I’m back, and this time, I’ve got some must-know supplement facts for all you fit girls! Take the following close to heart if your goal is to shape your physique with some solid, sexy muscle or to increase your performance.
Let’s get to it!
Never underestimate the important of peri-workout nutrition!
This means the nutrition before you train, during training, and after training. While overall calories and nutrients consumed throughout the day are of the utmost importance, think of the peri-workout nutrition as the icing on the cake.
Figuring out specifically what works for you here is VERY important. In general, about 30-60 minutes before training, I would recommend eating a small to moderate size meal or drinking a shake. If you cannot handle food or a shake this close to training, then experiment with eating/drinking 1.5-2 hours before training.
This meal should fit in your daily macros, and if carbs give you energy, then by all means, include them in this meal (with protein, of course). If, however, they make you sluggish, you may be better off with a meal of protein and a little bit of fat.
I would also take some BCAAs here, and during the workout, I like to drink a post-workout recovery drink along with some more BCAAs. Finally, after my workout, I like to mix a scoop of whey protein powder with a scoop of whatever post-workout recovery powder I happen to be using (one containing carbs!) for the perfect post workout meal.
If your goal is muscle gain, you’ll want a post-workout recovery supplement as it has exactly what you need to replenish glycogen stores and spike insulin to drive protein into your muscles. Plus, it speeds up your recovery so you can get back in the gym more quickly and feel great!
I also like to eat a solid meal 1-2 hours after consuming my post-workout shake. Sometimes, this meal contains carbs, sometimes it doesn’t — depending on my current diet. A quick example of my peri-workout nutrition may look something like this:
30-60 min prior: 5 g BCAAs, 1 scoop whey protein powder, 10 almonds.
During Training: 5 g BCAAs, sip on post-workout recovery supplement.
Immediately After Training: 1 scoop whey, 1 scoop post-workout recovery supplement.
1-2 Hours After PWO Meal: 5 oz grilled chicken, 2 cups broccoli, 6 oz sweet potato (optional) 2 tsp olive oil.
Take your ZMA every single night!
In my opinion, ZMA (a supplement made up of Zinc, Magnesium and B6) is one of the most underrated supplement superstars on the planet!
If you are a human being who trains on a regular basis and you are not supplementing with ZMA, you’re almost guaranteed to be zinc and/or magnesium deficient. In fact, world class performance coach Charles Poliquin claims that such a high percentage of his trainees’ blood tests come back deficient in zinc and magnesium, that he has stopped testing them because he can just assume that they’re deficient in it!
Why should you care? Supplementing with ZMA will improve the quality of your sleep, your overall recovery, and your anabolic hormone levels such as Testosterone and IGF-1. This translates into being able to gain strength and lean mass more easily and perform at your highest levels.
Take your BCAAs!
This is another one that I can’t stress enough! When I was training for my first figure competition, I was very lax about taking my BCAAs. I didn’t understand how important they were and slacked on taking them often. At my show, it was evident that I had lost boatloads of muscle from the strict diet I’d followed and the excessive cardio that I’d done.
I am confident that muscle loss could have been minimized or even completely avoided if I had taken BCAAs regularly. BCAAs have been proven to halt catabolism (muscle breakdown), promote anabolism (muscle growth), and decrease muscle soreness caused by working out. They also provide energy, increase endurance when exercising, and increase Testosterone levels post-workout.
This is one amazing supplement! So remind me again why I skimped on them during my contest prep? Oh yeah… I didn’t have someone like ME barking in my ear about their importance!
Just take your BCAAs so I don’t have to track you down and bark in your ear in person!