Boost & Recover: pre and post workout essentials
Let’s face it, you can’t buy fitness in a can. Supplements don’t replace a good nutrition plan or represent a substitute for regular exercise. But if your foundation is good, then nutritional supplements can enhance your performance and results.
Different supplements deliver different advantages, so let’s take a look at what your body most needs pre and post workout.
Before you start
Already mixed pre workout supplements represent a good blend of different ingredients. So what are some of the main fuels they contain and how do they work?
- Creatine is a molecule that plays a role in energy production in your body’s cells. This means you will be able to lift heavier for longer!
- Not only does caffeine increase your alertness, it can also increase your ability to produce force more quickly. It’s good for endurance, too.
- Amino Acids like beta-alanine helps to fight muscle fatigue, while the effect of citrulline is to increase blood flow to your body’s tissues. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) may also improve endurance performance.
When you’re done
Post workout supplements may assist in speeding up recovery and enhancing muscle growth. We already mentioned BCAA above, but this can also aid in reducing fatigue and muscle soreness after weight training. Here’s some more vital nutrients:
- Certain nutrients need to get to your body quickly after a workout, and whey protein is the fastest. It spikes muscle protein synthesis. When combined with casein, it keeps this process going for longer, aiding muscle growth.
- Creatine absorption is spiked with some fast-acting carbs. Vigorous weight training depletes the muscle’s glycogen reserves, so the faster they can be replenished, the better.
- Glutamine plays an important role in post-workout recovery, from supporting your immune system to preventing symptoms of overtraining such as lowered plasma glutamine levels.
Choosing the right supplements, when to take them and at what dosage depends on many variables. Speak to your trainer or healthcare provider before taking any supplements.