Bodybuilding supplements with resistance training

Supplements: why timing is all

An important new study from Australia has shown for the first time that taking a protein/creatine/glucose bodybuilding supplement immediately before and after resistance training leads to significantly greater improvements in strength and body composition than taking the same supplement at other times of the day.

Twenty-three recreational male body-builders completed 10 weeks of structured, supervised resistance exercise training, taking a protein/creatine/glucose supplement (1g per kg of body weight twice daily on training days only) under two different conditions:

  • One group took their supplements immediately before and after their four-weekly workouts;
  • The other group took the same supplements first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

The researchers tracked changes in 1rep max (RM) strength, body composition and the vastus lateralis muscle in the frontal thigh before and after the 10 weeks of training.

They found that the body-builders who took their supplements before and after workouts showed significantly greater improvements in 1RM strength and body composition (ie an increase in lean body mass and a decrease in body fat percentage) than those who took them at either end of the day.

‘We conclude’, they said, ‘that supplement timing represents a simple but effective strategy to enhance the adaptations that are desired from [resistance] training.’

Med Sci Sports Exerc, vol 38, no 11, pp1918-1925

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