|Do you really need the whole pre-, intra-, post workout supp-arsenal to benefit from your workouts?|
... but is that true? Do you really need all that stuff?
The Australian researchers probably had a similar question in their minds, when they recruited their 15 strength-trained male field and court sport athletes (mean age 21.7years; 1-RM squat 133.0kg, bench press, 94.7 and 3.1 ± 0.3 years of strength training experience) and randomized them to ingest either a placebo supplement or a supplement "stack" consisting of 15g of Musashi Reactivate Hardcore before, 30g of Musashi Elevator during and 50g of Musashi SPORTS after the workout.
|Table 1: Ingredient profile of the "tri-phasic" peri-workout supplement; the placebo contained an aspartame based flavor that matched the taste of the active supplement (based on data from Bird. 2013)|
Acute effects = stat. significant, long-term physiological significance = ?
Caffeine (pre, only), creatine, EAAs, whey (post, only) and even beta alanine and AAKG, the additional carbhydrates, ... all that should do something right? Yep, you are of course right it should. After all people are paying with their hard-earned money for it!
|Figure 2: Supplement & blood draws (top); overview of the exercises, set x rep scheme and equipment used in the lower body workout (Bird. 2013)|
The supplement, or rather the supplements, had to be ingested 15 minutes preexercise, in small, regular doses during the exercise, and the whole 300ml of their post-workout drink right after the workout. and thus according to the manufacturers suggestions.
Aside from the hormonal and inflammatory response (see figure 1) to the workout the scientists also measured the muscular performance and perceptual response during the workouts:
|Figure 3: Perceptual measures of exertion & muscle soreness (Bird. 2013)|
- the total training volume was higher for SUPP (15 836 ± 518 kg⋅repetitions) compared with PLA (14 390 ± 491 kg⋅repetitions) (P <.05;d = 0.70);
- countermovement jump peak power (CMJ) did not differ between groups at any timepoint (P> .05;d= 0.05-0.18); in the SUPP group there was however a trend (P= .08;d= 0.32) for increased countermovement jump peak power was yet observed on the third of the four tests 30min after the workout (exact timing see figure 2, top)
- the global rate of perceived exertion (RPE) did increase after the workout in both groups, and was higher 30min after the supplement trial (P < .01; d= 0.89)
- the perceptual responses for muscle soreness was elevated and did not differ between treatments
after the workouts
So what do we make of these results? On the one hand it is unquestionably true, that the peri-workout supplementation (I refuse to keep using the hilarious sciency expression "triphasic") did increase the total workout volume, It is also true that it did lower the cortisol increase and produced lower areas under the curve for creatine kinase, but it also lowered the testosterone response to the workout (that the post-workout increase in testosterone is not a legitimate predictor of muscle growth is something you should now, after countless articles on the matter, be aware of; read more about testosterone).
|Whey is more insulinogenic than white bread and creatine could make you fatt True for the 1st, remotely possible for the 2nd! And still both simply work....|
What I do yet doubt is that the same results could not have been achieved with a cup of oatmeal, water and protein powder 1h before the workout, a coffee right before the workout and 3-5g of creatine, two bananas and a regular whey protein afterward. All you would have to buy then is a pouch of whey and a 500g jar of creatine monohydrate, which will last you for months. Both SuppVersity supplement staples, as you know and actually among the few supps with physiologically significant effects almost every trainee can benefit from... and did I mention that they are dirt cheap and can be combined with real foods?
- Bird SP, Mabon T, Pryde M, Feebrey S, Cannon J. Triphasic multinutrient supplementation during acute resistance exercise improves session volume load and reduces muscle damage in strength-trained athletes. Nutrition Research. April 2013 [EPub ahead of print].