You might have come across lots of value able information, like the benefits of supplements and how to take that supplements and even how much to take per day, but you might have rarely come across the information on the optimal time to consume it anywhere on the label. Admittedly, this can sometimes be difficult to be exact with, as everyone leads a different life cycle of sleeping, eating and training patterns. However, there are some rules that will allow you to make the most of your supplements.
As there are certain products that will only work on specific windows and some that will just work better at certain times of day. More importantly, there are some that are only of true benefit if taken every day, even on non-training days. So let’s take a closer look at the timing of our supplements.
What is advisable to take when I wake up?
For most of the people, breakfast consists mainly of complex carbohydrates that provide sufficient energy to get the day underway and last until the next meal. But eating this way fails to take into account that your body has been without any substantial amount of protein for over six hours and would have used any available protein to repair and rebuild the muscles you broke down during the previous day’s training. So, we need to get some fast-acting protein into our bodies straight away to start the repair-and-build process again. The best thing you can do is take a serving of whey protein immediately upon waking, as this is a fast-acting, highly bio-available protein.
How about taking supplements with meals?
I would advise to take two supplements with your meals throughout the day – Multivitamins and Omega-3s. These are best taken with meals and spread through the day to allow a steady rate of absorption into the body.
Is There Any Benefit From Taking Anything While I’m Training?
The one thing I would advise to take while you’re training is a BCAA drink. The leucine in this can promote protein synthesis and help prevent muscle degradation while exercising.
Then What Goes in the Post-Workout Shake?
It is best to get both a fast-acting protein and carbohydrate in your post-workout shake. Just like when you wake, a whey protein will be better and a carbohydrate like dextrose and Vitagrgo. It isn’t essential to add your creatine to your post-workout shake, but this is when I would best advise it, as this is the one period of the day you can guarantee a good spike in insulin that can be used to great benefit.
And Finally – Before Bed
This is your last chance to get any vital nutrients into your body and to prepare it for its all-important rest, so it can repair and adapt. You find a lot of people will take workout supplements right before they go to bed, but it is much better to get them in around an hour before you put your head down. This gives the supplements some time to start working, and it also means you aren’t going to bed on a completely full stomach.
The best protein for this is a casein protein, as its bigger particles take longer for the stomach to break down. It’s also the best time to take ZMA (a combination of zinc and magnesium aspartate that will boost testosterone and promote good and respectful sleep.
As I said at the beginning, we don’t all live on the same time scale, so some of this information will need to be adapted to suit your lifestyle. Even so, following these guidelines will help you get the most out of your supplements and push you toward your goals.