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If you’ve been trying to build muscles but are not seeing the results that you’ve hoped for, you may want to consider trying a muscle building supplement. Just remember these are not a guarantee and people can experience varying results using the same type of supplements. That being said, if you feel like you could use some extra help in your muscle building efforts, supplements may be the way to go.

The first rule of supplements – do your due diligence first. There are so many things out there that promise to do great things for your body, and many of these things have not had the proper testing or been on the market long enough for you to truly know they have no long term effects. Always do your homework before putting anything into your body. There are a lot of bright and shiny supplements in the nutrition store that are expensive and promise incredible results, but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And of course, you will still need to eat a clean, balanced diet of whole and paleo foods.

If you are ready to take the journey into supplements, here are some proven supplements/supplement ingredients that you may want to consider starting with:

Creatine increases the body’s ability to produce energy quickly. As a result, you can train harder and with more frequency. It’s usually purchased in flavored powders and mixed with a liquid. It’s most effective in weight training and explosive sports activities, less so in aerobic exercise. It will cause weight gain, which will be water at first. However, later gains will be muscle weight.

BCAAS (branched-chain amino acid) are essential amino acids. They make up 75% of the human body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They naturally occur in meat, dairy and legumes, but we typically don’t get enough through our diets alone . They are said to improve exercise performance and reduce muscle breakdown.

Whey protein supplements can help to build lean muscle mass. Strength trainers typically drink a whey protein shake after they workout for convenient post recovery nutrition. They can also be used as a meal replacement or snack between meals. You should know though that whey is technically considered to be dairy and is therefore a ‘grey’ area in the paleo world. Some folks decide that the muscle building benefits are worth veering off of the paleo path a bit, others do not. There are paleo protein powders out there if you are uncomfortable with whey.

Magnesium is an important supplement for athletes because a magnesium deficiency can reduce athletic performance. While magnesium occurs naturally in foods like pumpkins seeds, almonds, brazil nuts and sesame seeds, very few of us get enough of this in our diets. If you aren’t sure if you get enough magnesium in your diet, you will want to consider taking a supplement. These are available in pill or powder form.

Glutamine is said to slow muscle-breakdown during intensive exercise and improve strength and endurance. Preserving muscle tissue is essential to the efficiency of the fat burning process.

Zinc increases muscle strength and performance. It won’t cause muscle gain, but it is an important nutrient that will support your athletic performance and improve muscle size and strength.

Fish oil has numerous health benefits, including supporting healthy blood cholesterol profiles, bone health, heart health and mood support. As with zinc, it won’t help you build muscles but it will support your overall health and thus improve the quality of your workouts.

Remember that you’ll still see positive results from a good nutrition and exercise program, but it may take longer. Start with regular strength training and a balanced diet rich in paleo foods, then you’ll be able to evaluate your need for supplements.