Importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition and Supplementation

The importance of nutrition isn’t foreign to anyone in the health and fitness community. You, like many athletes, surely know the right meals and supplements are essential to maximizing strength and power.  Lack of proper supplement timing, however, may be holding you back from your goals. For a long time there was an understanding that the most important time to take supplements was post-workout. There is now a new school of thought that says taking supplements before you work can be even more effective.

Why Pre-Workout Supplements?

Priming your body and your muscles properly is akin to making sure your car has enough gas in it before a long car trip. Pre-workout supplements can help you in multiple ways by fueling you with the nutrients you need at the very moment you need them, not just after you’re depleted.

Benefits of good pre-workout supplements include[1]:

  • More strength and performance. Lift more weight, work out for a longer period of time and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Improved energy and reaction time. Do you work out early in the morning or after a long day’s work? You probably need an energy boost to perform at your best.
  • Better focus. Give yourself a mental edge for overcoming barriers. Having a focused, determined attitude is essential to success in the gym. Focus on your plan and execute.
  • Increased protein synthesis. Build muscle more efficiently and recover faster by getting nutrients to muscles immediately.
  • Improved fat burning. Get full advantage of your workout and maximize your body composition.

As you can see, these are very wide in scope so they can benefit athletes at any level. It’s not just anecdotal evidence either – clinical studies have shown that the proper pre-workout supplements can provide significant results. In one study, subjects performed 50% more bench press repetitions and had a 40% reduction in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) when they used citrulline malate powder pre-workout[2].

What to supplement with?

There are a wide variety of pre-workout supplements available, so it’s essential to do research and read up on some of the options to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time in the gym and getting the right supplements to meet your goals. Below are some options and good places to start with pre-workout supplements:

Strength and performance: Citrulline Malate powder, Creatine supplement (or the faster absorbed derivative, creatine ethyl ester), Beta Alanine supplement, L-Arginine supplement, Beta-Ecdysterone supplements

Energy and focus: Caffeine supplements, DS Craze pre workout supplement, C-vitamins

Increased protein synthesis: Whey Protein, Branched Chain Amino Acids

Improved fat burning: Caffeine supplements

Keep in mind that with certain supplements you may want to stagger the dosage. For example, users should take arginine powder should be taken about an hour before exercise, but branched chain amino acids are digested quickly, so those should be consumed just before your workout.

Now that you know the benefits of  pre-workout nutrition and what to use, go pick up some new pre-workout supplements to add to your routine and see your gains skyrocket!

Sources

[1] http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/9/1/28

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132

 

Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL (CEE Creatine)

article-new_ehow_images_a06_2o_fo_measure-arm-size-inches-800x800What is Creatine?

Aside from whey protein, creatine is one of the most popular and widely recommended supplements for beginners. The reasons are understandable, creatine is extremely effective, relatively inexpensive and safe. Creatine supplement has been used for decades in the health and fitness community for it’s ability to increase work capacity and improve body composition. More recently, creatine has been recommended to improve brain function. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to using regular creatine such as water weight gain (which can cause loss of muscle tone and bloating) and upset stomach. Creatine ethyl ester HCL, also known as CEE Creatine, is a new form of creatine that is rising in popularity as a more effective alternative to creatine monohydrate powder.

Creatine Ethyl Ester Benefits

Before we look at the benefits of creatine ethyl ester over creatine monohydrate, let’s look at the benefits of increasing intramuscular creatine levels. First, creatine enables your body to perform more high intensity work. Supplmenting with creatine helps regenerate ATP, energy used by the body to fuel fast-twitch muscle fibers. Having plenty of creatine in the muscle provides energy quickly, so there’s less fatigue and longer duration of optimal performance [1]. If you’re lifting weights, that means you can lift more weight for a longer period of time – resulting in faster muscle and strength gains. Of course, sprinters or other athletes can also benefit greatly from improved fast-twitch muscle performance. For more cosmetic purposes, a benefit of creatine is increased muscle volume. With creatine supplementation, water moves to the muscle fibers and increases the size. However, since creatine monohydrate isn’t broken down by the body very efficiently, the water volumization isn’t always limited to the muscles. This is also where creatine ehtyl ester is superior to creatine monohydrate.

Creatine ethyl ester powder is a derivative of creatine[2]. It has been enhanced to improve absorption into the body, which is the main downfall of creatine monohydrate. Because of the poor absorption,  users of creatine monohydrate powder often have to use large amounts to get maximum effects. This becomes an issue immediately by causing disturbed digestion and other gastrointestinal problems. As you could imagine, it’s not fun working out when your stomach is upset. Creatine ethyl ester may also have better skeletel muscle uptake than creatiine monhydrate, so less is required to improve muscle function and there is less creatine in other parts of the body to cause some of the other side effects of creatine such as dehydration and bloating. In essence, you may be able to use less creatine ethyl ester to achieve even better results than you do with creatine monohydrate[2].

CEE Creatine Dosage and Timing

Creatine ethyl ester is best used as a pre-workout supplement. You want the levels of creatine in your muscles to be highest. You can also use it first thing in the morning and before bed for 24-hour recovery benefits. The dosage of creatine ethyl ester is significantly less than regular creatine. First, there’s no loading period required, so you can begin with the standard dose. The recommended daily dosage is only 3-6g, much less than 5-25g recommended for creatine monohydrate.

Sources:

[1] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson181.htm

[2] http://www.realsolutionsmag.com/ezine/44/issue44b.asp