No doubt about it, supplements are a critical component to achieving your physique and performance goals. And, for most of you, that means gaining more strength and endurance while building lean muscle and shedding as much fat as possible. But even if you know the right supplements to take, if you don’t take them at the right times, their benefits will be limited.
As they say, “Timing is everything,” and that maxim doesn’t ring any truer than for supplements. In fact, research confirms that those taking whey and creatine around workouts achieve significantly greater results than those taking them at other times. This is merely one example of the science-backed truth behind supplement timing. To help you get the most bang for your buck, let us walk you through the perfect day of supplementation, from wake-up call to bedtime.
Whether in food, a drink, or supplements, caffeine (aka, 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) acts as a central nervous system stimulant. According to leading research, it helps to promote focus and energy. This is beneficial in itself right before training because every hard trainer wants to seriously enhance energy levels during workouts.
Overall, caffeine is a must-have supplement staple in anyone’s training, diet and supplementation program. Don’t miss out on the benefits of caffeine!
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Abdominal fat is said to be more dangerous than fat in other parts of your body. It’s also the fat most likely to motivate us to diet. Thousands of sit ups and crunches isn’t the best way to attack belly fat, but fortified orange juice can provide some assistance. That’s what a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests.
Researchers put 171 participants on one of two reduced calorie diets for 16 weeks. One group drank three 240 mL glasses of orange juice fortified with 350 mg of calcium and 100 IU vitamin D every day, while the other group didn’t get any fortified foods. Both groups lost the same amount of weight on average: about 4½ pounds. But belly fat was reduced significantly in the fortified orange juice group.
True Strength Moment: It didn’t matter much whether these study subjects drank regular or reduced calorie fortified orange juice. Both helped cut more belly fat than dieting alone. This shows the importance of micronutrients in the diet. Vitamins and minerals are only needed in small amounts, but deficiencies can make a big difference. For some tips on abdominal muscle development, check today’s Performance Blog post at ABBperformance.com
Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of debate about how to stretch and when. Do you go with old school against the joint effort or more of a dynamic stretching technique where you gradually expand your arm and leg range of motion along with the velocity of movement? Do you stretch out as a warm up, a cool down or both?
Some recent science on the debate can be found in the March edition of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Scientists recruited 13 untrained adults and had them stretch out their right calf muscle 4 times for 30 seconds with a 30-second rest period between stretches. This went on 3 days a week for 10 weeks. Compared to a group of 12 untrained subjects who didn’t do anything different, the stretchers realized a 29% increase in right leg calf muscle strength as well as an 11% increase in left leg calf muscle strength. Range of motion in the stretched calf increased 8%.
True Strength Moment: While stretching might not be the most efficient way to develop muscle strength, this research shows that stretching probably doesn’t decrease your strength. And there’s nothing wrong with having greater flexibility and range of motion. So don’t be afraid to stretch out for a few minutes before and/or after a demanding workout.
Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant, which is a big part of the reason it’s considered an essential component of many athletes’ pre-training and competition preparation routine. Observations from an international group of scientists published in the Journal of Caffeine Research offer some interesting tips on making the most of caffeine’s potential.
According to researchers, caffeine can improve endurance in events lasting for several hours, and improve strength and power in efforts lasting only a couple minutes. These effects work best in people who don’t consume a lot of caffeine. So save up the endurance, strength and power support of your favorite performance beverage for the times when you can use it most.