It takes a significant amount of energy (and sweat) to get the physique that you’ve always wanted. First you have to build a foundation of strength, which indicates how much stress (pulling, stretching, and flexing) your muscles can endure. Luckily, you’ve got help. Taking these key strength-boosting supplements can enhance your exercise capacity and help carve out a lean, muscular figure.
This precursor to the amino acid carnosine works to preserve muscular strength by reducing fatigue. Carnosine is made primarily in type II (fast-twitch) muscle fibers, which are associated with quick bursts of strength like lifting weights. It buffers acids by regulating muscle pH. During high-intensity workouts, carnosine prevents lactic acid buildup, which allows for greater work capacity—a good indication of muscular strength. Research shows supplementing with beta-alanine can improve volume during resistance training and reduce fatigue.
An analysis of 13 studies by the University of Western Ontario found that taking daily doses of 800–1,000 IU of vitamin D provided increased muscular strength and balance among older adults. Vitamin D is a cholesterol-steroid-derived hormone, and muscle tissues are thought to have vitamin D receptors. This means that getting enough D to the muscles can help enhance performance.
This amino acid is found in high amounts in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles, specifically fast-twitch muscle fibers. However, when the body is placed under a significant amount of stress, like during lifting, taurine levels become depleted. Research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that two weeks of taurine supplementation elevated taurine levels 40% in fast-twitch muscle fibers, resulting in a 19% boost in muscle- force production. Other research shows taurine triggers more calcium to be released in muscle cells, leading to more powerful contractions.
3 More Ways to Muscle Up
- Stack it
Keep your joints happy by stacking fish oil and vitamin C. Fish oil contains anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C helps produce collagen, which assists in keeping joints healthy, especially during heavy lifting.
- Keep Creatine
Creatine provides your body with extra stored energy for harder training. To skip the bloating that can come with supps, try Creatop, a topical creatine spray that may boost energy by 84%.
- Whey In
Whey protein not only feeds your muscles, it also improves strength. A study published by Amino Acids found that ingesting whey protein with BCAA’s post-workout increased fat free mass and muscle strength.
BY COURTNEY ANAYA, CPT