What are they?
They’re what your muscles are made up of. The reason people take them is to provide the building blocks to repairing, and growing your muscles. There are heaps of different types and sources.
The 4 main types are:
Hydrolyzed 0-30mins absorption speed
Isolate 0-90mins absorption speed
Concentrate 0-3 hours absorption speed
Caisin 0-8 hour absorption speed
The sources are like whey, pea, hemp, rice, soy.. and the list goes on.
Whey is the cheapest and most available source so thats my favorite.
Plant based proteins are expensive, heavily marketed as if they were the next messiah lol and aren’t as easily absorbed. They are a good alternative if you’re lactose intolerant (although Whey Isolate barely has any lactase in it so id try that first and see how you handle it)
– 20-45g a serve (women more like 30g, men 45g)
– Make sure you get around 2g/kg of protein per body weight a day
– 20 mins after a workout*
*They say you should have a protien shake around 20mins after your workout. The idea is that your body is more ‘hungry’ for building blocks and nutrients to rebuild the muscle fibers and energy. This might not be the case according to new research, but it definitely won’t hurt- so do it anyway if you can 🙂
Make sure you get your daily protein requirements for the day (see above)
BCAA (Branch chain amino acids)
What are they?
The are amino acids (like ‘smaller’ proteins) but they have been found to actauly stimulate muscle growth. They can also act like ‘bodyguards’ to your muscles during a workout and stop catabolism (muscle breakdown) by having preferential utilisation (gets used first, instead of your muscle).
-5g a serve.
– Before you start training (0-20mins if fine) or after if you’re not doing a protien shake OR 2.5g before and 2.5g after and THEN a protein shake about an hour after (if you want to be really crazy! :P)
– You can also take it at night or any other time (but I would take them away from your shake, as your shake already has BCAA in them so it would be kinda like doubling up and a waste, considering you’ve paid money to have them separated)
What are they?
Glutamine is also an amino acid (a ‘smaller’ protein). It makes up a large percentage of what our muscles are made up of (about 70%). So like BCAA they also act as ‘bodyguards’ and building blocks. Glutamine also has an affinity for the GUT and is food for the good bacteria and helps repair the gut wall. So if you have any stomach complaints, like IBS, flatulence, loose stools, etc, it might help there and could be better than BCAA for you (but I would recommend seeing someone about that- if only you knew a good naturopath? 😛 )
-3-7g a serve. (I like 5g)
– Before you start training (0-20mins if fine)
– You can also take it at night or any other time (but I would take them away from your shake, as your shake already has Glutamine in it so it would be kinda like doubling up and a waste, considering you’ve paid money to have them separated)
What is it?
Creatine is involved in ATP production (the quick, explosive energy- like 0-30 seconds). So it will help with explosive reps or movements (like low reps 1-6 OR sprints/sled pushes/30 second interval training..etc). The other thing it does is attract more water into the muscle belly, thats why you look bigger when you’re on it.
Few things people should know- some people look chubbier on it and not bigger so just experiment and see how your body looks. The good/bad news is that once you stop taking it you will lose the weight (in about a week or so).
-5g/day. You can take it all before your workout, or you can take it 2.5g before and after your workout.. depending on how pedantic you want to be.
-Normally you cycle it, so like 4-6 weeks taking it every day and then a 2-3 week break not taking it. Alternatively you can do a weekly cycle of 4 days on and 3 days off (and then you can do this continually they say). I like the 3/4 day cycle personally, but depends on your goals or competition dates.
There will be a few more added to this later, as well as a more indepth discussion on the different types of protein and if you’re doubling up on similar products (eg: glutamine and BCAA’s.)