Pre-Workout Pre-workout is one of the most well researched supplements. It is designed to help fight those days when you’re not as energised or focused going into your next training session as it assists with increased training volume, muscular endurance, and reduces perceived effort.
The main ingredient of pre-workout is caffeine, typically 1 scoop of the powder contains approximately 200mg of caffeine and so it is important to avoid taking it for evening sessions as this will affect sleep quality which will have a negative effect on your muscle gain or weight loss, however if training during the morning the best time to take it is 30-45min prior to your session allowing enough time for it to reach your bloodstream and provide you with that energy boost to get through any leg day. L-Carnitine
What is it? A type of Carnitine and amino acid that transports fat into the mitochondria so it can create energy.
It is naturally formed in the body, however for many who are exercising/ participating in regular resistance training, L-Carnitine is often used as a supplement to help aid performance.
Benefits: L-Carnitine has a number of benefits and is not just for athletes but for those who want to support a healthy cardiovascular system.
The general benefits of this supplement include
A study in 2011 by the Journal of Physiology found that supplementing L-Carnitine for 6 months lead to a 21% increase in Carnitine stores in the muscle, which in turn means an increase in fat utilisation. As we age, our bodies tend to produce less L-Carnitine and so for older adults it is beneficial for factors including; supporting cognitive function and reducing fatigue. Protein Powder Protein powder is the most widely consumed supplement in the fitness industry and heavily backed by research, however there are now so many different types of protein powder that sometimes it’s hard to navigate your way through them all to find the best one for you. Whey and Casein are generally the better options as they are the highest in essential amino acid content and are the best at stimulating muscle protein synthesis, although Whey is faster for digesting protein and has a slightly higher Leucine content. You’ll likely find a few options when shopping for Whey protein, this includes Whey Isolate and Whey Concentrate. When shopping for your protein, Isolate is the purest and contains less lactose.
When to take it? If you have fasted prior to your workout then it is best to take your protein shake within 1 hour after training, however this isn't necessary if you had a pre-workout meal that was high in protein. It is important to not that these are not a meal replacement. The most beneficial use of protein powder is to assist in increasing your protein intake and hitting your macro target.
BCAA BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids and assists the body to reduce protein breakdown and muscle soreness. Foods with the highest content of BCAA include Chicken, Red Meat, Tuna, Eggs & Roasted Peanuts. Adding BCAAs are useful if you struggle to get enough protein in your diet, including vegan or vegetarian diets as generally these foods are lower in BCAA content.