Sports Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 97–110 | Cite as

Dietary Supplements and the Promotion of Muscle Growth with Resistance Exercise

  • Richard B. Kreider
Review Article


Nutritional strategies of overfeeding, ingesting carbohydrate/protein before and after exercise, and dietary supplementation of various nutrients [e.g. protein, glutamine, branched-chain amino acid, creatine, leucine, β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (β-HMB), chromium, vanadyl sulfate, boron, prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA]) and androstenedione] have been purported to promote gains in fat-free mass during resistance training.

Most studies indicate that chromium, vanadyl sulfate and boron supplementation do not affect muscle growth. However, there is evidence that ingesting carbohydrate/protein prior to exercise may reduce catabolism during exercise and that ingesting carbohydrate/protein following resistance-exercise may promote a more anabolic hormonal profile. Furthermore, glutamine, creatine, leucine, and calcium β-HMB may affect protein synthesis.

Creatine and calcium β-HMB supplementation during resistance training have been reported to increase fat-free mass in athletic and nonathletic populations. Prasterone supplementation has been reported to increase testosterone and fat-free mass in nontrained populations. However, results are equivocal, studies have yet to be conducted on athletes, and prasterone is considered a banned substance by some athletic organisations.

This paper discusses rationale and effectiveness of these nutritional strategies in promoting lean tissue accretion during resistance training.


Adis International Limited Resistance Training Creatine Supplementation Creatine Monohydrate Chromium Picolinate 
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© Adis International Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard B. Kreider
    • 1
  1. 1.Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, Department of Human Movement Sciences and EducationThe University of MemphisMemphisUSA

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