PROTEIN & SUPPLEMENT STRATEGIES FOR OPTIMUM RESULTS
Posted Mar 31 2013 12:59pm
Whether you want to take a protein supplement before or after your workouts, or at both times, AbFitt gives you the perfect formula for your schedule and needs. You’ll find that your time in the gym will be better spent.
THE PERFECT WORKOUT PRESCRIPTION To get the best results possible from your nutrition plan, you need to take in a protein shake both before and after your workout.
PREWORKOUT Take in a preworkout meal with the following ingredients in the 30 minutes before you train. Consume all the carbs and drink about half to two-thirds of this protein shake before a workout.
40 g whey protein 40 g slow-digesting carbs such as oatmeal, fruit, whole-wheat bread or sweet potatoes 3–5 g of creatine 3–5 g arginine 5 g BCAAs 5 g glutamine Mix with about 20–30 oz water.
DURING WORKOUT Add 20-30 ounces of water to the remains of your protein shake, and continue to sip it between sets. Finish this drink about two-thirds of the way through your workout.
Drink a protein shake with the following ingredients immediately following your workout.
40 g protein 60–80 g fast-digesting carbs (sugar) 3–5 g creatine 5 g BCAAs 5 g glutamine
SINGLE-SHAKE SUCCESS You may not always have the time or willingness to drink protein shakes before, during and after your workouts. While you will see optimal results from doing so, you can still get impressive results from drinking one shake before or after your workout. Here are the formulas for the best preworkout and post-workout shakes when you don’t plan to drink both.
PREWORKOUT SHAKE Take in a preworkout meal with the following ingredients in the 30 minutes before you begin your workout.
50–60 g protein 80 g slow-digesting carbs, such as oatmeal, fruit, whole-wheat bread or sweet potatoes 5 g creatine 5 g arginine 10 g BCAAs 10 g glutamine
POST-WORKOUT If you skipped your preworkout shake, then follow these guidelines for your post-workout shake 50–60 g protein 80 g fast-digesting carbs (sugar) 5 g creatine 10 g BCAAs 10 g glutamine
What's Shakin'? Here’s the scoop behind what’s in your scoop of protein powder.
WHEY Whey protein (about 20% of the protein in milk) is the fastest-digesting protein, making it an excellent pre- and post-workout choice. Its amino acids hit your bloodstream quickly, helping to stop muscle breakdown during workouts and jump-start the muscle-building process that comes with recovery. Whey also has a high concentration of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) — leucine, isoleucine and valine. These aminos, especially leucine, help to stimulate physiological processes that result in muscle growth. BCAAs also spike insulin levels, and insulin is an anabolic hormone that drives amino acids and glucose to your muscles to stimulate growth and recovery.
CASEIN Casein makes up the remaining fraction of milk protein (about 80%). Casein, however, is slow-digesting, meaning that it provides a slower, steadier release of amino acids. Recent research shows that casein increases muscle protein synthesis after workouts and may be as good as, or even a better than, whey. For best results, choose a protein product that contains both whey and casein.
SLOW-DIGESTING CARBS These carbs include yams, brown rice, oatmeal, fruit and whole-grain products such as whole-grain breads and pasta. These foods are digested slowly, meaning that the carbs they contain are released into the bloodstream as glucose at a slow rate. The advantage of this is that insulin levels are kept low, helping you to maintain energy levels for a longer period of time and reduce the likelihood of storing these carbs as body fat. Slow-digesting carbs are a good choice before workouts to enhance energy and promote fat burning.
FAST-DIGESTING CARBS These carbs include sugar, sports drinks, white-flour products such as plain bagels and white bread, and white potatoes. Fast-digesting carbs enter your bloodstream quickly as glucose, spiking insulin levels. While this is an undesirable effect at most times of day, it’s important to consume fast-digesting carbs after workouts because the insulin that is released in response to them helps drive muscle growth and recovery.
GLUTAMINE This is one of the most important amino acids for supporting health, muscle growth and recovery. The digestive system has a high demand for glutamine, and if you don’t have enough available, your body will break down muscle mass to get it. Supplementing with this amino helps spare the glutamine in your muscles. Glutamine also buffers the effects of intense exercise that tear down muscles, and it boosts growth-hormone levels to support muscle growth.
BCAAs These amino acids are critical for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue. Research on leucine, one of the three BCAAs, demonstrates that it stimulates protein synthesis, enhancing muscle growth. The BCAAs also help boost insulin release. After your workouts, this anabolic hormone stimulates muscle growth and drives nutrients, including amino acids, glucose and creatine to your muscle cells. BCAAs also help blunt cortisol levels, the catabolic hormone that leads to muscle breakdown. While you’ll get BCAAs in your protein (especially whey), it’s a good idea to add more to shakes for the specific advantages that BCAAs provide.
CREATINE Creatine is made from three amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine. Supplementing with creatine before your workouts helps to keep your muscles saturated with creatine, producing the rapid energy your muscles need to enhance workouts. Creatine also helps to make your muscles stronger by pulling more water into muscle cells. For best results, take a dose of creatine before and after you work out to help keep creatine levels high and to replenish them after training.
ARGININE This amino acid is readily converted to nitric oxide (NO) in your body. NO is involved in numerous bodily functions that support muscle growth. The most important of these is vasodilation. Arginine supplementation helps to increase the diameter of blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow to your muscles. This allows for a greater delivery of nutrients, oxygen and anabolic hormones to the muscle you’re working. It also creates a bigger pump during the workout. Finally, arginine also boosts growth-hormone levels. All of these effects are critical for muscle growth.