Nutritional Supplement Information

Threre is so much information about supplements out there, it is often overwhelming and difficult to figure out what you really need and what is hype.

This page is dedicated to helping you view supplement information in bite-sized pieces.  I will be providing information about various supplements in easy to understand language.  I will also provide information and suggestions about when to take, serving size, ect.

PureBulk provides supplements individually without additional "fluff" added like you will find in products available at supplement stores.  PureBulk has been my source for supplements since about 2011 and I have been extremely happy with the results I have gotten with them.  There are no artificial colors, flavors, anticakers, etc added to the supplements.  You simply order exactly what you want from their website and the individual supplements arrive right to your door.  This allows you to custom build your own stacks of supplements.  In addition to providing information about the products, I will share information about my personal supplement stacks to help you get started.

When you are ready to get your products, just click on the "Order Supplements" button to go directly to PureBulks website to place your order.

 
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Supplements

My Current Pre / Post Workout Stack

5 Grams BCAAs

5 Grams Creatine

2 Grams Beta Alanine

3.5 Grams L-arginine AKG

1.5 Grams L-glutamine

Protein

Let's start off with the basics.  When you are participating in a demending exercise program, you need to provide your body with additional protein to rebuild the muscle tissue damaged during your workouts.  Protein shakes are a simple and very effective way to boost your protein intake.  Protein derived from milk, such as whey and casein protein are also a complete protein source, meaning they provide the body with all nine essential amino acids necessary for human dietary needs.

A combination of protein is ideal when using protein powders for your supplementation.  A combination of protein is a mixture of rapidly digesting protein (whey) and a slower digesting protein (casein).

Protein in this form is a supplement to your real-food protein, not a replacement.

Whey Protein:

Whey protein is water soluble and quickly digested.  It is the perfect protein source for your pre-workout shake and post-workout shake.

For your pre-workout shake, I recommend about 20-30 grams of whey protein about 30 minutes before your workout.

Casein Protein:

Casein protein is a slower digesting protein that is blended with whey protein for optimal protein supplementation.  When combined in your post-workout shake, the whey protein digests quickly to start feeding your muscles and the casein protein is digested more slowly to keep the repair work going for a longer period of time.

Casein protein is also valuable as a snack right before bed as it sits in your stomach for a while, providing your body with nutrition during your nighttime fasting.

I recommend 30-40 grams of a blended protein (whey and casein) within 30 minutes of completing your training session in your post-workout shake.

 

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine. They comprise a very important group of amino acids for just about anyone, from world champion athletes to regular people. The body uses BCAAs to promote healing of injured tissues, speeding up recovery, and to protect against muscle tissue breakdown (catabolism) during exercise. BCAAs are important for developing and building muscles. Studies have shown BCAAs to be helpful in other areas as well because of what each ingredient does independently. For example, leucine is necessary for wound recovery to skin and bones and helps protect muscles; valine helps promote or maintain nitrogen balance (essential for muscular development); and isoleucine helps boost energy and is necessary for forming hemoglobin.

Supplementing with BCAAs before a training session aids in muscle endurance and combats fatigue.  This is because BCAAs, unlike other amino acids, can be used by muscle fibers as a source of energy.  Direct access to these BCAAs by the muscle is especially important during intense exercise, such as weight lifting.

Although your protein source has plenty of BCAAs already, taking this additional free-form of BCAAs makes them more available for muscles quickly and ensures that there are plenty of BCAAs available when they are most critical.

I recommend 5-10 grams of BCAAs in your pre-workout shake and 5-10 grams of BCAAs in your post-workout shake.

 

Creatine

Creatine Monohydrate supplements have been extensively studied by sports nutrition experts. Naturally manufactured in the liver, kidneys and pancreas, creatine develops energy in the body for strength. It is found in muscle, heart and brain tissue and is a natural derivative of the amino acids argininemethionine and glycine.

Creatine is a popular supplement for those working to increase sports performance, including bodybuilders, powerlifters and others who work out regularly.

Creatine may also be derived from dietary sources, primarily from meat or fish, which contain approximately 4 to 5 grams of creatine per kilogram.

Creatine functions to increase the availability of ATP, adenosine triphosphate by donating a phosphate ion. When energy demand is high Creatine Monohydrate donates its phosphate to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to yield ATP, which drives muscle contraction and protein production. This reaction is reversible. The phosphate of ATP can be transferred back to creatine, generating creatine phosphate by the action of creatine phosphokinase. Phosphocreatine is then stored in the muscle for later energy use. When needed, phosphocreatine later binds with ADP to convert it back to ATP. Studies have shown that Creatine Monohydrate, when combined with proper diet, exercise and adequate hydration, supports healthy lean muscle mass and strength.

Creatine may help users train for longer periods of times.

I recommend 5 grams of Creatine in your pre- workout shake and 5 grams of Creatine in your post-workout shake.

 

Beta Alanine

Beta alanine aids in the synthesis of L-carnosine, an amino acid that benefits strength athletes like bodybuilders and powerlifters.

Studies have demonstrated that beta alanine significantly raises the level of carnosine in the blood, reducing levels of lactic acid in the body during exercise. It acts as a buffering agent and cushions muscle tissue from acidity, so beta alanine supplementation can aid physical performance by increasing the lactate threshold.

Beta alanine is the only naturally occurring beta amino acid in the human body, a constituent of both L-Carnosine and Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5).

Beta alanine may be beneficial in boosting endurance and physical performance during weight training and other strenuous exercise programs.

Beta Alanine boosts levels of Carnosine in the blood. Carnosine is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissue and is an important precursor for generating the vasodilator nitric oxide. Vasodilation is a widening of the blood vessels, allowing expanded and increased blood flow during exercise.

I recommend 2 grams of Beta Alanine in your pre- workout shake and 2 grams of Beta Alanine in your post-workout shake.

 

L-Arginine a-Ketoglutarate (AAKG)

Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate (also known as AAKG and arginine) is a nonessential amino acid that’s necessary when it comes to making nitric oxide in the liver. Both AAKG and nitric oxide amplify the beneficial muscle-building effects of exercising and nutritional supplements.

Alpha-ketoglutarate can improve peak athletic performance because it helps the liver break down by-products of muscle exercise such as ammonia. Athletes believe AAKG supplements help them exercise longer with less pain and stiffness, and build up more lean body mass.

Evidence also shows that L-arginine stimulates protein synthesis, which helps the body build muscles, and increase their size, strength and endurance.  It has been found that, by taking 10 to 15 grams of AAKG per day, the body’s insulin level increases by 20 to 30 percent, which in turn, theoretically increases strength gains and muscle growth.  How?  L-argnine increases nitric oxide production in blood vessels, increasing their diameter. This increases blood flow without raising blood pressure. When blood vessels dilate, more blood reaches the muscles and tissues and provides a larger amount of carbohydrates, proteins and various muscle-building hormones.

I recommend 3.5 Grams of L-arginine AKG in your pre- workout shake and 3.5 Grams L-arginine AKG in your post-workout shake.

 

L-Glutamine

Glutamine plays key roles in protein metabolism, cell volumizing, and anti-catabolism. Glutamine also increases your ability to secrete Human Growth Hormone, which helps metabolize body fat and support new muscle growth. Glutamine's anti-catabolism ability prevents the breakdown of your muscles.

This is especially useful for people 'cutting down'. Especially during summer when you're trying to get rid of some body fat without losing any muscle. Glutamine is needed throughout your body for optimal performance. Your small intestines requires the most Glutamine in your body, and your immune system also needs Glutamine because Glutamine levels deplete during workouts, bodybuilders are more susceptible to illnesses - this is why L-Glutamine supplementation is so important, not necessarily to gain more muscle, but for the 'maintenance' effects of L-Glutamine.

L-Glutamine supplementation promotes a positive nitrogen balance and prevents the loss of muscle. Recent studies have shown that taking just 2 grams of L-Glutamine can increase growth hormone levels by 400%.

I recommend 1.5 Grams of L-glutamine in your pre- workout shake and 1.5 Grams of L-glutamine in your post-workout shake.

 

Fish Oil

Fish oil is known for content of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The omega-3 fatty acids are biochemical precursors to eicosanoids, supporting healthy inflammatory response. Fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids do not actually produce these compounds themselves, but instead accumulate them by consuming algae.

Studies have shown that supplementing with fish oil can increase the fat burning capabilities and lessening the amount of fat on the body.  Fish oils may also aid in limiting the breakdown of muscle tissue and adding tone.

Multiple recommendations exist regarding fish oil.  The general recommendation that I see most is to consume approx 1500 mg of DHA (docosahexae-noic acid) and approx 1800 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) per day.  This is what I shoot for with my fish oil intake.