1. Good morning whey: Immediately upon wakening, down a small whey protein shake 30 or so minutes before your solid breakfast meal. This will halt the catabolic state you may have undergone while sleeping. 20 to 30 grams should do the trick.
2. Pre whey: It’s also a good idea to get in about 20 to 30 grams of fast-acting whey protein 30 minutes or so prior to training. As said before, this can kick start the rebuilding process during training by saturating the blood with muscle-building amino acids.
3. Post whey: To keep the rebuilding process alive, take in 40 to 50 grams of whey within 30 minutes of training. This will ensure the starved muscle will have ample protein to draw upon.
4. Post training simple carbs: This would be one of the few times each training day to get away with taking simple carbs. As said in the nutrition section, Gatorade, fruit juice or even specialized supplements such as Vitargo are good choices. This quick insulin spike will aid in recovery.
5. Post casein: If it is in your budget, replacing around 10 to 20 grams of your post-training whey shake with a casein product may be a good idea. More research is justifying the benefits of this slow-digesting form of protein regarding immediate recovery.
6. Casein after dark: Another great time to ingest casein is before bed. Since you are virtually fasting for eight hours while you sleep casein is a perfect fix due to being a slow-digesting protein.
7. Creatine before: Everyone knows the benefits of creatine by now. It saturates the muscle with fluids, therefore aiding in protein synthesis, it can boost recovery between sets and workouts. Consume 3 to 5 grams with your pre-workout protein shake.
8. Creatine after: Again, another great time to shuttle nutrients in starving muscle is within 30 minutes after training if not sooner. Take in another 3 to 5 grams with your post-workout protein shake.
9. Glutamine: As one of the most abundant amino acids in muscle cells, glutamine aids in recovery by strengthening the immune system. 10 or so grams both pre and post training will help in the recovery process.
10. Carnitine: As another “supplement behind the curtain,” carnitine helps transport fats to the mitochondria of muscle cells to be burned as fuel. Try one gram morning, pre and post workout and again before bed.
11. ZMA at night: The combination of zinc, magnesium and additionally vitamin B6 has actually been shown to increase IGF-1 and testosterone levels. 30 to 60 minutes before sleep take 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium and around 10 mg of B6.
12. The antioxidant C: With all of the hype surrounding the latest and greatest in supplement science, you cannot forget your foundation. Vitamin C is a powerful supplement you may never “feel.” It works hard to strengthen the immune system so you can come back stronger every time. Take around 500 mg with your post-training whole food meal.
13. The antioxidant E: Vitamin E has the ability to reduce muscle cell damage and helps with recovery. This antioxidant is also important for skin, nail and hair health. Go with 200 to 400 IUs with your post-training whole food meal.
14. BCAAs: BCAAs are made up of leucine, isoleucine and valine which are used for fuel during intense workouts thus preventing your body from scavenging hard-earned muscle for energy. At other times of day BCAAs help stimulate protein synthesis and ward off cortisol, the catabolic hormone that can scavenge hard-earned muscle. Try 5 to 10 grams upon waking and pre and post training.
15. Arginine: converted to Nitric Oxide (NO) in the body arginine is a powerful supplement with a host of benefits including increased blood flow allowing nutrients and hormones to do there job. Go with 2 to 3 grams upon waking, pre-workout and 30 to 60 minutes prior to sleep.
16. Give green tea a try: Green tea can inhibit the enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine resulting in higher levels of the metabolic hormone and increased fat loss. Combined with caffeine, green tea extract is one powerful and widely used natural supplement chalk full of antioxidants. A cup or so three times per day before meals can aid in recovery and help burn fat.
17. Try one supplement at a time: Taking every supplement in the book all at once is not a wise practice. How will you know which one works and which one is a waste of your time and money? Take one for 4 to 6 weeks and documents your results. Over time you will know well enough what you need for your specific goals.
18. Not all supplements work for everyone: Do not be surprised if a particular supplement works for your buddy and not for you. Everyone has a different metabolism so be patient in finding what works.
19. Give some supplements time to work: As said before, give a particular supplement time to do its job. Being impatient will not only waste of your time but your money as well.
20. Look around for the best deals, Dynaplexx.com, bodybuilding.com for a huge selection
of your favorite supplements.
Written by Brad Borland, MA, CSCS
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