Tag Archives: bcaa

preworkout safety

Workout Supplement Cautions

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA is a common supplement used by bodybuilders because of its effect on testosterone and strength. DHEA levels drop beginning at the age of 30, causing decreased muscle mass and libido.

DHEA seems to be a great addition to a workout stack, but there are several reported side effects. Due to the fluctuation of testosterone levels, DHEA can cause psychological disturbances including anger and insomnia. Supplementing with DHEA can also cause gender-specific alterations such as shrinking of testes or unwanted hair growth.

DHEA is likely safe when taken as directed; however, it is important to contact a physician prior to use.

Vitamins C and E

VitaminC[1]These vitamins are found in most workout supplements acting as natural antioxidants. Both vitamins C and E offer many benefits including weight management support, healthy skin, and improved immune function.

It is safe to use vitamins C and E; however, it is much more beneficial to consume these vitamins through whole foods rather than supplements. Overdoing these supplements can result in fewer mitochondria meaning less energy and growth.

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is a common ingredient in testosterone boosters and pre workout supplements. Tribulus claims state that the supplement increases testosterone levels, thus improving strength, muscle mass, and sex drive.

There have been no dangerous side effects reported from Tribulus supplementation, so it appears safe to consume. The problem with Tribulus is that there are very little studies to back up the claims stating this supplement supports testosterone or performance enhancement.

Yohimbe

Yohimbine is a popular supplement taken to increase energy and fat loss, which is why yohimbine is a common ingredient in weight loss and pre workout supplements.

This supplement needs to be treated just like other stimulants. Too many stimulating supplements can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and insomnia. When using supplements in this category, it is always wise to start at the lowest dose possible to assess tolerance.

Effective and Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

Whey Protein Make sure you have some whey protein and some Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) like isoleucine, leucine, and valine. The whey is the same protein you needed when you were a child to help you grow big and strong while the BCAA’s help your body use the protein more effectively and reduce delayed muscle soreness.

While some workout supplements have approximately 900,000 ingredients, taking the time to make sure you know what each one is and what it does can not only give you a better workout, it can save your life. Also remember that any of the beneficial ingredients – such as caffeine – can be harmful if taken in improper amounts.

The Bottom Line

Taking supplements daily is an excellent way to feel better and work harder; however, some dietary supplements do have side effects. It is always recommended to speak with a doctor before taking any dietary supplement.

protein for weightlifting

Protein Timing and Its Effect on Weight Training

Introduction:

One of the topics that is discussed on a regular basis by weight lifters, body builders, and other athletes is protein. This discussion usually involves the typical “how much to take” and “which form is the best.” However, an interesting idea is protein timing. There has been some new research that delves into the idea of how important it is to take your protein at specific times. Combined with the answers to those typical questions along with the actual effects can lead to a much improved understanding of how to improve muscular gains and development.

How Much Protein to Consume:

A 2012 study released in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) comes to some interesting conclusions about how much protein we should ideally be consuming. The bottom line is that we should take between 1.2 and 2.0 grams of high quality protein per kilogram of body weight.

This should be consumed on a daily basis, whether or not we workout that day. This is critical since most muscle growth actually occurs during our “off” days. In the past, many athletes simply did not take any extra (or at the very least, significantly less) protein during their non-workout days.

Effects of Protein Consumption:

The study has also shown that protein will have tremendously beneficial effects. This is certainly not a surprise, but it is nice to see in print again. Better still, these finding also indicate that there are significant benefits whether the protein is consumed before or after your workout. It will increase performance, recovery, lean body mass, hypertrophy (i.e. muscle growth), and strength.

Pre and Post Workout Supplementation:

The best types of supplements to use with a pre-workout meal or energy hit are branched chain amino acids. It is also interesting to note that most of the serious and professional level bodybuilders and strength athletes tend to also use handfulls of these BCAA’s during their routines as well.

The post-workout meal should be squarely focused on recovery. The study shows that 3 to 4 grams of leucine will help to promote the maximum amount of protein synthesis. You would also want to use a fast-acting carbohydrate source like glucose or maltodextrin in order to help provide the needed insulin to allow for protein production.

Which Supplements to Use:

According to this study, the best type of protein supplement to use during the pre-workout is the aforementioned BCAAs. They can also be used during the workout itself to help supply vital ATP energy to the working muscles. After the workout is finished, a high quality whey protein powder is recommended. Of course, you could also take other forms of protein powder (although whey is still best) and add in some leucine supplements along with a carbohydrate drink that includes either glucose or maltodextrin.