Fuelled by on-going innovation in the supplement industry, serious gym-goers have more options than ever to support their muscle-building efforts with a range of protein supplements that contain added anabolic ingredients.
These innovative multi-ingredient formulations are enriched with active ingredients that can boost performance during training, support strength development and muscle growth, and aid recovery.
These innovative formulations can also help consumers stretch their monthly supplement budgets as the added ingredients mean they often don’t need to buy standalone products commonly used to boost exercise capacity, build muscle, and support weight loss, like creatine, glutamine and fat-loss supplements.
READ MORE | Pick Your Protein: We Compare Whey And Plant Protein Supplement Options
Anabolic protein powders
In their quest to help customers take their training and results to the next level, supplement manufacturers continue to invest in research and development to create products that deliver real benefits.
One approach that has proven popular in recent years entails combining research-proven ingredients to develop advanced formulations that boost the anabolic muscle-building process during and after training.
In this regard, combining whey1 protein powder and creatine2 has emerged as a popular approach in anabolic protein products.
Both ingredients have significant research1,2,3 backing their effectiveness, which makes them an ideal combination when used alongside a resistance training programme.
These compounds also complement each other, as creatine boosts exercise capacity2, which enables you to increase your training load to drive the important stimulus for growth, with sufficient protein available to support recovery and muscle growth after resistance training3.
Certain supplement manufacturers also take their formulations a step further, adding compounds that can support the natural hormonal response to weight training, such as ZMA.
By helping to naturally produce more of the anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone (gH), these products can enhance your response to training to develop bigger, stronger muscles.
Other ingredients you might find in anabolic protein formulations include amino acids such as glutamine, glycine and taurine.
As a key component of protein synthesis, glutamine supports muscle recovery by repairing tissue damaged during intense workouts. Glutamine does this by promoting the production of human growth hormone, which stimulates muscle growth and assists in reducing muscle breakdown.
Glycine may support recovery by improving sleep4, which is when the body enters its most anabolic state. Glycine has been shown to enhance sleep efficiency, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and improves overall sleep quality by down-regulating body temperature.
Additionally, glycine is involved in collagen synthesis, which supports connective tissue production, and contributes to glutathione formation, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals, which may further support recovery.
Taurine, an amino acid-like compound, offers a range of exercise performance benefits as it can enhance muscle endurance and reduce muscle damage and fatigue.
It promotes blood vessel dilation, which can increase energy delivery during exercise and may enhance recovery as your body can more efficiently remove by-products from exercise while delivering amino acids to recovering muscle tissue.
Taurine also acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative damage and potentially reducing inflammation.
READ MORE | [RECIPE] Four-Ingredient Anabolic Choc Chip Cookies
Muscle-building multi-ingredient proteins
Biogen RAGE Impact Whey: An anabolic iso-whey protein formulation that supports high-intensity training and promotes lean muscle gain.
- Creatine monohydrate
NPL Anabolic Whey: Promotes muscle anabolism and enhances muscle protein synthesis with a volumising stack for increased strength and performance, and ingredients that may stimulate natural growth hormone production.
- Creatine monohydrate
USN Hardcore Whey gH: A unique formulation of premium quality whey protein with an optimal amino acid content, and ingredients to boost strength and endurance, and increase muscle power and peak performance.
- Creatine monohydrate
- Testosterone booster (Tribulus Terrestris)
- Daniel W. D. West, Sidney Abou Sawan, et al. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017 Jul; 9(7): 735. Published online 2017 Jul 11. doi: 10.3390/nu9070735
- Richard B. Kreider, Douglas S. Kalman, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017; 14: 18. Published online 2017 Jun 13. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
- Robert W. Davies, Brian P. Carson, Philip M. Jakeman. The Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on the Temporal Recovery of Muscle Function Following Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2018 Feb; 10(2): 221. Published online 2018 Feb 16. doi: 10.3390/nu10020221
- Nobuhiro Kawai, Noriaki Sakai, et al. The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May; 40(6): 1405–1416. Published online 2015 Jan 14. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.326