Written by Nicole DeIorio, Marketing Intern
Zone Health and Fitness offers an array of supplements at the Fuel Zone to meet your workout needs. If your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, Fuel Zone has you covered. While you’re there, try one of the zone’s delicious grab-and-go meal boxes for your busy schedule. It’s perfect for an after-workout snack.
The Fuel Zone is open to the public, so even non-members can enjoy a protein smoothie, wrap, sandwich, or salad. Call us at 352-509-3133 to place a to-go order, or dine in our café.
When you work out, your body breaks the muscles down. Lactic acid builds up within the muscle, but is flushed out about an hour after you finish. Tiny tears form in the muscles and help them grow stronger as they heal.
Post-workout protein consumption helps your body rebuild the muscles you tore down while exercising. You’ve probably heard the importance of protein in a bodybuilders diet. But did you know that everyone needs protein for immune system function, repairing bodily damage, and feeling great about yourself? Bodybuilders that drink protein shakes and bars aren’t the only ones in need of a post-workout boost. If you’re athletic at the gym, park, or with your kids, you need more protein in your diet.
Ideally, the perfect supplement mix for a workout would include protein, creatine, and beta-alanine. Remember to always consult your doctor before introducing a new supplement into your diet.
Protein is important in your diet no matter how athletic you are. Creatine is an incredible post-workout supplement for fatigued muscles. A quick search on Google shows you a thousand reasons why taking creatine is excellent for you, barring no major medical history like kidney problems.
Creatine is an organic acid that helps muscle cells create Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which boosts energy during your workout. It draws water into your muscles to strengthen them and reduce muscle exhaustion. Creatine usage has been known to cause weight gain of ten pounds or more. Read about creatine here.
Beta-alanine enhances muscular endurance. When performing moderate- to high-intensity cardiovascular exercises like running, rowing, or sprinting, it allows the body to operate at peak performance a little longer. It lessens the impact of acid entering the muscle when pH starts to drop and lactic acid builds up in the tissues. Read about beta-alanine here.
For an added boost, try a small dosage of caffeine before a workout. Never take caffeine and creatine together as the caffeine will block the effects of creatine. Caffeine is absorbed within 15 to 45 minutes after consumption, but the effects won’t peak until 30 to 75 minutes. Try drinking your coffee or taking a caffeine pill one hour before your workout.
When considering a protein powder, there are many types on the market, all promising dramatic results in your workout. The healthiest include whey, egg, casein, rice, and pea protein.
Whey protein is taken from milk during the cheese making process when the whey and casein separate. Whey is considered a whole protein with 9 essential amino acids. It’s absorbed the fastest of all protein supplements, which means it increases muscle protein synthesis. It’s considered a fast protein that is classified as anabolic, which stimulates protein synthesis. Whey is low in lactose, so those who are intolerant may still be able to drink it. Whey is excellent for increasing size and strength, while reducing hunger.
Casein protein is just as good as whey. It comes from curds that form as milk coagulates during the cheese making process. Most people are lactose intolerant – and many don’t know it – so be mindful of how your body reacts to consuming this protein supplement. It is digested much slower than whey as an anti-catabolic, so it makes for an excellent pre-bedtime snack. It increases your resting energy expenditure the next morning, which is great for those who work out in the morning.
Egg protein is excellent at stimulating muscle growth. It is digested slower than casein, which means it results in a longer release of amino acids in the blood. This may be conducive to better overall muscle growth. It has little-to-no fat or carbohydrates, too.
The best plant-based proteins are a blend of rice and pea protein. Rice protein has a high biological value, much like beef. Pea protein has just as high of biological value as rice protein, with a high amount of leucine, which is important for muscle growth. Mixing the two protein powders together is often called “vegan’s whey protein” because it’s ideal for muscle growth.
Here’s a list of great supplements to try. Always be mindful of a company’s reputation before purchasing protein supplements from them. Some companies have been found to have low amounts of heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury in their powder.
Remember, the Fuel Zone at Zone East offers discounts on supplements for Premier and Legacy members!
Recharge boasts the best all-around post-workout supplement. Packed with calcium, creatine monohydrate, L-carnitine L-tartrate, and corosolic acid, Recharge has your muscles covered! Plus, it’s gluten-free and vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Egg White Protein Powder comes from dried white eggs and non-gmo chickens. Naked Egg has no additives like sweeteners, flavors, or colors. In fact, it’s made from only two ingredients: Non-GMO Egg Whites and Sunflower Lecithin. It’s also soy, gluten, and dairy free – ideal for those leading a clean diet.
Whey Protein Isolates (WPI) are the purest form of protein that exists on the athletic market. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard uses WPI as the primary ingredient, packing 24 grams of protein into every serving. It has 4 grams of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid and 5 grams of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).
Promising zero artificial ingredients, Ascent Native Casein is the ideal choice for athletic people. It provides a slow and sustained release of amino acids. Certified gluten free.
- Rice Protein Isolate Powder ($26.99)
Delivers 24 grams of protein from organic brown rice. It’s gluten, soy, corn, dairy, and lactose free. It has an excellent source of iron and is easy to digest. Also, it’s labeled as hypoallergenic, so you will be less likely to have a reaction. Mix with pea protein powder for optimal results.
Pea Protein Powder is excellent for amino acids and a low carbohydrate and fat-based diet. It has no soy, gluten, lactose, or animal products. Mix with rice powder for best results.