I always hear about supplements like creatine, beta-alanine and TMG. I take almost every one, because for the most part, I do believe the science behind them. And I eat plenty, train progressively and have good hormone levels.
Why is it though, I don’t see the gains like I’m after?
The first thing I’d do here is re-visit your fundamentals, and put a finer point on things that are still a little obscure for my liking.
Things like how much is “plenty” in terms of daily calories, and what about macros?
Your maintenance calories might be 3,000/day, and you’re eating 250 calories above and beyond that (trying not to gain too much fat with your muscle).
If you’re on a straight ketogenic diet though, it’s doubtful that even in a slight caloric surplus that you’ll gain.
Insulin needs to be harnessed yes, but raising it up some at the right times is necessary, in my opinion, to gain optimally.
Also, how are you sleeping?
Because the insidious nature of building muscle is that you can have everything you mention in tip top shape, but a lack of sleep will stop you cold.
For many, improving sleep is the single biggest thing that’ll improve gains – it’s a pervasive problem.
But let’s assume that too is in order, and everything else is in line – yet you’re still not gaining as much as you’d like to.
The stark reality is that most natural supplements don’t have the horsepower to register the kind of gains most people consider “significant”.
Significant for most, in my opinion, is a gain of at least 20lbs.
20lb is enough to move the needle, and register a gain their gym buddies (or women) will comment on.
Bear in mind I’m talking about people that see them on at least a weekly, or even daily basis.
There is no supplement (or combination of supplements) that can do this.
Creatine would be the closest, but the most I’ve seen anyone put on is 10lbs in 10 days
And once that ace card is played, you have relatively few legal items that’ll really add to it
Long story short – keep expectations in check when supplements are being used, particularly where muscle building is the objective. It takes a lot to make a visible change, and we’re just not there yet.
Hope that helps.