Nutrition and Supplementation
Your body needs the right building blocks to speed its recovery and repair. Here are the top supplements you should consider incorporating into your bedtime routine if you want to wake up feeling like Superman instead of Clark Kent.
Casein makes up about 80% of the protein in cow’s milk. Casein is a solid protein that forms a gel when ingested, making it very slow digesting. (Casein’s cousin whey is a very fast digesting protein.) This fact makes it ideal for providing your muscles with a steady trickle of vital amino acids for hours after you go to sleep.
ZMA is a blend of zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B-6 in a special form and ratio. Many athletes are deficient in both zinc and magnesium, which are critical minerals for a variety of processes, including testosterone production, which is extremely beneficial for recovery. It’s important to remember that calcium interferes with zinc and magnesium absorption, so ZMA should not be consumed with calcium. Casein protein listed above is high in calcium, so take your ZMA about an hour before bed and your casein right before bed.
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue and plays a crucial role in many processes related to protein synthesis, energy production and recovery. Studies show that taking Glutamine before bed can help to raise growth hormone levels, which also has a huge effect on your overall recovery. Mix 5 grams of powdered L-Glutamine into your casein protein just before bed.
Amino Acids as Growth Hormone Secretagogues
There have been numerous studies showing that some amino acids administered in the correct dosage and combination can act as growth hormone secretagogues. This means that they can stimulate your body’s natural production of growth hormone to help accelerate repair and recovery and lock in muscle and strength gains, as well as improve sleep; specifically, the amino acids L-glutamine (mentioned above) and the pairs L-arginine with L-ornithine and L-lysine with glycine.
It’s important to emphasize that this is a natural effect and not the same as injecting HGH. You won’t test positive for PEDs or experience negative side effects by naturally encouraging your body to raise your growth hormone levels.
L-ornithine also has the added benefit of helping you to fall asleep and calming a busy mind.
If you want to take a look at reviews for more growth hormone supplements then I would recommend looking at the Andro HQ website for more info.
If you’re having trouble falling to sleep even after taking the above steps, you can try the supplement melatonin. Melatonin is produced in very tiny amounts by the pineal gland when we see it’s getting dark. The melatonin helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle, but we don’t always produce enough, especially as we get older. Melatonin works differently for everyone, so it’s best to start off with very small dosages (larger doses are not helpful and may not work as well) and see if your body responds. Take your melatonin at the same time as your ZMA.
Valerian root has been used for at least 2,000 years to support healthy sleep and relaxation. The Greek physician Dioscorides mentioned it in 400 AD. You can take valerian in a tincture or as a tea, but most people don’t enjoy the taste so capsules are more popular. It is safe to take valerian with melatonin and the two can work synergistically to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
GABA is actually an amino acid with a unique role. It is called an inhibitory neurotransmitter for the central nervous system. In other words, it settles down excitability throughout the nervous system and calms the mind.
Good sleep is the single most important thing you can do to help your body recover from tough training. If you wake up groggy, feel sluggish throughout the day, or seem to take too long to heal from minor injuries, make sure to take a look at your sleep habits and try to improve them.