Which Supplements Do I Need to "Get Big?"
Hey Sam. I’m a 42-year-old male, standing 5-feet 8-inches high and about 155 pounds and about 13 percent body fat. I’m currently taking a daily multivitamin as well as vitamin C. I also drink a protein shake every day after hitting the gym. Can you tell me which other supplements I should be taking to get “really big” and maximize my muscle gains? Thanks, Michael Hey Michael. First of all, you sound like you’re making great progress, and your body fat level is well within the healthy/optimal range recommended by the A.M.A., so congratulations on all of your hard work!To further increase your lean body mass (LBM) the most important thing you need to look at is your diet. You need to consume at least 30 calories PER POUND OF MUSCLE just to maintain your muscle, and as much as 60 to 100 calories per pound of muscle to PUT ON muscle weight.Drawing from your statistics, at 155 pounds and 13% bodyfat, you have about 135 pounds of LBM and 20 pounds of fat. The average man has between 30% to 60% of their LBM as actual muscle. So, if we place you at an above average level, of 50%, you have about 67.5 pounds of actual muscle.So here’s how this bears on your question: To MAINTAIN your level of muscularity AT REST: you’d need to eat 30 * 67.5 = 2,025 calories per day.and To GAIN muscle: you’d need to eat between 4,050 and 6,750 calories a day.Now, that’s a lot of calories. There are different ways to get these extra calories. The first and best option is through whole foods. If you’re too busy to cook, there’s a Los Angeles-based firm called The Fitness Kitchen which specializes in supplying calorie, nutrient and protein-dense foods to folks like you. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I would highly recommend you check into their food delivery options rather than spend additional money on supplements at this time.As you can see, your first and most important challenge when looking to increase your muscularity naturally is your nutrition. There’s really no substitute for quality nutrition if you want to gain muscle.By the way, I do think that the research supports creatine use in athletes such as yourself. Check out tomorrow’s post for information on how to supplement with creatine.