A lot of people are familiar with pre (before) and post (after) workout supplements. However there is some still some confusion around what are the best supplements to take intra (during) to ensure you are getting the most from your hard work. This blog will break down the most effective supplements and why you should using them.
To put it simply amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids can be broken up into two families – essential and non-essential. The difference between the two is essential amino acids (EAA) are not manufactured in the body and need to be sourced from dietary protein or supplementation. There are 9 EAA’s which are;
Three of the EAA’s (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine) are known as branch chain amino acids (BCAA) as they have a different atom structure the other 6 EAA’s.
What does all of this mean? Well as mentioned, amino acids are the building blocks of protein and more importantly they are essential for muscle protein synthesis (MPS). MPS is the growth, repair, and maintenance of muscle. During your workout you break down the muscle so using amino acid supplements with help in aiding recovery through MPS.
When people hear carbohydrates they generally think the worst as they get a pretty bad wrap but carbs are an extremely effective and underused tool when it comes to workouts. Carbs, when taken correctly, will boost endurance, aid in rapid recovery, increase cell volume and maximize anabolic response during every training session. Carbs can be broken up in to three different groups;
Simple Carbohydrates –Simple carbohydrates are made up of one or two sugars and are rapidly converted by your body and used quickly as energy.
Complex Carbohydrates –Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars and are absorbed more slowly. They also raise your blood sugar level and any rise in blood sugar levels causes a sharp rise in insulin which in turn promotes glycogen storage. However, high levels of insulin production can also promote the storage of fat.
Fibrous Carbohydrates -Fibrous Carbohydrates contain high levels of fibre. This acts to slow the conversion of carbs into glycogen, which sustains your energy supply over the day.
Choosing the right carb source is critical in order to maximize performance in the gym. For an intra workout look for simple carbs such as dextrose and glucose.
Electrolytes are involved in many of your bodies essential functions such as assisting with nerve impulses, contracting muscles, keeping you hydrated and regulating your body’s pH levels. Electrolytes are lost through sweat so may be required when training hard. The most common electrolytes are;
If you experience muscle cramps during or after training it generally points to dehydration and not enough electrolytes being digested to replace what is expelled.
Author: Chad Streatfield