Now that Summer's behind us it's time to pack up the patio chairs, put away the flip flops and get back in the gym!
This is one of my favourite times of year to train. Like most people, I tend to fall off the wagon a bit in the Summer. It's usually too nice to train indoors and I often find myself at the beach or a patio somewhere enjoying some bbq'd anything and a tasty, cold beverage.
Come Fall though, I'm ready to get back to my regular training schedule, clean up my diet and start whittling away the extra pounds I put on over the Summer months.
I treat Fall more like the start of my new year than I do January. I find it's a great time to set new goals, dial in my training and nutrition and get myself back in tip top shape.
This is also the time of year I try to refrain from or severely limit my alcohol consumption (for at least a few months anyways) and plan out all of my meals for the week.
I eat a pretty good variety of foods and try to get most of my nutrients from real food sources. When I'm in full training mode though, I like to supplement my diet with a few things to make sure I'm getting everything my body needs.
Here is the list of the supplements I take.
- Branch chain amino acids (specifically leucine, isoleucine and valine) are essential amino acids, meaning your body is unable to produce them so you have to get them from food or supplements.
- Studies have shown that BCCA's reduce serotonin levels which helps prevent exercise induced fatigue and improves exercise performance
- BCAA's enhance protein synthesis for greater muscle growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass
- BCAA's bypass the liver and go directly to the skeletal muscles for fueling, building and repairing damaged muscle cells
- ZMA is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and B
- Studies have shown ZMA helps put you in a very deep sleep so you can reach stage 4 of Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, which is optimal for recovery and muscle growth
- ZMA boosts metabolic hormone levels for enhanced muscle and strength gains
- Creatine is a naturally occuring amino acid that we produce in our liver, kidneys and pancreas
- It gets converted to creatine phosphate and store in the muscles where it's used for energy
- With increased levels of creatine, the body is able to produce more energy at a faster pace, meaning you can do more reps or sprint longer
- Creatine is one of the least expensive and most effective supplements on the market
- Whey protein is a pure, no frills protein that is easily digestable and has a high absorption rate
- The speed of absorption is important because it affects the anabolic, or muscle building, qualities of the protein
- Studies have shown whey protein also helps to boost the immune system
- Fish oil reduces inflammation in the blood, muscles and joints
- Studies have shown fish oil lowers the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, colon cancer, strokes, asthma and arthritis
- Fish oil lowers the levels of bad cholesterol and increases the level of good cholesterol
- DHA, which is one of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and shellfish, acts as a defense against Alzeimer's disease
- Fish oil has the ability to improve vision, lower the incidence of depression and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)