Somebody slap me on the wrist as I've been a very bad PT.  Bad. In a good way ofcourse.  I've been so good at looking after everyone else I forgot to keep an eye on myself and my own health.  I know I'm not the only person/PT to do this!  You know how it is when you're busy dealing with other people's  health and trying to get them on track you forget to do what you're telling people to do.  In my case, taking supplements.

With the NZ Fitness Expo only 10 weeks away, I thought that was a good goal for me to get in shape and get a little leaner so I can look ok on the Go Figure stand.  Which is going to be awesome by the way. So I started to lower my cals a little and do more cardio.  It was all going well until suddenly BAM I started to feel really tired and eventually I went to the doc and found I got an ear infection.  Don't you hate that.  You're on a roll and then to be hit by a nuisance infection and have to halt your training for a week.

My immunity isn't great anyway and I should've known that I should've taken supplements to help prevent this sort of thing happening.  Afterall, I have access to some pretty awesome supplements from Balance and Optimum Nutrition if I need them.  I was overlooking my health and admittedly a little lazy.

But I'm not the only one who'll be suffering low immunity right now.  Those preparing for bodybuilding comps will also feeling flu like symptoms setting in as their bodies have lower bodyfat while trying to do more with less energy.  A sure fire recipe for overtraining.

So before you end up taking antibiotics as last resort to get you back to health like me, here's some supplements you should consider as part of your pre contest or fat loss regime if you're serious about keeping the flu at bay this winter.


How do you know if you're overtraining?
If you're a weight trainer, you probably know about "overtraining syndrome" but you probably don't let that get in the way of your training. Am I right?
The signs!
* You don't have a lot of energy
* Your muscles are sore.

* You never feel like going to the gym.
* You've hit a sticking point.

* You get sick and getting colds more often then normal.
* Feeling tired all the time.
and most importantly, NO strength or size gains for an extended period of time.


L-Glutamine and overtraining
You've probably heard of L-Glutamine and its importance in your nutrition plan. If not, here's why Glutamine should be an essential part of your supplementation.
Glutamine accounts for about 60% of the body's total intramuscular free amino-acid pool and 20% of the total circulating amino acids. It is also one of the most versatile of all amino acids. Aside from being an anti-catabolic, glutamine detoxifies ammonia, regulates protein synthesis and protein degradation, functions as a nitrogen precursor and transfer, promotes cellular hydration, stimulates growth hormone production, maintains acid balance, boosts the immune system, is an energy precursor and increases glycogen production in the liver.

Depending on length and intensity of your workout, your body needs several hours to restore glutamine to pre-exercise levels. Overtraining syndrome occurs when recovery between training sessions is incomplete-in other words, when glutamine levels are not fully restored.
L-Glutamine and Muscle Growth
By overtraining, you're essentially removing more glutamine than your body can restore. The effects are cumulative. And the effects can seriously hinder your weight training goals. So we know what happens when we train, when we subject our body to continuous physical stress and trauma.
The body will suffer from low blood glutamine levels for months or even years.
Eventually the body will enter a long-term catabolic state.
In short: your muscles won't grow.

BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAA's incorporates 3 amino acids which are needed by your muscles for energy, growth and recovery. These are L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine. They help to releases HGH (Human Growth Hormone), releases insulin, acts as an energy substrate in muscle, helps reduce muscle breakdown, promotes healing of skin and broken bones and increases Nitrogen Retention - spares protein.

Incorporating BCAA's into your pre contest plan will help spare your muscles while burning fat - which is the goal!

How to use L-Glutamine and BCAA?
The bodybuilding community generally agrees that Glutamine may be the single most important amino acid supplement needed during pre-contest training.
The recommended dosage is 10gms of Glutamine per day which should be taken after training and before bed.
BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) is also considered an important source for glutamine synthesis in muscle and therefore works well with L-Glutamine to maintain muscle mass after intense exercise. BCAA's should be taken with
L-Glutamine to ensure your muscles are not depleted of essential Glutamine.


Vitamin C and Multivitamin
One of the most overlooked supplement is Vitamin C. During pre contest, athletes should take at least 1000mg of Vitamin C daily.
Vitamin C combined with a good multivitamin ensures our body receives all the trace minerals and elements we need to maintain normal body function.

Prevention is better than cure!! The best strategy to prevent overtraining is to arm yourself with the right nutrition and supplements. If you want to keep all your muscle during your important pre contest preparation then it's absolutely essential that you incorporate L-Glutamine, BCAA's, Vitamin C and Multivitamins!
Along with a good quality Whey Protein, these supplements will help ensure that you'll keep your hard earned muscle instead of it being burned off during your intense training sessions.
L-Glutamine is not only important during pre-contest, but during your mass building phase too. Extra calories and nutrition is needed to help build extra muscle and since L-Glutamine is one of the most essential amino acids in the body, the more free floating glutamine you have, the more ability you have for your muscles to draw on glutamine to build more muscle!!

Lisa, Go Figure

p.s I'm still on a mission to look good for our awesome Go Figure stand.  So once my forced rest is over, I'll be back armed and dangerous with my supps!  The result will be at the NZ Fitness Expo so come along and see how I got on.

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