While training intensity can be accomplished through a targeted training program and an ability to adequately stimulate our muscles is something the motivated and determined bodybuilder often has no problem doing, muscle recovery is another issue. It is especially important at a time of the year when social demands and incorrect eating combine to stifle our progress.As we all know by now, it is of primary importance to ensure that correct nutrition is in place ahead of training. After all, missing the occasional training session may even be productive for much-needed recovery, but neglecting nutrition means a breakdown in the healing process.
So let’s take a look…..
1. WHEY PROTEIN
Whey protein is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. Whey protein is commonly marketed as a dietary supplement, and various health claims have been attributed to it in the alternative medicine community. Although whey proteins are responsible for some milk allergies, the major allergens in milk are the caseins. As a foundation for muscle gains, quality protein supplementation is without equal. And the best-absorbed form – often used specifically post-workout, and with meals to round out one’s protein balance – is whey protein. Whey protein has a high biological value and is extremely convenient to take.
Scientific evidence has shown that proteins high in essential amino acids (EAA), branched chain amino acids (BCAA), and particularly leucine (Leu) is associated with increased muscle protein synthesis, weight loss, body fat loss, and decreased plasma insulin and triglyceride profile.
2. BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
A branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) is an amino acid having aliphatic side-chains with a branch (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms). Among the proteinogenic amino acids, there are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Non-proteinogenic BCAAs include 2-aminoisobutyric acid. The three proteinogenic BCAAs are among the nine essential amino acids for humans, accounting for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the preformed amino acids required by mammals. Synthesis for BCAAs occurs in all locations of plants, within the plastids of the cell, as determined by the presence of mRNAs which encode for enzymes in the metabolic pathway.
Certain studies suggested a possible link between a high incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among professional American football players and Italian soccer players and certain sports supplements including BCAAs. In mouse studies, BCAAs were shown to cause cell hyper-excitability resembling that usually observed in ALS patients.
Glutamine is a α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains a α-amino group (which is in the protonated −NH3+ form under biological conditions), a α-carboxylic acid group (which is in the deprotonated −COO− form under biological conditions), and a side chain amide which replaces the side chain hydroxyl of glutamic acid with an amine functional group, classifying it as a charge neutral, polar (at physiological pH) amino acid. It is non-essential and conditionally essential in humans, meaning the body can usually synthesize sufficient amounts of it, but in some instances of stress, the body’s demand for glutamine increases and glutamine must be obtained from the diet.
If the muscles and the rest of the bodily systems have an abundant supply of L-glutamine, muscle tissue will be less likely depleted under conditions of stress. After a hard training session, L-glutamine levels will be reduced throughout the body by as much as 50 percent.
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in vertebrates. Its main role is to facilitate recycling of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell, primarily in muscle and brain tissue. This is achieved by recycling adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to ATP via donation of phosphate groups. Creatine also acts as a pH buffer in tissues. Creatine synthesis primarily occurs in the liver and kidneys. On average, it is produced endogenously at an estimated rate of about 8.3 mmolor 1 gram per day in young adults. Creatine is also obtained through the diet at a rate of about 1 gram per day from an omnivorous diet. Most of the human body’s total creatine and phosphocreatine stores are found in skeletal muscle, while the remainder is distributed in the blood, brain, and other tissues.
A supplement that can support increases in size and strength – as attested to by countless scientific studies – creatine (monohydrate, the version that, despite many new revolutionary forms, still seems to work best in the long run) will, for most, boost lean muscle mass and amplify strength gains.
5. OMEGA-3 FISH OIL
Fish oil is the oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation in the body and have other health benefits, such as treating hypertriglyceridemia, although claims of preventing heart attacks or strokes have not been supported. Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids have been studied in a wide variety of other conditions, such as clinical depression, anxiety, cancer, and macular degeneration, yet benefits in these conditions have not been verified.
Omega-3s may also assist fat loss through maximizing metabolic rate and helping to form a foundation from which thermogenesis can occur. Joint lubrication and cardiovascular health are also major benefits to be derived from Omega-3 supplementation.
6. VITAMIN/MINERAL SUPPLEMENT
A dietary supplement is either intended to provide nutrients in order to increase the quantity of their consumption or to provide non-nutrient chemicals which are claimed to have a biologically beneficial effect. Supplements as generally understood include vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, among other substances. U.S. authorities define dietary supplements as foods, while elsewhere they may be classified as drugs or other products. There are more than 50,000 dietary supplements available. More than half of the U.S. adult population (53% – 55%) consume dietary supplements with most common ones being multivitamins.
These products are not intended to prevent or treat any disease and in some circumstances are dangerous, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. For those who fail to consume a balanced diet, the agency says that certain supplements “may have value.” An exception is vitamin D, which is recommended in Nordic countries due to weak sunlight.