Category

Supplements

Supplement Series #2: Pre and Post Workout Supplements

By | hydration, Nutrition, resistance training, Supplements

Protein powder may be the staple of the supplementing world, but when it comes to maximising your workouts there are plenty of pre and post-workout supplements available. Some will boost your energy, others will help you focus, and most aim to help your body rest and repair more efficiently. Understanding their role in the body and how to use them to optimise your training can make all the difference in reaching your health and wellness goals. 

What’s the Point of Supplementing?

Everyone wants to get the most out of their workouts, but it is nutrition that often has the biggest impact on our training. Although they are not a complete food source, supplements are designed to supply our body’s with the ‘missing elements’ we do not already receive from our diet. 

In our first edition of the Supplement Series: Not All Supplements Are for Sports we covered some of the applications of nutritional supplementation and shared a wide range of products, including:

  • Anti-ageing supplements
  • Digestive aids
  • Cardiovascular and cognitive support supplements
  • A general-purpose sports supplement

In this second edition, we’re pointing the focus at Turnfit approved pre and post-workout supplements that can help you power through your workout and minimise recovery time.

What Is a Pre-Workout Supplement? 

As its name suggests, a pre-workout supplement is taken before your workout. Designed to increase your energy, focus, vascularity (nitric oxide) and power, pre-workout supplements can make the difference between hitting the gym or staying home.

When it comes to energy, caffeine is commonly included as a stimulant, and the vast majority of them will also include:

  • Branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) to supply your muscles with building blocks
  • Beta-alanine to reduce lactic acid buildup and improve performance
  • B-vitamins
  • Creatine

Generally speaking, a lot of pre-workout products available will contain elements that assist with post-workout recovery, and vice-versa. Moreover, a pre-workout supplement regime will usually begin about 30 45 minutes before you hit the gym, giving the supplement plenty of time to make it through your system, and prepare your body for work. 

What Is a Post-Workout Supplement?

There are a number of post-workout supplements available, but for the most part, they aid in protein synthesis, muscle growth and recovery, and general rest and wellbeing. The type of post-workout supplement(s) may change depending on your exercise needs, physical exertion, and nutrition plan

Unlike pre-workouts, high-quality post-workout supplements will be made up of few, if not single, ingredients. Of course, they are not all created equally and it’s important to understand where your supplements are coming from, or if they’re legitimate. 

Types of post-workout supplements include:

  • Powdered protein- whey, casein or plant-based
  • BCAA’s such as Leucine and Glutamine
  • Creatine
  • Zinc and magnesium

The type and purpose of the supplement will dictate how often and when to use them. For example, you may use a quick-absorbing whey protein immediately after a workout, and a slower digesting recovery protein before you sleep to help your body recover.

Do I Need Pre and Post Workout Supplements?

Supplements, on their own, are not going to magically make you healthy or get in shape. Rather, they are there to aid your already healthy diet. That is, you need a strong foundation before you can really enhance your training with the right pre and post-workout supplements. 

At Turnfit, we can help you to more fully understand your nutrition and requirements, to make sure you’re maximising your exercise without the need for supplements. However, the human body is an incredibly adaptable machine, and once you’ve dialled in your nutrition and training, supplements can make all the difference between a performance plateau and continually improving your results. 

When it comes more specifically to pre and post-workout supplements, they can also be the difference between hitting the gym on your way home from work or hitting the couch. Post-workout supplementation can also be the catalyst for a good night’s rest, allowing your body to fully absorb and make use of the nutrients and vitamins that you have been feeding it. 

One of the main issues with pre and post-workout supplements, though, is in their quality. Whilst many of them feature the same or similar ingredients, this often falls under the guise of a ‘proprietary blend.’ With the specific quantities and ingredients hidden from the customer- you- it can be hard to determine if the products you’re using are actually doing what they claim to do. 

With decades of experience in the health and fitness industry, and as some of Vancouver’s top-rated personal trainers, we’ve recently made some pre and post-workout supplements available in our online store that have been approved by the Turnfit family.

Turnfit Approved Pre and Post Workout Supplements

Unlike a lot of pre-workouts available, we believe our body already stores all the energy needed to power through a workout- it just needs to be activated properly. So we do not recommend pre-workout supplements that are just stuffed with caffeine. In most cases, the energy ‘crash’ and other side effects just aren’t worth it.

ATP Labs E-nos Pre-Workout Supplement

One of the best pre-workouts we’ve found is ATP Labs E-nos. Although the name is a bit unusual, this pre-workout supplement has no caffeine. It does, however, have a good blend of BCAA’s- citruline and arginine- as well as beta-alanine to help your muscles cope with the increased load. 

The inclusion of glycerol helps with vascularity and moving blood to where it’s needed most in the body. This also works synergistically with the key ingredient- agmatine sulphate- which is synthesised in the body from the amino acid L-arginine. 

Some research has shown that agmatine is responsible for nitric oxide regulation, by moderating two out of three nitric oxide enzymes, otherwise known as iNos (inducible) and nNos (neuronal) nitric oxide production. Whereas it encourages endothelial enzyme production or eNOS, which:

Pre and post workout supplements can rapidly improve your muscle growth and retention“signals vasodilation in the lining of blood vessels for increased blood flow. Increased blood flow lowers blood pressure and increases the import of oxygen and nutrients and export of cellular waste products.”

Jori Enfield, BS Science (Biology).

Other research has shown that agmatine may play a role in our cognitive ability and neurological performance, as well as protecting the brain from stroke

Biosteel Beta-Alanine

If the E-nos pre-workout supplement isn’t your thing, you may consider just adding beta-alanine to your workout regime. This amino acid is found in most pre-workout products but is also available as a single ingredient powder, and is best taken 30-45 minutes before your workout. 

Unlike essential amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins), other amino acids like beta-alanine cause chemical reactions in the body. When it comes to working out, beta-alanine is crucial to the body’s ability to synthesise carnosine- which slows and/or prevents the build-up of lactic acid during and after your workouts. Reducing lactic acid can improve your performance, but also reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.

At TurnFit, we recommend the Biosteel range of natural and non-GMO amino acids, such as Biosteel Beta-Alanine. Thanks to a recent partnership you can now access a 20% discount on these Biosteel products when you use the code “TurnFit” at checkout. 

Biosteel Fermented BCAA’s- Glutamine and Leucine

What we love the most about the Biosteel range of amino acids is that they are single-ingredient products. Both the Biosteel Glutamine and Biosteel Leucine are high-quality fermented amino acids, making them friendlier on the gut biome, as well as being:

  • Preservative-free 
  • Gluten-free 
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO 
  • BIG servings- 150 servings per tub for the Biosteel Leucine and 45 servings per tub for the Glutamine. 

They are also both flavourless products, making them easy to add to your shakes or drink bottles. When it comes to using these supplements, glutamine is a great post-workout supplement. It helps to flood your muscles with nitrogen, which is used to replenish energy and repair muscle cells. At the same time, it can help us to metabolise protein and supports healthy immune function after intense activity. 

*** Thanks to a recent partnership with Biosteel, you can now access a 20% discount on these Biosteel products when you use the code “TurnFit” at checkout. ***

We occasionally get asked if Leucine is better as a pre or post-workout supplement. Whilst Leucine can be taken at any time of the day, our body metabolises it directly in the muscles, rather than in the liver. As such, it is particularly good at increasing protein levels and protein synthesis in the muscles that you’re training. However, research suggests that Leucine is best taken either during or post-workout. This is because it affects a nutrient-sensing molecule known as mTOR, which is literally responsible for:

“muscle protein synthesis while inhibiting muscle protein breakdown, causing muscle protein accumulation that drives muscle growth.”

-Brian Turner, Advanced Molecular Labs. 

Similarly, studies have shown that consuming Leucine post-workout can enhance post-exercise muscle protein synthesis by up to 33%. Due to the anabolic effects of Leucine within the muscles, it is not a great supplement to consume pre-workout. This is because of the way it activates the conversion of glucose to glycogen, whilst inhibiting the breakdown of glycogen to glucose. Metabolically, this is an energy-intensive task and may limit the energy your muscles have in the gym.

Biosteel Essential Amino Acid and Hydration Mixes

If powders and individual amino acids aren’t your things, you can also get a 20% discount on Biosteel BCAA hydration mixes. Depending on the product, these pre-made or powdered drinks give you the advantage of a full range of branch chain amino acids, electrolytes or both. 

We hope that the second edition of our Supplement Series has helped you to understand the benefits, and impact, that pre and post workout supplements can make to your diet and training regime.

If you want to maximise your workouts please visit our online store, and don’t forget to use the code “Turnfit” for 20% off Biosteel products! 


About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit Turnfit.ca, join our community on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

The right supplement can make you feel great!

Supplement Series #1: Not All Supplements Are for Sports

By | Community Of Experts, Nutrition, Online Store, Supplements

The word ‘supplement’ gets thrown around a lot these days. You always hear it in health and fitness circles, but it can also describe products that help us look after our skin, improve our rest, or reduce signs of aging. In this first edition of the supplement series, we’re looking at vital micronutrients and other supplements that you can add to your diet or regime, to help to create a younger feeling, healthier-looking you.

Supplements 101: What Are They Used For?

Supplements are designed to – wait for it- supplement something that we are currently missing. From vitamins and minerals to sunshine and toothpaste, there are products and solutions to help keep your body in optimal shape, inside and out.

Normally, when people hear the term supplement they go straight to sports supplements. Most of us are aware that you can add protein to your diet when strength training, and many of us already use a daily multivitamin to supplement our body with micronutrients we aren’t getting from our diet.

However, the supplement industry reaches much further than that, and with a solution to almost anything you want to change or improve, finding the right products is really about your personal goals. Are you trying to:

  • lose weight? 
  • Increase muscle
  • Boost your immune system? 
  • Look younger? 
  • Improve focus?
  • Stay hydrated?
  • Have more energy? 
  • Recover quicker? 

These are just some of the options that supplementing can help with, whether it’s a skincare product or vitamin boosting superfood mix. 

It’s no secret that exercising can help us to feel good, but the right supplements can ensure that we are supplying ourselves with enough of the ‘good stuff’ to perform the tasks we require. By unlocking the full potential of a range of supplements, we can complement the energizing power of our exercise regimes, and bring positive change to our lives. 

Not All Supplements Are Created Equally

When a lot of people first go to a gym, they enter with the goal of losing X pounds. But in most cases when you dive into the details, it isn’t actually about losing weight. It’s about feeling better, having more energy, or being happier with the face that looks back at you in the mirror. Losing weight may seem like the solution, but it’s usually just the side effect! 

Whilst many products will claim to solve X, Y, and Z they can often have nasty side effects, or be full of unnecessary and unnatural ingredients. The best supplements are not only reputable and bio-available, but they’re also the ones that are best suited to your health and wellness goals. 

There are a number of supplements used and recommended by the Turnfit family to help us to feel healthier and have the energy and vitality we need to get you the most out of your training sessions. We have recently made these products available through our online store, and want to share some of them with you today.

Anti-Aging Supplement: Life Pak

Pharmanex Lifepak is an all-in-one anti-ageing supplementA real anti-aging supplement doesn’t actually reverse the signs of aging. Nothing can turn back the clock on that one. However, quality anti-aging products will provide your body with essential micronutrients and restorative elements that give it the tools needed to regenerate lost and aging cells.

On a molecular level, supplements like Life Pak are loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins, omega’s, antioxidants and adaptogens which help to fight free radicals – one of the primary causes of cell degradation and aging. 

Not only do these essential elements improve your immune system, but they also have vast reaching cognitive benefits. The addition of coenzyme Q10 (see below for more info) has been shown to have positive effects on neural plasticity, slowing the mental effects of aging, and reducing stress and anxiety to boot! 

Digestive Supplements: Pharmanex Digestive Formula

Research has shown that the gut now accounts for 70% of your entire immune system. Although this system has evolved with us over millions of years, up to 50% of the population still experiences some sort of internal discomfort as a result of their diet, intolerances or other mitigating factors. 

As such a number of ‘digestive aids’ are now available on supermarket shelves, but they aren’t all created equally. Rather, many products focus on increasing your fibre intake- which is not a bio-available substance, and whilst it may make using the bathroom a little easier, it doesn’t actively work to fix the problems in your gut. 

One digestive supplement that the Turnfit team has really gotten behind lately is the Pharmanex Digestive formula. This digestive aid contains a unique blend of natural extracts that can help to:

  • Reduce bloating and cramps
  • Process and digest foods, ensuring we are improving the amount of nutrient absorption from our diet
  • Process and eliminate waste by improving the liver-bile system

With naturally occurring enzymes (proteases) this digestive aid can help your body to breakdown proteins and peptides, converting them into usable forms and protecting our gut biome at the same time.

Cardio-Vascular and Cognitive Support: Co-Enzyme Q10 Nano

Although the name makes it sound like a science fiction character, coenzyme Q10 Nano (or CoQ10 for short) is a bioavailable enzyme that promotes good heart health. Otherwise known as Ubiquinone, this cognitive and cardiovascular supplement uses nanotechnology to make the enzyme 10 times more bio-available than it’s predecessors. 

Although some research has been inconclusive, ubiquinone has also been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Heart failure
  • Blood pressure
  • Migraines and headaches 

The most promising studies, however, have shown that it is effective in reducing the risk of heart failure (by up to 31%), whilst also increasing our capacity for exercise. This is likely due to CoQ10’s role in facilitating the production of ATP, which is directly proportional to the amount of energy we can produce on-demand.

Sports Supplement: Overdrive

Finding a sports supplement that actually helps to boost your results, without being full of caffeine and other nasties can be tough. Although many will claim that ‘more energy’ is what you’re after, a real and effective sports supplement actually assists your body in its energy production, protein synthesis, recovery, and most importantly- rest. 

That’s why at Turnfit, we’re happy to recommend Pharmanex Overdrive as an all-in-one performance-enhancing sports supplement. Loaded with vitamins from natural extracts, Overdrive helps to support your immune system, convert food into energy, and supplement our body’s natural systems to get more from your workouts. The addition of sea salt adds micronutrients and, combined with the magnesium, helps the body to stay hydrated, and improve our recovery.


These are just some of the supplements now available in the TurnFit’s online store, and over the coming months we’ll be diving deeper into some of the key ingredients to help improve your understanding of supplements in general, and how you can use them effectively regardless of your health and wellness goals. 


About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit Turnfit.ca, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull


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