Welcome back to the second edition of the NBS Fitness Guide to Supplements. In Part 1, we talked about he benefits of protein supplements and what differences between different kinds are. In Part 2, we will discuss the peri workout window, why it’s so important, and what we can do to maximize it. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
The term “peri-workout” refers to the time period just prior to, during, and right after your training sessions. This “window” is a period in which our nutrition can have major impacts on our performance and progress. During this period our body is either preparing for, participating in, or recovering from the effects of training stress. This means our body is mobilizing nutrients in order to accomplish whatever physical challenge we are taking on and to help recover from it in order to be better prepared for the next time. This means that the nutrients we take in surrounding this time period is vital and lucky for us, there are some supplements that can really make a big difference.
During this period, it is important that we get some nutrients flowing through our bodies so that they are readily available for use when we actually begin training. Unfortunately, our digestive system takes a while to process what we eat and the last thing we want is to train on a full stomach. There are two approaches I like to suggest for this. The first is to have a shake or meal about 45-60 minutes before your workout consisting of a whey isolate like Phormula 1, an easily digestible carb source like white rice flour or cream of rice, and a little bit of fat from olive oil or some type of nut butter to slow down the digestion just a bit. This combo works well and is usually out of your stomach by training time. However, if you’re someone who eats a lot of meal, you may still have some food in your stomach from the meal you had an hour or so ago. For some people, they feel like this sits on their stomach too much. In this case, I like to use a drink about 10-15 minutes prior to training consisting of a super quick digesting carb source like Ignition and some BCAAs. Ignition is pure glucose crystals and when combined with branch chain amino acids will provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to start a workout.
This is also the period in which you could add a pre workout specific supplement like MegaWatt V2, AlphaCre HD, or AlphaSurge DRV. These different supplements have ingredients like beta alanine, creatine, glycerol, and caffeine which can positively affect your bodies different energy systems, blood flow, and mental arousal.
Now the most important meal you will consume is the meal you eat during training. This is the period in which our body needs glucose and amino acids flowing through it’s blood, delivering energy and materials for repair. However, a steak and potato consumed in the middle of some brutal sets of squats is quickly going to come back up. We also don’t want an insulin spike and crash during this period so we need something that is easily digestible but still a complex carb. I have yet to find a supplement that is more perfect for this than Intra Formance. Intra Formance is a blend of cyclic dextrin, essential amino acids, and electrolytes. The cyclic dextrin is a super easily digestible complex carbohydrate that will provide a steady flow of glucose into your blood stream without upsetting your stomach. The EAAs are going to provide the building blocks needed to repair muscle tissue that is damage during resistance based training. Finally, the electrolytes are going to replace those that are lost through sweat to maintain optimal muscular contractions.
After training is complete, we want to get nutrients in our blood relatively quickly (within 30-45 minutes) to kick start our recovery and maximize our progress. This is the time in which we actually do want an insulin spike to shut down catabolic reactions and initiate anablic ones. Again, Ignition fits the bill perfectly. Glucose crystals are immediately digested and into the blood stream giving us that anabolic start we needed. Along with the ignition a quick digesting protein like Phormula 1 with provide us with more amino acids for muscle repair and growth. Then about 30-60 minutes later you should have a whole foods meal to continue the post workout benefits.
This three punch combo of pre, peri, and post workout nutrition is guaranteed to make a big impact on those who are putting in the work in the gym. I’ve found that it works for more endurance type workouts as well. Adjustments can be made in regards to how long and how hard you train and based off of what your different goals are. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
You can read Part 1 of the NBS Fitness Guide to Supplements by clicking here