Supplements

Supplements

While there are literally thousands of different types of training supplements and hundreds of different purposes, methods and times during the day to take them; this article focuses on the three key supplementation times specifically focused around training.

Pre-Workout

A huge trend in the last decade has been the influx of pre-workout supplements into the training market.  For every good pre-workout supp there are 5-10 that are little more than overpriced caffeine and flavoring.

The general purpose of a pre-workout supplement is to provide energy, focus and muscle stimulation for a more effective training experience.  For many people the only pre-workout supplement necessary is a small cup of coffee or shot of espresso.  In fact this is exactly what many pro body-builders use.

For others this may not be feasible or enjoyable.  An alternative are powder-mix form or tab based pre-workout supplements that typically have ingredients such as caffeine, nitric-oxide, beta-alanine among other “energy” stimulants.  Discussion of specific stimulates and products is outside the scope of this article, however it should be noted that before a workout is an optimal time to ingest supplementation that will further advance a training program.  This may even be as simple as some added protein 30 minutes prior.

Post-Workout

Post Workout is one of the most critical times to get ample nutrition, commonly through the form of supplementation.  After an intense workout the body is in desperate need of replenishment.  This is the time along with the morning when carbs are not only ok, but necessary to stabilize glycogen “energy” levels.  Regular food will work well in this situation but many people choose to utilize a Carb supplement because of the convenience.

Read more about post workout carb supplementation and recovery drinks, including the Labrada Power Carb Review on HikingCamelback.com

Before Bed

A common misconception is that eating prior to sleep will always lead to gaining weight or getting fat.  While it is true that scarfing down a burrito at 3am after a night of drinking is not going to keep the excess pounds off, eating the correct things before bed can actually help you lose weight.

By ingesting a slow burning time release casein protein such as found in cottage cheese or a casein protein supplement, you are actually stimulating metabolism and helping your body burn fat while you sleep.  In addition, these releases of protein helps stop muscle tissue break down during sleep and added muscle also helps burn fat and maintain fitness.

Summary

There are many other good and bad supplementation options however anyone partaking in a rigorous training program should consider the following basic supplements.

  • Energy Supplement: Pre-Workout
  • Carb Shake: Post-Workout
  • Casein Protein: Before Bed

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