We're not telling you anything new when we say that creatine pulls large amounts of water into the muscles to increase their size in a hurry. But there's one problem if you grab a container of creatine monohydrate: time.
Creatine monohydrate works fine, but it can take weeks to produce the impressive size gains you're hoping for because creatine won't maximize muscle cell volumization until its levels are maximized within the muscle cells. With creatine monohydrate, this can take a week and often longer, even if you go through a loading phase.
Instead of monohydrate, go with another fast-acting form of creatine like creatine hydrochloride or Kre-Alkalyn.
Go with 3-5 g of either creatine hydrochloride or Kre-Alkalyn both before and after workouts.
4 Go With Glutamine
The popular supplement L-glutamine may not have the rapid effect on muscle growth that creatine and carb-loading do, but it's still a critical ingredient to include in your mass-gaining stack.
Why It Works
Glutamine is stored in high amounts in muscles and, much as creatine does, it pulls water into the muscle cells.
Research also suggests that glutamine helps to convert more glucose into glycogen so that more glycogen can be stored in your muscles, which pulls in more water for great gains in size.
Research suggests that this form of glutamine can help you hold more water in your body. And as we said in #2, the more water your muscles hold, the fuller they become and the bigger you look.
Take 5-10 g of L-alanyl-L-glutamine (Sustamine) about 30 minutes before workouts to stay better hydrated, get a bigger pump and help maintain fuller muscles.
The right shake with the right ingredients equals liquid growth.
6 Take Taurine
This is one of the most popular amino acids among mainstream consumers, but not because of its potential to help add mass. Taurine is the highlighted ingredient in drinks like Red Bull (the Latin word taurus means bull or ox), where it's touted as providing long-lasting energy support.
But whereas the boost in energy you feel from taurine may be minimal, its ability to help you put on size is anything but negligible.
Why It Works
Taurine is another amino acid that gets stored in muscle cells and pulls more water into them to blow up the muscles even bigger, especially when coupled with glutamine and creatine.
Plus, taurine may helop support muscle strength and endurance for more intense workouts to get you growing more in the long run.
Take 2-3 g of taurine with your pre-workout and post-workout shakes for added muscle filling.
What A Day!
Want to start adding size immediately? Of course you do. Then follow this CliffsNotes version of our get-big tips.
|In the morning:|
|1 dose (as directed on package)|
Note: All of this in addition to a typical postworkout shake of fast-digesting carbs and protein
|Throughout the day:|
|500-1, 000 mg, 2-3 times with food|
|4 g per pound of bodyweight|
* Choose simple carbs in the first 4-6 hours, complex carbs thereafter (preferably after eating no more than 1/2 g of carbs per pound of bodyweight daily for the previous three days).
7 Pop Potassium
It's time to change that way of thinking, as potassium can certainly help you get bigger in quick fashion.
Potassium is stored within muscle cells, where it works to enhance cell volumization - yes, it too will help pull water into your muscles. The effect is more pronounced if your potassium levels are low.
If you eat a typical bodybuilding diet and limit your fruit intake, the chances are good that potassium supplementation will work well for you.
Take about 500-1, 000 milligrams of potassium as potassium aspartate, potassium gluconate or potassium citrate two or three times per day with food.
8 Add Some Glycerol
Glycerol is known primarily for forming the "backbone" of molecules of triglycerides, the primary fats in our diet. But for the bodybuilder looking for every last ounce of mass, it can do even more.
Glycerol has strong osmotic properties, meaning that it attracts and binds large amounts of fluids, such as water. By attracting more fluid in the blood vessels and the muscles, glycerol enhances the volume of the muscles, helping you look bigger and fuller.
It can also help to prevent dehydration and help to control your body temperature when you exercise in the heat. Research suggests that glycerol works best to fill up muscles when taken with fast-digesting carbs, a lot of water and creatine.
Take 30-40 g of glycerol along with 10-15 g of fast-digesting carbs, such as dextrose or Vitargo, 3-5 g of creatine and 48-72 ounces of water.
If you have no stomach problems with that amount of glycerol, you can increase your dose to 60-80 g along with 20-30 g of carbs and the same amount of creatine and water for maximal volumization.
9 Take An NO Booster
Nitric oxide boosters typically provide arginine, which gets readily converted in the body to NO. NO boosters also provide a host of other ingredients, such as Pycnogenol or ginseng, that catalyze the conversion of arginine into NO, as well as ingredients that reduce the breakdown of NO, such as horny goat weed (Epimedium).
The point of increasing NO levels is to relax the blood vessels that feed the muscles. Relaxed blood vessels are wider in diameter, which means more blood flows through them to the muscles, increasing their volume.
With agents such as glycogen, creatine, glutamine, taurine, potassium and glycerol stocked up in the muscles (assuming you're following the aforementioned tips), this greater delivery of water will be quickly pulled into the muscles for maximal swelling.