Following on from last week’s blog, this week we continue to look at supplements designed to give you an edge when training. Last we focused on protein and explored what it is, the different types, the benefits and which one you should be taking. This week we will focus on branched chain amino acids, glutamine, creatine and multivitamins. This blog is a little more substantial than last week’s posting so we’ve broken it down into the relevant sections.

  • Part 1: Protein
  • Part 2: BCCA’s, Glutamine and Creatine
  • Part 3: Carbohydrates, Fatty acids, Green powders

So let’s continue with BCAA’s, Glutamine, Creatine and Multivitamins

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s)

What are BCAA’s?

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are amino acids that the body can’t produce itself meaning they have to be taken in through the diet. All proteins are made of chains on amino acids, however, of the 29 amino acids, nine cannot be produced in the body. BCAA’s consist of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.

What are the benefits of taking BCAA’s?

There are a number of benefits of taking BCAA’s, however, for the purpose of this article, we will focus on the benefits that come with taking them for sporting performance. The most widely accepted benefit of BCAA’s is the reduction in muscle breakdown and support of muscle growth, however, the latter is still under study. BCAA’s are believed to help improve the bloods oxygen carrying capacity and reduce serotonin levels which are thought to cause fatigue.

What forms do BCAA’s come in?

As with many supplements on the market, BCAA’s come in many forms. The predominant from is power which is either sold as a stand-alone product or as part of an all-in-one product. However, with the development of sport supplements they are now available in tablet form. There is no real benefit to taking one over the other, however, some people find it easier to take the power with water or fruit juice.

When should I take BCAA’s?

The best time to take BCAA’s is after a workout. Following a session there is a window of opportunity in which the muscles need protein and carbohydrates to repair. Taking protein supplements isn’t always enough and adding BCAA’s can add a real boost to your recovery. That said, to stop the breakdown of muscles during a workout, they can also be taken during or before as BCAA’s a shown to inhibit the catabolic effects of training.

Should I take BCAA’s?

When it comes to BCAA’s, we tend to say that there is a benefit to taking them, however this is only truly gained by those who compete in vigorous training or weight lifting. For the average gym user or trainer, there is little benefit

 

Glutamine

What is glutamine?

Glutamine is the most common amino acid in the human body comprising 61% of skeletal muscle. Its predominant role is in transporting nitrogen around the body and helping to build skeletal muscle. During training, glutamine levels drop meaning you can lose strength, power, speed and stamina

What are the benefits of taking glutamine?

Glutamine plays a key role in helping to release human growth hormone in the body which stimulates new muscle growth. Glutamine is also seen to have anti-catabolic properties, also meaning for those looking to ‘cut’ and lose body fat without sacrificing muscle mass, this is a supplement that can really help. Studies have shown that taking glutamine can help improve growth hormone by up to 400%.

What forms does it come in?

As with BCAA’s, glutamine comes in either power or tablet form and there is no benefit to taking either. Whichever form you choose to take glutamine, you will receive the benefits of the supplement.

When should I take glutamine?

As with BCAA’s, glutamine is best taken after training as this I when the body is most receptive to supplements and absorbing nutrients. That said, glutamine can also be taken during or before training depending on your preferences due to its anti catabolic properties.

Should I take glutamine?

As a supplement, we stand by the idea that this is something that should only really be taken by those who participate in vigorous training because of the

 

Creatine

What is creatine?

Creatine is found in the body and is used to make the most explosive from a energy, adenosine trio phosphate or ATP. It is a naturally occurring substance that has the benefits of building muscle and improving power.

What are the benefits of taking creatine?

Creatine has been subject to numerous studies across the globe which have proven the benefits of the supplement. The key benefit of creatine is additional energy when training which can transpire to increased size and strength amongst all athletes and regular gym goers. Not only this, creatine has the benefits of acting as an antioxidant.

What forms does creatine come in?

Creatine comes in the forms of creatine monohydrate which is the standard in creatine. It is the most available of the creatine range and the cheapest making it ideal for beginners. For those looking for extra absorption, creatine ethyl ester and hydrochloride have been produced which have the added benefit of being easier to absorb. That said, there is little evidence to suggest this. When looking for creatine, be sure to look for the Creapure range as this has been the most heavily tested. Either the power form of any creatine or the tablets will be fine for use.

When should I take creatine?

The best time to take creatine is before training. This is because it will provide an energy burst for the muscles, however, after and during training will also be beneficial to an athlete.

Should I take creatine?

Creatine can be a cheap, but effective supplement so we feel that it should be a staple in any weight lifters supplement regime along with protein. For those who are regular gym goers, this is a judgement call. There are a number of benefits to taking the supplement which will benefit all who exercise. In our opinion, this is one to take.

 

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Personal Trainer