Creatine is probably the most controversial supplement on the market. But, there’s a reason why it’s in the top five. Creatine is primal for strength, or as they say in the fitness community, “making gains.”
Creatine supplementation works by increasing the availability of creatine and phosphocreatine (PCr) within the muscle, helping to maintain energy during high-intensity exercise, like strength training. Increasing the availability of phosphocreatine may help speed up recovery between sets, according to BodyBuilding.com.
Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential for easing muscle soreness and speeding up the recovery process for the muscles that are damaged during resistance training.
According to BodyBuilding.com, BCAAs ( typically a combination of L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine and L-Valine) play a critical role in muscle development because they are metabolized in the muscle rather than the liver. Because BCAAs are metabolized in the muscle, they can be used for building new proteins or for energy.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) helps you to build muscle and burn fat. It’s known as the “body sculptor” among some athletes because it does just that. Some claim that it “tells their fat where to go.”
According to BodyBuilding.com, “CLA supplementation has shown to improve the lean mass to body fat ratio, decreasing fat deposition, especially on the abdomen, and enhancing muscle growth. CLA reduces body fat by enhancing insulin sensitivity so that fatty acids and glucose can pass through muscle cell membranes and away from fat tissue. This results in an improved muscle to fat ratio.”
CLA is also known to lower insulin resistance, enhance the immune system and contain cancer-fighting properties. It can also be consumed through foods like beef, lamb and whole milk.