Your Get Active Supplement Guide
What are they?
Ingesting protein alone won’t build muscle. Your muscles need to be worked first at which point protein is effective in feeding muscles during your workout and will aid in the rebuilding process afterward. Ingesting more protein than your body needs will not provide any benefit, and can, in fact, put a great deal of stress on your liver and kidneys. Beyond repairing tissue, protein is also used in the development of hormones and enzymes that will aid in the development of blood, skin, bone, and cartilage. For this reason, protein is an effective and safe means of building body mass when taken in conjunction with a workout and it can also provide benefits to your total body fitness. Like any supplement, protein should be taken responsibly and in proper measure.
How to use them
The accurate amount of protein to ingest daily is one gram per each pound of body weight. Protein powders are typically mixed into shakes and can be ingested at multiple points throughout the day — no need to take it all at once. In the morning, protein can help take your body out of its catabolic state after sleeping. Taking protein before a workout will help feed your muscles throughout the workout and afterward protein will help the rebuilding process. Taking protein before going to sleep at night will help aid the rebuilding process even more since the most active reconstruction period occurs during rest.
What are they?
After protein is ingested it breaks down into amino acids. Amino acids are known as the building blocks of proteins and are responsible for the development of all of your body’s enzymes, including those responsible for digestion. Among aiding other crucial body functions, amino acids will also help in the repair and growth of muscles when taken in conjunction with your workout. Each of the commonly known amino acids have a specific function in the human body. They are categorized in two types: essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are not produced naturally by your body and must come from food sources. Non-essential amino acids are produced naturally in your body.
How to use them
Although recommended doses vary, and dosage will depend on the type of amino acid, one-and-a-half grams of powder three times a day is a commonly sufficient quantity. To get optimal benefits from amino acids they should be taken before working out or after a workout to feed and repair muscles. Capsule form is recommended because heat and pressure are used when developing most tablets and this process can actually destroy amino acids. Choosing the right amino acid will depend on your fitness goals, however isoleucine, leucine and valine help promote muscle growth, while glutamine helps provide glucose to give your body energy.
What is it?
Glutamine is the amino acid that is produced in the highest quantity by your body. It is a non-essential amino acid — meaning it can be produced naturally by the body through other amino acids. Glutamine is responsible for the development of the glucose that provides the body with energy. In addition, glutamine can help maintain muscle mass and aids the recovery from athletic training. Since glutamine is naturally produced by skeletal muscles, intensive athletic training has been thought to deplete glutamine levels when muscles are being worked. For this reason glutamine supplements are thought to be an effective means of replenishing glutamine levels for athletes who train hard.
How to use it
The proper doses of glutamine vary depending on who you ask; however, studies have shown that 5 grams after an intense workout then 5 grams two hours later have shown positive results.
Bahar Mahmoudi is an International Pharmacy Graduate, Natural Health Practitioner and Weight Loss Coach