The Post-Workout Plan: Unleashing The Biggest Gains

By Tim Rigby (copyright IFM Media Inc)

We here at Fitdeals are well aware that you’ve had it drilled into your mind time and time again that fitness is actually only 30 percent training and 70 percent nutrition with supplementation.  This is indeed the most efficient formula to sculpting a muscular and lean body composition.  For the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on that 70 percent, which is a significantly higher priority in the equation.  Eating clean is the number one thing you can do, but post-workout supplementation, especially when timed correctly, is absolutely vital to making the most out of all your hard training.  Knowing the right supplements to consume after your workout is very important and something that is emphasized by pro and elite fitness athletes. 

Here are four key post-workout supplements which you can find on their own, or as part of efficient post-workout blends to ensure you produce maximum gains from your training:

Leucine is not only an amino acid, but it’s the king of the all-important branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).  We recommend that as soon as you finish your workout session, you immediately consume leucine.  It’s renowned for being the “ignition switch” that activates muscle anabolism after you’ve laid a foundation for growth by breaking down muscle fibres during training.  As a matter of fact, research has shown that when you resistance train, your blood leucine levels can drop by as much as 30 percent – making it all the more essential to replenish your stores of this powerful amino acid.

Standard Dosage:  5 grams immediately post-workout


In its hydrochloric acid form (HCI), creatine is vital to muscle growth and strength when consumed after training, despite the prevailing misconception it should be consumed only before training and on rest days.  Remember that intense training means your stores of creatine will diminish, so you’re serving yourself well if you immediately replenish them.  In a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, creatine was proven to play a key role in the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone greatly responsible for muscle anabolism.

Standard Dosage:  1.5 grams within 5 minutes post-workout

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…  the meat and potatoes of muscle building, whey isolate protein.  You’ll never find a better time to consume this staple of muscle growth than 15 minutes after you’ve completed your training.  By priming your muscles with leucine first, now you can shuttle the amino acids in whey isolate into your muscles efficiently.  Most people don’t know that whey isolate is absorbed at a rate of about nine grams per hour, so taking a 30-gram whey isolate shake can keep your blood amino acid levels raised for about three hours.  Also of note, science tells us that the faster you can raise your blood amino acid levels post-training, the greater the overall anabolic response.

Standard Dosage:  30 grams about 15 minutes after training

In conjunction with all of the above supplement ingredients, betaine can enhance absorption and promote protein synthesis.  A strategic time to take it is when you have your whey isolate protein shake 15 minutes after training.  According to the journal Current Drug Metabolism, betaine supplementation first lowers plasma homocysteine concentration levels, which in turn promotes the synthesis of amino acids.  What does this mean for you?  Bigger, denser muscles.

Standard Dosage:  2 grams about 15 minutes after training

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