What Supplements do you recommend, and when do I take them?
The three I would recommend from my experience are Creatine, Glutamine, and Protein as these promote lean muscle and strength.
Best taken 1/2 hour before a workout and again right after a workout.
What I do is take a creatine/protein drink about a half hour before a workout and than another shake right after, when taking one before hand taking it with juice is a good idea as the sugar in the juice helps it get into the bloodstream quicker.
This before and after technique helps set up an anabolic (muscle-building) state for your muscles and helps prevent muscle breakdown from a workout (catabolism).
Other than these 2 opportune times, you can add another creatine serving or two any time throughout the day.
I usually recommend 25 to 30 grams of creatine on a loading phase and 10-20 grams a day on a maintenance phase. Please remember to have a week off taking it every 6 weeks or so.
Most important is to definitely take Glutamine right before bed.
Research shows the value glutamine has in raising growth hormone levels significantly by taking 5 grams before bed.
Also, another great time is upon waking, when your muscles have been without significant nutrition for up to 6-8 hours, a time when your protein synthesis is at its lowest.
Another good time for glutamine is about a half hour or hour after working out.
This helps in the recovery/recuperation process from demanding workouts.
Obviously it is better to get your protein from whole foods, but for the majority it is more time effective and cheaper to supplement your diet with protein shakes. Below listed are the times I feel are the best to take protein.
- The most important time is right after a workout. Your muscles are like a sponge and need instant nutrition for muscle recovery and growth.
- Right before bed. You’re about to sleep for 6 to 8 hours. That’s a long time without protein.
- Right upon waking. Same thing, you’ve just gone 6 to 8 hours without proper nutrition. Your body needs protein quick to get the protein synthesis started.
- Half hour before a workout. This sets up the “anabolic window” before your workout and provides your muscles with adequate nutrition so that the effects of weight training (weight training breaks down muscle-called catabolic) are not as severe.
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