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The Bodybuilding Professor

Bryan Haycock MSc

Bryan haycock is an exercise physiologist, university instructor, writer, and consultant for the bodybuilding industry.

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Intra Workout Nutrition

Q. Is there any benefit to intra-workout supplementation? Milos Sarcev says you need anabolic blood flowing through your body and that while you’re training, you’re feeding the muscle groups you’re training with what’s in your blood. Is Milos full of shit?

A. Milos is actually giving good advice. There are a number of things that are delivered with greater efficiency to the muscle during a workout. For example, essential amino acids taken just before training increase blood amino acid levels at a time when blood flow to muscles is at its highest. As a result, the tissue is saturated with these critical building blocks and can in fact increase muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than when those amino acids are taken after training.

The same holds true for creatine. Creatine taken just before training is taken up by working muscles to a greater extent that when it’s taken during rest. Of course, once the muscle cells are saturated with as much creatine as they can hold, it doesn’t matter when you take it or how much; full is full.

Finally, anabolic hormones of whatever kind you might have floating around will also benefit from pre-workout dosing. As with the essential amino acids and creatine, increasing blood flow to muscle tissue when levels of anabolic hormones are peaking increases the efficiency with which they are delivered to the muscle tissue.
One thing that I don’t agree with Milos on is the timing of the supplementation. Anything that you consume “during” your workout will take some time before it actually appears in the blood stream. It could be 15 minutes but it could also be 30 minutes. In addition, blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract during intense exercise is reduced, and this can further increase the time it takes for things to show up in the blood. For this reason, I suggest you take these important supplements just before training.

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