Sports Supplements Tips

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When you finish weight training, what should you eat?

Post-Workout Eating

When you finish a weight training workout, try to eat something within half an hour. If you are ready for a meal, go ahead with that. If not, eat a snack of 200-300 calories, including carbohydrate and protein in a ratio of about 3 to 1. For instance, if you eat 240 calories, that would be 180 calories (45 grams) of carbs and 60 calories (15 grams) of protein. Any dietary fat in the snack adds more calories, but is not needed for recovery. The protein gives you the amino acids you need to build or repair your muscles after a hard workout. The carbs release insulin which is necessary for the protein to enter your muscle cells, as well as replenishing the glucose and glycogen you used for energy. Make sure you take into account these calories when you are counting your daily dietary intake. If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, take this number of calories out of another meal.

   
I have some questions regarding sport supplements.How long should one take certain supplements before cycling them? I just purchased a supplement that says on the bottle to not take for extended periods of time. What is an extended period of time?

Sports Supplements

There are a lot of different supplements and it's important to read the labels carefully and buy only products from a reputable manufacturer. They should be specific as to how it should be taken and what cautions apply. Be careful of synephrine, which seems to have some of the problems of ephedra. Creatine has been well studied and seems to be safe as well as effective for most people. I would stick with that, unless it's no longer effective for you. I'm not aware of interactions with other drugs, but I suggest you check with a pharmacist or sports physician. These things may not be publicized. If there's a question as to how long to take something, I wouldn't go past a month.

   
I am a collegiate baseball player. I want to gain a little size and strength. Our strength coaches have us working out hard 4 times a week. I purchased a supplement called N-Large 2 and a Mass Gainer. How should I use these?

Protein Supplements

If you take a protein supplement, check the label to see how many calories are in a serving and how much protein. You can add more calories if you take it with milk or juice than if you take it with water. There is only so much protein that can be absorbed for muscle building and tissue repair. For an athlete, about 1 gram per pound of body weight is enough. This includes the protein in your diet as well as in the supplement. Besides protein, you need carbs for energy and some fat in your diet. If the supplement fills you up so much you can't eat your regular meals, you should cut back. It is important to take a supplement after your workout. If yours is all protein, add some carb from another source. Besides the post-workout supplement on the days you lift, you can take a serving or two between meals every day to add calories, and protein if you need it. It's calories that cause you to gain weight, not just protein, and working out that makes that weight gain muscle.

   
How should I use supplements?

Use Supplements as Supplements

Use supplements the way they are intended, as supplements to your diet, not as the main components of your diet. You should try to get as many nutrients as possible from whole foods, and fill in the gaps with supplements.

   
I work in a fitness center and have been asked whether one should reduce their supplement intake on days when they are not working out. I believe the member is on HGH, NO2, multivitamin, creatine, and an ON whey protein shake 3x daily. What is your advice?

Supplements on Workout Days

Most supplements are designed to be taken every day. Multivitamins should be taken in the same amount daily. Creatine is meant to be taken daily, although most people cycle off it sometimes. One type of supplement that can be reduced on non-workout days is the kind that provides calories, which would include protein supplements. It's important to read the label and use supplements as directed, so if something is designed to be taken before or after workouts and you don't work out that day, you can skip the supplement.

   
How can I eat healthy if I cannot always cook meals?

Shakes Convenient Way to Eat Healthy

Shakes are a good and convenient way to eat healthy in the fast paced world we live in. There are many types of shakes on the market, some good and some not so good. So before purchasing nutrition shakes, do some investigating and find out which type of shake would best help you achieve your goals. There is a huge amount of information out there on nutrition shakes. Some reputable companies whose products I would recommend looking into are EAS, Twinlab, Weider, and Sportpharma.

   
What is Creatine and how do I use it?

Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occuring substance in the body. It is also obtained from eating certain types of meat. Creatine is involved in the muscle contraction process. Using creatine supplements allows your muscles to contract longer and harder, thereby increasing your ability to lift more weight and build muscle. Typically the dosage you would use is 5 g per day. You also may want to do a loading cycle initially for 5 days, where you take 20 g per day. Taking creatine with some type of juice or liquid carbohydrate helps the uptake of creatine into muscle cells. Always read the directions on the container and take necessary precautions as with any other supplement or food. Ask you doctor before you start taking creatine if it is ok for you.

   
It's my first time using pure creatine supplement, and I started taking 10 grams per day, one in the morning and one after workout. What do you think? I'm 18, 5'11" and 170 lb.

How Much Creatine?

Typically, people go through a loading phase of 20 grams of creatine a day for five days, then go to five grams a day maintenance. Others just start with five grams a day and keep on with that. They usually get the same results, but it takes a bit longer. You generally don't need as much creatine as you think, so cut back after a short loading phase. More is not better.

   
I am a collegiate baseball player. I want to gain a little size and strength. Our strength coaches have us working out hard 4 times a week. I purchased a supplement called N-Large 2 and a Mass Gainer. How should I use these?

Protein Supplements

If you take a protein supplement, check the label to see how many calories are in a serving and how much protein. You can add more calories if you take it with milk or juice than if you take it with water. There is only so much protein that can be absorbed for muscle building and tissue repair. For an athlete, about 1 gram per pound of body weight is enough. This includes the protein in your diet as well as in the supplement. Besides protein, you need carbs for energy and some fat in your diet. If the supplement fills you up so much you can't eat your regular meals, you should cut back. It is important to take a supplement after your workout. If yours is all protein, add some carb from another source. Besides the post-workout supplement on the days you lift, you can take a serving or two between meals every day to add calories, and protein if you need it. It's calories that cause you to gain weight, not just protein, and working out that makes that weight gain muscle.

   
What about high calorie "weight gain" shakes?

High Calorie Shakes

When looking for a high calorie "weight gain" kind of shake, you should always look at the ingredients to make sure there isn't too much fat in them, less than 10 grams per serving, and also there should be a decent amount of protein, at least 30 grams. Typically these shakes can range anywhere from 500 calories and up, however I don't recommend taking any more than 500 in at once, unless you want to feel extremely bloated and enjoy drinking a quart plus of liquid at a time.

   
What about fat-burners?

Fat Burners in General

There are many types of fat burners on the market, and you should be leary of using any of them without first checking out what is in them and talking it over with your doctor. Fat burners are made to help elevate your body's metabolic rate. Many of them contain ephedrine, or any number of other stimulants which can elevate blood pressure, heart rate etc. Especially be careful if you have any type of heart issues or high blood pressure, as these will only exacerbate those problems. You should make sure you know what you are taking and how it can affect you before taking it.

   
Can I take a fat burner and Nitric Oxide supplements at the same time?

Mixing Supplements

Be careful taking too many supplements. Always take them according to label instructions, and read the cautions. If you take more than one at a time, it's hard to tell which one works. I haven't heard that fat burners and nitric oxide cancel each other out, but it may be true. I suggest asking a sportsmedicine physician, dietician, or pharmacist.

   
What about protein supplements?

Making Quality Protein Easier to Get

It can be quite difficult to obtain quality protein, for your body to replenish and rebuild muscle, especially for those people who do not like cottage cheese, chicken, etc. Therefore, the market has been flooded with various protein drinks, bars and everything in between. Again, investigate what you are buying before purchasing it. Companies such as EAS, Twinlab, Weider, Sportpharma and others, make quality products. These drinks and bars have come a long way in terms of taste and nutrients they provide. One thing to keep in mind when taking protein supplements is that your body can only absorb around 30 g or so at one sitting, so taking in more than that at any one time may not be too helpful.

   
Can I take a fat burner and Nitric Oxide supplements at the same time?

Mixing Supplements

Be careful taking too many supplements. Always take them according to label instructions, and read the cautions. If you take more than one at a time, it's hard to tell which one works. I haven't heard that fat burners and nitric oxide cancel each other out, but it may be true. I suggest asking a sportsmedicine physician, dietician, or pharmacist.

   
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Jerry Mayo