Supplements Intake Before & During Bodybuilding Workout

Supplements Intake Before & During Bodybuilding Workout

Taking supplements is both a science and an art. The science involves knowing what the supplements do, how they might benefit you under certain conditions, and providing possible dosages and times that will theoretically maximize their effects. The art involves finding out just what works for you and in customizing these supplements for your own needs and metabolism.

The bottom line is to try out potentially useful supplements and determine if the benefits are worth the cost. Experiment with various combinations under different conditions, keeping such variables as diet and training relatively constant so you can determine the effects of the supplements by themselves.

Various studies report that certain supplements can have anabolic and anticatabolic effects. For examples. the use of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, valine) before workout increases insulin secretion and decreases the drop in testosterone both during and after exercise. Athletes who use a complete amino acid mixture, hydrolysate or even a whole protein supplement before working out still run into declining testosterone levels as they train and after the workout. The use of BCAAs before training counteracts this.

Yet the use of BCAAs blunts the growth-hormone response during training and decreases the formation of IGF-1. While this might have catabolic effects, the relatively increased levels of testosterone would likely overshadow this effect. Nonetheless, if GH and IGF-1 could be made to increase along with testosterone and insulin, the overall anabolic effect of exercise could be maximized.

So how can an bodybuilder get all the hormones working together? First, use an amino acid and protein stack as follows: Increase your daily protein intake to at least 1.5 grams of protein a meal within a few hours before working out, and especially don't take in any carbohydrates to avoid an insulin response.

Between a half-hour and an hour before training, take in 5 grams of glutamine, 5 grams of alanine, 5 grams of leucine and 5 grams of arginine, either in powdered form or mixed with water or other no caloric drink. We recommend 50mcg chromium and 1 gram Vitamin C. Also consider using other antioxidants such as Vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene and zinc, and magnesium, potassium, folic acid and calcium either before workouts or in 2-3 daily doses.

Taking too many supplements before working out might cause stomach upset, so we'd use the amino acids, chromium and Vitamin C first, introducing any other supplements as tolerated.

Right after training, take in about 20 grams of protein in the form of both free amino acids and a protein hydrolysate that has an abundance of di- and tripeptides. Don't take in any carbohydrates - they'll slow the absorption of the protein and decrease GH levels. The use of the full-spectrum free-form amino acids with a well-hydrolyzed protein supplement will get needed amino acids into the system the quickest and will increase insulin to some extent without affecting the elevated GH levels. Along with the 20 grams of this protein, take 5 grams of glutamine to further increase insulin, GH and testosterone levels, and to counteract the immune-suppressant effects of intense exercise. These recommendations are based on an individual weighing between 150 and 250 pounds. That appears to be quite a range, but considering that many supplements are relatively inactive until a threshold dosage is administered, the suggested amounts are intended to "turn up" a process that is determined more by physical chemistry than by physical size.

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