As a strongman athlete, strength training is very important. Without training for strength, I would not be compete at a professional level. I am often asked, "Which supplements are the most beneficial." Below, I have included my top go-to supplements for strength.
Protein is essential for strength training because it builds and rebuilds muscle tissues – after all, protein is the building block of muscle and serves as a storage unit for amino acids in the human body. Drinking protein before and after a workout is how I maintain and grow each muscle group. I also enjoy drinking protein in the evening because the high fat content slows absorption and allows the protein to stay longer in me, building and repairing my muscle.
Glutamine is the most abundant single amino acid found in the bloodstream. Your body needs and craves it to fight off metabolic stress, so that the immune system can use it as a fuel source. I use glutamine for strength training three times a day – before and after a workout in my protein shakes. By doing this, I am helping my immune system recover faster, especially when I’m putting my entire body through long stressful training sessions (as most strongmen and power athletes do).
Arginine is an amino acid that aids in the production of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to your entire muscular system. For strength training, arginine helps repair tissue damage, which for me, is essential during strength training. It is also a great way to boost energy when taken twenty to thirty minutes before heavy training due to the increase in blood flow.
PH Balancing Drink
A drink that improves PH levels and alkalinizes the body is important for strength training because it aids in:
- Improving and maintaining the immune system
- Reducing inflammation after a heavy day of lifting
- Preventing degenerative disease
- Promoting bone health
- Decreasing acid build up
- Replenishing electrolytes
- Prolonging workouts
I personally enjoy the Prairie Naturals Rise and Shine. This all natural lemon and aloe mineral drink is my go-to drink for ensuring I have a good PH level. In the mornings, I mix three scoops of the Morning Rise and Shine with 2.2 litres of water in a jug. I find that this helps me keep hydrated while training and during strongman contests.
Though I mentioned whey protein as my number one supplement for strength training, I feel that hemp protein is extremely important. Hemp is a vegan friendly protein that I use on strongman contest days and the week leading up to a competition. The benefits of hemp protein include that it is:
- High in fiber
- Only protein with omega-3 and omega-6
- Minimal bloating
- Easy to digest
I enjoy drinking hemp protein because I can head to the gym with a full stomach but still have lots of energy to burn. Hemp protein is so easy to digest because it is made from a protein called Edestin, a protein that most resembles the proteins naturally found in our bodies. Most hemp protein is also hyo-allergenic, unlike whey, which is made from dairy.