Herbs Good For Building Muscle
Attaining perfect lean body mass is a common objective for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. But the end goal may seem unrealistic with a workout routine alone, especially if you have too much excess body fat.
So, if you’re interested in achieving healthy muscle growth without depending on risky steroids, we’ll walk you through some of the best herbs you should incorporate into your diet.
There’s no better way to start the list than with one of the most popular adaptogens, ashwagandha. It is also called Indian ginseng or Indian winter cherry.
This herb has been beneficial for mental and physical health for thousands of years and remains a potent ingredient in many wellness supplements. It is also a prominent ingredient in Ayurveda.
Ashwagandha helps boost testosterone levels, which is responsible for increasing strength and agility, resulting in a more productive workout routine.
There are many benefits of ashwagandha for muscle growth, including:
- Increases strength and muscle mass.
- Reduces mental and physical stress.
- Improves sleep quality.
- Brings your body to an anabolic state to help repair and build muscle tissues.
The best way to use ashwagandha for muscle growth is to pair it with a regular exercise regime. Consuming it early in the morning with water or a fatty medium is also recommended for better absorption.
Fenugreek is another herb that is essential to achieving healthy muscle growth. It is also called Greek clover and is native to West Asia and South Eastern Europe.
The seeds of the fenugreek herb contain the antioxidant diosgenin (DG), which suppresses inflammation and enhances muscle mass.(1)
The benefits of fenugreek for muscle growth include:
- Increases muscle mass and strength.
- Improves overall body composition.
- Increases testosterone levels and enhances libido.
- Reduces inflammation and aids in post-workout muscle recovery.
Fenugreek is widely available in its powdered form as capsules and spice. You can add them to your teas and smoothies.
But if you are using whole seeds, you can soak them in water overnight and consume them early in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. This will ensure that your body absorbs it well.
Commonly known as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero is a popular adaptogen native to North Eastern Asia. This herb is part of traditional medicine for treating colds and flu. However, it is also a significant ingredient in every bodybuilder’s arsenal.
This herb is rich in active compounds such as flavonoids, sterols, and polysaccharides that protect your body against harmful agents. It also reduces the lactic buildup from workout sessions, allowing you to achieve lean muscle mass.
Here are the benefits of eleuthero for muscle growth:
- Enhances strength and endurance.
- Improves athletic performance by boosting your body’s energy supply.
- Combats fatigue by helping your body resist physical and mental stress.
Because insomnia is a common side effect of eleuthero, it is best to consume it in the mornings or in between meals. The herb is available as powder, capsules, tablets, and tinctures. You can add the powder to your everyday food.
Also called Peruvian ginseng, maca is an herb native to South America, and its tubers are widely used in improving endurance and overall physical performance.
Besides, this herb is also a solution to improving fertility and sexual drive in men. The most common way to consume maca is by adding dried and ground tubers to food and drinks.
Commercially, these are available as supplements, teas, and distilled maca liquors. But you can add its flour to enhance any food. The indigenous Peruvians also consume a fermented maca drink called ‘chica de maca.’
The benefits of maca include:
- Improves strength and endurance.
- Relieves pain and promotes muscle recovery and growth.
- Enhances libido and vigor in men.
- Improves thyroid function.
Because maca helps with muscle recovery, it is best consumed after your workout sessions. It has a nutty and mildly sweet taste; you can add it to your post-workout drinks and smoothies.
This herb is widely considered an adaptogen but is equally crucial for enhancing your workout sessions to stimulate muscle growth. Rhodiola works by treating fatigue and providing you with more energy. As a result, you will feel more energetic to have a productive workout routine.
This herb is native to regions in northern Europe and Asia. It is particularly recognized for its ability to alleviate stress levels and help your body resist stress better.
Below are the benefits of using Rhodiola:
- Enhances athletic performance by boosting energy levels.
- Aids in muscle recovery by stimulating anabolic activity.
- Stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
Like most supplements, Rhodolia is not without side effects. Insomnia is a common complication when you consume it in high doses. So, the herb or its supplements are best consumed on an early stomach.
Healthy fats are essential for bodybuilders and athletes; they serve as fuel for endurance activities. And flaxseeds are one source you can always rely on.
Flaxseeds are native to Europe and Asia; they are energy-dense and rich in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. As such, they are a must-have ingredient for building muscles while keeping the fat to a minimum.
There are multiple health benefits of flaxseeds, and here’s what they do for muscle growth:
- Reduces inflammation, resulting in better muscle recovery.
- Increases muscle mass by aiding protein synthesis.
- Provides sufficient calories to augment your bulking phase.
Apart from consuming flaxseed supplements, you can add its seeds to plain water, protein shakes, and salads.
When incorporating flaxseed into your diet, you want to ensure that you start with small amounts and work your way up. This is because flaxseeds are rich in fiber and may cause bloating and nausea when consumed in high amounts.
Natural herbs are an excellent option to boost muscle growth when an exercise regime fails you. They’re safer than man-made steroids and without significant complications.
The herbs we’ve recommended are easily accessible and available as supplements, but you can also consume them fresh.
Because they are essentially herbs, they may be pretty strong in flavor. But you can combat this by adding them to everyday foods!