Boxing & Martial Arts Supplement Stack – Increase your recovery and performance!

What is it?  Maximum performance coupled with fast recovery is what it’s all about in every sport, Boxing and Martial arts is no different. Let’s look at a few different supplements that are most beneficial to Boxing and Martial Arts!

Who Should take it?  Anybody wanting to get the most out of their training, whether they are an enthusiast looking to get fit or a seasoned competitor getting ready for the next tournament/bout. Males and females of all ages will benefit from the correct supplements taken at the appropriate times.

What does it do? Let’s look at recovery and performance separately.

RECOVERY: The 3 main products used for peak recovery are (in order of importance) Whey Protein powder, BCAA and L-Glutamine.

Whey Protein Powder, particularly directly after an exercise session is the number one choice for improving the rate at which the muscles repair themselves. If a muscle isn’t fully repaired the next time you go to train then your performance, strength, agility and endurance are all going to less than optimal. Beginners and professional athletes should all be having a serve of Protein powder directly after exercise.

BCAA (branch chain amino acids) are best suited for intermediate trainers, those exercising 4 or more times per week. Whey protein powder already contains some BCAA naturally, however if you are pushing yourself extra hard you may benefit from adding a BCAA formula to your water bottle while exercising. BCAA help stop the muscles from getting damaged in the first place and also signal the muscles (and every other cell in your body) to start repairing themselves. A good BCAA formula will also contain electrolytes to help stop cramping.

L-Glutamine is for the more advanced trainer and helps remove waste products from muscles that are produced during exercise. Often good BCAA formulas will contain some L-glutamine, though advanced trainers may need to add extra.

PERFORMANCE: The 3 most popular products for fighters to improve energy and performance are Pre-workouts, Creatine and Beta-Alanine.

Pre-Workouts are top of the list because a good pre-workout will actually contain the other 2 performance ingredients on our list as well as a whole bunch of other ingredients. Most pre-workouts will contain a few different stimulants to give you more focus and energy. Stay clear of formulas that contain a large amount of L-Citrulline and Agmatine as they will give your muscles a large pump that may interfere with endurance and performance.

Creatine is great for explosive strength, kicking and punching power. Water retention from Creatine is debatable. A sensible daily dosage of Creatine (5-10grams) will only cause mild water retention inside the muscle which is completely desirable as it contributes to strength and recovery. Doses of creatine above 15 grams per day may give the kidneys unnecessary work and result in water retention under the skin. Bottom line, keep your dose under 10 grams a day and cut creatine 1 week before the weigh-in at events.

Beta-Alanine again should be in a good pre-workout anyway, though some athletes choose to take it by itself. Beta-Alanine helps reduce lactic acid and will contribute to better endurance right from your first dose.

How do I take it?

Whey Protein: 1 to 2 scoops directly after every training session

BCAA: 1 scoop in 600-700ml water, sip on it during your exercise session

Glutamine: 5-10 grams after exercise and/or before bed.

Pre-Workout: depending on the strength of your pre-workout, anywhere between half to 2 serves in 200ml water 30 minutes before exercise. Particularly in regards to stimulants ideally you want your pre-workout to give you a mild mental lift, not make you so buzzed that you can’t stay focussed or perform properly. Sometimes less is best, particularly in regards to the stimulants in pre-workouts.

Creatine: Women and smaller males will do well on 5 grams daily, morning or before exercise with 300-400ml water. Larger Males (over 90kg) may do better with 10 grams per day.

Beta-Alanine: 1 to 3 grams in water 30 minutes before exercise is the standard protocol.

How to choose the ideal protein powder for you!

There seems to be a lot of confusion about Protein in general and this has carried through to Protein powders as well. So let us de-mystify what is really a straight forward subject. Firstly let’s have a quick look at why our bodies need Protein and then we can examine how Protein Powders fit into the equation and which ones may be suitable for you.

What does Protein Do?

Protein is an essential component of the body. The organs, muscles, brain, nerves and immune system are all, to some degree, comprised of protein. You use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

Since protein is one of the fundamental building blocks for the body, you need to ensure that you get enough in your diet. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet your body simply breaks down muscle tissue to get what it needs (this is called catabolism). A lack of protein in your diet can lead to low energy levels, muscle breakdown, fatigue and weakness.

If you are reading this then you are probably an active, health conscious person that requires more protein than the average couch potato. Most of your protein should come from whole food sources (fish, meat, dairy, etc) however Protein powder can augment your diet and accelerate you towards your goals when used properly.

What different types of protein are there?

WPC – Whey Protein Concentrate is the by-product of the first filtration step of processing the liquid portion of milk. It contains varying amounts of fat and carbs in the form of lactose and the percentage of protein varies from about 30% to about 80%. Higher percentage WPCs are suitable for post-workout shakes, while the lower percentage are great for meal replacements and/or cooking with.

WPI – next step of filtration produces Whey Protein Isolate. This process excludes more fats and carbs, yielding a much higher protein content of more than 80%. Due to it being processed an extra step, its rate of digestion is also accelerated. Great for post-workout shakes.

HYDROLYSED WPI – the extra step of filtration, excluding what-ever carbs and fats were left in the WPI processing. This yields an even higher protein content of more than 90% and increased rate of digestion. Optimal for post-workout shakes.

CASIEN – this is the solid portion milk (recall that WPC was the liquid). It is considered the slow release (digesting) protein due to its nature to coagulate in the stomach. Therefore, it takes up to 6 hours to completely digest; perfect for a pre-bed-time shake or before longer periods of fasting to ensure a constant stream of amino acid delivery.

BEEF – the beef proteins usually come in the Hydrolysed Isolate form and are digested very rapidly. Because it is not made from whey, it has a different amino acid profile. So think of it in terms of a really fast digesting steak. It is also lactose free, and therefore a good substitute for those with lactose intolerances or milk allergies.

VEGAN – usually a blend of pea and brown rice proteins in order to make a complete protein. Earlier we touched on different amino acid profiles between beef and whey, but they are both complete proteins. Most plant sources of protein, on the other hand, are incomplete: they are missing one or more essential amino acids (amino acids your body cannot synthesise and need to be consumed in the diet). Pea and brown rice complement each other as they’re high in the amino acids that the other is lacking: blended together make a complete protein. In this case, the protein is suitable for meal replacements and post-workout shakes.

What Protein is best for me?

As you can see above, there are several different protein types to choose from, each with their own unique properties and benefits! The simplest way to choose a protein to work out which type best suits your specific needs, goals and training regime!

Sports Performance and Recovery: For those who undertake regular sporting activities and wish to enhance their performance and recovery, we recommend that a quality fast absorbing WPI (or hydrolysed WPI) be consumed directly after games/training. Technically all proteins are good for recovery but supplementing with a fast release protein like a WPI will ensure the exercised muscles have access to amino acids to start the repair and recovery process straight away. Gen Tec Nutrition Hydro Pro or Bioflex Nutrition Hydroflex are ideal choices.

Weight Gain: Weight Gainers consist of WPI/WPC protein blends with added carbohydrates. The carb to protein ratios differ significantly according to how difficult it is for an individual to increase bodyweight. If you really struggle to gain weight, we would recommend a powder with a large amount of carbohydrates per serve (Dymatize Super Mass Gainer or ON Serious Mass). However, for those who want to insure the weight they put on is just quality muscle, then more moderate carbohydrate content (Bioflex Nutrition Biobulker or Next Generation Mega Grow) would be better choices.

Lean Muscle Gain: For those who undertake strength training in order gain lean muscle, we recommend a quality low carb/low fat WPI or WPI/WPC blend be consumed directly after exercise or gym sessions. Lean muscle gain is all about ensuring the body has a constant supply of protein (amino acids) to repair and grow. During the rest of the day, you should rely on solid food sources of protein or a Protein blend that contains both whey and casein. A high quality WPI will also be low in lactose or may even contain the lactase enzyme, making it suitable for Lactose intolerant individuals. We would recommend ON Gold Standard Whey, BSc WPI or Dymatize Elite Whey.

Fat Burning/Toning: If you are trying to lose fat/ tone up and generally improve your overall health and fitness, we would recommend a Fat Burning Protein. Fat burning proteins usually contain a quality blend of WPI/WPC protein for muscle recovery, are low fat/low carb/low calorie, and contain some mild burn burning ingredients to help the body shed those unwanted kilos. Are best sellers include Bioflex Nutrition Biofurnace or BSc Hydroxy Lean 5.

Supplementing Vegan diets:  Vegan Proteins are great for people wanting to increase the daily protein intake while adhering to the vegan lifestyle or wanting to avoid dairy based Proteins. Popular Vegan proteins usually consist of Pea Protein, Rice Protein, Soy Protein or a combination of these. Organic and artificial sweetener free options are also available. These are also popular for those who are Lactose intolerant. We would recommend Bioflex Nutrition Biolife or BSc Naturals Organic Planet Protein.

Avoiding artificial sweeteners/colours: For those who wish to have all the recovery qualities of a regular protein powder, without any of the possible nasties such as artificial colours/sweeteners, we would recommend a natural protein powder. These are suitable for males and females of all ages and contain no artificial colours, sweeteners, preservatives or fillers! Bioflex Nutrition make a range of Natural WPI and WPC products that are perfect for these individuals.

Night Time: For those who want a protein powder that will take their body a long time to break down, then we would recommend a slow release casein/blend protein. Night Time proteins gradually release amino acids into the blood while you sleep, giving the muscles nutrients to repair themselves, accelerating the recovery process. Popular choices include Gen Tec Nutrition Casein Custard and UPS Labs Protein Mousse!

All protein powders at PLANETMAX are naturally gluten free. With our extensive range we are confident that we have the protein powder you need to realise the body you desire.

Shop our entire range of protein powders here!

Accelerate your fat loss with BSc HydroxyBurn Shred!

What is it?  BSc Hydroxyburn Shred is a fat-burner designed to give you extra energy while exercising and help you to accelerate the fat burning process.

Who Should take it? Suitable for males and females looking for a boost during exercise and wanting to trim up as fast as possible.

What does it do? Is a combination of Green Tea, HCA, Caffeine and Tyrosine which will all contribute to the release of fatty acids for energy production. BSc Hydroxyburn shred also has added Acetyl-L-carnitine to transport the newly released fatty acids into the part of the cell (mitochondria) where fat is processed.

How do I take it? 1 scoop 30 minutes prior to exercise in approx. 250ml water.  For best results, use 1 serve early in the morning and another serve approx. 6-7 hours later. On your days off exercise it doesn’t hurt to give your nervous system a rest and refrain from taking BSc Hydroxyburn shred or any other caffeinated products (green tea should be fine though, only a small amount of caffeine).

This product pairs extremely well with our BSc Hydroxyburn Lean 5 Protein for recovery, fat burning and lean gains!

See what all the fuss is about… Try our BSc High Protein Bars!

What is it?  The BSc High Protein Low Carb Bar is a designed to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping those calories low.

Who Should take it? Suitable for males and females looking for quick protein treat without all the added carbs and calories.

What does it do? Is a blend of Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate and Casein that provides a sustained release of amino acids into the body to aid in recovery and growth.

How do I take it? Convenient to use when you are on the go. Morning tea, Afternoon tea are great times for busy people to incorporate BSc HIGH PROTEIN LOW CARB Bars into their eating plan to insure that their metabolisms continue to chug along.

Planet Max Staff usually take some protein bars to the cinema or on plane trips to ensure we have some quality protein because pulling out a chicken, brown rice and veges meal is not always an option. Our favourites include Cookies and Cream, Triple Chocolate and Rocky Road!

Purchase them online here!

Destroy your next workout with the new N.O.-Xplode Xtreme Energy!

What is it?  BSN NO XPLODE Energy Xtreme Edge is the strongest stimulant based pre-workout that the good folk at BSN have formulated so far.

Who Should take it?  This product is designed more for the serious gym goer. Beginners can still use this product but a half serve would be our suggestion just to gauge how your body responds. If a half serve is well tolerated (you feel energised as opposed to jittery or nauseous) then you can go up to a full serve.

What does it do? BSN NO-XPLODE Energy Xtreme Edge is formulated to increase Pump, Endurance, Mental focus and overall Energy throughout your gym session.

Notably absent from the formula is Creatine, which helps contribute to gains in strength. We are finding a lot of regular customers are asking for Creatine free formulas of late, so this new BSN pre-workout is going to be an option here.

The Stimulant / Focus blend has the usual suspects such as caffeine, L-Tyrosine and Acety-L-Carnitine all provided to pick you up mentally. A few new ingredients like Longan fruit, Linera extract and Theacrine all help keep you focused without the big crash you can sometimes get with other formulas.

How do I take it? 1 scoop 20-30 minutes before exercise in 200ml of water. Can also be used before a cardio session or team sports game to give you an energy boost and burn more calories.  

Taurine – what is it how will it benefit me?

What is it: Technically, it is not an amino acid though even in scientific journals it is usually referred to as an amino acid. The body makes taurine in the pancreas out of the amino acid Cysteine. Meat and fish are a good natural dietary source of taurine.

What does it do:  Taurine is used in the body in many processes including bile production (digestion), cardiovascular health, antioxidation, osmosis, healthy nervous system function and cell membrane stability.

What will it do for me: While most pre-workout formulas will include taurine for its osmotic properties (helping to move water in and out of muscle cells), the main benefit to athletes is the cell membrane stability. Basically better cell membrane stability translates to EVERY cell in your body being able to perform to its maximum capacity. This results in more energy, better performance and better recovery!

How do I take it: Most pre-workout formulas contain between 500-2000mg of taurine per serve. While we had trouble finding any research on the toxic effects of large doses of taurine, there is also little evidence to support the benefits of taking larger doses either. Bottom line, 2000mg per day (usually 30 min before training) will be sufficient to improve exercise performance and health.

If your pre-workout does not contain enough Taurine, shop the product here!

Building muscle is hard… help to retain it with L-Leucine!

What is it?  Leucine is the main branch chained amino acid (BCAA) responsible for muscle protein synthesis and muscle retention.

Who Should take it?  Trainers wanting to improve their body composition, those trying to build/retain muscle, individuals in a calorie deficit, and especially any persons suffering from a muscle-wasting disease, including the elderly.

What does it do? Leucine is an activator of the protein known as mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin), which then induces muscle protein synthesis via S6K (protein kinase involved in signal transduction). Leucine seems to induce mTOR activity via increasing intra-cellular calcium. The studies assessing this amino acid mostly look at muscle protein synthesis when additional leucine is added to the diet or to a test meal. These studies seem to show that leucine is able to reliably increase muscle protein synthesis after these test meals. Leucine appears to be most effective at promoting gains in muscle in people with lower dietary protein intake and in the elderly (who tend to have impaired muscle protein synthesis in response to the diet). Therefore it is a perfect supplement for individuals who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, but still trying to muscle/retain lean muscle mass.

Leucine also helps with muscle retention as it preserves lean mass from breakdown, making it the perfect supplement for intra-workouts, hence the popularity of higher ratio BCAAs (higher Leucine content). These formulas are particularly helpful to those in a calorie deficit and trying to retain muscle mass while loosing body fat.

How do I take it? Add 2.5g – 5g to your pre-workout for enhanced recovery, protein synthesis and to prevent muscle catabolism during training. Consume up to 5g with other meals to increase post-prandial protein synthesis, especially if the meal is low(er) in protein.

Shop L-Leucine here!

Shop our range of BCAA/Intra Workout Formulas here!

Beta Alanine – why you should embrace that itch!

What is it?  Beta-Alanine, a modified version of the amino acid Alanine, is the building block of Carnosine – a molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, therefore increasing physical performance. It has been shown to improve moderate- to high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performance (like rowing and sprinting), and additional reps at the gym when training in 8-15 rep-range.

Who Should take it?  Endurance athletes, those trying to build/retain muscle, and anyone looking to enhance their physical performance.

What does it do? When Beta-Alanine is absorbed, it converts to the molecule Carnosine, which then acts as an acid buffer in the body. Lactic acid is a compound that is produced when glucose is broken down and oxidised (especially during exercise when oxygen levels are lower), which then produces hydrogen ions and a burning sensation in the muscles while they are working and contracting. Carnosine stored in cells is released in response to drops in pH. Increased stores of Carnosine can protect against diet-related drops in pH (ketone production in ketosis for example), as well as offer protection from exercise-induced Lactic acid production.

Even though it is a regular addition to pre-workouts, it is actually not timing-dependent. Which means, that you don’t have to take it right before exercise to reap the benefits. As larger doses cause a tingling or itchy feeling (called paresthesia), a harmless side-effect; this can be avoided by using a time-release formula or by taking smaller doses several times per day. A standard daily dosage is 2-5g, so if you’re aiming for the upper intake it would be easier to split the dose up into 2 or 3 servings.

Studies show that supplementation with Beta-Alanine resulted in increases in anaerobic capacity, and increases in lean mass accompanied with fat-loss. These can be attributed to a greater workload (and an increase in workout volume).

How do I take it? Depending on the Beta Alanine content of your pre-workout, add up to a total of 3g before training. Otherwise, split a 3-5g dose over the course of the day.

We would recommend the Body Ripped Nutrition Beta Alanine and Wild Bull Beta Alanine due to their high quality and affordability!

6 Supplements to increase Fat Burning

fat-burning

With up to 60% of the Australian population now classed as over-weight or obese the topic of Fat burning and getting back into shape has never been so poignant. When all is said and done most of your results will come down to diet and training, however Fat Burners can accelerate or maintain the process of dropping body fat.

Fat Burning Products Increase fat burning by stimulating the nervous system, maximizing thyroid output or providing the necessary ingredients the body needs to process fat for energy production. When taken before exercise they can help to increase exercise performance and calorie expenditure. Ideally the least amount of fat-burners you can use to achieve your goals the better.

Fat burners are just one tool to be used appropriately and sparingly, they are not magic pills. Having said that let us see how they can be that valuable tool to gets us to our goals a little quicker.

Whey Protein Powder: A good quality whey protein powder is not everyone’s obvious first pick as a fat burner but bear with me on this one, it’s my number one pick for those aiming to lean up. The body burns a lot of calories repairing itself from intense exercise. If you don’t supply the protein the muscles need to repair they simply wait, and guess how many calories waiting burns? Not many. Buy consuming a serve of whey protein directly after exercise, then periodically having small portions of protein from food throughout the day you are in a constant state of repair. This translates to a healthy metabolism and creating the perfect environment to burn fat.

Check out our range of Low-Carb Whey Protein Powders here!

Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a non-stimulant fat-burner that aids the transport of fats into the machinery of the muscle cells where it’s burned for fuel. Research shows it improves fat loss during exercise and low-carb dieting. Carnitine also appears to enhance muscle recovery following intense lifting as well as increase the number of testosterone receptors in muscle cells, thereby aiding muscle growth. DOSE: 1,000 to 2,000 mg in the form of L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine or L-Carnitine- L-Tartrate usually taken before cardio or weight training.

Check out our range of Carnitine Supplements here!

CLA:  Conjugated Linoleic Acid is naturally occurring and abundant in grass fed animal products including organic milk, butter, eggs, kangaroo, lamb, beef and in the more convenient capsule form. CLA promotes positive changes in body composition, less fat and a slight increase in muscle over a 3-6 month period. Even though results are slow with CLA it is a stimulant free option that can be safely stacked with other fat burners for greater effect… 3-6 grams daily is enough to produce a measureable change in body composition.

Fat Burning Capsules/Powders: These are the most popular fat-burning products on the market and are usually taken just before weights or cardio to increase the amount of fat burned during your session. A good fat-burning powder or capsules (not much difference between them other than some people prefer capsules, others powder) will contain a variety of different ingredients that give you more energy to exercise, help release stored fat and help the body to process the newly release fat for energy. These products come in a variety of strength so be sure to ask our staff on which are better suited to beginners ranging up to those designed for the more Stimulant tolerant trainer.

Check out our range of Fat Burner Supplements here!

T432 Plus: The Thyroid governs the metabolism, basically a poorly functioning thyroids means it is going to be very difficult to lose body-fat. In terms of thyroid support choices are a little limited, fortunately ATP Science T432 Plus is a quality product that will help restore thyroid function and ensure your metabolism is running at its optimal level. T432 is another stimulant free option that stacks synergistically with the other fat-burners on our list.

Purchase T432 Plus here!

Green Tea: Green tea contains a compounds called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which imparts a mild thermogenic (fat burning) effect. Although green tea also contains caffeine, its major fat-burning effect comes from the ability of EGCG to inhibit an enzyme that breaks down adrenaline, basically the longer adrenaline stays in your system the more fat that will get released from fat stores. Green tea also helps reduce the likelihood of certain cancers, and provides numerous other health benefits including joint healing. Green Tea products such as Green Tea X50 are quite concentrated so 2 sachets per day will produce the desired effect. Great for people who are sensitive to stimulants or can enhance the effect of capsule/powder fat-burners.

 Check out our range of Green Tea X50 Supplements here!

Choose Kaged Muscle C-HCL to increase strength and muscle volume!

c-hcl

What is it?  KAGED CREATINE HCL is currently the world’s only patented Creatine hydrochloride product available. The other Creatine HCL products on the market are generic and can often contain impurities. Creatine HCL, as with other creatine products, increases strength and muscle volume.

Who Should take it? KAGED CREATINE HCL is suitable for any trainer wanting to increase strength or improve explosive movements (jumping, sprinting, punching, etc). Due to the improved absorption rates Creatine HCL is ideal for anyone who gets an upset stomach from regular creatine use.

What does it do? KAGED CREATINE HCL has all the benefits of regular Creatine but without the possible digestive system distress than can occur with some people. Creatine is used by athletes to improve strength and explosive energy production. When creatine is inside the muscle it also has the added benefit of attracting water molecules, which pulls extra water into the muscles. A fully hydrated muscle is stronger, recovers quicker and performs better. All positives.

How do I take it?  Take 1 serve (750mg) about 30 minutes before training with 200-300mls of water. If you are using Pre-Kaged before training or Intra-Kaged during training, then it would be better to consume the Creatine HCL after exercise.

Purchase this product here!