A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Nutrition

A Beginner's Guide to Sports Nutrition
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So, you’re new to supplements, but you’ve seen others using them in the gym and are keen to obtain the same benefits as others. Where do you begin?

We completely understand that the wide range of products on offer such as pre-workouts, post-workouts; whey protein, soya protein; vitamins and minerals can be very confusing. However, we’re here to help clear up some things, and help you make the best choice, for your own goals.

First things first, let’s get one thing clear, these are supplements, so it’s essential to firstly understand the meaning of supplement – a thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it. We take this view point very seriously here at BULK POWDERS™, our products are not designed to replace your diet, they are here to complement your diet, complete your diet, or enhance your diet.

It is very important to highlight this point as there is still some confusion in the market place about supplements; including replacing whole foods. This is never our goal, instead we believe supplements can be used effectively to support or increase your intake of certain nutrients, which you may not be able to obtain from whole foods alone.

Some great examples of nutrients which are difficult to obtain in abundance from whole foods are essential fatty acids and Vitamin D.

In addition to completing, complementing or enhancing your diet, supplements also offer fantastic convenience. Our work and social lives have us busier and busier, leaving us less time for food prep – this is where supplements may help to bridge the gap, by offering a quick, easy option, whether it’s additional calories, protein, vitamins or minerals.

Please remember, whole foods should form the foundation of your diet, but supplements can offer a great alternative when compared to unhealthy convenience foods.

Getting started.

Contrary to what you may think, you should not begin by searching through websites, health food shops and magazines for the perfect supplement. The ideal starting point would be to look at your current diet and training plan. Are you consuming the right foods for your goal? Are you training appropriately for your goal? Once you have these two things in place, you can be more specific as to your supplement requirements.

To use ‘muscle growth’ as an example, how do you know which supplement is right for you? We’ve listed 5 of the main factors contributing to muscle growth that nutrition and supplementation can impact:

Calories.

Do you eat enough calories to fuel training sessions and promote muscle growth? If you don’t eat enough, consider a weight-gainer, such as INFORMED MASS to add extra calories to your diet.

Protein.

Do you have adequate protein intake in your diet? Around 1.5-2g protein per kg of bodyweight is recommended. That works out to 120-160g protein per day for someone who is 80kg. A good quality whey protein shake will deliver a great quality source of protein to your muscles.

Increasing training intensity.

Training harder creates a greater stimulus for muscle growth. Harder can be heavier, more volume (sets/reps), increased duration, etc. Creatine is hugely popular, as it’s a high intensity energy source. A product such as AFTERMATH contains Creatine, alongside carbohydrate, whey protein and HMB.

Reducing muscle breakdown.

Intense weight training can cause significant muscle damage – adequate protein and nutrients can help to reduce this. A slow releasing protein at night is a good choice.

Optimising hormone levels.

Testosterone plays an important role in muscle growth. Fat intake, Zinc and Vitamin D can all contribute to optimising testosterone levels. If you work through the list you can figure out what your diet may be lacking. You can then look at supplements that promote that specific benefit. Zinc, Vitamin D and Fish Oils can all help testosterone levels. Alternatively, a formula such as Complete T-Booster can give testosterone levels a boost.

Supplement Timings.

Pre-Workout

Why use one?

If you train early in the morning, or after a long day at work your energy levels may be impacted. You may also be stuck in a plateau at the gym, needing the extra boost to push on and keep progressing. Why not give ELEVATE™ a go, it’s our premium pre-workout formulation.

What does it do?

Pre-workout products should help to improve mental focus, energy levels, performance and in many occasions increase pump (bloodflow) during your training session.

How do I use it?

Consume a pre-workout approx. 30-45 minutes before training.

During Workout

Why use one?

If you train for long periods of time, or train at very high intensity a product during your workout may be of benefit. These products are often referred to as ‘Intra’. Give Complete Intra-Workout™ a try, it’s full of BCAA, and Citrulline Malate, engineered to keep you firing on all cyclinders when you train.

What does it do?

An ‘Intra’ workout product supplies the muscles with amino acids, to help prevent muscle breakdown and support protein synthesis, which is needed to support muscle growth.

How do I use it?

Sip on a 500ml bottle of intra-workout during your most intense training sessions.

Post-Workout

Why use one?

The ‘window’ is often referred to when consuming nutrients post-workout. This is said to be the most beneficial time to consume protein and carbohydrates to support muscle growth and recovery. Realistically there is no specific time to consume carbohydrates and protein; however it is certainly a good idea to consume them as soon as possible after training. This helps to refuel the muscle and provides the muscle with protein to start muscle growth and repair.

How do I use it?

Mix a shake as soon as possible, post-workout. Consuming a balanced meal approximately 60-90 mins later will also further promote recovery and growth. Post-workout recovery is on-going and not just limited to the post-workout shake.

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