By The Editors
No matter what your goals, everyone wants and appreciates a little push in the right direction. And while supplementing sometimes gets a bad rap, the right choices can help you get to your fitness finish line faster, or at least with more resolve. But which types to select isn’t the only thing you need to consider.
Have you ever thought about when you should take these nutritional extras? We’re here to help.
“Supplement timing” is the practice of aligning your supplement intake with specific times of the day to optimize their effectiveness — which, considering the cost of said items, should certainly be addressed. If you’re serious about achieving your fitness goals, you’re likely already taking quite a few to assist your workouts — and this can be tricky to juggle. Allow us to solve this predicament concerning your precious supplements, and reap all the benefits you deserve (and have paid for!).
The afternoon includes both lunch and a mid-afternoon snack, which then leads to — but doesn’t include — dinner. Assuming you’re going to have a late-afternoon training session, this timeframe will be used for taking those critical pre- and post-workout supplements. The afternoon is a crucial timeframe for two important reasons: (1) it leads into our late-afternoon training session, and (2) any failures to ensure proper food and supplement intake during this window can seriously compromise your workout and leave you famished at dinner, which unfortunately encourages improper food choices (hey, we’ve all been there!). The supplements that are the most practical to take during this time are multivitamins and calcium, along with amino acids and whey protein powder.
Vitamins and minerals act as catalysts in the body for countless important functions. Women who exercise and train intensely have greater vitamin and mineral demands than women who don’t work out. Much like protein, meeting all of your vitamin and mineral requirements through food alone can be tough. That’s why a multivitamin supplement is a great insurance policy to make sure you’re not in a deficiency situation when it comes to any vitamins or minerals. A great time to pop your multivitamin supplement is just after lunch, taken with a large glass of water.
If you’re like many, the end of the workday is met by the beginning of your workout, which often happens in the late afternoon or early evening. Before you head off to the gym, try to get a serving of amino acids in your system. Amino acids have been studied at length in scientific circles concerning their ability to support increased recovery and better performance in the gym. Taking a serving of amino acids about a half-hour before exercise is a strategy many competitive Physique, Figure, and Bikini athletes use to get the most from their workout. Ideally, look for an amino-acid product that contains research-supported doses of the branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), along with other key amino acids like citrulline.
Whey protein powder
Ideally, you’d like to get your post-workout feeding in as soon as your workout is over. Since that’s the case, a liquid meal is a heck of a lot more convenient than a whole-food meal and also tends to digest much quicker, which makes a high-quality protein shake the perfect choice. Whey protein has been the gold-standard protein source for years now — and for good reason. Thanks to its high biological value (BV), superior amino-acid profile, and quick digestibility factor, whey is the ingredient to cap off your workout. Simply pre-fill a shaker cup with a serving of your favourite whey protein powder and once your workout is over, fill with water, mix, and enjoy! Aim to get a balanced whole meal in about an hour or so after your shake, which is typically right in line with dinner.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our series here: