We’re in the final countdown to event season, which means it’s time to kick your training into high-gear. You’ve been hitting the gym, eating a balanced diet, and working hard toward reaching your fitness goals. But are you doing everything you can to maximize your performance?
If you’re looking to increase endurance, boost your exercise intensity, break through plateaus, and push yourself to new heights considering adding a few supplements to your workout routine. We’re not suggesting anything super intense, just the basics: pre-workout for increased energy, BCAA’s for endurance, and protein powder for muscle repair and growth. Not familiar with what they do and when to take them? Here’s the deal:
Thirty minutes before hitting the gym, shake up (or grab a bottle of) pre-workout fuel. What’s the secret sauce? Caffeine. While low in sugar, the C4 line from Cellucor contains a moderate amount of caffeine to help fight fatigue, keep you energized, and feeling strong straight through your last rep. You don’t need to use this before every session, but it’ll definitely give you the extra push you need on days you’re feeling sluggish.
While we’re all for increased energy, if you find yourself jittery from a cup of coffee, or are sensitive to caffeine, this might not be the drink for you. Instead, prep for a hardcore workout with a snack that contains carbohydrates, our go-to is a banana. Light, easy to digest, full of potassium, and enough carbs to get you through an extended sweat session, they’re the perfect on-the-go pre-workout snack.
During Workout: BCAA’s
Experts suggest sipping on BCAA’s, short for branched-chain amino acids, while you workout increases endurance, keeps you hydrated, and helps sore muscles recover faster post-workout. There’s no right or wrong time to drink BCAA’S, no catastrophic side effects, or weird after-taste, so the bottom line is there’s no harm in giving them a try. Keep your eyes peeled on the course, you’ll see cups of this miracle concoction at hydration stations to help keep you going when the going start to get a little tough.
Post-workout: Whey Protein Powder
If there’s one supplement worth adding to your workout nutrition routine right away, it’s a protein powder. Protein helps grow lean muscle and replenishes the nutrients lost during intense workouts. Simply put, your muscles feed on this stuff. You can whip up a shake anytime as a healthy snack or meal replacement, but if you’re goal is to maximize lean muscle growth, immediately after your workout is the best. Mix a scoop of powder with water in a shaker, or satisfy your sweet tooth with one of our favorite dessert-like smoothie recipes: one scoop of molten chocolate whey protein, 1 banana, 1 scoop of natural peanut butter, water, and ice.
You’ve come this far. Put your strength and mental grit to the test on the course in 2016. Check out the full event lineup here and commit to the challenge.