So what are the key supplements to build your best body ever? How much do you need and when is the best time to take them?
Posted Mar 27 2013 3:25pm
Supplements are very effective for promoting muscle gains. The most critical would be Whey Protein- Since it is so fast-digesting it aids muscle growth around workouts. Multivitamin- To help cover all your micronutrient bases.
Creatine- Which is fairly cheap and very effective.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids- They may help promote muscle growth.
Q: What is the proper intake of proteins per meal? Is it true that the body can absorb 30 grams per meal? Is there such a thing as too much protein? I see some people eating 80g of protein per meal.
A: You should shoot for about 30-40g of protein per meal. How much protein a body can absorb depends on the individual and what they have eaten prior to that meal.
Q: I've heard a lot about carb cycling - what is it? Why should I do it? What is an example of carb-cycling?
A: Carb cycling refers to alternating periods of low- and high-carb intake, maximizing both fat loss and muscle growth. For fat loss, your default diet would be somewhat under 1g of carbs per pound of bodyweight. You would cycle in a high-carb day (greater than 2g per pound) every five to seven days.
Since carb-restricted diets can lower your metabolic rate by decreasing leptin levels, the high-carb day helps to reset your leptin levels and keep your metabolic rate up.
To add size, your default diet would be 2-3g per pound. You can go lower, either to about 1g per pound on non-training days, or you can have two low-carb days after every three or four high-carb days to minimize fat gain.
Q: Do you have any tips for getting rid of that last inch around the belly? HIIT cardio and weightlifting have left me with just a little bit more to lose.
A: That last inch is the toughest. The only way to get rid of it is to burn even more calories than you consume. So to consume even fewer calories, consider dropping some extra carbs from your diet, such as at your pre-workout meal and/or lunch.
To burn more calories, consider turning up your high-intensity interval training by going for a few more intervals each time.
Q: I do cardio right after weights. Should I have my postworkout shake and carbs before cardio or after? If I wait until after cardio, will I miss my postworkout window to stimulate muscle growth?
You should wait until immediately after the cardio is over to consume your protein and fast carbs. This is especially true for the carbs, which would blunt fat burning during the cardio workout. Don't be worried about missing your post-workout window . . . as long as you prepared properly with a pre-workout protein shake.
The pre-workout protein shake provides energy during the workout and also serves as a post-workout protein source to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Q: If I'm taking creatine, do I need to do the loading phase first? What is a typical loading phase?
A: You only need a loading phase if you want to see immediate results. A good loading phase should last five to seven days. Take 5g of creatine four or five times per day. Definitely take creatine with protein and carbs, and on workout days make one of those doses with your pre-workout shake and carbs, and another one immediately post-workout with your shake and carbs.
Q: I take 40-45g of protein and 5g of creatine in my post-workout shake. What is the best source of carbs to take at that time: a supplement powder I could combine with my shake or a food source?
A: Post-workout, it doesn't matter, as long as they are fast-digesting or high-glycemic carbs. For supplements, nothing beats Vitargo in my opinion, a powdered complex carb supplement that actually digests about twice as fast as most sugars.
Another option is simply dextrose powder. For foods, fat-free sugary candies are best. One company that stands out is Wonka. Many of their candies, such as Pixy Stix, Sweet Tarts and Bottle Caps are made with either dextrose or maltodextrin, which are both basically pure glucose and will spike insulin and drive amino acids, carbs and creatine into your muscles, and turn on muscle protein synthesis to stimulate growth.
Slow-digesting carbs, such as most fruit, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, etc., are not the best choice, as they keep insulin levels low and steady.