When someone says, “take this supplement and watch your body become a great mass of impeccable muscles”, naturally you respond, “get your hand off it mate”. The fact is, muscle-building substances are not the most trustworthy products you can ingest. Usually you’ll get the same buff results from the average cheeseburger.
But that doesn’t mean that a supplement that builds muscle is an impossibility, and one is actually out there with a bit of scientific backing behind it.
Fitness scientist Brad Schoenfeld says that creatine is the one supplement with “well-established benefits for directly building muscle”. With more than 1000 studies supporting the claim, you can be fairly sure that, while creatine isn’t necessarily a foolproof method of becoming an action hero, it’ll give you a genuine edge.
However, it is important to note that nothing is so simple as finding a single wonder chemical to transform your body. In Schoenfeld’s words, creatine is merely “the cherry on the sundae” of muscle building: the sundae being the holistic lifestyle that leads to an impressive gun show and cheese-grater six pack. Which, incidentally, will probably require you to give up sundaes.
Schoenfeld emphasises that “proper training, nutrition and recovery” is crucial to building muscle, and even the most helpful supplement won’t help if it’s got nothing to work with. Which is obviously bad news, but I guess it’s back to the gym.