Stack Your Supplements For WHEY Better Results
Dwayne N. Jackson, PhD
Supplement R&D teams endlessly toil to uncover safe and natural supplements that promote strength, muscle building, and fat loss. Over the past several decades, their rigorous research efforts have brought us many effective products that work together with hard training and dieting to promote lean and muscular physiques. Interestingly, the latest research illustrates that stacking some of the top muscle-building supplements can synergistically drive anabolism and increase fat loss better than taking them alone—This is great news since many of today’s best-selling pre-/post-workout supplements are formulated with well-established muscle builders.
One fact that cannot be disputed— resistance training combined with whey protein supplementation boosts anabolism. A recent meta-analysis, published in Sports Medicine, aimed to quantify the strength and muscle-building effects of taking whey protein alone and/or in combination with other supplements. Data from 9 randomized control trials (192 subjects), which included supplementation and weight training for at least 6 weeks, were analyzed. The researchers reported that whey protein supplementation alone or stacked with multi-ingredient supplements results in greater gains in muscle mass and overall strength compared to isocaloric supplementation of carbohydrate or non-whey forms of protein. Most notably, the muscle-building effects of whey protein supplementation are greatest when taken with multi-ingredient supplements that contain creatine.
ACTION POINT: Many of you are likely already using whey protein and multi-ingredient pre-/post-workout supplements. However, this meta-analysis drives home the effectiveness of taking whey protein in combination with multi-ingredient supplements that contain creatine, like pre- and post-workout formulations. If you cannot afford multi-ingredient supplements, (at the very least) we suggest that you make sure to take in 25-50g of high-quality whey protein (isolate or a blend) with 5 g of creatine monohydrate, 30-60 minutes before and immediately after training.
Naclerio F, Larumbe-Zabala E. Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-ingredient Formulation on Strength, Fat-Free Mass, or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2015 Sep 24. [Epub ahead of print]
HMB- An Understated Supplement With Significant Benefits.
β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), which is also formed through metabolism of leucine, is an active anabolic compound found naturally in skeletal muscle. A recent research illustrates that HMB enhances protein synthesis and supports mitochondrial function/expression (biogenesis) in skeletal muscle, leading to increases in strength, muscular performance, and muscular health.
HMB supplementation has been shown to increase VO2 peak (a measure of aerobic fitness) by approximately 5% in just 4 weeks— this is likely due to HMB’s effects on mitochondrial biogenesis. In terms of anaerobic and aesthetic benefits, it was reported that HMB supplementation combined with 12 weeks of periodized heavy resistance training promoted greater gains in overall body mass, lean body mass, strength, power, and decreased body fat compared to those who took a placebo. Furthermore, subjects who took HMB had significantly lower cortisol (a catabolic hormone) levels and greater perceptions of recovery between training bouts.
HMB (β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate), an active anabolic compound found naturally in skeletal muscle, continues to get rave reviews from supplement scientists. In fact, a recent review article published in the journal, Amino Acids, illustrates the several mechanisms by which HMB enhances protein synthesis and supports mitochondrial function/expression (biogenesis) in skeletal muscle, leading to increases in strength, muscular performance and muscular health.
Real-world support for HMB’s influence on mitochondrial biogenesis is exemplified in a recent study, published in the Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition, where HMB supplementation combined with high-intensity interval training promoted increases VO2 peak (a measure of aerobic fitness) by approximately 5%, in as little as four weeks. As well, in a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, HMB supplementation combined with 12 weeks of periodized heavy resistance training promoted greater gains in overall body mass, lean body mass, strength, power and decreased body fat compared to placebo. Notably, subjects who took HMB had significantly lower cortisol (a catabolic hormone) levels and greater perceptions of recovery between training bouts.
ACTION POINT: To take advantage of all the benefits HMB has to offer, we recommend taking 3-6 grams of HMB with a protein shake, 2-3 times per day. Make sure one dose is taken 30 minutes pre-workout.
He X, Duan Y, Yao K5, Li F, Hou Y, Wu G, Yin Y. β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, mitochondrial biogenesis, and skeletal muscle health. Amino Acids. 2015 Nov 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Jun;114(6):1217-27.
Robinson EH 4th, Stout JR, Miramonti AA, Fukuda DH, Wang R, Townsend JR, Mangine GT, Fragala MS, Hoffman JR. High-intensity interval training and β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyric free acid improves aerobic power and metabolic thresholds. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Apr 26;11:16.