Maintaining Anabolism: Before, During, and After Training
Every anabolic reaction is preceded by a catabolic reaction. What that means is, before something can grow, something must be broken down. This can be represented by incurring muscle damage prior to making gains or the metabolism of protein to amino acids, which can then be synthesized into new muscle tissue. For maximizing muscle growth, we need to maintain an anabolic environment by increasing muscle anabolism and decreasing muscle catabolism.
Anabolism receives a lot of attention, but one of the often overlooked strategies for bulking up is reducing muscle breakdown. In fact, the reason anabolic hormones are so effective is due to their incredible power for preserving existing muscle tissues. Unfortunately, staying anabolic is a complex balance, as training directly results in the breakdown of muscle tissue. While it would be downright stupid to stop training, we can address the mechanisms behind catabolism.
How Training Comes Into Play
We don’t want to do anything to disrupt the normal processes of training, as training is the ultimate stimulus. Although, incorporating extra training volume with low-breakdown strategies like blood flow restriction training is a great idea for increasing anabolism without increasing catabolism. Food and other nutrients are the best anti-catabolic factors that there are. Period. Therefore, it is essential to have excellent pre-workout, intra-workout, and post-workout nutrition.
Because training is the ultimate stimulus, the pre-workout meal is actually MORE important than the post-workout meal. The pre-workout meal determines how well your training will go, and if it goes well, you have a greater impetus for muscle growth. If you don’t crush your workout, what good is a post-workout recovery meal when there is nothing from which to recover? Because we need nutrients to be readily active when we are active, the next most important meal is the intra-workout meal. That’s right, post-workout is less important that both other per-workout meals!
The pre-workout meal is pretty simple. Get your protein and amino acids 1-2 hours prior to training no matter what type of diet you’re following. If you’re bulking, add a lot of calories (2-3x that of the protein) from carbs and/or fat. If you’re clean bulking, add 1-3 grams of carbohydrate for every gram of protein. If you’re cutting or maintaining, add 0-1 grams of carbs for every gram of protein.
Intra-workout is automatically more complicated simply because you likely don’t want to eat mid-workout, and slurping down a thick protein shake between sets can be nauseating when you’re crushing a tough leg session. Fortunately for all of us, science has discovered that leucine is the single most potent activator of muscle anabolism, so as long as you get enough leucine, you can tip the scales of anabolism in your favor. However, there is one more step to this process. You can’t synthesize muscle proteins without all of the other amino acids present because while leucine is a signal, the other aminos are the material that forms the protein. 6 grams of protein with 3 grams of leucine has been proven to be just as effective as a full serving of protein and much easier to sip between sets.
Getting the essential amino acids from protein is, well, essential. Some of the nonessential amino acids make important contributions to intra-workout nutrition as well. Amino acids like alanine and glutamine can “trick” the body into thinking it has already broken down muscle tissue, thereby preventing catabolism of precious mass during exercise. Taurine is an amino acid that has been found to improve blood flow and angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the creation of new blood vessels to produce a more vascular look.
Whey protein, leucine, and other amino acids are all found in IntraMax! But that’s not all! L-Alanyl L-Glutamine enhances nutrient absorption and delays fatigue to squeeze out rep after rep. GlycerPump and creatine are the ultimate muscle hydrators for insane pumps. Betaine enhances oxygen delivery to active muscle tissue to keep your energy up all workout long. IntraMax has each of these effective ingredients and never compromises on taste or how easy it is to drink while training. Although IntraMax is designed to be an intra-workout, it can be taken before, during, or after to jump start anabolism and get more out of every training session. It doesn’t get much better than that! IntraMax is THE number one choice for peri-workout nutrition.