Above is an article, from the Strength & Conditioning Journal, on a few of the scientifically-proven supplements for increasing strength and lean muscle mass.  The article talks about four different supplements that have the potential to increase muscle mass, strength, power, and overall athletic performance based on peer-reviewed studies.

A few key points from the article:

– Most supplements on the market have no scientific backing, even if they say so on the label.

– Beta-Alanine: – Buffers the acidic buildup (pH) from short-rest-period resistance training, this allows one to train longer and harder. Most studies have individuals consume 1.6grams of Beta-Alanine 4 times a day.

– Creatine: – Increases muscle mass, improves anaerobic performance and improves strength gains. There are many forms of creatine on the market, however studies have shown that no other form offers any advantage to absorption rates or performance, so stick with monohydrate! There are literally hundreds of studies showing performance increases with creatine, a few show lean muscle mass gains of double the control group (the group that did the same workout but didn’t take creatine) over a 4-12 week period (2-4lbs more lean mass than the control group). Typical dosages from the studies are 2-5 grams per day. No studies done on healthy individuals show creatine has any negative or harmful impact on kidneys or liver, including one study where football players used creatine in doses up to 15 grams a day for 5 years.

– HMB – A metabolite of the amino acid Leucine. HMB shows an ability to prevent muscle catabolism (the breaking down of muscle). This allows for individuals to train harder and longer with less fear of breaking down muscle mass. Typical doses in studies have been around 3 grams per day, often divided into several even doses.

– Protein Powder – Aids in recovery, promotes muscle synthesis (building of muscle), prevents muscle breakdown post-workout. Several different types of protein powder, but the most common are Whey (a fast-digesting protein) and Casein (a slow digesting protein).

*As always, one should consult a physician before attempting a supplement regiment.