The combined effect of taking supplements before, during and after your workout


You have pre-workout supplements containing NO boosters, beta-alanine and caffeine. You have supplements for during your workout, containing carbohydrates, creatine and amino acids. And you have post-workout supplements containing fast carbs and whey. So what happens if you use all three types in combination? Australian sports scientists at Charles Sturt University tried it out.

The researchers will publish their findings soon in Nutrition Research. They used 15 male athletes in their early twenties for the study, who had already been doing weight training for an average of three years.

The researchers were inspired by the approach described by the sports scientists John Ivy and Robert Portman in 2004 in their book Nutrient Timing -The Future of Sports Nutrition. [Amazon]

In the book the authors suggest that athletes can improve their performance by taking the right supplements before, during and after their workout: supplements to help them workout better during the ‘energy phase’ before doing the workout, supplements that will help their muscle cells to recover faster and grow more during the ‘anabolic phase’ during the workout, and supplements to help the recovery and growth process of the muscles during the ‘growth phase’ after the workout.

The researchers decided to try out this approach using products produced by Musashi, a daughter company of Nestle. [] Nestle funded the researcher, and the first author, Stephen Bird, also works as a consultant for Nestle.

The test subjects were not allowed to eat for the four hours prior to working out, and then just before starting their training they were given a shake with the pre-workout supplement Musashi Reactivate Hardcore. This contains over 1.5 g creatine, 200 mg caffeine, 1 g beta-alanine and 1 g BCAAs and vitamins.

During the workout, between sets, the subjects were given a shake with Musashi Elevator. This contains fast carbohydrates, 5 g creatine and amino acids. After their workout the subjects were given a shake with Musashi Sports, a mixture of fast carbs and whey.


The subjects trained their legs by doing squats, deadlifts, leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. They repeated the procedure but were given a placebo: a zero-calorie light drink.

The training volume (number of reps x kgs) was ten percent higher during the training session with supplements than during the placebo training session. That’s not so strange if you consider that the subjects did the placebo workout on an empty stomach.

After doing the strength training session the researchers got the subjects to do a few jumps and measured their peak power, in other words the speed the athletes were capable of generating. The subjects recovered their peak power faster after taking supplements.


The amount of creatine kinase in the athletes’ blood was lower after doing a workout and taking supplements. That’s an indication that the supplements reduced muscle damage.

The SuppVersity website was critical about the added value of the effects of the supplementation on athletes. “What I do yet doubt is that the same results could not have been achieved with a cup of oatmeal, water and protein powder 1h before the workout, a coffee right before the workout and 3-5g of creatine, two bananas and a regular whey protein afterward”, writes SuppVersity. [] “And did I mention that they are dirt cheap and can be combined with real foods?”

Triphasic multinutrient supplementation during acute resistance exercise improves session volume load and reduces muscle damage in strength-trained athletes


We hypothesized that triphasic multinutrient supplementation during acute resistance exercise would enhance muscular performance, produce a more favorable anabolic profile, and reduce biochemical markers of muscle damage in strength-trained athletes. Fifteen male strength-trained athletes completed two acute lower-body resistance exercise sessions to fatigue 7 days apart. After a 4-hour fast, participants consumed either a multinutrient supplement (Musashi 1-2-3 Step System, Notting Hill, Australia) (SUPP) or placebo (PLA) beverage preexercise (PRE), during (DUR), and immediately postexercise (IP). Session volume loads were calculated as kilograms × repetitions. Lower-body peak power was measured using unloaded repeated countermovement jumps, and blood samples were collected to assess biochemistry, serum hormones, and muscle damage markers at PRE, DUR, IP, 30 minutes postexercise (P30), and 24 hours postexercise (P24h). The SUPP demonstrated increased glucose concentrations at DUR and IP compared with at PRE (P < .01), whereas PLA demonstrated higher glucose at P30 compared with at PRE (P < .001). Session volume load was higher for SUPP compared with PLA (P < .05). Cortisol increased at DUR, IP, and P30 compared with at PRE in both treatments (P < .05); however, SUPP also displayed lower cortisol at P24h compared with at PRE and PLA (P < .01). The total testosterone response to exercise was higher for PLA compared with SUPP (P < .01); however, total creatine kinase and C-reactive protein responses to exercise were lower for SUPP compared with PLA (P < .05). These data indicate that although triphasic multinutrient supplementation did not produce a more favorable anabolic profile, it improved acute resistance exercise performance while attenuating muscle damage in strength-trained athletes. Source: