A quick update for those of you who have followed my blog for a while: Eighteen months later and I have still maintained my weight loss, workout almost daily and follow a healthy nutritional regiment (diet). Approaching age 52, I am in the best physical shape I’been in since my early 20s. Even more, despite the natural tendency to lose muscle mass as men age, I not only have maintained it, but have increased both my strength and size while dropping my total body fat percentage. No growth hormone, no anabolic steroids, just hard work, diet, and supplements.
Often I may look like one of those crazy guys at the gym working out without a rest in between sets, switching between exercises, and dripping sweat everywhere. A 90-minute or two-hour workout, burning 1,000 calories is not unusual. So what helps me? I am a believer in my pre-workout drink to which I add branch chain amino acids as well.
Whatever pre-workout you use most contains some form of caffeine and a source of nitric oxide to vasodilate, increasing blood flow to the muscles. Additional ingredients might include other muscle active components such as creatine, tuarine and amino acids. My favorite pre-workout drink is Dymamtize Xpand. It’s a good idea to start drinking 30 minutes before your workout. I also like to continue drinking it during the first part of my workout. Adding branch chain amino acids to it is good, or for a long workout I will put some aminos in my second bottle of water along with some Karbolyn for carbs.
I also add a source of complex carbs such as brown rice or Wasa Bread with peanut butter before I go to the gym. This helps to ensure steady energy throughout the workout. There are no ‘low blood sugar’ feelings no matter how long my workout continues.
Branched Chain Aminos
Don’t forget the branched chain aminos for hard workouts. They help prevent your body from burning your own muscle protein for energy as you use up your glycogen stores. This regimen has worked for me and has kept me ahead of our three teenage boy athletes in terms of lifting strength, but they are catching up fast.
Article By Jeff Pearl, MD
Dr. Jeff is a trained general, pediatric cardiac, and transplant surgeon. Nutrition has always been an important concern for surgeons in regards to patients healing from surgery. He has had a longstanding interest in health, nutrition and supplements, and been an advocate of the use of nutrition and supplements in the hospital setting to aid in his patient’s recovery. He has a history of basic science and clinical research and a keen ability to interpret studies and statistics to determine their true significance. He is the father and step-father to several teenage athletes and knows firsthand the challenges they face in balancing their time, eating habits and use of supplements. He is adamant about trying to educate our youth about better nutrition. Dr. Jeff recognizes the challenges that healthcare faces and the need for people to take charge of their own health and disease prevention. He loves being outside and is one of those crazy few seen hiking or biking in the middle of the day in summer.