Many weight training athletes have questions about their pre and post workout supplementation programs should accomplish. In fact, many athletes simply do not have a solid understand of supplementation, or are confused about the purpose of each phase. Make no mistake, a large portion of your success as a weight trainer will be determined by your diet, nutrition and supplementation programs.
Many people suffer from the misconception that your pre-workout supplementation routine should consist of muscle building nutrients and products. Actually, the whole idea of everything that you do before hitting the gym is to ensure that you have the proper fuel and energy level in order to have a successful workout.
In order for this to happen, you must be eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. There should be a meal anywhere from one to three hours before your workout. It should have a good mix between carbohydrate, protein and even a small amount of fat.
Fifteen to thirty minutes before hitting the gym, you want to be taking your supplements. Once again, remember that the purpose here is to give you the energy needed for an intense training session. Even something as simple as caffeine can be good for this, depending on your body chemistry. Alpha Lipoic Acid, Citrulline Malate, Creatine Monohydrate and Taurine are all excellent choices.
The premise behind post-workout supplementation is that training is hard work! Afterwards, your body is likely depleted of some key nutritional factors, including protein, glycogen, amino acids and other important vitamins and minerals. These must be replenished asap!
There is also an interesting phenomenon that occur post workout. This is an increase potential for nutrient uptake that follows for about an hour or so after your workout. This means that anything you consume will have an enhanced effect and may even be absorbed faster.
After your workout is finished, there are certain supplements that you should take as soon as possible. The first of these is a good whey protein powder, mix or shake. This is the absolute fastest digestion protein source. While you are making your shake, why not add in 5 grams or so of Creatine supplement and glutamine supplement to enhance the healing and recovery process? Also consider adding in some dextrose and waxy maize starch (fast-digesting carbohydrates).
As a final thought, you can even consume some branched chain amino acids during your post-workout supplement routine. In fact, taking these during your workout is a great idea as well, since they are so fast acting. Find out more about pre- and post-workout supplementation.