5 Supplements to Enhance Training Results

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5 Supplements to Enhance Training Results

Postby Canuck Singh » Fri May 29, 2009 3:46 am

1.Carbohydrates boost muscle growth.

Do more carbs after training really mean fast muscle growth? You bet. Intense resistance training depletes muscle cells of valuable glycogen. A recent study shows that a short term bout of intense exercise followed by a high intake of carbohydrates produces a super-compensatory effect. The end result being super-high muscle glycogen stores [1]. This is a powerful mechanism that triggers cell anabolism that leads to dramatic size increases.

Due to their fear of carbohydrates, most bodybuilders don’t get enough carbs to support intense training. The result is a carb-depleted athlete all year long and mediocre results from training. Introducing the right carbs at the right time will provide you with an incredible “fullness” in your muscles that transfers into tremendous strength improvements.

To enhance the effects of weight training, bodybuilders should aim for at least 1-gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight within the first couple of meals after training [2]. For an 80kg bodybuilder this could mean carbs immediately after training, followed soon after by 40 or 50 grams of carbs from white rice or potato. If you have a difficult time building muscle, then you may want to double this dose on your tough workout days.

2. Blood amino acid levels control muscle protein synthesis.

For bodybuilders, one of the most important revelations in exercise biochemistry for the last 50-years is the confirmation that blood amino acid concentrations control muscle growth [3,4]. A high protein intake maintains a high level of essential amino acids circulating in the blood. This is the key to stimulating muscle protein synthesis rates. When blood amino acid levels drop, muscle protein synthesis rates diminish. Research shows that this powerful anabolic effect is not achieved with “normal” dietary protein intakes. A high protein intake is essential for maximizing the anabolic effect of resistance training [4].

The best way to maintain high blood amino acid levels in the blood is to combine protein sources that possess different absorption rates.

Each protein source possesses different absorption rates that govern the entry of amino acids into the blood stream. Whey is ultra fast in absorption, it literally floods the blood stream with growth producing amino acids but this effect is short lived if other proteins are not consumed. Casein contains a spectrum of moderate to slow absorbing proteins that deliver a steady stream of nitrogen to muscles. Whole foods allow amino acids to “trickle” into the blood stream. However, whole-food proteins are essential to the muscle growth process as they help stabilize blood sugar levels to ensure the protein in your supplements is directed towards muscle protein synthesis and not energy production.

3. L-leucine intake stimulates muscle growth.

Leucine is a branch chain amino acid that is tremendously important to strength athletes. Recent studies have revealed that leucine plays a key role in igniting the transcription pathways that accelerate protein synthesis rates in muscle [4]. An abundant supply of leucine delivered to muscle after training would enhance the stimulation of protein synthesis from intense weight lifting [5]. Higher protein synthesis rates in muscle promote more efficient recovery at the cellular level and greater synthesis of contractile proteins to speed your bodybuilding results.

4. A better way to use creatine.

No doubt Micronized Ccreatine is the most powerful anabolic supplement available. However, getting creatine into the muscle in large amounts is the key to dramatic strength and muscle mass gains.

In order to get maximum uptake into muscle, blood creatine levels need to be high for only a few days. Achieve this with frequent doses (5 to 10 grams, four to six times a day) for only three days. Then cease creatine supplementation for the next 4 days. This strategy will ensure increased muscle creatine concentrations while preventing creatine receptor down regulation. This short loading phase will maintain a high number of creatine transporters on muscle cells, four days without creatine should be just enough to re-sensitize these transporters and keep muscle creatine stores at their peak.

5. Glutamine load after intense cardio exercise.

Don’t let anyone tell you that performing cardio exercise to get lean means muscle loss. The correct supplement strategy can enhance muscle growth during cardio exercise. Yes, it is true; you can improve muscle size while performing cardio exercise. The cornerstone of obtaining a powerful anabolic effect from cardio training is the amino acid glutamine.

The amount of glutamine contained within muscle determines protein synthesis rates and maintenance of a positive nitrogen balance (synonymous with muscle growth). Glutamine is the most potent substrate at increasing muscle cell volume – a potent stimulator of muscle anabolism. Latest research also shows that glutamine supplementation increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise.

Remember strategy Number 1. - More carbs after training means better growth. Glutamine is shown to enhance the muscle glycogen loading effect. When glutamine is taken after training, glycogen levels within the entire body increase.

Recent research now shows that supplementation with pure, free-form glutamine enters the blood stream and gets delivered to muscle [8]. However, as 65% of the glutamine supplement is taken up by the gut, the dosage needed to get to muscle needs to be high. To obtain an anabolic effect from cardio exercise, I recommend bodybuilders take 10-grams twice in the hours immediately after training, along with their regular meals.

After exercise, this strategy will elevate blood glutamine levels to stimulate uptake by hungry muscles. In turn this will promote a powerful glycogen synthesizing and cell volumizing effect. Provided your nutritional intake after training is of high quality, there is no reason why you should not experience a significant anabolic effect from cardio training, an effect that will be noticeable over a period of time.


1. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 34:980-986, 2002.
2. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 17;187–196, 2003.
3. Curr Opin Clin Nutri & Metab Care 5;63-67, 2002.
4. American Journal of Physiol & Endo Metab 273:E122-E129,1997.
5. Journal of Nutrition 130:139-145, 2000.
6. Journal of Applied Physiology 94: 2173-2180, 2003.
7. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 23(5suppl):S45-8, 1999.
8. American Journal of Applied Physiology G & I 281; G267-G274, 2001.
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