for Maximum Recovery and GH Release
Slow-wave (deep) sleep is necessary to balance hormones in the body that are essential to muscular recovery and growth. The largest contribution of deep sleep to recovery is the release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary, which sets up the perfect environment for muscular growth. Did you know that you can maximize your recovery and growth potential by careful supplementation prior to bed? Well read on to learn about 4 key supplements that promote muscular development and growth-hormone release while you sleep.
Follow us on
for a chance to win these products!
If you must pick only one supplement to take before bed, it would have to be micellar casein. Micellar casein is casein protein in its purest form; micelles are large particles that remain in suspension and act as a liquid in certain environments, but have the ability to stick to one another and form large protein globs in other environments. These unique properties enable casein to mix smoothly in water or milk, but form a protein gel in the stomach, making it a very efficient long-term supplier of nutrients and amino acids. Like whey protein isolate, micellar casein is isolated using microfiltration and as a result is undenatured and retains its native structural properties, including a number of powerful growth factor type nutrients. Casein protein is best noted for its muscle sparing properties and its slow release of amino acids into the circulation (for up to seven hours).
In contrast to whey protein supplements, ingestion of micellar casein results in a modest, slow and long-lasting elevation in blood amino-acid levels. This unique feature of casein contributes to only a slight increase in protein synthesis, but a marked (34%) decrease in muscle breakdown. Casein's sustained plateau in blood amino-acid levels produces the best nitrogen retention and utilization in skeletal muscle. These properties make it especially useful prior to bedtime and during periods where frequent protein consumption isn't possible. Before bed ingest 40-50g of high-quality micellar casein protein. This will provide a continuous supply of much needed amino acids to feed your recovering muscles. When purchasing a casein product, make sure you purchase a quality product like ProSource's own NytroPlex-GF, which contains a micellar casein that is processed via microfiltration that yields a product in its purest, most undenatured form. This basically pure form of casein contains higher amounts of bioactive peptides, such as glycomacropeptides and other powerful growth factors not found in standard proteins.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids exhibit numerous beneficial effects when ingested. Such benefits include fat oxidation, cardiovascular health, joint health and neural health. Additionally, if you take EFAs with your bedtime casein protein shake you'll slow the release of the protein even more, which will ensure a slow steady stream of amino acids into your blood while you sleep. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in fatty fish and flax along with lower levels of omega-6 fatty acids. Generally speaking vegetable oils and oils from nuts contain a higher percentage of omega-6 fatty acids. Fortunately, supplement companies realize the potential of EFAs and commonly offer them together in a concentrated and balanced formula. Stir 2-3 tablespoons of flax oil or fish oil into your casein protein shake and drink before bed. ProSource's Omega Fusion-sourced from cold water salmon and cod and molecularly distilled for unparalleled purity-is an excellent option as well, in that it is of the highest quality and comes in a delicious liquid Lemon Pie form.
Mucuna Pruriens has been shown to enhance the nighttime release of growth hormone. Mucuna pruriens comes from an ancient Indian herb called velvet bean, which when ingested has been shown in many published investigations to elevate the body's L-dopa stores (the precursor to dopamine). Several studies have illustrated the remarkable effects of Mucuna pruriens on dopamine release in healthy and diseased people. Dopamine is a key player in the signaling for GH release, by inhibiting hypothalamic somatostatin secretion, which leads to greater release of GH by the pituitary gland. Taking approximately 2,000 mg of high-quality Macuna pruriens (standardized to 15% L-dopa) immediately before bed will provide a substantial boost to your nocturnal GH surge. ProSource's DopaTech-HGH contains exactly this quantity in each 4-cap serving in an ultra-high-quality formulation.
It's well known that L-arginine supplementation decreases total peripheral resistance through its substantial positive and dose-dependent impact on nitric oxide (NO) release. This decrease in vascular resistance is due to vasodilation that increases blood flow to peripheral tissues (e.g., skeletal muscle). When ingested before bed, this vasodilatory effect serves to clear out post-workout metabolites and deliver much-needed nutrients to skeletal muscle while you sleep. Furthermore, from a performance perspective, L-arginine supplementation under resting conditions has been recently shown to substantially increase blood GH levels. Ingest 5g of L-arginine (or Arginine a-ketoglutarate, AAKG) 30-45 minutes before bed and you'll potentiate your sleep-induced endogenous release of GH. An ultra-high-quality form of AKG, like ProSource's Super AKG Powder, is ideal for mixing into a pre-bedtime protein shake.
Melatonin is an endogenous compound that's synthesized by the pineal gland and is traditionally used as a supplement to effectively facilitate sleep. However, very recent research from scientists at Baylor University (Waco, Texas) has shown that orally administered melatonin dramatically increases GH secretion. Furthermore, the effects of melatonin on GH secretion are greater after a bout of weight training. Melatonin's sleep-inducing and GH-releasing properties make it a great bedtime supplement for bodybuilders and athletes. Studies have shown that doses in range of 1-5mg work best for most people. Follow the directions on the label and take 30 minutes before bed. ProSource's Sedazone PM contains the highest quality melatonin, as well as sleep-support compounds such as California poppy, Rhodiola rosea, and valericna root.
ZMA has long been valued by bodybuilders both for its capacity as a sleep-support supplement and for its effects on free and total testosterone levels, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels. ProSource, of course, has long marketed one of bodybuilding's most potent ZMA formulations, sourced from 100% SNAC Systems ZMA, the industry's best. Another interesting product comes from MHP. Cyclin-GF is a new formula that combines test booster Tongkat Ali which has been shown to cause increases in both free and total test levels in recent clinical research, with the test support complex ZMA and the potent anti-cortisol Phosphatidylserine, along with several other interesting compounds.