Beginners Guide to Supplement Stacking
Let’s face it: Most of us have a job, kids, and other commitments that prevent us from cooking our meals. As a result, we’ll often go for highly processed foods that do not contain the essential nutrients needed to help us achieve our dream physique.
To make sure we’re on track of our fitness goals, there are supplements that can provide our bodies with the vital nutrients needed to gain strength, muscle mass, or lose fat. That being said, a beginner may find it difficult to choose the right supplement that fits his or her goal.
Here we take a look at some of the basic supplements that one should consider including in their diet.
Whey protein can be absorbed in a shorter time frame compared to other protein sources, and since there’s an acute increase in protein synthesis during post workout, this will create a favorable anabolic window, and taking whey protein during this period can help accelerate muscle growth.
Other than that, it also helps to promote the growth and preservation of lean muscle mass, which is vital when you’re on a calorie deficit. You definitely do not want to lose those hard earned muscles that you have gained throughout all the years of busting your butt off in the gym.
Casein provides your body with slow and consistent flow of amino acids, which is ideal to take before going to bed. The amino acid is slowly released throughout the day, so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to consume foods that are high in protein.
Casein protein is also high in glutamine, which helps in promoting the recovery of your body. This is especially important for those who are constantly pushing themselves to their limits while working out in the gym, as doing so more often can cause a lot of physiological stress to their bodies.
Carbs have been given a bad rep for making people fat, but this is actually far from the truth. Your glycogen, a.k.a. energy source is depleted after a strenuous workout, and carb ingestion during the post workout window can help replenish your glycogen level, providing you with the energy required to last through the day. Furthermore, not ingesting enough carbs will promote fatigue, and this will affect your performance in the gym.
Post workout nutrition that’s high in carbs and protein can help providing all the nutrients you need to promote muscle gain. For those with a small appetite, such drink can help delivering huge calories punch in one shot, so you do not have to worry about not getting enough calories in your diet.
Your body can only store so much adenosine triphosphate (ATP) at a time, and once you have finished using it, there’s a recovery period before you get to pump out a new set of exercise. Creatine helps to bypass such issue by boosting ATP production in your body, giving you the energy needed to lift heavier weights and complete more reps.
While creatine can also be found through whole foods, you will have to consume anywhere from 500g to 1kg of meat just to get the optimal amount of creatine. Not only is it unrealistic to consume that much meat in a day, it will also cause a dent in your wallet. As a result, it would be a wiser decision to take creatine supplementation.
Do you know that not all Omega-3s are created equally? There’re 3 types of Omega-3s, which are ALA, EPA & DHA. ALA is commonly found in plant oils, and it has less health benefits compared to the other 2 options. Only a limited amount of ALA can be converted into EPA & DHA, so it’s much better to take fish oil directly to compensate for the lack of EPA & DHA in your diet.
EPA & DHA play a vital role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, nervous system efficiency, brain development, and overall immunity. Vegetarians should consider including fish oils into their diets, as chances are they would have a lower omega-3 blood levels compared to meat eaters.
Long period of workout session will push your body into catabolic state, and to prevent muscle degradation, BCAA can be taken during or post workout to ensure no muscle will be sacrificed in place of energy. A 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine is ideal to help promote recovery and slowing down the muscle burning rate.
For those who’re on a calorie deficit diet, it’s recommended to include BCAA in your diet plan. The leaner you get, the harder your body will try to hold onto the fats, and this will greatly increase the chance of your body to use your muscle in place of your fat as fuel.
Arnold once famously said that muscles are not made in the gym but in the kitchen, and failure to provide your body with the essential nutrients will only hinder your growth. So make sure you’re paying extra attention to what you eat on a daily basis, and soon it will only be a matter of time before you start experiencing a tighter T-shirt sleeves or a smaller waistline.
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