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Vitamin D3, Ashwagandha and supplements actually worth your time and money 🤓

📰 Edition#6

In the world of fitness, there are a lot of supplements that are thrown in front of your eyes. A magical, secret formula that will get you where you want to go. Those old enough, do you remember Space Jam? The “Secret Stuff” was just water 💡.

However there are supplements that work, in today’s newsletter we will go over some for your consideration, how much and when? As always, with scientific literature, we want everything evidence based dont we?

The Main Three 3️⃣

Protein, Creatine and Caffeine, we will discuss these three more in depth below. Why, How much and when?

First here are some others for your consideration 💭

Fish Oils 🐟 - We Specifically want the EPA and DHA from these supplements. Most western diets are deficient in EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids). This has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, poor cognition and even depression ➡️ (Luo et al., 2020). A joint FAO and WHO expert consultation which you can read HERE, state safe consumption of 3g of EPA + DHA per day, but recommend 2g per Day.

Vitamin D3 ☀️ - Most of us are deficient in Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin! A review in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning by (Chiang et al., 2017) found that Vitamin D3 had a positive impact on muscle strength.

Ashwagandha 🪴 - A study by (Wankhede et al., 2015) found positive results on muscle size and strength with ashwagandha supplementation. Another study found it had positive effects on reducing cortisol with taking 300 mg doses twice a day (Chandrasekhar et al., 2012). Its positive effects on muscle size and strength in the above study may be linked to its effects of lowering elevated cortisol levels 🤔.

Protein 🥩

Before we go into the the nuance of protein, protein shakes should only be consumed to help you reach your daily protein intake levels. Not replace food. If you struggle to reach your daily protein goals it’s definitely worth your money.

Not to teach you how to suck eggs, but for those who don’t know, protein is an essential macronutrient, it’s made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of your body.

Consuming Protein triggers Muscle Protein Synthesis, which is the metabolic process that helps you recover, build and maintain muscle. (Stokes et al, 2018)

So we know protein is essential, we not only need it to helps us recover from training and build muscle, we also need it for daily function.

Which protein sources, when and how much?

Here’s a brief overview ⤵️

  • Protein has a comparison score based on how well it digests in your body, how much you can actually use and it’s amino acid profile. It’s called the DIAAS score. You want complete sources of protein. You can read a full in depth article we wrote on this HERE. Vegans may want to check this out as a lot of plant protein sources aren’t complete sources.

  • The majority of scientific literature leans towards a daily protein intake of 1.5-1.8g per kg of bodyweight to be sufficient, (Morton et al., 2017) & (Hoffman et al., 2006).

  • On a cut or calorie restriction diet and want to retain all that lean muscle mass? A study by (Phillips & Van Loon, 2011) found that protein intakes of 1.8-2g per kg of bodyweight may be beneficial for you.

  • 20g-25g of protein per meal should be sufficient at stimulating MPS, with up to 40g per meal only marginally improving this. (Witard et al., 2013) & (Macnaughton et al., 2016)

  • Older Adults may need more protein to gain the same MPS response as younger adults, (Churchward-Venne et al., 2016)

  • When? (Stokes et al., 2018) found that consuming protein every 3-5 hours was sufficient at stimulating MPS.

You can read more in depth about when to consume and how much in our full length article ➡️ HERE.

Creatine 🤓

The world’s most studied natural sports supplement. Found in red meat and some seafood, and is also made in our own bodies in the kidneys and liver.

Creatine has a vital role in our cellular energy production as Phosphocreatine, through helping regenerate ATP (Primarily used in short, high intensity work). By adding extra supplemental creatine it allows an increase in our phosphocreatine stores, replenishes our spent ATP quicker and improves performance (Casey & Greenhaff, 2000).

(Rawson & Volek, 2003) carried out a meta-analysis looking at 22 studies and found that supplementing creatine with resistance training saw an 8% increase in strength over the placebo group.

(Kaviani et al., 2019) & (CRIBB et al., 2007) also found similar positive results in their studies in strength increases and muscle growth.

How much? 3-6g per day is the general recommendation from the scientific evidence. However a study by (Cooper et al., 2012), suggests 0.1g of creatine per kg of bodyweight. From personal experience I have found the 0.1g recommendation to be most beneficial for me.

When? (CRIBB & HAYES, 2006) carried out a study around timing of ingestion and found the group consuming creatine pre and post workout had greater gains, than the group consuming creatine morning and evening. Suggesting ingestion around your workout to be slightly more beneficial.

Dr. Ken Springer over at Statisfied Newsletter, will be breaking down a new study this week on thursday, which looks at whether creatine can offset the metabolic effects and cognitive decline associated with sleep deprivation. You can check this out here ⬇️

Caffeine 💤

The majority trend of scientific literature finds benefits to caffeine consumption on performance, a few studies have shown to have very little to no benefit. So it can be somewhat controversial.

I personally find caffeine an aid to my performance.

In January 2021, the journal of international society of sports nutrition (mouth full isn’t it) published a review by (Guest et al., 2021). In the review they state that with the current literature available, caffeine has consistently been shown to improve performance with a does of 2-6mg per kg of bodyweight. Note - mg not grams!

Caffeine can improve performance by reducing your perceived exertion rate, increasing reaction times and boosting alertness (Martins et al., 2020)

It can only take 2-4 days of regularly consuming 50-100mg of caffeine to develop a tolerance. Which then means you have to keep consuming more in order to get the same positive effects, so it’s recommended to start at the lower end of the 3-6 mg scale.

(Drake et al., 2013) found that 400mg of caffeine taken upto 6 hours before bed can severely disrupt sleep, reducing total sleep time by 1 hour. Sleep is more important for recovery and performance than caffeine is to aid that late night workout.

Discount Code 💸 

For those of you in the UK, Healf stock top brands such as Momentus, LMNT & Thorne. They also have a section of approved supplements by Dr.Andrew Huberman.

Click the link below and enter StrengthFramework at the checkout for 10% off. ⬇️

If you’re enjoying the information in this newsletter, why not check out Level One Nutrition! ⬇️

Level One NutritionGet the skills to master your nutrition delivered in one 5-minute email per week.

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Unfortunately taking all of these won’t magically turn you into Dwayne overnight 😭.

Until next week, Happy Lifting!