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With so many different supplements on the market, it can be difficult to know what’s what and what you should be taking when.Supplements are not a necessity, and you can smash your workout without them. However, if you do choose to take them, timing it right can make sure you get the most from the product. Here are some of the most popular supplements out there and when science recommends you should be taking them.
Perhaps the most popular supplement on the market, when the ideal time is to take whey protein has been hotly debated.
The two most crucial times that whey protein can help you achieve your goals are before and after your workout. Due to its super speedy digestion rate, when taken just 15-30 minutes before your workout, whey protein has been shown to help increase muscular strength and endurance while decreasing muscle breakdown.
Although the majority of us can get enough protein from whole foods, leaving your chicken and rice until 30 minutes before your workout would not have the same benefits as taking whey protein due to the much slower digestion rates.
Whey protein can also help with muscle recovery when taken after your workout as it helps to replenish the muscles. However, as this process can take up to 48 hours, consuming enough protein from whole foods could be just as beneficial.
While some studies have looked into taking whey protein before bedto prevent the muscles from going into a catabolic rate, casein protein supplements may be a better option at this time. This is because casein takes long to digest – helpful when you’re doing nothing but sleeping.
Next up are BCAAs. Just as with whey protein, studies have revealed benefits for taking BCAAs before, during and after a workout, which is better is very much dependant on your goals.
If you train fasted, taking BCAAs prior to your workout have been shown to be beneficial as they protect your muscles while helping you to perform effectively on an empty stomach. This is the same principle as if you are taking a rest day and eating less food. As BCAAs protect your muscles, taking them during this time can help you retain muscle mass when you’re not training.
Similarly, when taken during training BCAAs take care of your muscles and give you that extra amino acid boost!
Perhaps most notably, when taken after your workout, BCAAs help your muscles to recover. Credited with helping to reduce DOMS, when taken after your workout BCAAs could help you say goodbye to muscle soreness and hello to more gains.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we will be talking about the best times to take creatine, glutamine and caffeine. Do you take your protein shake before or after your workout? Let us know in the comments below.