We get a lot of questions regarding, what supplements should I take. How do I take them and when. Choosing the right supplement to help you achieve your goals is just as important as knowing the right time to take them to deliver desired results. Believe me when I say that there is no miracle product out on the market that will shed the pounds and put on muscle without hard work and determination. So, once you have structured your fitness program and created a Macro (diet) plan it is time to pick out supplements. This is where confusion sets in. There are so many choices with different ingredients and brand names. Which ones are safe? Which ones will deliver results? How much should I take? When should I take? Hopefully this article will assist you with these questions.
WHAT TO AVOID
- Do some research on the products, investigate the ingredients. Some ingredients have actually been banned by government agencies but can still be found in preworkouts and other formulas.
- Avoid Proprietary blends as seen below. While companies have claimed Prop blends help them protect their formulas, it has created questionable actions. Some companies have been caught spiking their formulas with the cheaper ingredients to cut costs down.
WHAT TO TAKE AND WHEN TO TAKE THEM
During your sleep your body is in a catabolic state, meaning it will feed off of your body’s fats and muscle tissue for fuel during this time. The best way to avoid this is to, upon waking, consume whey protein which will deliver all of your essential amino acids to turn your body into an anabolic state and start building muscle.
I am a strong believer in Fish oils for their many benefits to the body. They are a great source of Omega 3s and are excellent for joints and muscle recovery. This is very important, especially when in the middle of extreme training. Muscle and joint soreness can increase recovery time and slow down your process towards reaching your goals. Combine Fish Oils with BCAAs or Whey Protein to jumpstart protein synthesis and build more muscle.
30 MINUTES BEFORE WORKOUT
Caffeine Anhydrous is a natural stimulant made famous by Coffee and popular energy drinks. There are many positive effects caffeine can have on the body. It has been shown to increase metabolism leading to additional weight loss and reduction in body fat. Caffeine can increase energy levels leading to more endurance during exercise with reduced fatigue. Has been proven to improve concentration and mental awareness. (300mg found in UXO Preworkout)
Recommended: 200-300 mg
L-Arginine is a valuable precursor of Nitric Oxide. N.O. is vital to increasing blood flow towards your muscles during intense activity. This delivers additional nutrients to the muscles causing improved endurance, strength, and recovery. (3g found in UXO Preworkout)
Recommended: 5-10 grams
Citrulline Malate is similar to L-Arginine in that it increases N.O. levels. Proven to be more efficient in the process than L-Arginine itself, and showing many of the same benefits. However Citrulline Malate clears ammonia from the tissues reducing fatigue and has shown rebuilding elements reducing recovery time in between gym sessions. Some will argue the benefits of Citrulline vs. Citrulline Malate. Citrulline Malate is in fact Citrulline with a Malic Acid attachment allowing it to absorb quicker into the muscle allowing for faster response. (6g found in UXO Preworkout)
Recommended: 6 g
This compound is derived from the amino acid Choline, and can be found in sugar beets. Has gained praise as performance enhancer and is now found in many preworkouts. It protects cells from stress, supports joints and liver health. Can even improve cholesterol levels. Studies have also shown improved strength and endurance in high stress activities. (2g found in UXO Preworkout)
Beta-Alanine is a precursor to carnosine which delays fatigue and improves performance. Its most popular form is found in the trademarked CarnoSyn. CarnoSyn can increase size, strength, and lean muscle mass. When combined with Creatine, this can lead to greater increases as compared to just using creatine alone. (2g found in UXO Preworkout, Combine with UXO Creatine for optimal performance).
Optimal dosage: 2-6g
SUPPLEMENT TO TAKE DURING YOUR WORKOUT
BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAS)
BCAAs are comprised of 3 naturally occurring ingredients (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine). These are the building blocks of protein synthesis and reducing protein degradation. This reduces fatigue and improves overall performance in the gym. Leucine is the activator for protein synthesis in this formula. It is important that your BCAA contains more Leucine than the other counterparts to ramp up effects. (5g found in UXO Preworkout and UXO BCAA)
Recommended: 5-10g in 2:1:1 ratio before and intra workout.
Glutamine is a very popular ingredient with the weightlifting community. It does support immune system functions as well as lean muscle mass gains, and reduction in fat. The main benefit of this ingredient is to remove ammonia much like Beta-Alanine. However Glutamine regulates your body’s acid-base balance reducing muscle soreness after high intensity training. (2g found in UXO BCAA/Recovery product)
Recommended: 5g Preworkout, and 5g intra
SUPPLEMENTS TO TAKE AFTER YOUR WORKOUT
It is essential to take a protein within the 30 minute anabolic window of completing your workout. Consuming 20-30g can increase your delivery rate of EAA, CAA, NAA, to the muscles. Will reduce muscle catabolism and assist with recovery. Perfect when combined with glutamine
Creatine Monohydrate has some stigma around it with bloating and flabbiness. However, it is one of the most researched ingredients in supplementation and has been proven to increase strength, power, and LEAN mass. Creatine is found in many of our food sources and already being ingested by many without even knowing it. It is important to supplement it in order to get higher dosages to deliver desired results. Important to take preworkout and post workout. It has shown that taking this ingredient immediately following the workout lead to increases in strength and FAT-FREE mass compared to just preworkout. (6g found in UXO Creatine)
Recommended: 5g-10g daily
SUPPLEMENTS TO TAKE BEFORE BED
Casein is a slow digesting protein. This is important to have before going to sleep to aoid the body going into a canabolic state. Reduces protein breakdown by keeping nutrients and amino acids in the body that it can use as fuel rather than consuming fats and muscle tissue.