Biotest

Learning About Supplements for Athletes


#1

Hi

I know your supplements have a tremendous reputation. I work with both younger athletes as well as older athletes. Most of my young athletes want to gain lean muscle mass and also want to recover efficiently from their training. Recovery is equally important for my older athletes, while most of them want to lose weight and or body fat. I was wondering if you could give me some guidance when advising them on what supplements to purchase from your company.

Thanks


#2

Sure, that’s a great question.

As you probably know, in the last twenty years or so we’ve learned that workout nutrition – the nutrients you consume around the training session – make a huge impact on recovery. When this information first hit the mainstream, it was all about post-workout nutrition, and supplement companies began to make specialized formulas for this time period.

Today, we’ve learned that the peri-workout period, that time just before, during, and after the workout, is the real window of opportunity. Pre-loading the muscles with the right nutrients and making sure they’re jammed into the muscle cells is the number one ingredient to accelerated recovery and getting the most of the training session itself. In other words, at the elite level, we’ve gone way past “get some protein and carbs after lifting.”

Our top-end supplement for this peri-workout period is <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/plazma"target=“new”>Plazma. We’ve seen recovery accelerated so quickly that even top bodybuilders and pro athletes who train brutally hard can increase the frequency of their workouts, get bigger and stronger, and hit PRs like never before. And since the type of carbohydrates in Plazma are thermic by nature, most experience fat loss as well.

For the hardest trainers and those that really push their bodies, a “pulse” or serving of <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/mag-10"target=“new”>MAG-10 post-workout is ideal.

Taking care of workout nutrition works very well for younger and older athletes. Of course, we’re not sure how young these athletes are, so check the warning labels for any age restrictions. Sometimes younger athletes are simply protein-starved since most aren’t too concerned about food quality yet. For them, simply ensuring that they’re nourished for their sport is all that’s needed. A shake or two using <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/metabolic-drive-low-carb"target=“new”>Metabolic Drive between meals or in place of junk-food meals will give them a great advantage.

That said, if the young athlete is training hard – think two-a-days before football season – there’s no reason he can’t use Plazma as well, as long as an informed parent is supervising.

There are several other Biotest supplements we could recommend, especially for the mature athletes looking to make gains like they’re in their 20’s again, but we suggest always starting with foundational workout nutrition. <a href="http://www.t-nation.com/store/products/indigo-3g"target=“new”>Indigo-3G may be equally important, but let’s start with workout nutrition and go from there.


#3

Sometimes I’m reluctant to go on too much about the supporting reasons for why something works well, as the fact of whether it works well is actually much more important. But having both the fact and supporting reasons is good, and particularly when advising others as you’re planning to do, when they can see reasons that make sense, this often helps greatly in whether they adopt plans that will work well for them, or not bother to do so.

What I’m leading to is a relatively simple supporting fact that I’ve found people understand very well. The time of actually working out is especially favorable for muscle to take in nutrients. Yet, routinely people do intensive workouts that may burn for example 500 calories above and beyond what they’d ordinarily burn in that period, but what is their nutrition fueling that workout?

Typically, the caloric content is little if any different than had they been going to stay at home! It’s not just that the muscles don’t get to “get ahead” during this period: instead they have to burn their own resources. True, the body can make this up afterwards and the net experience at the end of the day can be positive, but unsurprisingly, it turns out to be much better for the muscles to gain resources while training (absorb more than they burn) rather than deplete during training.

Most workout protocols have the muscles run at a deficit during training.

The recommended protocols of Plazma, or of Anaconda and MAG-10, provide (typically) more than is burned, and in all cases provide more di- and tri-peptides than is burned, and training itself becomes anabolic in the sense of net amount of substrates in the muscle.

Of course, that reason would be useless if in practice nothing was seen from it, but in practice the difference is dramatic. Having the concept of the muscles taking in more than they burn during training, rather than much less, can help people realize the high value of trying this approach.

However it does have to be done in quite optimized ways: for example, sugar and whey protein could be combined for the same calories and grams of protein, but the result would be dramatically different, and not recommended!