# 1. WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
Whey tops the list of mass-gain supplements because it's the most crucial for pushing protein synthesis. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids. Bottom line: Whey takes the crown because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start building muscle. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles. This is why we always recommend consuming whey protein immediately after training.
# 2. BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAS)
The term branched-chain amino acids refers to leucine, isoleucine and valine, the absolute most important amino acids for repairing and building muscle tissue. Leucine is the most critical of the three, as research shows that it can stimulate muscle protein synthesis on its own. Yet it's still best to take all three together, since they work in synergy to provide a multitude of benefits, including muscle growth, increased energy during workouts, the blunting of cortisol (a catabolic hormone that inhibits testosterone and increases muscle breakdown) and decreased delayed-onset muscle soreness.
# 3. NITRIC OXIDE BOOSTERS
Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule found throughout the body that's involved in multiple processes. The one that bodybuilders are most interested in is its ability to dilate blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the muscles for enhanced delivery of oxygen, nutrients, anabolic hormones and water (blood is mostly water). This gives you more energy during your workout, an enhanced muscle pump, and better muscle recovery and growth after the workout. NO boosters don't provide NO, but rather the amino acid arginine, which is readily converted to NO in the body. Research has found that subjects who were given arginine increased muscle strength and growth and lost body fat.
#4. L-ARGININE AMINO ACID
L-arginine contributes to muscle growth because it is needed for the synthesis of most proteins. While the muscle mass increases, L-arginine also signals muscle cells, encourages the release of growth hormone and promotes fat metabolism. The overall result is the well-toned, lean muscle mass sought by bodybuilders. By reducing the fat stores underneath the skin and promoting muscle growth, L-arginine can increase your fitness and improve strength, which are needed for bodybuilding.