Take your workout to the next level by adding the right strength supplements to your regimen
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.
Nitric oxide (NO) boosters give your muscles a “pump” during a workout by providing greater blood flow. To keep muscle momentum going, try taking L-arginine, an amino acid that increases NO production. A review published by the Journal of Advanced Research indicated that arginine supplementation pre-workout can greatly increase muscle strength and mass. Combine it with other amino acids in a pre-workout shake or other supplements and you’ll get even more nutrients to help feed your muscles.
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.
3 Vitamin D
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-steroidderived 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 muscleforce production. Other research shows taurine triggers more calcium to be released in muscle cells, leading to more powerful contractions.