To get the most out of your supplements you have got to know how to use them. No doubt there’s people on both ends of the spectrum out there. You know, the ones who say all you need is protein and take the same protein day after day, year after year. And then you have the other side. You know, the ones who say you need precisely 27.23 grams of protein whilst shooting 32.46 cc of N-acetyl cysteine between your toes exactly 5.23 minutes following the ingestion of exactly 6.24 oz of cinnamon, because anymore than that and your blood sugar will rise 2 obigules over the optimum amount for protein synthesis….sheesh, give me a break already.
See? Even this little one knows better….
The main methods of supplement use are stacking, cycling, and timing.
Stacking supplements is when specific ones are used in conjunction to illicit a specific response. You can have a pre-workout stack, workout stack, and a post-workout stack.
A pre-workout stack should boost energy levels, increase testosterone production, decrease cortisol levels, and boost protein synthesis whilst minimizing catabolism.
A workout stack will have many of the same effects as a pre-workout stack, however, it will focus more on protein synthesis than energy boosting. This means that taking a stack during the workout will contain more amino acids and protein than caffeine or other energy boosting substances. It will also aid more with hydration.
A post-workout stack is going to deal more with providing valuable nutrients the body will need for the rest of the day in order to replenish the body whilst provide the necessary nutrients to build or repair muscle.
Here’s the deal. Supplements are like strength training. They work best when periodized or used in phases.
Cycling supplements is a great idea because for some phases of training you just don’t need them and shouldn’t be wasting money on them unless this is you…
Also, the body will adapt to it if it is used day after day, year after year. It is sometimes wise to back off it completely for a couple weeks to let the body return to normal.
Yaaaa….it’s going to cause awkward social graces….
The timing of supplements and even food has become very popular. It seems it is far more important than we thought. Timing is everything they say, and it’s definitely true when it comes to supplements. You wouldn’t take a pre-workout stack post-workout would you?
For example, the best times to take protein supplements are post-workout, before bedtime, and directly upon waking up. This will give your body protein at the times when it is most needed to stop catabolism.
Here is an example of how I maximize my supplement use. I personally use JACK3D as my pre-workout supplement which has a bunch of good stuff in it. While I workout I sip on leucine loaded BCAAs by Inner Armour. That’s my workout stack. Then post-workout, about an hour or so later, I take a protein shake with greens powder and fiber powder along with a multi-vitamin, rhodiola, magnesium, and fruit-n-veggie pill. This covers all my bases and has been helping cut my recovery time way down. That means my body builds muscle and repairs itself much faster, allowing me to workout more often or harder.
Next up we’ll talk about what supplements I take during the different phases to maximize my results.
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