My Workout Supplement Stack
The stack I've zeroed in on for great workouts and recovery. Supplement Stack series part 4/5.
Supplement Stack series:
My Afternoon (Workout) Supplement Stack
In part 2 of this series, I took you through all the supplements I take in the morning, including Athletic Greens AG1, Designs for Sport Collagen Complete, and Adapted Nutrition Keto K1000 Electrolyte Powder.
In part 3 of this series, I took you through all the supplements I take with my lunch, including Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Omega 3, and CoQ10.
In this part, I’ll take you through what I take pre and post my afternoon workout. I usually eat a pretty light lunch around 12:00 pm and do a strength and conditioning workout around 4 pm, 3 days a week (M/W/F).
I’ve been weight training for 30 years now. When I was younger, my main focus was on ensuring my workouts were super intense and that my muscles got everything they needed to grow. That meant often using strong pre-workout energy powders, BCAAs, and a lot of whey protein. As I’ve gotten older (I’m 44 now), I’ve gained an appreciation for the importance of focusing on my connective tissue, avoiding injury, and not feeling like I got hit by a bus after my workouts. That means a lot more mobility work, including supplements like collagen, and not going full throttle at every exercise in the session.
60 minutes before I work out, I take the below supplements, and I then do a 15-20 minute mobility session. So if I’m working out at 4 pm, I take my pre-workout stack at 3 pm and then do my mobility routine at 3:40 pm.
SuperStarch is a complex carbohydrate or starch that is completely absorbed. It is semi-resistant to digestion but is eventually completely absorbed into the bloodstream, giving it a slow time-released absorption profile. Because of the low glycemic impact, there is also little stimulation of insulin following ingestion, which I’ve verified a number of times for myself while using a CGM.
I’ve found that I have excellent energy for my workouts, and UCAN has been proven in independent clinical trials to improve your body’s metabolic response to exercise.
Caffeine is the tried-and-true pre-workout stimulant. Studies have shown that caffeine can benefit endurance performance, high-intensity exercise, and power sports. A lot of products have way too much caffeine and a lot of other “rubbish” in them. HVMN Sprint has 200 mg of caffeine, 200 mg of Theanine, and 400 mg of Panax Ginseng.
Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that‘s found in the tea plant and attenuates some of the stimulating effects of caffeine, resulting in an increase in energy and focus without some of the jittery side effects and the “crash” associated with the consumption of larger doses of caffeine. Theanine has also been shown in studies to increase nitric oxide production, which helps increase blood flow.
Panax Ginseng also helps with energy and has beneficial effects on blood pressure. A growing body of research backs up this herb's ability to increase exercise performance by increasing energy and delaying fatigue.
I’ve found HVMN Sprint gives me a great energy boost without any jitters, and I don’t crash a few hours later.
Designs for Sport Collagen Complete contains 5g of Fortigel®, 2.5g of Verisol®, and 5g of Fortibone®. Fortigel has been shown to reduce post-exercise joint discomfort in athletes and to improve collagen in joints, cartilage structure, and tendon strength and elasticity. Fortibone has been shown to improve bone mineral density, and Verisol is great for your skin and nails.
Consuming it an hour before working out theoretically helps get it to your connective tissue because there’s an increase in blood flow to those tissues (that otherwise have little blood flow) during training. I haven’t found any studies to back this up, but on days I do weight training, I like to get an extra serving of collagen in any way, and the theory makes logical sense.
I also use this in My Morning Supplement Stack. Qualitatively, I have noticed a material decrease in joint aches when I use this product consistently.
Post-exercise nutrition is important. The stimulus of training triggers signaling pathways within muscle cells that allow for enhanced muscle protein synthesis rates. These pathways do not stay active for very long, so there is a window of opportunity post-exercise in which one can significantly increase the effects of ingested nutrients.
I tend to wait about 20 mins after my workout, but no more than 40 mins, and then consume the following:
The Designs for Sport Hydolyzed Iso-Whey Protein is a great-tasting protein powder with unique benefits beyond standard whey protein.
“Hydrolyzed” means the protein has been broken down into more of the important di and tri-peptide protein molecules, known to play a key factor in protein synthesis, the muscle-building process in the body. These forms of proteins are more easily absorbed and enter the bloodstream more quickly, allowing you to better take advantage of the increased protein synthesis rates post-exercise.
A study published in the Journal of Science in Medicine and Sports found that subjects consuming hydrolyzed whey isolate post-workout experienced better recovery and performance, shortly after an intense muscle-damaging session, in comparison with those consuming whey isolate.
Another reason for the muscle-supporting effects of whey is its high leucine content, which activates the mechanistic target of mTOR to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
You can read about the experiment I did where I added 3.5 lbs of lean mass in 6 weeks by increasing my supplemental protein intake in this post.
Additionally, whey protein has also been found to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and metabolic health. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses found that whey supplementation reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar levels, HbA1c, insulin, homeostasis assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), triglycerides, and total cholesterol, in addition to improving body composition.
I drink 3.5 to 4 liters (135 oz) of water on non-workout days and try to get in an extra liter on days I work out. Given the loss of electrolytes through sweat and the volume of water I’m consuming, it’s important to replenish my electrolytes.
When it comes to electrolytes for hydration support, you want to ensure you get enough sodium and balance it with potassium and magnesium. LMNT Electrolytes have the ideal ratio of sodium (1,000 mg), magnesium (60 mg), and potassium (200 mg), and they taste pretty great too.
I’ll take you through my evening supplement stack in my next post.
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