Do you have sports supplement questions you want answering? Or want to know how to build muscle, lose fat or increase strength? At CNP Professional we have put together the most frequently asked questions our team at HQ and athletes get put to them into easily digestible answers. From sports nutrition to the science behind your protein supplements, we're here to provide guidance. If you cannot find the answer to your question below, don't hesitate to contact us for advice.
What is protein and more specifically what is whey protein?
Whey protein is a superior form of protein derived from milk, boasting an extensive range of fast-absorbing amino acids. It comes in various forms, liquid, powdered and as one of the ingredients in modern day protein bars and food products. All incredibly convenient, great tasting (when flavoured) and nutrient rich. Whey protein supports the repair of lean muscle post exercise by providing the body with readily available amino acids (the building block of muscle). Widely use by those who want to perform better at sport, when training in the gym and anyone wanting to improve body composition.
When considering how many calories you need to gain muscle, you also need to consider how much protein you need to gain muscle. The amount of protein an individual needs to gain muscle depends on a variety of factors, these include weight, lifestyle and training structure. Studies have shown a good guideline to be 1.3-1.8g/lb of body weight per day, split into frequent meals. So for a 200lb individual, they would need between 260-360g split between several meals. You can also take workout supplements to support your quest to gain muscle.
Protein shakes are an easy and convenient way to keep on top of your nutritional needs. Making them a useful tool for anyone with a busy lifestyle needing nutrition on the go or specifically needing something easily digestible and fast absorbing. For anyone questioning how to use protein shakes they can be used both around your workouts and during the day between meals, there really are not limitations. Protein shakes themselves vary in macronutrient breakdown (split of carbs:fat: protein) and depending on this and your goal they are more advantageously taken at different times of the day. Here is a simple guide to what protein supplements you should use and when you should take them based on the different classifications of protein shake formulations;
BCAA’s are a classification of amino acids, but what are BCAA amino acids? BCAAs are specifically the branch chain amino acids. These are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. They are known as essential because it is essential they are obtained from your nutrition as the body, unlike other amino acids, is not able to produce them itself. BCAAs are the building blocks of muscle, so having optimal levels in the bloodstream (especially around exercise or during a calorie deficit diet) will help preserve muscle tissue while also act as a bumper against muscle glycogen depletion. The result is better performance in the gym and improved recovery outside the gym due to increased protein synthesis. So what is protein synthesis as it is something you will hear a lot about when talking about amino acids, protein synthesis is the formation of new protein-based structures, in the case of muscle protein synthesis this is the formation of new muscle tissue from amino acids.
Amino acids as a whole refer to the full spectrum of amino acids (arguably 20-22), these include both the essential (8) and non-essential amino acids (14). These amino acids are the building blocks of protein and protein makes up over twenty per cent of the human body. Therefore amino acids are an extremely important dietary requirement due to the part they play in the biological process and signalling, from an exercise and sporting perspective they are even more significant due to their positive effects on recovery and performance. If you are wondering when is best to take amino acids, technically they can be taken at any time during the day to help recovery from exercise, however, the optimal times to take them are around your workout itself (pre, intra, post).
If you are wondering what supplements to take or why take supplements, athletes and serious trainers alike use them to ensure they perform at their best during training and recovery optimally afterwards, there is a variety of CNP supplements you have at your disposal to take your performance to the next level. The ones which will have a noticeable effect long and short term on your workout performance are;
Many new to the industry always ask - how safe are workout supplements? Our answer would be CNP’s sports supplement range is 100% safe and that includes for all tested athletes for all disciplines. We manufacture all our powdered products in house, this means we have complete control and trackability of the production process so what’s on the label is exactly what is in the tub.
Creatine is known by most as one of the strength and muscle recovery supplements. It is a naturally occurring substance and can be found in relatively higher quantities in meats. Creatine can also be produced internally via the liver and kidneys, which can be boosted further by supplementing with it in its raw form. At a physiological level what does creatine do, and what is creatine used for? It fuels the process whereby adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is made, which is directly used to bring about muscle contraction. So you can see why adding creatine supplements to your routine can promote direct increases in strength and recovery which indirectly promoting the building of lean muscle mass.
First of all, we need to distinguish the purpose of this section, which is to advise how to optimally increase strength and not muscle mass. Although both share some similarities in the way they are brought about to optimally increase strength we must be more specialised with our methodology. First of all strength can be built through a huge variety of different movements, however for the purpose of this explanation and for someone starting out you should look to master the technique for the following primary exercises and then apply it to a strength program; Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Overhead Press, Power Clean (however you should adapt your exercise prescription depending on your specific goals as the training principles below can apply to a much wider variety of exercises).
A basic strength training program would consist of five working sets of five reps per exercise at a chosen weight, once you are able to successfully complete all five sets of five reps look to add around 5-10lbs to your lift and repeat. Reps ranges above this range begin to feed into more of a bodybuilding program focused around muscle size. After a good 2 months of training using a 5x 5 routine, you should look to de-load for a week. The simplest way of doing this is to continue to train as before but reduce the weight (ideally by 30-40%) after which you are able to go back to training heavy.
You can also consider adding strength and performance supplements to your diet.
Fat burning ultimately comes down to one factor which takes priority over all others, that is ensuring you are in a calorie deficit, this is an essential part of weight loss management. Being in a calorie deficit comes down to unbalancing the ‘calories in Vs calorie out’ equation, when your calorie expenditure exceeds your intake it will induce weight loss (notice we said weight loss, not specifically fat loss). To bring about specifically fat loss you must use a combination of training techniques (as part of a weight loss workout plan) and dietary protocols which put the body in the position to favour using stored body fat for energy while also sparing muscle tissue while in a caloric deficit. This will mean the following factors at a basic level will need to be included in the plan;
Once you have these factors under control and you are making progress its common to consider how to boost weight loss, and this is where many look to fat burners. Fat burners may aid the fat loss process by various methods including helping burn extra calories, curbing appetite and providing extra energy to get you through tough workouts when on a low-calorie diet. But how long do fat burners take to work? Instantly, but that does not mean you will notice a dramatic drop in weight instantly. However, over time, they will help you chip away at the scales and also help provide extra energy when you need it most. Check out our weight management supplements for weight loss support during your workouts.
Caffeine is a stimulant which has a direct effect on the CNS (Central nervous system) and increases muscle fibre recruitment. It is an ergogenic aid used to improve mental alertness and physical performance, making it a useful tool inside and outside the gym. It has been shown induce increases in speed, power, strength and endurance. Making it a staple ingredient in most stimulant based pre-workout formulas. As a general rule optimal caffeine supplement dosage sits around 200mg (more specifically 3mg/kg of body weight).