Written By Tim Rigby, M.A., NSCA-CPT
We here at Fit Deals would hate for you to miss out on the incredible, reliable results you can get from supplements taken at the right time and at the right dosages. They really make a difference when combined with an active training program and a healthy lifestyle. We understand completely that if you’re new to supplements, it may seem like a cumbersome task (or some sort of nuisance habit) that takes too much time and effort. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is absolutely a legitimate statement that supplements work most effectively when consumed consistently, so to allay any reservations you may have about the effort required, here’s some friendly education on how to make consuming supplements as simple and easy as having a meal or drinking water:
We’re going to go out on a limb and say you’re a busy person who sometimes has to carry out their activities at a brisk pace in the morning. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to a lack of necessary macronutrients that help you build muscle and burn fat. Having some scrambled eggs and toast or a bowl of oatmeal may sound healthy, when in fact it’s lacking in protein. Supplementing with a whey protein shake in the morning can set you up for your entire day. You’ll metabolize the protein efficiently over the next 16 or so hours you’re awake and it will help you develop new muscle. Furthermore, it will give you a surprising high level of energy that can sustain you over several hours. Protein, amino acids, caffeine and taurine are all so simple to consume either in a shake or with water or juice, and they really give you a mental edge to tackle your work, followed by your workout.
Once you’ve had your lunch around the noon hour, you tend to have a spike in energy which lasts a couple hours. Often, however, people experience a mid-afternoon crash where the energy wears off and the rigours of the day kick in. This is an excellent time to consume some natural BCAAs to promote endurance for the rest of the day. These can be consumed as easily as having a shake in the same way you would with whey protein, or they can be taken in capsule form with water. Also, the convenience and simplicity of a protein bar cannot be understated. Simply open the wrapper and consume it like you would a candy bar; the difference being you’ll get an abundance of protein with very little in the way of unhealthy fats or excessive simple carbs. Having a shot of caffeine or l-carnitine is also strategically consumed in the afternoon, however we will advise that unless you plan to work out in the evening, you don’t want to consume anything in substantial quantity that may disrupt your sleep later in the evening.
Activity levels in the evening can range greatly depending on whether you’re having a scheduled rest day or training at the gym, home, or outside. Pre-workout blends can play a big role in influencing the success and efficiency of your workout. If you’re strength training, then a blend which contains creatine can help you lift heavier weights and in turn make you stronger. A nice side effect of becoming stronger is that you’ll also build additional muscle, even if this isn’t your primary goal. If you are in fact mainly concerned with building muscle, then the ingredients l-arginine and citrulline malate have been very effective as proved by science within the realm of generating big muscle pumps. This in turn leads to more nutrients being shuttled to your muscle cells to help them grow. Other ingredients that play a part in shaping the quality of your training include l-glutamine and l-leucine, often referred to as the “ignition key” to building new muscle. These should be consumed as quickly as possible post-workout, followed by a protein shake. On those days when you’re at rest, having a casein protein shake before bed can help sustain a steady delivery of amino acids to your muscles overnight.
The aforementioned sections of the day which lend themselves to specific supplements precludes things like vitamins, minerals and omega-3s. Depending on your needs, goals, and the intensity of your training, these can all be consumed once to three times a day. An example being zinc, which is a powerful mineral responsible for so many enzymatic reactions and a great testosterone booster, along with being an immune system enhancer and sleep inducer – a wise choice to consume about half an hour before bed.