Before You Train
Acetyl L-Carnitine ingredient helps your body produce energy by shuttling fatty acids from stored body fat into the mitochondria of muscle cells, where it can be used for energy. The result? Acetyl-L-Carnitine is suggested to help increase fat metabolism by helping your body use stored body fat as a source of usable energy. When paired with the right diet and training regime, this ingredient can help you reduce stored body fat. Additionally, Acetyl L-Carnitine is also suggested to improve mental alertness, concentration and mental focus, making it a great choice to take before a workout.
L-Citrulline enhances L-Arginine levels, which in turn, converts into a chemical called nitric oxide. As nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels, it helps to increase blood flow and enhance muscle pump.
L-Tyrosine is shown to increase the production of noradrenaline and dopamine, which are both directly linked to increased attention and cognitive performance. Additionally, L-Tyrosine may reduce the perception of stress during exercise, in turn, allowing you to train harder for longer before fatigue sets in.
Beta Alanine is commonly found in many energy and performance supplements and is best taken before or during a workout. Beta-Alanine plays an important role in increasing the concentration of carnosine in muscles, which in turn, helps to delay fatigue in working muscles. The result? In turn, this allows your muscles to perform more reps and sets before fatigue sets in, allowing for better results.
Choline Bitartrate is regularly used to enhance energy and performance before a workout owing to its benefits in enhancing cognitive function by increasing choline in the body. Increased levels of choline in the body encourage the body to increase the production of Acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that is vital to memory, mood, muscle control, and various brain and nervous system functions.
Caffeine is a stimulant used to increase energy levels, decrease fatigue, and improve concentration and focus. In simple terms, caffeine makes your body alert by fooling adenosine receptors, which traditionally slow down nerve cell activity and cause drowsiness. As caffeine binds to the same receptors as adenosine naturally would, it essentially blocks the effects of adenosine from taking place.
Infinergy (Di-Caffeine Malate)
Infinergy is a patented ingredient that contains a combination of caffeine (75%) and malic acid (25%) fused together. The malic acid found in Infinergy is suggested to buffer the salts in caffeine, which improves digestion and replenishes the energy from caffeine. As a result, it’s suggested to reduce energy ‘crashes’ once then caffeine wears off. This ingredient is a great choice for reducing fatigue, improving concentration, and boosting physical performance, without providing excessive jitters or energy slumps post-caffeine hit.
Much like caffeine, Theacrine also helps to reduce fatigue, boost energy, and assist physical performance and is found in many energy and performance supplements, best taken before a workout. Theacrine is suggested to work alongside your body’s natural metabolic processes to provide even greater mental clarity, longer-lasting energy, and enhanced mood and motivation. Theacrine plays an important role in helping to increase the production of Dopamine (supports energy, mood and focus) and inhibiting the production of Adenosine (promotions relaxation). Theacrine is suggested to deliver the same energy-benefits of caffeine, without the intense energy ‘crash’.
Huperzine A is found in many energy and performance supplements and is often taken before a workout or when requiring an energy boost. This ingredient is particularly beneficial for helping to boost energy, alertness, and muscular performance.
In more technical terms, Huperzine is suggested to act as a cholinesterase inhibitor, which is a type of medicine used to help prevent the breakdown of the chemical essential to learning and memory, acetylcholine. Not only does it prevent the breakdown of Acetylcholine, but it also encourages a surplus of Acetylcholine, which can in turn improve nerve and brain function and muscular contraction signalling.
Agmatine Sulfate is derived from arginine, which is an essential amino acid. Agmatine Sulfate helps to promote nitric oxide production, which in turn widens your blood vessels and increases blood and oxygen flow to working muscles, which creates a fuller look and enhances the volume of nutrients being delivered to the muscle. Additionally, Agmatine Sulfate is also suggested to help enhance workout performance and improve mood.
Nootropics essentially refer to a wide range of ingredients that work to increase your brain’s performance and cognitive function by supplying your brain with higher levels of neurotransmitters and more vital receptor stimulation. The benefits of nootropics can vary from enhanced focus, concentration, motivation, mood, learning, attention and more. Nootropics are best taken before a workout or throughout the day to assist with energy and cognitive function (i.e. studying, cleaning the house, working on a computer etc.).
Nootropic ingredients include, but are not limited to the following: Alpha GPC, GABA, HTP, Caffeine, L-Theanine, Rhodiola Rosea, L-Tyrosine, Ashwagandha, and more.
While You Train
According to most experts, BCAAs are best taken before and during a workout to enhance your energy and focus. Simply put, BCAAs contain three of the nine essential amino acids - leucine, isoleucine and valine - which make up approximately 35% of your body’s muscle protein. They are considered essential because your body is unable to produce them on its own, meaning they must be sourced from food or supplementation. Much like other amino acids, BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. However, BCAAs are unique because they are metabolised in the muscle, instead of the liver. Essentially, this means that they’re available in the bloodstream quickly after consuming and can be used for quick energy during a workout, hence why they make a great intra-workout supplement.
BCAAs are particularly beneficial for helping to preserve muscle glycogen stores, which subsequently help to fuel your muscles and reduce the risk of muscle breakdown during a workout. Your glycogen stores are your muscles primary fuel source for energy production, which ultimately means that BCAAs help your muscles to push harder and for longer. BCAAs are suitable for virtually anyone who exercises and wants to improve their workout output. From athletes and bodybuilders to runners, CrossFitters and more, BCAAs are great for all fitness levels and disciplines.
One of the three BCAAs, Leucine helps to improve the stability of glucose levels for a prolonged period, which ultimately helps you to maintain energy levels to train with more intensity, for longer. Additionally, it also promotes protein synthesis and reduces muscle breakdown during high-intensity exercise. Many researchers and athletes argue that Leucine is the most important of the three BCAAs.
This ingredient is one of the three BCAAs and is suggested to assist in boosting energy and help the body recover from training. Isoleucine is broken down for energy within the muscle tissue.
Valine is one of three BCAAs and plays an important role in stimulating muscle regeneration and energy production.
Of the 20 amino acids, nine are considered ‘essential’, meaning they must be sourced through your diet as your body cannot produce them on its own. The nine EAAs include Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Methionine, Histidine, Lysine, as well as the three BCAAs, Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. It’s important to note that while BCAAs are still essential for health and serve as a great source of fuel during an intense workout, they do not build muscle on their own. In actual fact, you need adequate levels of all nine of the Essential Amino Acids to complete protein synthesis, and subsequently, to build muscle, which is where EAAs can be of great benefit. Simply put, while BCAAs are muscle protectors, EAAs are muscle repairers and builders.
While essential amino acids can be found in various food sources, it can be difficult to source adequate and concentrated amounts from the average diet alone. As such, consuming concentrated doses in the form of supplementation is suggested to support muscle growth, muscle maintenance, muscle recovery, cognitive performance, and appetite regulation.
Phenylalanine is one of the nine EAAs.This amino acid is a precursor for the neurotransmitters, tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Phenylalanine plays an important role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and production of other amino acids.
Threonine is one of the nine EAAs.This amino acid is part of structural proteins, including collagen and elastin, which are well known for the role they play in skin and connective tissue health. Additionally, threonine also assists with fat metabolism and immune function.
Tryptophan is one of the nine EAAs.Tryptophan is required to maintain nitrogen balance and is a precursor to serotonin (which is important for sleep, appetite, and mood regulation).
Methionine is one of the nine EAAs.This amino acid assists with metabolism and detoxification, while also playing an important role in tissue growth and the efficacy and absorption of zinc and selenium.
Lysine is one of the nine EAAs.Versatile and highly beneficial, lysine is a major contributor to protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production, and the absorption of calcium. Likewise, lysine is also important for immune function and the production of both energy and collagen.
Histidine is one of the nine EAAs.This amino acid helps to produce histamine, which is a neurotransmitter that is required for immune function, digestion, sleep-wake cycles and sexual function. Likewise, it’s also crucial for maintaining the protective barrier that surrounds your nerve cells, known as ‘myelin sheath’.
Glutamine helps your body recover from physical stress, such as exercise. From a health perspective, your immune system cells require glutamine as their primary fuel source. More glutamine is required when you’re ill and your immune system is forced to react, which means glutamine is important for maintaining optimal immune health. In terms of exercise performance, most notably, glutamine plays an important role in promoting nitrogen retention and reducing muscle wastage and breakdown. During a workout, your muscles release glutamine. If glutamine levels fall too low, your muscles may start to break down, resulting in muscle loss.
After You Train
Electrolytes are essential minerals found in almost all fluids in the body. Simply put, electrolytes play an important role in hydration, nerve function, and muscle contraction and include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.
During a workout, we’re more prone to sweat, which means we’re losing key electrolytes through lost fluids. Believe it or not, as little as 1-2% loss of body fluids can cause a dramatic decline in physical performance. As such, sourcing electrolytes through supplements is a great way to replenish the sources lost through physical activity.
Creatine is shown to increase the synthesis of a compound known as Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is your body’s primary source of energy for the phosphate energy system (i.e. the energy system your body uses for short, sharp muscle contractions and anaerobic exercises). Creatine plays an important role in improving your anaerobic exercise capability by allowing your muscles to contract with greater power and for more reps. Simply put, it can help you train with more intensity for a longer period, which in turn, can improve muscle strength and growth. Creatine is a great post-workout supplement and is best paired with carbs to maximise absorption.
Protein is one of the core building blocks of bone, muscle and skin and is required in the production of hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals. When it comes to improving your health and fitness goals, supplementing with protein powder is an essential macronutrient that helps to build muscle, repair tissue, and assist in weight management. Whether you’re a gym-goer wanting to gain lean muscle, a HIIT warrior wanting to help your muscles recover after an intense workout, or an everyday person wanting to manage your weight by choosing satiating snacking options, protein serves many purposes and is designed for people of all fitness levels.
Whey Protein Isolate
Known for its fast absorption rate and leaner and lower fat profile, Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) offers one of the purest and highest sources of protein on the market. While both Whey Protein Concentrate and Whey Protein Isolate are derived from the same milk concentration, Whey Protein Isolate has gone through a more refined filtration process to remove most of the lactose content to create a high serving of protein, with the least amount of carbohydrates, fats and additives. Due to this filtration process, WPI is an extremely fast absorbing protein source, allowing your muscles to utilise it much faster than other proteins. WPI generally supplies about 90-95% protein.
Whey Protein Isolate is ideal for all fitness levels and generally a safer alternative for those who struggle with lactose intolerance or gastric stress. While generally less flavoursome in comparison to its milky counterparts, Whey Protein Isolate is a suitable solution for those seeking a pure and high protein formula that will encourage lean muscle growth, when paired with a healthy diet and solid workout regime.
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
Known to help boost the effects of weight training, encourage healthy fat loss, build muscle, and assist with reducing food cravings, Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) is the most common and popular form of whey protein. WPC generally supplies 60-80% protein, with the remaining 20-40% composed of fats and carbs.
While WPC is the least processed form of whey protein (compared to WPI and Hydrolysate), it is richer in other non-protein ingredients that are beneficial for a range of health and fitness goals, including fats, lactose, vitamins, and minerals, growth factors and IGG. Ideal for topping up your daily protein intake or for post-workout nutrition, a quality Whey Protein Concentrate will offer high protein, relatively low-carbs and fats, relatively fast absorption, a complete protein and a solid source of amino acids. However, if you’re lactose intolerant or struggle with digesting dairy products, Whey Protein Isolate is a smarter choice for you as Concentrate contains higher traces of dairy.
Milk and Casein Protein Powder
Casein protein is the ultimate slow-digesting dairy protein that will work hard while you rest. Casein is perfect for people wanting a time-release protein that will keep their muscles nourished while reducing muscle breakdown and helping to maintain and build muscle around the clock.
As a slow-releasing protein, Casein Protein Powder works by feeding your cells with amino acids at a slower rate and over a longer period. Unlike whey protein that is best-taken post-workout due to its fast absorption, Milk and Casein Protein Powders are best-taken just before bed to help you preserve muscle mass during a resting or fasting period. As your body is more likely to break down its own muscles for feeding during times of fasting (i.e. sleeping), Casein protein is anti-catabolic and helps to reduce protein/muscle breakdown. Much like other animal proteins, casein is a complete protein source, which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs for muscle growth and repair.
To increase muscle mass, it is fundamental that you first increase your daily calories above maintenance mode to provide your body with sufficient protein, carbohydrates and fat to build new muscle tissue. Yet, while increasing your daily food intake sounds fun in theory, it’s often easier said than done, which is where a high-quality mass gainer comes in handy. A mass gainer is the efforts of a high calorie and high protein formula, designed specifically to assist you in muscle growth, without having to rely solely on a calorie-dense diet. And when used alongside a premium quality creatine and protein powder, bulking will be made much easier.
A mass gainer can be mixed with water, milk or juice and can be taken in the morning, between meals or post-workout.