Following on from last week’s blog, this final part of the supplement trio. In the first week we explored protein what it is, the different types, benefits and which one you should be taking. In the second week we will focused on branched chain amino acids, glutamine, creatine and multivitamins. In this final part we look at carbohydrates, fatty acids and green powders. This blog is a little more substantial than last week’s posting so we’ve broken it down into the relevant sections so you can choose the supplement you want.

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

So let’s finish with carbohydrates, fatty acids and green powders.



What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are also known in biochemistry as saccharides. The saccharides are then divided into four chemical grouping: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Generally, monosaccharides and disaccharides are classified as sugars. Sugars are also commonly called simple carbs. Oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are commonly reffered to as complex carbs.

The terms simple and complex carbohydrates are the more common everyday terms, but you can use the other terms to impress your gym buddies with your knowledge of carbs.

The digestion rate of carbohydrates varies depending on the source. The scale for measuring the digestion rate of carbs is called the glycemic index. The higher rating a carb has on the glycemic index the faster it is digested. The lower it is on the glycemic index the slower it is digested.

What are the different carbohydrate types?

Dextrose and maltodextrin are the best carb sources to be used before, during, and after training. How do you know which one is right for you? Both dextrose and maltodextrin are fast digesting high glycemic carbs which will cause a rapid rise insulin.

Dextrose is essentially pure glucose which requires zero digestion. Dextrose is sugar in the purest sense of the word. It also has a very sweet taste. Maltodextrin on the other hand is actually a polysaccharide, meaning that while is digests just as fast as dextrose, it is not technically a sugar. It is also not very sweet, often having almost no flavor at all.

Dextrose is generally the best choice for pre, during, and post training. Maltodextrin works well for those that do not tolerate sugar well or for those that do not like their shakes very sweet.

Waxy maize is a rather new and very popular supplemental carbohydrate. Waxy Maize is a high molecular weight starch that contains zero sugar. It is a very unique complex carbohydrate capable of being absorbed very quickly. This supplement, much like maltodextrin, will work well for those that are sensitive to sugar.

Whereas proteins assist with muscle rebuilding, waxy maize starch is designed to refuel and replenish glycogen stores. Waxy maize can be used before, during, or after training.

When should I take Carbohydrates?

When to eat and supplement with carbs can be important for performance. Here are the best times to take in your carbs throughout the day.

Breakfast – After a whole night of fasting, liver and muscle glycogen stores are going to be depleted. It is important to eat whole food carbs at this time to restock glycogen stores. Fruit, oatmeal, or whole grain cereals are good choices for breakfast.

2-3 Hours Before Training – Eating carbs before training will allow carbs to be in your blood stream at the time you are working out. This will fuel training and lead to a more productive, intense workout. Slow digesting carbs from food sources are the best choices. Ideal choices for carbs at this time are sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, or whole wheat pasta.

Immediately Before, During, and After Training – These carbs will not only fuel intense training but restock liver glycogen stores as they are being depleted by heavy training. These carbs will also serve to protect muscle tissue from breakdown by increasing insulin levels. To get the biggest insulin spike you will want to consume high glycemic carbohydrates in supplement form. Dextrose and maltodextrin are the best choices here. Waxy maize is also a very popular choice.

Should I take Carbohydrates?

The simple answer is yeas you should. Carbohydrates are essential for proper performance and bodily functioning.


Fatty Acids

What are fatty acids?

Fats are essential to proper human functioning. Whilst too much can cause problems, the right amount acts as a fuel when the body can no longer access carbohydrates, help the body to absorb certain nutrients and maintains the core temperature. The human body can synthesize many of the fats it needs in order to function properly, however, in some cases this isn’t possible. Essential fatty acids are the fats the human body can’t synthesis so need to be consumed.

What are the benefits of taking fatty acids?

Unlike fats from red meat, essential fatty acids do not contribute to fatty acid build up in the blood vessels. This makes then a great source of fat without the inherent health risks such as blood clots or visceral fat making your arteries its home. They also contribute to reducing the levels of cholesterol in the body so can therefore be great at combatting obesity. As well as contributing to the reduction in blood cholesterol in the body, fatty acids can also lead to a reduction in the risk of neurological diseases and help to give you an inner glow with nutrients not found in the diet. They are essential in assisting with proper circulation in the body, proper hormone production, the best thyroid activity and brain functioning.

What forms do fatty acids come in?

As with all products and supplements, fatty acids can be taken in a number of forms. The most common form is through tablets or capsules. This is the easiest way to add fatty acids to your diet, however, for those of you who are brave enough, there is always the option of taking the supplement in liquid form.

When should I take fatty acids?

The simple answer…anytime! There’s no research to indicate a preferential time to consume fatty acids and as they won’t react with or inhibit the absorption of other nutrients, you can consume them with any meal.

Should I take fatty acids?

For us this is one you can and should take regardless of your training. The benefits are numerous and with today’s issues surrounding poor nutrition and poor diet, they are invaluable to proper nutrition.


Green powders

What are green powders?

Green drink powder is a common term for a blend of dehydrated vegetables and grasses that is mixed with water or juice to create a health drink. Green drink powder contains a high concentration of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. The drink is used as a replacement for servings of vegetables in the diet and to support good health and body function.

Most green drink powders contain ingredients such as wheatgrass, barley grass and seaweed, along with a variety of vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale. Green tea and blue-green algae are often included for their antioxidant and probiotic properties. The high content of vegetables and grasses means green drinks are considered a good source of fiber.

What are the benefits of taking green powders?

Proponents of green drink powder use the beverage to maintain health and fight disease. It contains high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants along with digestive enzymes and probiotics that support the immune system. Green drinks introduce many alkaline-based minerals, such as sodium and potassium, which help reduce the body’s acidity levels. High acidity is considered a factor in inflammation-based diseases such as arthritis, cancer and heart disorders. Balancing the body’s pH levels with alkaline foods is considered an aid to fighting these diseases.

Many claims have been made concerning the benefits of green drink powder, including decreased risk for strokes and heart attacks, increased ability to metabolize fat and reduced risk for cancer. It is also widely credited with increasing energy and mental sharpness and aiding in weight loss. Most of these claims have not been substantiated by any governing bodies, though more studies are being conducted to determine the benefits of green drink powder.

What forms do green powders come in?

Green power comes in a few forms but the most common is in, you guessed it, a powder. That said, there are also tablets which can be better if you aren’t a fan of the taste which can be an acquired taste.

When should I take green powders?

The simple answer…anytime! There’s no research to indicate a preferential time to consume fatty acids and as they won’t react with or inhibit the absorption of other nutrients, you can consume them with any meal.

Should I take green powders?

Unlike fatty acids which I would recommend regardless, if you have a good diet with lots of fruit and veg then there may not be the need for this supplement. If you, however, lack the intake of fruit and vegetables then green powder could be a great way to add fiber and nutrients to your diet. Not only that, the powder itself isn’t too expensive so it won’t break the bank.

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Personal Trainer