. Br J Sports Med, 2018. 52: 376-384.
  • Farshidfar F., Pinder MA., Myrie SB., Creatine supplementation and skeletal muscle metabolism for building muscle mass review of the potential mechanisms of action. Curr Protein Pept Sci, 2017. 18 (12): 1273-1287.