With the recent trend of celebrities and athletes endorsing various muscle building supplements, people have started to rely more on quick ways to gain muscle mass. New brands of expensive muscle building supplements are popping up every day.

Often, you’ll find a whole aisle dedicated to them at the supermarket. Celebrities will swear by a particular brand but how trustworthy is the word of someone who is paid to endorse products? Are muscle building supplements safe to consume at all?

Do you know about EAAs vs BCAAs? If you want answers to all these questions and know about the side effects of steroids for bodybuilding keep on reading. 

Safe Muscle Building Supplements

Muscle Building Supplements
Take Supplements for Muscle Growth

Protein Supplements

Protein supplements mostly contain amino acids. These are the “building blocks of protein” and are essential if you want to bulk up. To gain more muscle, you have to ensure that you’re consuming more protein than you are breaking down. 

Best Supplements for Muscle Growth of Seniors

Amino acids are essential to have in your diet. Your body also needs them for several bodily functions, other than building muscles. As mentioned earlier, protein supplements contain amino acids. Twenty amino acids make up the proteins in our body. Of these 20, 2 categories are essential for building muscles. These are the EAA (essential amino acids) and BCAA (branched-chain amino acids).

EAAs are 9 amino acids that the body cannot naturally produce and thus must rely on external sources of EAA.

These amino acids include:  
  • Histidine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
BCAAs, on the other hand, are amino acids with a branched-chain structure and include nutrition supplements for workouts:
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine

Many athletes claim that BCAAs help them exercise for a more extended period. However, this may not entirely be true. If you consume a good dose of EAAs, through food, then perhaps BCAA supplementation may help improve exercise performance. But if your body lacks EAAs, then it will break down muscle, get the amino acids that it needs. This can be counterproductive to your goal of bulking up.

However, like everything else, protein through food or supplements is only useful when consumed in moderation. The Department of Health recommends not to consume protein more than twice the recommended daily intake. Protein recommended daily intake is 45 grams for women and 55.5 grams for men.

Creatine For Energy

Creatine is a naturally occurring molecule in our body that provides various tissues with energy. Creatine is an essential substance for muscle growth and repair. It’s one of the few supplements that is allowed by the International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 

A Muscle Building Supplements GNC

Research has shown that taking Creatine as a dietary supplement helps increase muscle mass, improves exercise performance, and delays muscle fatigue. Creatine helps increase muscle size by increasing water absorption into the muscles, causing them to swell, and also by signaling growth hormones such as IGF-1. Creatine also helps decrease muscle breakdown and promotes the regeneration of worn-out muscles. 

Overall, Creatine is one of the safest supplements to take if you’re looking for the best pre workout supplements for muscle growth that increase your muscle mass.

Unsafe Supplements for Muscle Growth

Muscle Building Supplements
Supplements Pills for Bodybuilding

Anabolic Steroids 

Anabolic steroids are one of the most dangerous ingredients that are present in supplements. Steroids are miracle workers when it comes to gaining weight. They allow your body to increase pressure and gain muscle while decreasing fat. 

However, the repercussions of using steroids are many and can be highly dangerous. Anabolic steroids are class C drugs and can only be sold under prescription for medical reasons. If you’re found to possess anabolic steroids without a prescription, it can have legal consequences. Although banned, these substances are still used by many people illegally to increase their muscle mass. 

Muscle Building Pills

Most illegal supplements contain some form of steroids. Their use is not only banned by all sports agencies but athletes are also regularly tested for steroids before significant sports competitions. One such steroid is the Celtic Dragon. This steroid is so dangerous that it once left two men hospitalized with symptoms of severe jaundice and liver damage.

There are a plethora of side effects that come with taking anabolic steroids for well formed power packed muscles.

Dangerous ones include but are not limited to
  • Heart attack 
  • Stroke
  • Liver problems or liver failure
  • Kidney problems or even their failure
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) 
  • Blood clots 
  • Fluid retention in the body
  • High cholesterol 

Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone is a male sex hormone found naturally in the body of both males and females. Levels of testosterone are much higher in males than women. This hormone is responsible for most of the male sex characteristics found in men, including increased muscle mass and facial hair. Testosterone is also known to increase erythropoietin production, a hormone that increases red blood cell production and leads to better oxygenation of the body.

Best Supplements for Muscle Gain

Testosterone boosters are often misused by bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and delay muscle fatigue. However, the side effects of taking these are highly dangerous and cannot be ignored. Some of them include increased risk of blood clots, kidney problems, fluid retention, and infertility in women. 


Muscle Building Supplements
Workout for Bodybuilding

Taking the best supplements for muscle growth has become a trend, but users seem unconcerned with safety precautions. You can give your body most of the supplements it needs to improve body shape through a healthy, balanced diet. Relying solely on supplements may mean you ignore other vital nutrients your body requires to be in optimal form. 

You can take vegan bodybuilding diet and supplements to increase your body growth.

Exercise and a proper diet are all you should ideally require to get the perfect body. If, however, you do want to take supplements, make sure they’re not riddled with dangerous side effects and know more about bodybuilding from our health and fitness section.

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RAPAEL Smart Glove
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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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