Blog

BrainZyme Elite Review

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, where we discuss all thing optimisation. Today’s post is a review of one of my fave UK supplement companies, Brainzyme.

In view of full transparency, I am an affiliate of Brainzyme but none the less I will give you an honest assessment of their product as a nootropic. Just to clarify exactly what I mean by nootropic, which is used interchangeably with names such as smart drugs, cognitive enhancers or, my personal favourites; ‘brain pills’. It’s essentially anything that can improve focus, memory and productivity. This can include coffee for example up to the more powerful pharmaceutical nootropics such as Modafinil.

Now, there are some great nootropics out on the market, so when I first came into contact with Brainzyme, I desperately wanted it to be good. After all, it’s a UK based company so wanted to show the love!

So my first experience was with Brainzyme’s regular product; Brainzyme Original. I was hugely impressed by the all natural ingredient list but the results were not mind blowing, or at least not enough to move me away from previously tried products. I give a full review here which also details the ingredient list further; https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2017/10/22/nootropics-what-they-are-what-to-look-for-and-the-brainzyme-review/

I think it’s important at this point to also note the importance of managing expectations. Nootropics can be really powerful in terms of their potential for positive impact on productivity and output, but for me, this can be more noted by reflection on a 30 minute stretch that went by without any clock watching, or just noticing today seems to be a day you’re really firing on all cylinders. If your expecting a huge change in perception or altered state of consciousness, you’ll likely be a tad disappointed, (sorry).

Anyways, back to the task at hand. So my initial take on Brainzyme was a little luke warm. That was until my first pack of Brainzyme Elite hit the table. Although I was disappointed that it included choline bitartrate not CDP choline, Alpha GPC, or centrophenoxine, it did however have a number of other ‘all natural’ ingredients that were not present in the ingredients for the original product.

Panax ginseng and Ginko leaf extract were of particular interest. Both can act as powerful antioxidants and could as such could protect the brain against damage caused by free radicals. Ginseng is thought to improve brain functions like memory, behavior and mood with Ginko leaf extract also being linked with similar neuro improvements.

So the Elite did hit the spot. Think finding ‘the zone’. I found I would be processing and accessing information in my brain far more effectively when using it without getting the jitters that over consuming coffee does!

Ive found Elite to be one impressive in a range of different contexts from work, to an evening course I’m doing, to my martial arts training. I particularly like using the it for Brazilian Jujitsu or Muay Thai training sessions as it helps me take in technical information. I also like actually stacking them with other supplements such as Beta Alanine and Creatine, or, a pre workout cup of coffee!

So overall, it’s definitely worth a shot and definitely worth using outside of the usual realms of study and productivity. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and for a cheeky 10% off, use code WHATSUPP at checkout on the Brainzyme home page.

Cheap Eat Recipe – Vanilla & Almond Grain Free Cup Cakes

Welcome back to a super tasty and affordable nutrient dense recipe. Today’s offering is a low calorie, gluten and grain free treat.

This recipe offers protein, carbohydrates and fat in a low calorie package. Try mixing and matching different nut butters for a varied taste.

Ingredients

– 2 ripe bananas

– 2 large eggs

– 2 heaped tbsp of almond butter (or nut butter of choosing)

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

Optional

– Cocoa nibs/Pumpkin, Poppy and/or Sunflower seeds

Method

– Combine all ingredients in a blender, blending till no lumps can be seen

– Add nibs or seeds and stir for even distribution in mixture

– Grease a cup cake tin and fill evenly

– Place I’m preheated oven at 200c for around 8-10 minutes

– Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving

How to Spice up your Coffee – A Few Simple Additions

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, where we discuss all things optimisation. Today’s post will strike a cord with a fairly high percentage of the population; coffee. I won’t bang on about the various health promoting benefits of coffee, (and there are indeed a number), but rather I’ll give you a few options to pimp out your coffe like a pro.

So I’m going to run through a few additions. You can try singularly or mix and match. Let me know how you get on!

Right, first up;

1. Salt

While adding salt to coffee might sound just plain wrong, it’s actually a simple hack that will cut the bitterness of coffee and add a pleasant “salted caramely-ness” to your fave hot morning get-me-up.

Just add a few granules of salt – ideally coarse sea salt – to your coffee grinds before using your preferred brewing method.

2. Rosemary

Fresh rosemary is another mind-blowing addition to a fresh cup of coffee. In addition to providing a delicious piney flavor, this herb also infuses coffee with extra antioxidants and concentration & mood boosting properties.

Take a 3-inch sprig of fresh rosemary, slide your hand down the stem to shuck off the leaves, add the leaves to your coffee grounds, and proceed with your brewing process.

3. Orange Peel

Combining citrus and coffee may seem like a mortal sin, but in places like Italy, espresso is often served with a lemon or orange peel on the side. Adding orange brightens the coffee’s flavor, counteracts the bitterness, and adds a pleasant citrus scent. Orange peels also have even higher levels of vitamin C than the flesh, so this is a great recipe to try when your immune system needs a boost.

Grab an orange and zest the peel until you have about a teaspoon of orange zest, then add the zest to the coffee grounds and brew as usual for a citrusy-chocolatey goodness.

4. Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice commonly used in the Middle East, most notably in sweet and savory recipes like garam masala, chai tea, and Turkish coffee. When added to coffee, it creates a spicy & sweet combination that warms you straight to your soul. Cardamom is also a powerhouse spice that touts potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

Simply add a few pinches of ground cardamom to your brewed cup of coffee. Or if you’re really feelin’ fancy, you can add the whole pods to your whole coffee beans before grinding.

5. Ginger

Ginger is in the same family of spices as cardamom and lends a similar warming property to your morning coffee. Ginger is widely known as a digestive aid and is soothing to the GI tract. If you’re someone that struggles with tummy troubles and coffee, you might want to try this method.

Before brewing, add 1 tsp ground ginger or a few slices of fresh ginger root to your coffee grounds.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that touts an incredible array of health benefits, with a great capacity to support recovery and joint health.

Turmeric doesn’t taste that good in coffee. Sorry. But it does add some awesome health benefits. Try throwing in a ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric to your coffee grounds before brewing. If that sounds a tad hardcore, add a good coconut milk creamer to your brewed coffee, and then sprinkle in some ground turmeric for a golden milk-esque experience.

7. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil not only adds an interesting winter feel to coffee, it can also aid digestion, and the aroma is known to reduce stress and promote mental clarity and alertness.

Proceed with caution though people. Peppermint oil is potent stuff. Just add a single, measly drop to your coffee grinds and brew as usual. If you don’t want to overdo it on the minty-ness, opt for a brewing method that uses a paper filter. And make sure you’re using food grade peppermint essential oil that’s safe for ingestion.

8. Cayenne

Cayenne is another interesting coffee addition, but it’s clearly not meant for the faint-hearted coffee lover. Capsaicin, the main component in cayenne peppers that gives them a spicy kick, is known to increase circulation, suppress appetite, and may even boost metabolism.

To harness cayenne’s fiery flavor, drop in a tiny pinch of ground cayenne pepper to your grounds before brewing.

9. Vanilla-Flavored Ice Cubes

Pure vanilla, aside from tasting and smelling pretty good, touts health benefits ranging from improving anxiety and depression, lowering cholesterol, and even reducing fevers.

To make the ice cubes, combine 6 ounces of almond or coconut milk, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, and (optional) 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup. Add the mixture to an ice cube tray, and let it sit in the freezer overnight. The next morning, brew your coffee as usual, let it cool, and then add ice cubes.

Ok then, hope you feel inspired. Please leave a comment and give a like if there was anything of use in there for you!

Collagen – For Sport Injuries and Overall Health

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, where we go deep into how and with what to supplement your life with. Today’s subject is collagen. Collagen is on of the most important substances in your body as it not only keeps you looking young and fresh, but literally holds you together.

Collagen is especially important for those who are doing a lot of physical training and/or are recovering from injury. I’ll lay out a specific strategy for you later in the post.

Firstly, a few pointers on buying collagen, what to be aware of;

Types

As more collagen powders pop up on the market, you might be wondering what are the differences between collagen types 1, 2, and 3, with different products repotting different ratios. This obviously begs the question which type of collagen to buy for what.

Here’s a quick summary of these different types of collagen:

Type 1 Collagen: Over 90% of the collagen in the human body is type I. Minimise fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration. Not only does it help rebuild your muscles, eyes, bones, and spine, it’s also good for strengthening your nails and helping you grow stronger, thicker hair. Type 1 collagen is most abundant in marine collagen.

Type 2 Collagen: Makes up a majority of the protein molecules in your cartilage, the connective tissue that protects your bones at the joints, in your spinal disks, and your eyes, making it a potent way to support joint health. One of the best sources is bone broth.

Type 3 Collagen: Is found in large quantities in your intestines, muscles, blood vessels, and the uterus. It’s most often used with type I collagen for gut healing and to improve skin elasticity and hydration. Bovine collagen peptides is a great source of type 1 and 3 collagen.

Does it matter?

So, this explains how we should prioritise buying our collagen? Wrong. While 28 different types of collagen do exist, which are differentiated by where in the body it’s sourced and its amino acid structure, they are all still the same protein. So in short, when you ingest collagen, you’re rebuilding all of your own collagen in the body, not just Type 1, 2 or 3, but every type.

As far as what to look for instead, the best advice is to find out where the collagen is being sourced from. If it’s China, buyer beware. Collagen sourced from China is often really cheap and just not up to the standards of higher quality collagen from Europe for example.

When purchasing a collagen product, ensure you but hydrolysed collagen as it has the best absorption in the body. Bone broth can be an excellent source but there are some dangers. The bones are where animals keep their heavy metals, so there can be a concern about led toxicity. This really highlights the need to ensure the quality of bones being used, (eg organic, grass fed, etc), or if buying store sold bone broth, a need to check for led quantities, (I know, probably easier said than done).

Timing & Quality

So there is an excellent episode on the equally excellent ‘We do Science’ podcast with Prof Kieth Baar. Kieth details that a 15-20 grams serving of collagen is the sweet spot to support healing. There is currently no evidence that this quantity should go up relative to body mass and/or training load.

Next we have the all important timing. Digest the collagen before exercise at around 40 minutes to 1 hour prior. This is the same if doing a rehab session. You ingest 40 mins to 1 hour before. Be mindful to keep the rehabilitation sessions short by the way. The tendons/connective tissues respond to very few loads and stop responding altogether after 5/10 mins.

Vitamin C

So here’s an absolute essential if you want to harness any healing power from collagen. Vitamin C acts as co factor (proline 4-hydroxylase) to collagen synthesis. The sooner there’s vitamin C in your day, the sooner collagen synthesis can begin.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that’s needed daily in the diet. It will be completely depleted after an overnight fast so it’s essential to get in either prior to the consumption of collagen or at the same time.

Either ensure you have a vitamin C rich meal prior to collagen supplement (such as kale or oranges) or supplement with 45-48 mg of a vitamin c supplement. Be aware the importance of taking a vitamin C supplement injury or not and aim daily for this amount to support collagen synthesis in the body if you’re not getting vitamin C rich food in your diet.

A word or warning though, vitamin C is incredibly heat sensitive and sun exposure can spoil supplemental form, so think about where you are storing it. Similarly, don’t over boil your veg as this will also kill it off!

Ok, hope you’ve found something interesting here. Please like, share and leave s comment! Till next time.

Which Daily Supplements to Choose? Tips from the experts – 3 min read

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, your first stop for life supplementing tips and tricks. Today’s post is going to be a short collection of tips and choices I’ve picked out regarding supplements for general health and well-being.

I’ve recorded these over the years from podcasts and books, on occasion noting the expert whose advised and on occasion not. Hopefully there might be something that is of use, if so let me know in the comments!

So first up is a few general tips on quality control. If choosing any supplemental mineral look for a chelated form as it passes the blood brain barrier (most will end with a A). On top of this, avoid buying oxide minerals (ex zinc oxide) as these are the poorest of qualities.

Many multi vitamins often get (rightly) slated due to their poor quality. If you want a good one you can trust, try the multi vitamin O.N.E by pure encapsulations.

Next up, one for my American cousins, or anyone purchasing supplements from the states. When buying supplements from the US, look if they are USP and/or NSF certified. This is for quality assurance.

Rhonda Patrick, of Joe Rogan fame, is a big proponent of Vitamin D. This is especially for those who aren’t getting much daily sunshine. She advises 4000 IUs taken with a vitamin k2 supplement as a good daily dosage. Vitamin k2 has been seen to aid in blood clotting, heart health and bone health.Elsewhere Vitamin k2 has been advised at 100 micrograms ever other day, so maybe play about with it.

Reducing inflammation, especially low level systemic inflammation is a must. Curcumin has been famed for its anti inflammatory efforts within the body, but it all comes down to how well it can actually be absorbed. Try Curcumin muriva as it’s reported to have the best bioavailability. A good brand, also via Rhonda Patrick’s advice, is Thorn.

Keeping in line with with reducing inflammation, got one for your brain. Omega 3 fatty acids are abundant in fatty fish but more palatable in supplement form. Try 2 grams a day from either herring roe or krill oil. There has been some controversy about these supplements often becoming oxidised thus negating any potential benefit. Try Nordic naturals brand.

Some of the health dangers of highly processed seed oils and how they negatively effect you when oxidised, have also been well published. Author of best sellers the salt fix and longevity solution; James DiNicolantonio, advises a dose of 5 grams of glycine & and 6 grams of spirulina. Taken before consumption this may serve to counter the affects of being exposed to them, such as at a restaurant for example.

Talking of the the all natural super supplement that is spirulina, when purchasing its best to ensure it’s been produced from Taiwan and grown outdoors. To learn more about this supplemental power house algae, read this previous post; https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2017/06/30/snack-hack-8-spirulina-the-superfood-pond-scum/

Super life author Darin Olien gave his top two supplements – coffee fruit & tumerone. Coffee fruit contains chemicals called procyanidins which are known to protect brain cells, as well as a unique profile of polyphenols that may well relate to its ability to raise Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, (BDNF) so dramatically. Tumerone is a natural compound found in turmeric and is showing pretty impressive results for its ability to aid stem cells and brain growth.

Ok, last off we have probiotics. The gut health promoting effects of these support everything from mental health to immune function. The daddy of the all? VSL number 3 probiotic, unflavoured, recommendation via Dr Rhonda Patrick again. For a little more on probiotics and prebiotics, check this short previous post; https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2017/04/27/snack-hacks-5-prebiotics-vs-probiotics/

Alrighty, hope there’s a few tips to help you on your way. Till next time.

Cheap Eat Recipes – Low Carb/Keto Chocolate Pudding

Welcome back to the Cheap Eat Recipe series. Today’s recipe is a satiating low sugar containing desert that is as simple as they come and the perfect addition to not just a low carb or ketogenic meal plan, but pretty much for anyone with a pulse.

The main recipe is tinned coconut milk but you can make it using double cream too. The other key ingredient is 100% cocoa powder. Raw cacao is packed full of antioxidants and can be truly beneficial when taken in moderation. Check out this old post for more information around the impressive power of cocoa; https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2017/03/05/chocolate-a-superfood/

Ingredients

– 400g coconut milk(put the tin in the fridge overnight if you remember)

– 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

– 1 teaspoon stevia (optional)

– 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or pure vanilla seeds)

– Pinch of decent quality salt

To serve: Cocoa nibs & fresh berries (both optional)

Directions

1. Whisk the coconut milk until all combined and add the stevia* and vanilla.

2. In another bowl sift together the cacao powder and salt and fold into the coconut mix.

3. Dish in small bowls or silicone cupcake moulds. Leave this to chill for at least 2 hours to let firm up.

4. Serve with fresh fruits and cacao nibs. They are very moorish so you’ve been warned!

* You can replace the stevia by 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Ben Greenfield’s Fasting Protocol – 2 minute read

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog and the ‘what the experts say’ series. Today’s short read will be curtesy of fitness trainer and bio hacker supreme, Mr Ben Greenfield. This plan was discussed particularly with longevity in mind, trying to strike a balance with regular heavy training and the nutritional strategies that requires.

I’ve done a few tips from Ben, particularly how to cook the perfect steak, so have a look! (https://whatsuppblogblog.com/2018/11/24/ben-greenfields-recipe-for-cooking-the-perfect-steak/).

Right, so Ben is a serious proponent of intermittent fasting which has been seen to have a number of healthy effects on longevity. Here are the standout points from his weekly eating plan:

– A daily 12 to 16 hour fast. So this would include an overnight fast and could likely look something like stopping eating or drinking anything other than water after 8pm then breaking the fast anywhere between 8am and 12pm the following day.

– One 24 hour fast a week. He stated this will typically be Saturday after dinner in the evening to Sunday dinner time.

– Meatless Monday. So this is a pretty self explanatory one. Ben has discussed the reduction of protein reducing oxidative damage thus improving longer term cellar health. He also has spoken about reducing protein on low training volume days to 0.5 grams per pound of body weight (around 1.1 grams per kg of bw) as well as cutting it out one day a week.

Ben has also previously advised, in regards to protein intake, 0.7/0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight (or around 1.4/1.7 g/kg of bw) for active people when training hard. Highlighting research saying that there’s not much effect from having over this.

on a more general note, from what I’ve heard and read from bed he essentially follows a “paleo” type diet with focus on whole foods, grass fed/wild caught fish & meats, offfal, fermented foods and plenty of veg, particularly cruciferous vegetables. He doesn’t exclude carbs and even enjoys homemade sourdough bread!

Ok, hope this helps! Please like, share and leave a comment.

What is an Adaptogen? 2 Minute Read

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog, the one stop shop for total human optimisation! So today’s post is just a brief and simple one. People of the world, I give you.. the adaptogen.

Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants: They help balance, restore and protect the body. Adaptogens are herbs and fungi that help your body to adapt and I’ll go on to list some of the common ones below. Firstly though let’s break down what makes an adaptogen what it is. Most importantly they help your body deal with stress so you can swap being stressed, tiered and overworked for:

• Restored balance

• Energy

• Resilience to occasional stress

Adaptogens help the body’s own ability to heal. There are 3 rules that an adaptogen must adhere to to be classified as such. These are;

1. It must be safe in normal doses and not addictive, (for example, the opposite of how coffee works!).

2. It’s none specific and as such, works multiple body parts.

3. It has the ability to modelate, meaning it enhances. An adaptogen is not inherently a stimulant and not inherently a sedative or suppressant.

Right, so there are the 3 essential components, here are some examples of adaptogens you can purchase when your out and about:

– Panax Ginseng

– Holy Basil

– Ashwagandha

– Astragalus root

– Licorice root

– Rhodiola

– Cordycep mushrooms

– Reishi mushrooms

– Chaga mushrooms

Alright, hope this has inspired some deeper reading and research on what is an essential for the rigours of modern living.

Take Your Training to the Next Level – Beta Alanine

Welcome back to the What Supp Blog! The one stop shop when it comes to optimising body and mind. Today’s post will be looking at a super supplement that has the potential to super charge your athletic performance. That supplement be beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is a particularly awesome choice for athletes as it works to reduce fatigue during intense exercise and enhance muscular endurance.

Beta-alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine, and is a non essential amino acid. Unlike most amino acids, it is not used by your body to synthesise proteins for the likes of building and repairing muscle. Instead, together with histidine, it produces the molecule carnosine.

How

Carnosine is stored in cells and released in response to drops in pH within the muscle, helping to combat fatigue. Carnosine maintains the pH and has a buffering effect against the effects of lactic acid created from, for example, high intensity exercise. Carnosine can even protect against diet-induced drops in pH which could occur, for instance, from ketone production in ketosis.

In your muscles, histidine levels are normally high and beta-alanine levels low, which limits the production of carnosine. When beta-alanine is ingested, it turns into carnosine and works by subsequently increasing your muscle’s carnosine store. Supplementing with beta-alanine has been shown to elevate carnosine levels in muscles by 80%!

Exercise

Beta-alanine supplementation is best suited to moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performance, such as rowing or sprinting. However, research also shows beta-alanine has the power to improve weightlifting, increase muscle growth and enhance endurance performance with studies showing that it helps increase your time to exhaustion. Although it is most associated for exercise lasting one to four minutes, it’s still worth digging into for endurance minded athletes.

Nutrition

Beta alanine can be found in Both animal and fish produce such as turkey, chicken and prawns.

However, the amounts of beta-alanine found in the diet are not comparable with that found in supplement form. You will not see the same performance enhancement effects from food sources as those found with supplementing it. However consuming beta-alanine with a meal can further increase your carnosine levels.

Dosage

In regards to dosing I’ve read different information stating standard dosage of beta-alanine is 2–5 grams daily, to another saying 4.8 grams per day is optimal. The great ‘must listen’ Guru Performance podcast did a feature on it and advised a split dose of 2 grams, 4 times a day for a minimum of 4 weeks. I have particularly had success with this protocol.

When supplementing be aware that a minimum 2 weeks , but more like 4 weeks, is required in order to see an impact. This is also with consistent use, so don’t be fooled that you’ll see a impact on performance just from consuming it as a one off as part of a shop bought pre workout formula.

Stacking

Beta-alanine can be staked. There is some research that it can be favourably paired with creatine and sodium bicarbonate.

Creatine helps high-intensity exercise performance by increasing ATP availability. When used together, creatine and beta-alanine have been shown to benefit exercise performance, strength and lean muscle mass.

Sodium bicarbonate,or baking soda, enhances exercise performance by reducing acid in your blood and muscles.Many studies have examined beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate in combination.The results suggest some benefits from combining the two supplements, especially during exercises in which muscle acidosis inhibits performance.

Beta alanine however does not go to well with the amino acid taurine and may deplete the body’s taurine stores as they may compete for uptake. This could be of importance if you’re taking beta alanine as part of a pre formulated pre-workout drink as they often include taurine due to its speculated stimulating effects, (which has been disproved anyway).

Tingling

Lastly, doses of beta-alanine may cause a tingling feeling called paresthesia. This may be in the neck, face or back of hands. Don’t worry though, it is a harmless side effect, and you don’t have to feel it to be getting the benefits of the supplement!

Alrighty, hope there’s been a couple of takeaways for you. Check out the previous posts for more info on nutrition, supplements and more.

Pre & Post Workout Shake – The Muscle Building Combo

Today’s post is a simple strategy for you to build muscle through optimising your immediate pre and post workout nutrition strategies. This is not to be seen as a replacement to a balanced and targeted nutrition approach, but to simply complement it and ensure you get the most from your workouts.

So initially we have the pre-workout. When purchased, the pre workout will often consist of all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions, but mainly a crazy amount of sugar, taurine and caffeine. I’ll try and keep it pretty basic here with my suggestions though and avoid loading you up with lab synthesised nutrients and other substances.

The focus of the recommendations in this post are primarily in regards to building muscle. However, if you’re planning a particularly long, high-intensity workout with other outcomes to just building muscle, or you are low on fuel and/or you needed a pick me up prior to your exercise, I would advise the addition of a ripe banana and a coffee. These two options will give a spike in energy from the fructose, (sugar), in the banana and caffeine in the coffee. The banana will also add to your stored carbohydrate,(glycogen), and the caffeine can buffer some of the fatigue caused from exercise.

If you’re already fuelled and watching out for additional calories, then look to have a pre work out shake that consists of whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate uses additional processing steps to reduce the fat and carbohydrate content of whey, which is usually around 80% protein and 20% carbohydrates and fats. These steps result also in a higher protein content of around 90%, and sometimes more.

The purpose of consuming the whey isolate pre workout is to avoid any muscle breakdown during the workout and support the accessing of fatty acids for fuel, as opposed to adding additional carbohydrates. Mix your whey protein isolate with a low fat milk or water.

Ok, now post workout. There are mixed opinions about the necessity of having that post workout within the “anabolic window” – the 30 minutes straight after your workout. Now unless you are an elite athlete, this will not have a hugely significant impact, as long as the rest of your nutrition (and specifically protein intake) is on point. However, if wanting to maximise your recovery in preparation for another workout later that day, and (especially in context of this post), build muscle, get a shake in you between 15 and 30 minutes post workout.

Now, to the content of that post workout shake. I advocate a food first approach and this includes the content of your shake. You need some quick absorbing carbohydrates first and foremost. Try grinding Jasmin rice & blueberries in a coffee grinder, (if time allows make the rice pre soaked). Combine this to a fast absorbing protein such as whey or pea protein. Both will help with muscle repair and synthesis. Whey isolate or concentrate are equally good as the types of amino acids found in both forms of whey are virtually identical.

Upon finishing the workout, add the preprepared rice & blueberries to either coconut water or beetroot juice. Coconut water is a good choice due to some simple sugars and potassium content. Beetroot is a good choice as it’s what’s called a vasodilator. This is something that improves blood flow around the body thus supporting recovery.

In regards to amount of rice, for someone weighing 77kg /170 pounds , use 1/2 to 3/4 cup post workout, adjust this a little up and down to meet your specific weight needs. Use just a handful of blueberries as a high level of antioxidants post exercise have been seen to inhibit adaptation. Following your post workout, aim to have a balanced meal around 45 minutes later.

Ok, I hope this has given you some idea and a helpful template to start optimising your pre and post workout regime to build muscle. Till next time.