There are so many supplements out there and let’s face it unless we are told what to take, when and how it can be so confusing, misleading information everywhere and unsure what works best including for your own body and it’s responses. So I thought I might help outline just some of the common supplements and when they may be best to take!
This is when we are dragging our heels, maybe it’s a Monday and you’re recovering from the weekend (still) or perhaps you’re nearing the end of a busy week and battling through. If you are morning trainer these can be a battle. But basically any supplement can go.
If you are content to consume caffeine then a pre-workout is just fine to take in the mornings, but some people may find that an empty stomach and the pre-workout stimulants are not a healthy mix.. Well actually they have nothing to mix with at all.. So if this is the case for you it’s time to set the alarm that little bit earlier and have a bite to eat before hitting the gym.
If you are a morning trainer, then it’s even more important to consider your food for the day as well. First off you can consume a protein shake such as Whey Protein Isolate straight after your training as well as combining fine powdered oats into this as well or some other carbohydrate that can help you survive until you either get home for a well fuelled breakfast or into the office and have a late one, but it is important to consume food, and the right food post workout to avoid that slump of energy mid-afternoon. Now this is the point where the caffeinated beverages may now be appealing, a strong double shot latte the perfect ‘pick me up’ after your session right? This is where is can go wrong, you actually naturally have endorphins and hormones (such as cortisol) streaming through your body after a workout (remember that energy you seem to obtain when you straight to train) caffeine actually increases this even more even though you don’t even need it. The most common time in general for people to need a kick of energy is around that 3pm afternoon time! So if it can be avoided, it will be hugely beneficial for your hormones to simply skip that caffeine for about two hours post workout, try a green tea instead to balance it out.
For other morning inclusions mental stimulants and other focus enhancements should generally not be required yet unless you have pulled an all nighter or our morning is your afternoon for those on a night shift. But if you wish to consume other fat burners and metabolising drinks/products such as Acetyl Carnitine these are perfectly fine taken now so you can take your additional dose some hours later.
Through the day and throughout many people actually love to supplement a meal with something. Whether that be a meal replacement shake specifically or protein or a drink they do up themselves. This is perfectly fine! In fact products such as Muscle Foods101 from the Bulk nutrients range, or Thermowhey if you are aiming for weight loss can be perfect. The Muscle Foods is like a pre-set meal with good carbohydrates in there and protein while the thermowhey have protein, fat burning thermogenics for the metabolism but the inclusion of slow release proteins to ensure you actually feel like you have drunk a meal and feel full rather than an empty water feeling.
If you train mid-way through the day then you don’t have that issue of not eating prior to training as many morning trainers do so again a pre-workout such as the Bulk Nutrients NO3X will be perfect even with the included stimulants.
It is important to ensure that you are eating right throughout the day for the energy needed for your midday workout, this may even include the addition of Creatine, Dextrose or Maltodextrin as a carbohydrate source into a pre workout shake commonly consumed half hour or so before a workout. These carbohydrates are quick release carbs for some immediate energy and mostly sugars.
It can then come that afternoon that you may lack the focus that you need and a metal stimulant may be tried out to help enhance your focus as well.
If you are an evening trainer, for some this can mean getting to the gym as late as 6-7pm which can mean you don’t even attempt to sit down and relax until 9pm. With a combination of endorphins, energy, focus and hormones running through your body it can be a feat to get to sleep as it is plus eating a late meal on top of the shakes you may have consumed from and around your workout. So one of the ways to manage this is that a stimulant pre-workout may not be the solution especially if you do find you react to caffeine (highly likely you do even if you think you don’t, that’s what I discovered anyway!) so perhaps try a non-stimulant pre-workout! Then there are the shakes and protein you may consume after your session. A WPI/WPC is absorbed at a fairly standard rate but if you need to go home and eat dinner and can’t stomach to overfeed yourself and your wife will get made that you haven’t eaten the meal she has cooked for you, then a hydrolysed protein such as the Bulk nutrients NZHWPI may be the solution. Hydrolysed protein goes through a process of refinement that can add an enzyme that works to break down the protein super-fast for rapid absorption. Not only does this not leave you feeling full for long but it can also help prevent the bloating effect that can be noticed from other whey proteins.
So while these are great ideas as well, sometimes people can get hungry though the night and a couple of things to consider here is how to stop this, as well as not wanting to be up all night going to the loo to drink shakes leading up to bed? The solution high protein pre bed meal and a common combination can be Greek yogurt which is low in fat full of protein, as well as casein. The most popular from the Bulk Nutrients range being chocolate or vanilla micellar casein, this is a slow release protein also known as ‘milk’ protein which releases over a much longer period of time then standard whey proteins and especially hydrolysed. It is a great way to remain full through till breakfast! Or perhaps even easier to prepare is the newest Bulk Nutrients product; Whey Hot which is a combination of milk protein for the close release as well as cocoa and skim milk powder, its just like a hot chocolate!
What apple vitamins and minerals? For your evening almost any can be taken pre bed or with dinner. One of the best combinations is the ZMA caps from Bulk Nutrients, or the zinc and magnesium combination capsules. Zinc helps with your body’s development, repair and other rebuilding properties while magnesium can aid in sleep as well as muscle relaxant and preventing cramps throughout the night. SO when your body does the majority of its growth and repair as it rests it pays to get a good night sleep and this combination can aid in that!
So just some items that can have a preferred time of day consumption. Some of these items can be dictated upon your own personal routine and body’s reaction to many foods and stimulants and what suits you as well as, perhaps you just don’t care if you don’t sleep! So with saying that, I will leave it up to you on how you schedules your meals, shakes, trainings and everything in between!