Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance: Pre and Post Workouts

Ever since Arnold stepped on stage, the world has become more aware of strength and fitness training. People have been joining gyms left and right to obtain the same bulging biceps and six pack abs. But the hard work and effort put in at the gym is not always enough. Experienced lifters and training enthusiasts know that training starts and ends well before and after you leave the gym. To ensure that getting the most from workouts, many experts hypothesize that it is important to ingest the right nutrients at the right time: pre, intra, and post workout.

With growing popularity of bodybuilding comes growing popularity of pre and post workout supplements. After comparing many of the top selling pre-workout supplements, I have noticed that there are two common ingredients: arginine and caffeine. Before understanding why these two are common, it must first be understood what they do. Arginine is an amino acid that has many claims behind it. It has been added to many pre workout supplements because it is believed to increase nitric oxide (a vasodilator), increase growth hormone levels, and aid in protein synthesis resulting in an increase of muscle mass and strength. In a study conducted in 2007 by a group of researchers, the effectiveness of L-arginine onĀ  buy mk2866 Ostarine sarms adding muscle mass was put to the test. These researchers took 20 healthy males and split them into two groups. One group was given a 3:1 ratio of arginine to vitamin C daily, and the other just vitamin C. They worked out their legs three times a week for eight weeks using 70% of their maximum weight and three sets of exercise for ten repetitions per muscle. Total body weight, muscle mass, and body fat percentage were measured before and after the eight-week program. After the full eight weeks, the group administered arginine saw a “significant” increase in all three categories, as well as strength, that the vitamin C group did not. “…the ARG group saw a significant increase of body weight (66.4 +/- 6.1-67.84+/-6.8 Kg), and muscular mass (60.8 +/-6.05-62.07 +/- 5.9 Kg) and decrease of fat mass (6.02 +/-.6 – 5.77 +/- 0.59 Kg) and body fat percentage (9.45 +/- 0.8 – 8.66 +/- 0.77),” The study provided evidence to back up the claims made about arginine, validating the idea to take the amino acid pre-workout.

Caffeine is a popular supplement pre workout because of the claims that it lowers the threshold for an action potential to occur and the energy that it gives. Caffeine is a stimulant that excites the central nervous system, regulating blood flow to skeletal muscle preparing for “freight or flight”. But how does this translate to the weight room? Anthony Colpo, an independent researcher and conditioning specialist, read and summarized a series of studies involving caffeine and its effects on performance. His research found that when ingested 60 minutes before and during workout, the average improvement of cycling endurance was 4.3% compared to pre workout alone which saw a 2.3% improvement. However, when it came to maximum strength and power, there was no significant increase in test subjects’ bench or leg press. By combining 3-6mg/kg of caffeine, and 3 grams of L-arginine 60 minutes pre workout, you are increasing both your endurance and physical strength.