Archive for the tag - supplements

Why I Don’t Take A Pre-Workout Supplement!

Dear Davey,

I’ve seen a lot about pre-workout supplements and my nutrition store was giving out free samples. I wanted to hear what you think of them? Are they too good to be true?

From,
Dan

marc-fitt-2Especially if you’re feeling overworked or lacking energy, it may be tempting to reach for a pre-workout supplement. Many supplement stores will have countless options promising to give your workout the edge you need.

The first thing to remember is that pre-workout supplements are not regulated by the FDA. In some ways, these supplements are still the wild west – and the long-term impacts have yet to be evaluated. In other words, proceed with caution.

There are a few ingredients that you’ll typically find in pre-workout supplements:

  • Carbohydrate sources. We know that carbs give you energy, and that they’re an important part of any pre-workout meal. Having energy to power through your workout will help enhance your results. Of course, you need not get carbohydrates from a pre-workout supplement; a banana will do the trick.
  • Caffeine. The stimulating effects of caffeine are well documented – and some exercisers believe that caffeine gives their workout an edge. While moderate caffeine consumption isn’t necessarily dangerous, keep in mind consuming caffeine before an afternoon or evening workout may impede your sleep.
  • Creatine. Generally considered to be safe, creatine has been shown to increase muscle mass and add bulk. For some people, creatine has been associated with bloating and extra water weight. Regardless, anyone interested in creatine or its benefits can experiment with the supplement independently of a pre-work.
  • L-arginine. Helping to dilate your blood vessels, this amino acid can improve blood flow during exercise. Unfortunately, it’s not necessarily healthy; some studies suggest that it increases oxidation stress and markers of aging.

As you can see, pre-workout supplements are an unregulated mixed bag of ingredients. For me, the risk isn’t worth the reward and I prefer a more holistic approach. If you eat a smart, balanced diet, there is little or no need for supplementation. And if you’re tired before exercise, listen to your body’s wisdom and change what’s causing your fatigue – rather than popping a pill or mixing a powder to treat the symptoms.

That’s my two cents.

Love,
Davey

P.S. If you want to transform the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

When is the Best Time to Take Protein Supplements?

Last week, I wrote about the best type of protein to take before going to sleep for the night. After posting the article, I received a number of emails from exercise enthusiasts who didn’t realize the importance of consuming protein before bed. With that in mind, today’s post will cover the four times (including before bed) when protein consumption is most often recommended.

Obviously, protein requirements vary greatly from person to person. So, first things first, it’s important to calculate your daily protein requirements. For some people with high protein diets or lower protein needs, protein supplementation in the form of powders and shakes may be less important. For others, it can be crucial for success.

1. First Thing in the Morning

When you wake up, your body is in a catabolic state and hasn’t received proper nutrition for a good eight hours. It needs protein, and it needs protein quickly. I usually opt for a whey protein shake because the protein is absorbed quickly by the body. Just like brushing my teeth and flossing, protein consumption is part of my morning routine.

2. Before Your Workout

Some trainers recommend protein consumption 30 minutes before exercise. This will set up your “anabolic window” to help repair and rebuild the damage done during lifting. Again, a fast-acting whey protein works well here.

3. After Your Workout

After exercise is the most important time to consume protein. If you only take one protein supplement a day, this is the time to take it. Research has shown that sooner is better, so you may even want to take your protein powder or shake to the gym. Whey protein, due to its fast absorption, is the best choice.

4. Before Bed

Because your body will essentially be fasting during sleep, it’s important to consume a protein that’s slow to absorb. Before going to bed, I recommend casein protein because it takes 5 – 8 hours to fully breakdown.

Obviously, protein supplements are really just that – they supplement the protein that we get through a proper diet. The extent to which you’ll need to supplement depends on your fitness regime and diet, so just use this advice as a general guideline.

And, keep in mind that more protein isn’t always better! Too much protein can result in weight gain, kidney problems and even heart disease. So don’t overdo it!

New Study: Weight Loss Pills Don’t Work.

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, weight loss supplements make up a $2.4 billion industry in the United States – and yet not a single one of those supplements has been proven effective.

A lot of people are looking for a magic pill that results in fat loss and muscle gain. And when you read the labels of weight loss supplements, they all sound very promising. Many of them even cite so-called research and data to back up their claims. But when this data is scrutinized by third-party researchers like Melinda Manore, who led the aforementioned study, it all falls apart.

According to Manore:

For most people, unless you alter your diet and get daily exercise, no supplement is going to have a big impact… What people want is to lose weight and maintain or increase lean tissue mass. There is no evidence that any one supplement does this. And some have side effects ranging from the unpleasant, such as bloating and gas, to very serious issues such as strokes and heart problems.

In other words, there’s no weight loss shortcut and some of these supplements do much more harm than good. Losing weight requires a combination of proper nutrition, exercise and personal growth – none of which you’ll get from a diet pill. It takes time, energy and effort.

If you want to transform your body with lasting weight loss, I recommend The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. And if you’ve ever tried a diet pill, please share your thoughts in the comments below. Did it work? Would you recommend it to others?

Answered: Should I Eat the Same Amount of Protein on Off-Days?

Dear Davey,

I work out 5 days a week and take Sundays and Wednesdays off. On the days that I exercise, I make a protein shake with whey powder. Should I also be drinking a protein shake on my days off?

From,
Bryan

Dear Bryan,

While you might take Sundays and Wednesdays off, your body does not! On your days off, your body is busy recovering and rebuilding new muscle. As such, it needs a constant supply of protein.

First things first, you’ll need to calculate your protein needs. I like to use this handy formula. For some people, protein supplements aren’t needed – they can get their required protein from a well-balanced diet. But many weight lifters and exercise enthusiasts will require additional protein, and protein shakes are an easy and effective way to get it.

If you require 130 grams of protein, for example, this amount doesn’t change on your off-days. You’ll need to continue fueling your body 7 days a week, and if your diet isn’t providing the required amount of protein, taking your shakes will certainly help get you there!

Bottom line: We might rest but our bodies do not – protein requirements don’t decrease on days off from the gym.

Love,
Davey