Powders, pills, and everything in between. There are so many supplements on the market that it can be a bit of a mystery trying to figure out what's hot and what's not. We caught up with sports nutritionist Josh Smart to get the lowdown on sports supplements, how to use them and whether they're worth the hype.
"There seems to be a supplement for everything these days! With such a large variety and different suggested benefits, do you really know what you are taking? Are you missing out?
This brief guide provides a breakdown of the main supplements, the science behind them, who should take them, and when they should be consumed.
Protein powder is one of the number one selling supplements out there. It is essential in everyone's diet to repair tissue, build muscle, and have hormonal functioning. As a powder, it is often supplied as either whey or casein, which are both dairy proteins derived from milk.
What protein powder should I use?
Whey is a fast-acting protein due to its quick digestion and absorption within the body. Due to this, it is commonly used within post-workout shakes, usually providing 20-30g of protein per serving to aid recovery and growth of the worked muscles. Casein has similar benefits, however, it is digested at a much slower rate making it a good source of protein before bed.
How is protein digested?
A common mistake is thinking the more protein consumed post-workout the better – this is not the case. Protein intake should instead be distributed evenly throughout the day. Try to consume high protein foods with each meal. You could also snack on foods such as eggs, meat, fish, beans, and lentils. If this is not convenient, then a protein shake or bar can be an easy alternative anytime, providing a complete protein source with all nine essential amino acids. Head to our blog to find out whether you should take a protein supplement.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are vital for muscle protein synthesis. There are nine essential amino acids, with specific emphasis placed on leucine, isoleucine and valine for muscle growth. Grenade’s Defend BCAA Powder provides these in a simple powder form at their optimal ratios of 2:1:1, allowing for rapid absorption into the bloodstream.
When should I take BCAAs?
BCAAs should be consumed throughout the day or during a workout, especially if in a caloric deficit or catabolic state to help prevent muscle protein breakdown. To find out more about BCAAs and whether you should be taking them, head over to Grenade’s blog.
If you’re feeling tired and can’t be bothered to work out, then taking a pre-workout supplement can be a great way to get up and running. The key ingredient within pre-workout is caffeine, a stimulant, and one of the best ergogenic aids out there.
What are the benefits of taking pre-workout?
It provides a host of benefits to performance including:
• Increase energy and focus
• Boost reaction time
• Increase cardiac output
• Support muscle activation, power, and strength
• Improve cognitive functioning
• Improve the replenishment of muscle glycogen stores
• Reduce fatigue
Pre-workout also often includes creatine and beta-alanine. Creatine, as highlighted earlier, needs to be consumed daily at a dose of 5g to be effective. Similarly, beta-alanine requires an intake of 2-5g daily. This will increase levels of intramuscular L-carnosine and act as a buffer against muscle acidity, therefore withstanding time to fatigue. A side effect of pre-workout is a tingly feeling on the skin known as paraesthesia caused by beta-alanine. This has no negative harm to the body and usually wears off once the workout begins.
If you are looking for a cheap and effective alternative to pre-workout, then consuming a coffee 30-45 minutes prior to exercise can support many of these benefits. You can read our blog on about the benefits of pre-workout.
Weight management products
Grenade's weight management products focus on suppressing appetite and reducing those cravings. Ingredients include high doses of green tea and green coffee, which contain antioxidants to benefit health and caffeine. This caffeine content stimulates the metabolic rate and increases fat oxidation.
Products also include phenylalanine. Research suggests that this acts as an appetite suppressant by stimulating an intestinal hormone, signalling to the brain that you feel full. This can assist with portion size control or help curve those snack cravings."
And there we have it! Interested in trying the supplements mentioned? You can load up your tank here.
Want more info? Head to our blog to find out which five supplements Team Grenade athlete and nutritionist recommends.