Out of the hundreds of e-mails I get each week, more than half are from people who are interested in knowing which supplements to take or what the best way is to take the supplements they're currently using.
So this article will show you when to take some of the top supplements and how to get the most out of them.
But what are the best times to take these proven supplements?
Here's what I've found personally works best for me as well as tracking clients progress using these 3 supplements (which, by the way, are about the only 3 I recommend to clients, other than protein/meal replacements, EFA's and a good multi-vitamin).
There's a lot of conflicting research that shows creatine and glutamine may compete directly with one another for cell transport and absorption.
That's because both creatine and glutamine use the same transport method (sodium) to be absorbed by the body, so there's a chance that one will get absorbed more than the other.
Even though there are different theories as to whether this is true or not, here's my thought:
By-pass the entire problem by just splitting up the timing a little bit.
Supplement Consumption Timing
Best taken 1/2 hour or so BEFORE a workout and again RIGHT after a workout.
What I do is take a creatine/juice/protein drink about a half hour before a workout and than another shake right after.
This "bracketing" technique helps set up an anabolic (muscle-building) state for your muscles and helps prevent muscle breakdown from a workout (catabolism).
Other than these 2 opportune times, you can add another creatine serving or two any time throughout the day.
I usually recommend 25 to 30 grams of creatine on a loading phase and 10-20 grams a day on a maintenance phase.
Definitely take glutamine right before bed.
This is where the overwhelming research shows the value of glutamine raising growth hormone levels significantly by taking 5 grams before bed.
Also, another great time is upon waking, when your muscles have been without significant nutrition for up to 6-8 hours.
This helps in the recovery/recuperation process from demanding workouts.
So, creatine definitely before and after your workout and glutamine right before bed and right upon waking.
The best times to take ANY protein drink or protein supplements are as follows.
I've listed them in order of importance, so based upon what you can afford, start at the top of the list and work down.
When Should You Take It?
- The most important time is right after a workout. Your muscles are like a sponge and need instant nutrition for muscle recovery and growth.
- Right before bed. You're about to sleep for 6 to 8 hours. That's a long time without protein. Could you imagine going throughout your day (when awake) not eating 6 to 8 hours?
- Right upon waking. Same thing, you've just gone 6 to 8 hours without proper nutrition. Your body needs protein quick.
- Half hour before a workout. This sets up the "anabolic window" before your workout and provides your muscles with adequate nutrition so that the effects of weight training (weight training breaks down muscle-called catabolic) are not as severe.
* Ratings as of article's date of publication
I hope this article helped shed some light on when to take the 3 most important supplements for gaining mass and strength.