The best muscle building supplements of 2024, but do they work?

Creatine, a compound that is stored in muscle tissue and the brain, has attracted increasing interest because of its ability to rapidly regenerate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a chemical that cells use for energy.

As a result, creatine supplements are believed to be potentially valuable for muscle performance and provide bursts of energy during workouts.

Although people who eat a high-protein diet will already have more than enough creatine in their muscles, since the substance is commonly found in seafood and red meat, some studies have suggested that people who eat a plant-based diet, or those who are relatively new to exercise, may benefit from creatine supplements.

In some cases, research has shown that it can improve the amount of weight people can lift by up to 32% and increase muscle mass by 7.2%, especially in the upper body.

A 2021 review paper indicated that creatine may be particularly effective for women when used in combination with resistance exercise. Because some creatine is stored in the brain, the review also suggested it could help boost mood and cognitive function.

For vegetarians and vegans, animal-based supplements like whey protein and casein may be off-limits. Dr David Rogerson, a researcher at the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity at Sheffield Hallam University, also points out that these supplements may not be suitable for people with certain allergies.

Some people experience problems with dairy products in terms of their tolerability, he says. Whey and casein can make this worse, so they might find a plant source easier to consume.

Soy is arguably the most researched alternative to animal protein supplements, and last year a review paper found that, in some cases, soy can be as good at promoting muscle growth as whey protein.

Rogerson believes that for most people, the differences between animal and plant protein supplements are probably relatively insignificant. If whey protein, for example, is better than another type of protein, it’s marginal at best, he says. So what someone chooses to use really comes down to personal preference.

Along with soy, pea protein is another popular plant protein supplement. Sarkar describes it as fairly easy to digest, while Deane says it contains the same nine essential amino acids as whey protein and casein, but in smaller amounts.

You’d have to have a lot more of it to get the same response as something like serum, Deane says. This means it can cost more for people, because they have to take larger amounts, and with older people who don’t want to eat as much, they may not stick to it.

Collagen, a type of protein, is present in surprising abundance in our skin, cartilage and other connective tissues. Almost a third of all the proteins in the human body are various types of collagen, but after the age of 20, our ability to produce them ourselves declines, making us increasingly wrinkled and stiff.

This has created a huge market for collagen supplements, many of which are aimed at skin health. While the jury is still out on whether these supplements can actually help maintain youthful skin tone and elasticity, scientists are interested in whether they can help prevent brittleness. Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University are currently examining whether they can make older adults less vulnerable to tripping and falling.

Collagen is a poor source of all nine essential amino acids, so it’s not as effective at helping maintain or grow muscle as things like whey or pea protein, for example, Deane says. But it is rich in the other 11 amino acids, so there may be benefits in those other areas.

Rogerson says blended protein powders, which sometimes contain a mix of whey, casein and egg proteins or different plant proteins, are becoming more popular.

One of the best-known brands of the mix is ​​Huel, but as with many other mixes, Rogerson says he would classify the product as a protein-rich meal replacement rather than a supplement.

Different protein blends have been around for a while, and they’re often higher in calories because they contain carbohydrates and fat, he says. Some of the benefits are that they are processed to be easy to consume, very convenient and contain things like fiber and other nutrients. But if you’re not careful, they can really add to your calorie intake if you have them on top of meals. They should also be an occasional choice rather than a full substitute for a proper meal.

What to consider with protein supplements: calories, chemicals, kidney problems

While supplements are a great way to increase protein intake, Rogerson urges consumers to always check the ingredients list carefully, as many manufacturers will add extra sugars to increase the palatability of their product.

You don’t want those extras that add calories, he says. If you’re not careful, some of these supplements can be quite high in carbohydrates.

Two years ago, a report by a US-based non-profit organization called the Clean Label Project drew attention to the issue of protein supplement contamination. After examining 134 different products, many supplements were found to contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, a chemical found in plastics called bisphenol-A (BPA), pesticides or other carcinogens acquaintances The levels of these contaminants were often dangerously high, with one protein powder in particular containing 25 times the permitted limit of BPA.

That created a bit of controversy, Rogerson says. But my perception is that if you’re buying quality products, you probably don’t need to worry that much.

The other consideration, especially for older adults with underlying kidney problems, is to be careful about consuming higher amounts of protein without careful consultation with a doctor or dietitian. This is because removing waste products from protein is stressful on the kidneys and forces them to work harder, so people with chronic kidney disease are often encouraged to eat a low-protein diet.

We have to be very cautious about recommending higher amounts of protein to older people if they have kidney problems, Rogerson says.

Are there other benefits to protein supplements?

Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can also have other health benefits besides muscle mass and function.

There’s some evidence to suggest that having protein supplements before a meal might help with things like blood glucose regulation, Rogerson says. Some research has looked at whether this can help curb appetite in people who are overweight or obese. Protein in general, as a nutrient, we know is useful in a weight loss context, because it’s a really complex thing to digest and absorb. So it tends to make people feel fuller for longer.


While supplements can be a helpful option, experts generally feel that consumers are advised to try to get their protein needs from their diet. In general, I’d say you can get all the protein you’re looking for from a natural diet, says Sarkar. And as your needs increase with age, only increase the amount of protein you eat to about half of your plate.

#muscle #building #supplements #work
Image Source :

Leave a Comment