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Supplement Timing For Performance And Recovery | Performance Ground
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Supplement Timing For Performance And Recovery

Supplement Timing For Performance And Recovery

Supplement Timing For Performance And Recovery

Worry less about your supplement timing and more about consuming the right amount of macronutrients for optimal performance

Supplements continue to be a controversial topic of discussion in sport science and strength and conditioning. There are a lot of supplements out there which, have been slated to improve your performance and there is a lot of branding designed to encourage you to buy these products. Taking a supplement alone is not going to magically lead to performance enhancement. The timing of intake plays a significant role in experiencing marginal performance and recovery benefits but it should not be your top priority. In this article, we will talk about supplement timing for performance and recovery.

We take supplements to do just that, supplement the diet. As with any supplement, you need to make sure you are taking all precautions to ensure you are staying clean. Use www.informedsport.com to find products that have been batch tested for banned substances. There continue to be high profile cases of athletes consuming banned substances likely, as a result of a contaminated supplement source.

There are different schools of thought as to supplement timing and whether, you should be consuming nutrients immediately post exercise. Yes, this is the time where, the body is most able to process the nutrients we have just consumed. However, it isn’t the be all and end all if you haven’t immediately consumed your protein shake as soon as you have put your last dumbbell down. Try to focus on hitting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats for your own training before worrying about the short time after your workout.

THE VIDEO: Supplement Timing For Performance And Recovery

Whey protein, carbohydrate gels and such products are easy to consume after training and are a very quick way of kickstarting your recovery. They are quick to digest and stimulate the processes of recovery.

Protein – A comparison of whey vs casein protein

Whey protein is fast acting, provides substrate for immediate protein resynthesis and allows the body to grow and repair. However, whey protein won’t stimulate protein synthesis over long durations and so needs to be consumed every 3-4 hours to maximise the benefits. Casein is a slow acting protein which, can be used to stimulate protein synthesis overnight. It is mainly utilised to assist the body to grow and repair while in a peak state of recovery when you sleep. Peak protein synthesis occurs 3-4 hours after consumption far beyond when whey is acting. There is a long fast between eating prior to sleep and waking up, having breakfast. Obviously, it can be beneficial to prolong protein synthesis during this resting state to stimulate recovery.


Carbohydrates are multipurpose and can be supplemented for recovery and performance.

During prolonged high intensity bouts of activity, over an hour, it is beneficial to supplement carbohydrates not only to maintain glycogen stores but also to enhance carbohydrate delivery to working muscles to stimulate ATP resynthesis. Consuming sources containing multiple types of carbohydrates, fructose, glucose etc., can also be beneficial provided the stomach can cope with the digestion process during exercise. Ingesting a carbohydrate rich fuel before exercise may boost your energy levels and make you more alert but be aware of digestion issues which, can undo any benefits and potentially leave you in an embarrassing situation. When using carbohydrate supplements, ensure you have trained with them first so you know there will be no adverse effects when you come to competition. There is growing evidence that swirling a carbohydrate rich mouth rinse, spitting it out rather than consuming it, can still elicit benefits in events where, substrate is not a limiting factor.

Carbohydrate consumption is important for recovery due to multiple factors. It is important to immediately begin restoring glycogen stores due to your body being able to process these nutrients at a higher rate. It is important to restore glycogen stores, if you have energy for multiple sessions during the day or to kickstart the rest of your day. Consuming carbohydrates is known to enhance insulin production which, stimulates carbohydrate digestion. Insulin has the added benefit of enhancing protein synthesis too.

Supplements are there to supplement your diet not to be your diet. Alternatives to your supplements include chocolate milk which, have tougher food regulations to pass and contain the same amount of protein and carbohydrates as your usual supplements making it a perfect recovery drink. Supplement timing is important in achieving marginal gains but, if you cannot consume protein and carbohydrates immediately, it is not the end of the world. It is more important to ensure you are consuming the right amount of each macronutrient as part of your healthy, balanced diet.

Jack Holroyd

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