Creatine has been extensively researched and found to be a safe and useful supplement for building muscle size and strength. Like protein shakes, you won’t see results right away from supplementing with creatine. But a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness suggests you could notice increased strength within 2 weeks.
If you’re someone with modest daily caffeine intake, the equivalent of a couple cups of coffee a day, a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests a supplementation strategy for potentially improving Olympic-distance triathlon performance.
Fourteen male and 12 female competitors supplemented with 6 mg of encapsulated caffeine per kg of body weight 45 to 60 minutes before starting the event. Compared to times without supplementing, caffeine helped subjects finish the swimming stage an average of 3.7% faster and shave 1.3% off their total race time.
Like whey protein, casein is a complete protein containing all of the Essential Amino Acids. Also like whey, casein is made from cow’s milk. One major difference is casein’s rate of digestion, which is much slower than whey. This is why many active adults consume a casein protein shake before bed. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests timing might not be as important as hitting a daily protein target.
Thirteen male subjects participated in a 10-week training program. All received 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight through foods. They also consumed 35 grams of casein protein per day. Some subjects drank their casein shakes at night while others consumed them during the day.
Compared to measurements taken before the program began, subjects gained an average of 2.8 kg of muscle mass with daytime casein and 2 kg with nighttime casein. Leg press strength increased 80.1 kg with daytime casein and 83.9 kg with nighttime casein. Bench press strength increased 12 kg for the daytime group and 8.3 kg for the nighttime group. These were not considered statistically significant differences.
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