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15.06.2013


The combined effect of taking supplements before, during and after your workout

The combined effect of taking supplements before, during and after your workout
You have pre-workout supplements containing NO boosters, beta-alanine and caffeine. You have supplements for during your workout, containing carbohydrates, creatine and amino acids. And you have post-workout supplements containing fast carbs and whey. So what happens if you use all three types in combination? Australian sports scientists at Charles Sturt University tried it out.

The researchers will publish their findings soon in Nutrition Research. They used 15 male athletes in their early twenties for the study, who had already been doing weight training for an average of three years.

The researchers were inspired by the approach described by the sports scientists John Ivy and Robert Portman in 2004 in their book Nutrient Timing -The Future of Sports Nutrition. [Amazon]

In the book the authors suggest that athletes can improve their performance by taking the right supplements before, during and after their workout: supplements to help them workout better during the 'energy phase' before doing the workout, supplements that will help their muscle cells to recover faster and grow more during the 'anabolic phase' during the workout, and supplements to help the recovery and growth process of the muscles during the 'growth phase' after the workout.

The researchers decided to try out this approach using products produced by Musashi, a daughter company of Nestle. [musashi.com.au] Nestle funded the researcher, and the first author, Stephen Bird, also works as a consultant for Nestle.

The test subjects were not allowed to eat for the four hours prior to working out, and then just before starting their training they were given a shake with the pre-workout supplement Musashi Reactivate Hardcore. This contains over 1.5 g creatine, 200 mg caffeine, 1 g beta-alanine and 1 g BCAAs and vitamins.

During the workout, between sets, the subjects were given a shake with Musashi Elevator. This contains fast carbohydrates, 5 g creatine and amino acids. After their workout the subjects were given a shake with Musashi Sports, a mixture of fast carbs and whey.


The combined effect of taking supplements before, during and after your workout


The subjects trained their legs by doing squats, deadlifts, leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. They repeated the procedure but were given a placebo: a zero-calorie light drink.

The training volume (number of reps x kgs) was ten percent higher during the training session with supplements than during the placebo training session. That's not so strange if you consider that the subjects did the placebo workout on an empty stomach.

After doing the strength training session the researchers got the subjects to do a few jumps and measured their peak power, in other words the speed the athletes were capable of generating. The subjects recovered their peak power faster after taking supplements.


The combined effect of taking supplements before, during and after your workout


The combined effect of taking supplements before, during and after your workout


The amount of creatine kinase in the athletes' blood was lower after doing a workout and taking supplements. That's an indication that the supplements reduced muscle damage.

The SuppVersity website was critical about the added value of the effects of the supplementation on athletes. "What I do yet doubt is that the same results could not have been achieved with a cup of oatmeal, water and protein powder 1h before the workout, a coffee right before the workout and 3-5g of creatine, two bananas and a regular whey protein afterward", writes SuppVersity. [suppversity.blogspot.com] "And did I mention that they are dirt cheap and can be combined with real foods?"

Source:
Nutrition Research Volume 33, Issue 5 , Pages 376-387, May 2013.

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