While exercising, blood flow to the muscles is elevated at least 400%, producing the ability to raise biologically active GH 480%, the ability to positively modulate insulin/antagonize cortisol and the ability to increase protein synthesis no less than 600% (1)(2). With this in mind, we want to maximize this ideal time of day to focus supplementation around. To accomplish this, consider the following:
First, consider supplementing with 6 grams of Essential Amino Acids pre-workout (making sure L-Tryptophan is included). I say this because most of the top-selling EAA formulas don’t contain one of the EAA’s (usually Tryptophan). Instead, companies often substitute non-essential amino acids such as Arginine, or L-Tyrosine (hoping you don’t notice).
Next, consider consuming 50-75g of Karbolyn or a similar high molecular weight modified starch during training. These will raise insulin, thus antagonizing the rise in cortisol from the heavyweights. If desiring to do this without carbs, L-Glutamine will raise insulin (3). Personally, I don’t use glutamine because higher doses of Leucine (as part of the BCAA’s) are insulinogenic in its own right.
Finally, you want to take at least 20g of a protein blend like whey/casein post-workout (inclusive of either di and tripeptides or EAA’s), to keep protein synthesis going. This is best consumed in a cup of coconut milk (keeps carbs low, to assist in fat burning) or with a high glycemic carb if further spiking insulin is your objective. Here it is again:
6 grams of EAA’s, including at least 3 grams of L-Leucine
50-75g of a high molecular weight modified starch. If wishing to skip the carbs, I’d instead ingest another 6 grams of Essential Amino Acids. There is research showing 12g of EAA’s alone more than doubled muscle amino acid uptake, vs. 20g of “intact” proteins like caseinate or egg (4).
POST WORKOUT (within 30 min of terminating exercise)
1 scoop of a quality whey/casein blend, followed by your first solid food sit down meal around an hour after training
As for elevating GH during training with GABA, it goes like this:
30 minutes prior to training, take 3 grams of GABA on a completely empty stomach. Once the tingles/paraesthesia passes, you’re free and clear to now dose your EAA’s immediately pre-workout. Please do NOT dose your EAA’s/GABA concurrently. The other large, neutral amino acids will compete (and win) with GABA, for entry across the blood-brain barrier. In English, GABA won’t work/will be “washed out” and you’ll lose its effect.
Give this a try, I’m willing to bet you’ll notice a MAJOR difference!
- Powers, et al. Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Jan;40(1):104-10
- Tipton, KD. Et al. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance training. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001. Aug;281(2):E197-206.
- Greenfield, J. Et al. Oral glutamine increases circulating glucagon-like peptide 1, glucagon, and insulin concentrations in lean, obese and type-2 diabetic subjects. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008.
- Borshein et. al. Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance training. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002. Oct;283(4):E648-57
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