Creatine and Protein
I use a powerful pre-workout combination of whey protein, taurine, and creatine. This gives me an incredible boost in energy plus it supplies my body with the precise nutrients it needs to get the maximum benefits of creatine from training.
Taking whey and creatine before and after training is a very potent strategy that will not only increase nutrient uptake during the most vital time period of the day, but you’ll also feel more energized and get an increased pump while training.
I am currently training with progressively heavier weights and taking whey protein. I have been reading great things about creatine and I am going to add that to my plan too. My question is, do you mix creatine and protein in the same container or do you have to take them separately?
There is no need to take creatine and whey protein separately, I actually combine them. I drink both before and after training to supply my body with the exact nutrients it needs at the precise times to maximize gains.
You are off to a great start with the powerful muscle building combination of weights and isolated whey protein. Adding micronized creatine to your plan is a very smart move that will accelerate your gains even more.
Taking Supplements on Rest Days?
There seems to be a basic misunderstanding about supplementation on rest days (non-training days). The days you do not train are very important recuperation days. One of the most important aspects of optimum recuperation is meeting your body’s nutrition requirements that are elevated by the previous days training.
It’s of utmost importance that you supplement on the days you do not train.
This will support recuperation and growth. Maintaining your nutrition and supplementation schedule on the days you do not train these are equally as important as your training days.
Caffeine Pre Workout
Add caffeine to the mix and you’ll be busting down the doors to get to the weights.
Caffeine stimulates lipolysis (fat mobilization) specifically by increasing norepinephrine delivery to visceral fat cells and catecholamine secretion that activates the beta receptors and increases cAMP within cells. The more lipids that are available in your blood stream during exercise, the more fat that is burnt for fuel. This is the reason why caffeine is considered an effective fat burner.
Caffeine is also a known performance booster. One of the reasons why could be its ability to help you push through the pain barrier. In one study presented in the Journal of Pain, 2003, subjects who were given a 300mg dose of caffeine before cycling reported feeling significantly less muscle pain during the exercise.
Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, 2005 showed that caffeine taken before exercise may enhance recovery by increasing carbohydrate metabolism. Therefore, based on the research, a dose of caffeine (approximately 300 milligrams) an hour before exercise will probably enhance fat metabolism but also workout performance and recovery after exercise.
The end-result is better fat loss, workout performance and recovery.
Consistent nutrition is one of the keys to achieving outstanding results and you must remember that your nutritional habits are every bit as important on the days you are not training.
Your days off training are a vital part of the muscle building equation because you are recovering from your intense workouts and it is through recovery that you grow and get stronger.
In order to maximize the recovery process it is essential that you supply your body with a steady stream nutrients just as you would on a day you workout.
Glutamine also plays a key role in the muscle building process and should definitely be a included on non training days.
Should I avoid high GI carbs with my creatine when I am trying to get lean?
There is a common belief that carbs are bad when you are trying to get lean and they should be the first things you cut. I used to believe that too, but I know better now.
I’ve learned a lot about the importance of strategically placing high GI carbs in your diet at specific times to take advantage of insulin sensitivity and trigger the mechanisms of muscle growth.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
I’ve heard that BCAA can boost performance and endurance capacity. I love mountain bike riding on the weekends and a BCAA drink would be real easy to take with me. What sort of dose should I be taking?
The branched chain amino acids (BCAA) (leucine, isoleucine and valine) play a pivotal role in muscle metabolism during exercise. The BCAAs are utilized extensively during prolonged endurance exercise to spare valuable muscle fuel such as glycogen.
However, supplementation can also prevent central nervous system fatigue by competing with free-tryptophan for uptake from the plasma into the brain.
It’s also vital to remember that the BCAA are responsible for the activation of protein synthesis in muscle after exercise, this is the mechanism that underlines recovery, repair and growth.
When to Take BCAA’s
Due to their multi-faceted role, a number of research groups have shown a beneficial response from BCAA supplementation before, during and after various types of endurance exercise.
Studies that reported supplementation can prevent central nervous system fatigue utilised a 2-6 gram dose per hour of exercise. Interestingly, this amount was also shown to significantly decrease perceived exertion and/or increased endurance performance.
One recent study has shown that supplementation with leucine (approximately 3.6 grams/day for an 80kg individual) increased plasma BCAA concentrations and improved upper body power output and exercise time to exhaustion in a group of rowers (outrigger canoeists).
I recommend you try one serving of BCAA’s 30 mins before and take another serving with you to consume midway through your hour-long rides. If you intend to go for longer, I recommend you take another serving per hour of activity.
Whether the beneficial effects of BCAA supplementation may reside in their ability to reduce central nervous system fatigue and muscle damage or spare valuable muscle fuel, I think this dosage should provide a subtle but significant boost in performance.
First Thing in the Morning
These times are first thing in the morning as well as before and after training. High GI carbs at these precise times will go directly to supporting muscle growth and not fat gain.
Creatine with whey protein plus a high GI carb source is the perfect formula for pre and post workout nutrition for optimal nutrient uptake. Drink the blend before and after training and you will keep you packing on muscle while you shed the fat.
We want to continue to take advantage of all the benefits from creatine and protein, and that is why we have kept it in place and made caloric adjustments from other areas of the diet.
Is Yohimbine Good for Fat Loss or Boosting Testosterone?
Yohimbine is derived from the bark of several trees, most notably Pausinystalia yohimbe and Corynanthe yohimbe. Yohimbine has been touted as a testosterone booster but I’m not sure how that one came about ― there is no science-based evidence to suggest yohimbine has any effect on anabolic hormone production. However, some researchers suggest that yohimbine can have a very favorable impact on fat metabolism.
Yohimbine is a highly unusual compound as it is a natural alpha-2 antagonist that promotes sympathetic activity by central as well as peripheral mechanisms to promote fat loss.
Additionally, research has shown that supplementation with yohimbine does not raise heart rate, increase blood pressure or induce any other undesired side effect that is characteristic of other stimulants. Best of all, when taken before exercise, yohimbine is shown to boost lipolysis (the process of mobilizing fat from cells) and increase blood free fatty acid levels both during and after exercise.
Gaba- Restful Sleep Speeds Recovery and Results
I’ve been having a problem with sleep. I know sleep is important for recovery and muscle growth but lately I just toss and turn all night. Do you have any suggestions?
GABA is an often overlooked, yet very important supplement that offers unique benefits. For example, 3 to 5 grams of GABA taken before bed will promote a more restful and sound sleep. Plus, GABA has an amazing effect on elevating plasma growth hormone levels as well.
ZMA (zinc and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin B6) is strongly supported by research to be an effective supplement for speeding muscle recovery, size and strength, and even aiding fat loss. It’s also been shown to put you into deeper quality REM sleep.
I just added GABA to my list of muscle building supplements. Should I take it on my days off?
It may be a day off but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about nutrition. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Your off training days are a necessary part of the muscle building equation and in order to take full advantage of this important time and maximize recovery you need to focus on nutrition and supplementation just as you would any other day of the week.
I would highly recommend taking GABA on your days off as well. A 5 gram dose of GABA shows a significant elevation in growth hormone levels and taking GABA before bed promotes a more restful sleep.
The combination of increased growth hormone levels and a more restful sleep will greatly enhance your body’s recovery ability.
Get the most out of your days off by following a consistent nutritional plan capped off with a dose of GABA. Using this program will amplify the results of your ab workouts.
The combination of better sleep and increased growth hormone levels will have a huge impact on your recovery ability and makes ZMA and GABA an important part of an intelligent supplementation plan. You’ll be well rested, you’ll feel better and you’ll be packing on muscle at the same time!