• PERFORMANCE
  • HEALTH & NUTRITION

3 key supplements for muscle growth and recovery

If building lean muscle is your goal, you might want to consider cycling these supplements into your routine to maximize those gains.

Gunnar Peterson working out in gym

Creatine

This amino acid is one of the most well-researched supplements in the world. As a foundational tool within the body-building community, creatine is primarily used by gym-goers to support peak muscle growth, strength, and power.

Creatine fuels our muscles during high-intensity exercise or heavy lifting, providing us with the energy to lift heavier and improve overall performance. In order to perform an exercise at your maximum intensity, the body requires more ATP per second than it can naturally produce. By supporting the body’s ability to produce ATP or energy, creatine has been shown to elevate the body’s muscle stores and provide the additional ATP needed for high-intensity and strength-based workouts.

In combination with exercise, creatine has very effective results when it comes to building muscle in comparison to popular mass-gainer supplements. One 8-week study found that creatine increased muscle mass and strength while reducing myostatin – a protein that inhibits muscle growth. Another study found that supplementing with creatine alongside strength training increased lean muscle mass in women by 60%.

Other ways that creatine supports muscle growth:

  • May increase a key hormone involved in muscle growth (IGF-1), triggering the formation of new proteins and thus, more muscle mass.
  • May help retain muscle during exercise and reduce muscle breakdown.
  • By increasing power and strength during workouts (one study found that supplementing with creatine led to an 18-lb increase in 1-rep max bench press, and a 17% improvement in cycling sprints), the muscles are able to work harder and faster – leading to an increase in muscle fiber size, and greater gains as a result.

Whey protein

Whey protein is a common supplement used in the body-building community to help build muscle mass. Whey protein is actually a by-product of the cheese-making industry. Whey is the watery portion of milk that is separated from the cheese curd. Whey proteins can be isolated and dried to make whey protein powder.

Protein is made up of amino acids – those building blocks in the body that make up our skin, hair, muscle, bone, and essentially every other structural part of the body. While supplementing with protein may seem like a fad, the research is clear that this macronutrient is a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to muscle growth and development.

To build muscle, the muscle fibers need to be broken down or exposed to trauma in the form of resistance training (or lifting heavy weights). This creates a type of muscle injury that triggers our cells to try and repair the damage, which increases the muscle fibers as a result.

But for muscles to grow, the body needs to synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down. If you’re not eating the right amount of protein to support your strength sessions in the gym, your body will be breaking down muscle a lot faster than you can build it.

A study in Nutrients found that protein intake promoted additional gains in lean body mass at a rate beyond any increases observed with weight training alone.

How much protein do you need for muscle growth?

The current RDA or recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. But the problem with following the RDA is that this number is simply the minimum amount required to prevent deficiencies in healthy people.

But to feel our best, we need to be reaching for optimal levels of health – and for that, we can’t move the needle with the bare minimum! Experts like Don Layman, a world leading researcher in how the body utilizes protein, suggests we should be eating 1.6g - 2.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight to maintain healthy muscle mass and to support overall health. While this number will depend on factors like your activity level, muscle mass, and age – Layman recommends that most individuals should aim for at least 100 grams of protein each day.

Supplementing with whey protein

Whey protein isn’t the only way to hit your protein goals – but it sure does make things a lot easier! Rich in BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), whey protein boasts an incredible nutritional profile. It’s low in calories, and a typical serving of whey protein contains around 20-30g of protein. While hitting your total daily protein target has been shown to be more effective for muscle growth overall – consuming whey protein right before or directly after a workout, has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis to maximize muscle gains.

MitoQ Curcumin

What we’ve learned so far about muscle growth is that you need two things. You need to be pushing your body to break muscle tissue through resistance training, and you need to be building back that muscle with the use of amino acids/protein. But there’s one final step that leads to muscle growth, and it may be a hard one to accept – rest and recovery.

Taking rest days, stretching, and getting enough sleep are all essential parts of the muscle-building process. But for optimal recovery, sometimes the body needs some extra assistance. Through the building up and breaking down of muscle fibers, our body is exposed to a healthy amount of stress – but it’s still stress nonetheless. MitoQ is an advanced antioxidant that supports the body’s stress response and helps to mitigate DNA damage after exercise. Studies have also shown that MitoQ supports exercise performance and helps with muscle power and output. Addressing this kind of stress in the body at its source is what’s going to make the biggest difference – not only when it comes to muscle gains, but having the energy to live a full life, too.

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Meet MitoQ Curcumin

Highly absorbable Longvida® Optimized Curcumin is enhanced with MitoQ to support the immune system, digestion, mental clarity, and post-workout recovery.

MitoQ curcumin bottle

MitoQ curcumin contains our advanced antioxidant molecule, mitoquinol mesylate, in combination with the active ingredient curcumin. Mitoquinol mesylate is a revolutionary formulation of CoQ10 that is taken up directly by the mitochondria of the cell, which replenishes antioxidants and helps reduce oxidative stress. By supporting oxidative stress at the source (deep within your cells), mitoquinol mesylate supports performance and recovery.

In addition to the beneficial effects of mitoquinol mesylate, curcumin supports overall health in many ways, from joint pain and soreness to oxidative stress. Studies show that supplementing with curcumin may support DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for faster and more efficient recovery.

How MitoQ Curcumin supports muscle growth and performance:

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