Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Best Time To Take Supplements To Build Muscle

If you want to learn how to take your supplements to build muscle mass a lot faster, this article will show you how.

Out of the hundreds of emails I get each week, more than half are from people who are interested in knowing which supplements to take or what the best way is to take the supplements they're currently using.

So this article will show you when to take some of the top supplements and how to get the most out of them. Creatine, glutamine, and protein are 3 of the top supplements for gaining lean muscle and strength.

But what are the best times to take these proven supplements in order to build muscle? Here's what I've found personally works best for me as well as tracking clients progress using these 3 supplements (which, by the way, are about the only 3 I recommend to clients, other than protein/meal replacements, EFA's and a good multi-vitamin).

There's a lot of conflicting research that shows creatine and glutamine may compete directly with one another for cell transport and absorption. That's because both creatine and glutamine use the same transport method (sodium) to be absorbed by the body, so there's a chance that one will get absorbed more than the other.

Even though there are different theories as to whether this is true or not, here's my thought: By-pass the entire problem by just splitting up the timing a little bit. Here are the best times to take these 3 proven supplements in order to build muscle:

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Creatine
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Best taken 1/2 hour or so BEFORE a workout and again RIGHT after a workout. What I do is take a creatine/juice/protein drink about a half hour before a workout and than another shake right after.

This "bracketing" technique helps set up an anabolic (muscle-building) state for your muscles and helps prevent muscle breakdown from a workout (catabolism). Other than these 2 opportune times, you can add another creatine serving or two any time throughout the day. I usually recommend 25 to 30 grams of creatine on a loading phase and 10-20 grams a day on a maintenance phase.

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Glutamine
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Definitely take glutamine right before bed. This is where the overwhelming research shows the value of glutamine raising Growth Hormone levels significantly by taking 5 grams before bed. Increasing your levels of growth hormones will help you build muscle, if you train and eat correctly. Also, another great time is upon waking, when your muscles have been without significant nutrition for up to 6-8 hours.

Another good time for glutamine is about a half hour or hour after working out. This helps in the recovery/recuperation process from demanding workouts. So, creatine definitely before and after your workout and glutamine right before bed and right upon waking.

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Protein
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The best times to take ANY protein drink or protein supplements are as follows. I've listed them in order of importance, so based upon your affordability, start at the top of the list and work down.

1. Most important time---right after a workout. Your muscles are like a sponge and need instant nutrition for muscle recovery and growth.

2. Right before bed. You're about to sleep for 6 to 8 hours.

That's a long time without protein. Could you imagine going throughout your day (when awake) not eating 6 to 8 hours? Right before bed is important.

3. Right upon waking. Same thing, you've just gone 6 to 8 hours without proper nutrition. Your body needs protein quick.

4. Half hour before a workout. This sets up the "anabolic window" before your workout and provides your muscles with adequate nutrition so that the effects of weight training (weight training breaks down muscle--called catabolic) are not as severe.

These are the best times for protein to help build muscle mass. It can be regular whole food or protein supplements, again, based on your affordability. Protein supplements may be better than whole food in these times because its digested quicker.

But start at the top and work down. If you can afford 4 servings, you'll really notice the difference in muscle gains and fat loss. I hope this article helped shed some light on when to take the 3 most important supplements for gaining mass and strength:

Protein, creatine, and glutamine.

To learn more about which muscle building supplements are best to build muscle and increase strength, check out my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" workout program: http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

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