While speed and lightening-fast reaction time matter, improving strength and power is the ultimate goal of athletes, as well as those who want to build more muscle. Many athletes find themselves slaving away in the gym, on the field, and at the track, only to fall short of their goals. Even the best training plan can fail without the right nutrition.
Along with a well-planned training regimen, knowing what to eat, when to eat, and how to supplement with Isagenix is key in creating a winning dietary strategy for keeping body fat in check while building muscle, strength, and power.
Carbohydrates are the first source of energy for strength and power athletes. A limited amount of carbs are stored as glycogen in muscle. When glycogen stores are too low to meet energy demands the consequence can be early fatigue, greater susceptibility to overtraining, and impaired immune function. For strength and power athletes, carb intake should increase on days with a higher training load. Matching carb intake with activity level will improve performance and workout quality while promoting recovery of glycogen stores between training sessions.
Protein is the major structural component of muscle. When dietary protein intake is too low, muscles will break down and gains in size, strength, and power will be compromised. But not all protein is equal. Much research suggests that whey protein, which is high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), is a superior protein source for igniting muscle synthesis (1,2).
Consuming protein is not only great for promoting muscle gain, but also fat loss. Protein can suppress hunger more than fats or carbs (3,4) leading to reduced calorie intake. Protein is also highly thermogenic, meaning it requires a lot of extra energy just to absorb and digest. Whey protein is more thermogenic than other sources, which is a win-win for athletes trying to build muscle, burn fat, and get lean (3).
Healthy fats are also important for athletes. They’re used as structural components of cellular membranes, hormone production, and are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Similar to protein, fats can increase satiety to help prevent overeating and to keep body fat levels in check.
The importance of carbs, protein, and fat in the diet is clear, and every athlete should strive to meet but not exceed calorie needs. In planning a dietary strategy to build muscle and boost strength and power, it’s not just what you eat that matters—when you eat is also important.
Muscle building can be maximized, muscle breakdown minimized, and hunger curbed when high-protein meals (20 to 40 grams protein) are eaten at regular intervals, four to five times per day (5,6). IsaLean® and IsaLean® Pro meal replacements fit perfectly into this plan with 24 and 36 grams of protein, respectively. The shakes are high in whey protein—the best type for building muscle and burning fat—and also contain low-glycemic carbohydrates for sustained energy, along with healthy fats and fiber for curbing hunger.
Like IsaLean shakes, IsaLean Bars are a good source of protein (approx. 20 grams). For athletes with a faster metabolism requiring extra calories and protein, IsaLean Bars also make a great snack and are especially convenient for on-the-go athletes.
Optimal pre-workout nutrition should fuel the body with quick carbohydrate energy and BCAA-rich protein to stop muscle breakdown. Nutrients to boost focus and stamina are also necessary. Enter a workout fully charged by eating an IsaLean Bar 30 to 90 minutes before training and an e+™ Natural Energy Shot within 30 minutes of training.
Providing 30 grams of carb energy, IsaLean Bars give you the fuel to lift heavier, run faster, and explode more powerfully. The payout is more gains in strength, power, and muscle mass as well as a quicker recovery. As an extra bonus, entering a workout fed results in greater calorie burning during the workout (7), a major benefit for athletes looking to shed fat. IsaLean Bars also supply about 20 grams of BCAA-rich protein to help stop muscle loss caused by hard training.
Getting the most out of your workout requires the right mindset, too. This means being focused, motivated, and energized – all benefits supplied by e+ Natural Energy Shot. The combination of caffeine and Adaptogens in e+ Natural Energy Shot provides sustained energy in the face of extreme training.
Combining whey protein with a source of carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a workout will stimulate muscle growth and improve recovery (1). Intense exercise damages muscle, triggering a chain of events where muscle is repaired and rebuilt stronger. Having IsaPro® post-workout amplifies this muscle remodeling, and adding carbs improves recovery by speeding the return of glycogen stores and the stress hormone cortisol to pre-exercise levels.
With 36 grams of pure whey protein concentrate in two scoops, IsaPro is your go-to post-workout solution for muscle building and recovery. High in BCAAs including leucine to ignite muscle-building pathways, and with no considerable amounts of fiber or fat to slow the absorption, IsaPro provides amino acids to muscle for immediate use.
Following a workout, the body is sensitive to carbs making it the ideal time to restore depleted glycogen reserves. For athletes who train daily or more than once per day, taking advantage of this window by adding carbs such as fruit or oats to IsaPro will ensure you go into your next training session well-fueled. Additionally, carbs can also help lower cortisol—the “stress hormone” that helps provide fuel during exercise but can be detrimental to muscle tissue if it remains high after a workout.
For strength and power athletes, Isagenix has high-quality products to prime you for your workout, power you through training, and help you recover quickly and effectively.
- Phillips SM et al. The role of milk- and soy-based protein in support of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in young and elderly persons. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Aug;28(4):343-54.
- Tang JE et al. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol. 2009 Sep;107(3):987-92. Epub 2009 Jul 9.
- Acheson KJ et al. Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):525-34. Epub 2011 Jan 12.
- Layman DK. Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12.
- Hulmi JJ et al. Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Jun 17;7:51.
- Paddon-Jones D1, Rasmussen BB. Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 Jan;12(1):86-90.
- Schoenfeld B. Does cardio after an overnight fast maximize fat loss? Strength Cond J. 2011 Feb;33(1):23-25.