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Your Comprehensive Guide to Supplements What When and How Much

Publish date: 20/07/2013

As a dedicated muscle trainer, it is crucial that you know your supplements well and also when and how much to take to get the best results. At times, despite all your hard work, discipline and focus you may find your gains slowing or regressing, a comprehensive supplement guide will help you out of such situations. This article outlines a supplement routine which should set you on the path to maximum gain. It discusses the main supplements you should take and also the time and proportions you should take for best results. The exact proportion that you need may vary with your body weight and other idiosyncrasies and its best to consult your fitness instructor to know the exact proportion. The suggestion here is good for someone who is an active trainer weighing around 200 pounds.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is easily one of the most popular supplements that make for a great quick supplement that supplies the body with needed ingredients for protein synthesis and muscle growth. It is easily ingested by the muscle tissue and provides instant energy. Whey protein should ideally be had 3 times-

  • Around 20 grams after your morning walk or jog to minimise muscle catabolism
  • Around 20 grams pre-workout for added energy and endurance
  • Around 40 grams post workout (within 30 minutes) for recovery and muscle anabolism


Creatine is another very popular supplement which helps in regenerating ATP and also aid muscle anabolism. You should take creatine twice:

  • 3-5 grams pre-workout along with whey protein and some slow digesting carbs
  • 3-5 grams post workout (not later than 30 minutes after workout) again with whey protein and complex carbs, this time in higher proportions. This will help in recovery and muscle growth.

Casein Protein

Casein protein is a slow digesting protein source that ensures that muscles get food for extended periods of time. You can take casein twice:

  • 20 grams post-workout to keep your muscles fed till your post workout meal.  
  • 20 grams in the middle of the night to ensure that ytour body does not fast during the entire sleep period.


Glutamine aids in muscle recovery by ensuring that the muscle tissue ingests glycogen after workout sessions. They also enhance growth-hormone levels and facilitate immune functions. Additionally it also helps to lower fatigue during strenuous workouts. Glutamine should ideally be taken 4 times:

  • 7-10 grams after your morning walk/jog
  • 7-10 grams pre-workout for extra strength
  • 7-10 grams post-workout for recovery
  • 7-10 grams before sleeping (30 – 60 minutes) to keep the glycogen supply intact during sleep hours.

Branched Chains Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs  help as source of instant energy during workouts and prevent muscles from catabolism. When you are not working out, BCCAs help in protein synthesis and controlling catabolic hormone cortisol. You should take BCCAs 3 times:

  • 5-10 grams after your morning walk/jog to ward of the effect of not eating all night and also to stop catabolism after your morning activity.
  • 5-10 grams pre-workout to fuel muscle growth
  • 5-10 grams post-workout to ward off corsitol, enhance protein synthesis and lower testosterone’s effect on muscle growth.


Arginine helps in higher blood flow and enhances protein synthesis. The doses should be 3 times a day:

  • 2-3 grams after morning walk/jog
  • 2-3 grams pre-workout to induce growth hormones
  • 2-3 grams 30-60 minutes before sleep.

Some additional Supplements:

  • Tribulus Terrestris: Tribulus Terrestris is a hormone booster can enhance testosterone levels in the body and also increase muscle strength during workouts. You can have 250- 500 grams of this supplement pre-workout for the extra charge.
  • ZMA: It is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 that can enhance testosterone levels and has excellent recovery benefits. You should have it around 30-60 minutes before sleeping. The combination should be 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium, and 11 mg of B6.
  • Antioxidants: They help reduce the free radicals produced from stress from strenuous workouts. This helps in recovery and reduces tissue damage. You could have vitamin C and E supplements with your post workout meal. The proportions should be 500 mg of vitamin C and 200-400 IU of vitamin E.

So, now that you have a complete and comprehensive guide to all the different supplements, just stick to your exercise routine sincerely and follow the nutrition strategy religiously and soon you will find yourself getting bigger and better.