If you regard yourself as the type of person who takes their training very seriously, listen up. There's nothing more pathetic and costly and physically depriving than seeing someone who subjects their body to hour after muscle-numbing hour of weight room torture, only to neglect the biological actions that inevitably follow.
What you do with the 90 minutes that follow your training sessions will ultimately determine the measure of your results. Use this time wisely and never forget the essentials of getting the most out of your protein.
Start With A Strong Foundation
If you asked a mechanic to put a Yugo engine into a brand new Lamborghini, he'd probably kick you in the teeth as hard as he could. Moreover, you'd deserve it, too. The same is true when it comes to choosing a protein.
It just doesn't make sense to put yourself through hell in the gym, only to replenish your system with some low grade, discount formula that you bought because the guy on the label was three times your size.
Forget it. Labels won't pack on lean muscle, and you need to learn to look beyond them in order to recognize quality when you see it. The best formulas will be teeming with high BCAA's, extra glutamine, high quality whey isolates, low carbs, fat and sugar.
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Don't Miss Your Window Of Opportunity
Nutritional procrastination is one of the biggest mistakes you can make after a workout. We've all been there. You've just finished working out, and are literally hallucinating from exhaustion. You shower, change and fancy yourself up.
In the hallway on the way out, you stop to chat with that insatiable brunette that finally made eye contact. From there you drive home, get situated and check your messages. Then and only then do you decide to mix up a shake. Guess what, tuffy - you're out of luck.
Determine Your Post Workout Macronutrient Needs!
While it won't be a complete waste, you're much better off premixing your post-workout shake so it's available to you immediately after you've finished your final cool-down rep.
After a brutal workout, your body is like a sponge in the middle of death valley, and capable of absorbing ridiculous amounts of nutrients. It is during this time, that you stand to get the most out of your protein.
While you're lost in deep sleep, you're body undergoes a metabolic nervous breakdown. All day long, you calorically spoil it with nutrient-rich snacks every few hours.
As a result it begins to rely on these treats to keep things running in order. How else would you expect it to react when you suddenly neglect it for 6-10 hours each and every night? Simple solution.
Get in the habit of preparing a small protein shake right before bed. Not only will this prevent your muscles from starving all night, but it will also keep your metabolism running strong. If you're not allergic to dairy, certain milk-derived proteins such as Casein and Calcium Caseinate gel in the gut, and digest slowly. This makes it possible to utilize more amino acids and peptides over sustained periods, such as sleep.
If you value your sleep, make sure that your PM shake is free of caffeine or other herbal stimulants. You can't grow if you don't sleep.
Hit The Stack, Jack
Most manufactures do a bang-up job cramming as much as they can into their protein formulas. Sure, they might be able to squeeze in a bit more. But keep something in mind. Even the most highly respected manufacturers are restricted in what compounds they can realistically include in their products. Fortunately, you're not.
Human muscles are junkies for nourishment, especially after being punished for hours in the gym. The next time you reach for your protein, consider stacking any of these supplements.
Without a solid reserve of good fats, don't expect to burn off the fat that you're already lugging around.
Flaxseed is highly researched omega-3 fatty acid that's loaded with compounds your body relies on for growth, tissue repair, healthy metabolism and energy production.
Branched Chain Amino Acids
Unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are synthesized in the muscles, not in the liver. They also make up one third of human muscle tissue.
Taken before a workout, they can help expedite the fat-burning process. Taken afterwards, they work feverishly to restore the muscle tissue breakdown that occurs during workouts.
There's a reason why professional bodybuilders take naps after they train. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a naturally, sedative-like amino acid that helps the body communicate more effectively with the body.
As a natural sedative, it can stave off stress and anxiety, while inducing a natural state of relaxation. Adding GABA to your bedtime protein encourages deeper sleep, which in turn allows the body to release more growth hormone.
If you work during the day, don't even think about trying this one upon waking.
Some of the world's most elite athletes swear by this multitasking phospholipid.
Not only has it been shown to exhibit unusually strong anabolic properties, it also helps prevent the release of cortisol - that inescapable stress hormone that's released during and after intense physical activity.
I swear by it, and have had incredible success by taking 300 mg/days off, and 500 mg/days on.
The thinking here is very simple - the more testosterone you produce, the more responsive your muscle tissues will become. Ironically, the body burns through many of the nutrients that enable testosterone production, notably zinc and magnesium.
ZMA is a unique pairing of these two crucial nutrients which have been known to drastically increase both strength and muscular gains.
You've heard of glutathione, right, but did you know that without ample amounts of this crucial amino acid, your body goes Forest Gump when it comes to metabolizing the amino acids in protein?
NAC steps in to encourage the production of glutathione, making it easier for your body to metabolize protein.