|Whey Protein supplements
Whey is one of the most easily absorbed and important building blocks in sports nutrition. Abundant in BCAAs which accelerate the transformation of protein to muscle, and keep muscle cells in the right environment to grow, whey is crucial in the recovery phase of any sporting activity. All exercise creates micro-damage to your muscles, and whey is important in repairing it. Making up 20% of the constituents of milk, whey is an all natural protein source, suitable for everyone – but do check the lactose content if you are lactose intolerant!
Making up 80% of milk, casein is another highly natural form of protein. Often used for its slow release properties, casein is very useful as a snack or bed time shake due to the steady flow of amino acids trickling into the blood stream. When casein is in the stomach it creates a gel like substance which sticks to itself, leaving a very small surface area for the body’s enzymes to act upon. This is why it is such a great slow digesting protein. High in BCAAs it has many of the same properties as whey and if taken as a 30 gram serving as a snack or before bed, it keeps the muscle wasting catabolic effect away – preserving your hard earned muscle.
|All In One Protein Supplements
All in one products are great for the busy athlete struggling for space in their cupboard – including a variety of different ingredients serving a wide range of purposes to improve athletic performance and recovery. Available in one convenient tub, an all in one will satisfy your demand for protein, carbohydrate, creatine and important muscle preserving amino acids.
Many people have trouble putting on muscle mass. The old saying is true – you have to eat big to get big. It can be difficult to keep your calorie intake up, and those of us with fast metabolisms burn most of what we take in. If your head is spinning just thinking about how to cram enough protein, carbs, and calories in each day to fuel your body bulking, weight gainers are a convenient and high-quality alternative. By cramming a high ratio of protein, carbs, and calories into one convenient powder, you can get the extra fuel you need without the hassle of preparing a meal. Just mix it up and you are set to go!
Amino acids encompass a wide range of small molecules which are essentially the basic building blocks of the complicated protein structure. Amino acids can exist singularly, in small groups or in long chains; in each of these forms, amino acids will take on slightly different properties. Amongst the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition programme are branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). The properties that BCAAs have which make them important to the training athlete include muscle preservation, keeping the muscle environment in an anabolic state (able to grow) and speeding up protein synthesis.
|Energy & Endurance
If you’re looking for a physical or mental boost, or a faster recovery, then you should consider taking a pre and/or post workout drink or powder. These can be broken down into 2 categories:
Endurance energy powders will not only give you more long terms / slow burning energy, but will also protect your muscles from being broken down to be used for energy. They incorporate carbohydrate that satisfies the immediate depletion of blood sugar levels, and the longer term glycogen demand on what is stored in your muscles. In addition to this, electrolytes keep you hydrated thus assisting cell function and chemical transfer, as well as amino acids to preserve muscle tissue
This category of pre workouts are designed to give you the boost and “pump” you need to hammer out that extra rep and higher intensity. Ingredients like beta alanine and creatine are amino acids that prevent the build up of lactic acid, which assists you in working at a higher intensity for longer. Stimulants provide instant acting energy and help to maximise your work rate as well as mental focus. Finally ingredients like arginine and citrulline malate attract blood to your muscle cells to give the pumped look as well as most importantly, flush your muscles full of BCAAs, creatine and beta alanine.
Creatine is the first energy source utilised by any athlete in any type of exercise. It lasts for about 3-5 seconds before it is depleted and the body goes into the lactic acid and aerobic systems. The human body will create a certain amount, but muscle tissue can hold more than what is usually absorbed from a typical diet, especially when an athlete places higher demands due to training. It is important to get creatine from elsewhere in order to maximise your work out put during exercise.
A muscle which has an abundance of creatine is a muscle which can create the ‘explosive’ ATP (adenosine triphosphate), it is this explosion of energy that helps your muscles to work harder for that initial 3-5 seconds, and after using creatine for some time, extend it that extra few seconds. This prevents lactic acid from building up as quickly, and keeping athletic performance high. Creatine also likes to attract water, this promotes cell volumisation (muscle pumps) and recovery, as more blood plasma and water is present for chemical transfer into the muscle cells. Always source creapure creatine to get the best quality for getting performance improvements.
When BCAAs are broken down to very basic levels, we obtain glutamine. A very important product whose benefits are three fold; glutamine is anti-catabolic, this means it prevents muscle wasting cortisol hormones from damaging muscle tissue. It is also great for improving digestive health and lowering the pH (acidity) of your intestines. The final benefit, and adjunct to the last point, is that with improved gut health, you can better absorb vitamins, minerals and protein, thereby boosting immune system function and recovery.
|Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Healthy fats can be divided up into three different categories, unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, as well as essential fatty acids. Since your body cannot produce essential fatty acids (EFAs) on its own, you have to get EFAs from the foods you eat like salmon, flax seeds, or other cold water fish. You can also supplement your intake of EFAs with supplemental products. Supplementing with EFAs is a convenient way to get extra omega-3 support for your overall health. No matter your fitness goal, EFAs will be a key part of your overall diet. The benefits of this include anti-inflammatory qualities and speeding up the process of achieving a leaner physique.
|Thermogenics – Fat Burners
These are products, such as caffeine and green tea, which help you, burn fat faster than usual. They can help you lose weight or increase energy for training, but should be avoided if you have high blood pressure. Take them first thing in the morning with water. Never use them after 6pm because they may disturb sleep.
|Antioxidants & Vitamins
Antioxidants, such as Alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyl-cysteine, vitamin C and zinc, are the body’s natural defence against illness. They eliminate free radicals, which can destroy cells and create oxidative damage, making us ill. Everyone should take them.
Most vitamins cannot be manufactured within the body and must be obtained either from sports nutrition products or your diet for optimum health and strength. Daily consumption of a high-potency multivitamin may help ensure the presence of these essential nutrients.