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7 Ingredients to Look for in a Good Muscle-Building Supplement

Building muscles generally comes down to two things: exercise and diet. However, to grow muscles faster, fitness coaches often recommend using muscle-building supplements to complement your diet and workout.

Muscle-building supplements contain ingredients that stimulate muscle formation, and help repair and regenerate worn-out muscles. They also deliver high amounts of energy that are required to power through endurance exercises.

However, no two muscle-building supplements are alike in their composition. Each product is blended from specific ingredients designed to achieve a specific action in the muscle-building process. So, when shopping for a supplement to incorporate into your muscle-building routine, it’s vital that you understand each ingredient and what it does.

Here are seven key ingredients you need to look for when buying the best muscle-building supplements.


No surprises here. We all know that protein plays a crucial role in muscle growth and aids in muscle recovery. This is why you need to consume plenty of it when undertaking any kind of resistance training. Some great dietary protein sources include:

  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Fish

With that said, the protein you consume in your diet may not be sufficient enough to promote muscle growth. As such, when shopping for a supplement, go for a product with a high protein composition.

Most protein supplements are typically made from whey protein, although plant-based protein supplements are also increasingly common these days. Another common protein used in muscle-building supplements is casein, which contains the same amino acids as whey protein but has a slower action rate.


Creatine is a compound that is produced in the kidneys and liver, but it is also present in certain foods like fish and beef. It’s responsible for supplying energy throughout the body and is commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to boost stamina and muscle mass.

As such, the compound is vital for muscle-building, as it delivers the energy you require to power through intense training exercises. While creatine is a must-have for anyone looking to gain muscle mass, it’s also beneficial for individuals who simply want to stay fit and healthy.


Caffeine contains antioxidants that speed up the rate of muscle recovery. Studies from Sports Medicine also show that caffeine can help boost metabolism, performance, and endurance.


Beta-alanine is one of the most common amino acids found in muscle-building supplements. It not only delays fatigue during workouts, but also boosts muscle endurance and strength.

When ingested, beta-alanine is broken down into carnosine. This reduces the amount of lactic acid in the muscles, allowing you to exercise for longer periods.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are crucial for muscle recovery and performance. As such, when buying a muscle-building supplement to integrate into your diet and workout regimen, it is advisable to pick a product that has a high vitamin composition.

Some of the essential vitamins for muscle-building include:

  • B vitamins (B2, B3, B6, B7 B9 and B12 )
  • Vitamin A,
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K

Likewise, you should go for supplements that contain essential minerals, such as:

  • Calcium – Promotes muscle movement
  • Magnesium – For energy production and muscle contraction
  • Iron – Aids the formation of hemoglobin, which ensures adequate oxygen supply to body cells
  • Phosphorus – Boosts energy and muscle growth and reduces muscle pain
  • Zinc – Triggers muscle regeneration

Plant Extracts

Most of the top muscle builder supplements contain a good amount of herbal extracts. These ingredients are relatively safe and effective at promoting muscle development.

The most common herbal ingredients in muscle-building supplements include:

  • Curcumin – Has the ability to reduce muscle oxidative stress. It also helps to delay the onset of muscle soreness
  • Fenugreek – Boosts performance and overall fitness
  • Salacia – Stimulates glucose metabolism, promote fat burning and weight reduction
  • Reishi fungus – Stimulates production of ATP
  • Maca root – Promotes metabolism and production of human growth hormone
  • Red ginseng – Reduces physical stress

Nitric Oxide Boosters

Nitric oxide plays a crucial role in regulating oxygen and blood flow into the muscles. It also boosts strength, endurance, and muscle recovery.

The two main nitric oxide boosters commonly used in muscle-building supplements are:

  • L-citrulline
  • L-arginine


While there are plenty of muscle-building supplements on the market today, they are not all created equal. Therefore, when shopping for these products, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients and their composition to determine how effective they are likely to be.

The good news is, all the ingredients discussed here are not only beneficial to muscle-building, but they are also safe for most people.


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