With the vacation season upon us, what can we do to hold on to as many of our gains as possible?

The summer holidays often mean a change to our usual gym routine or even an extended break from the gym. You don’t have to stop taking your supplements, however. Here are five simple steps to prevent muscle and strength loss while you travel, take a long break from training or recover from an injury.

1. Consume at least 1.4g of protein (but preferably closer to 2g) per kilogram of body weight daily.

2. To prevent fat gain during the layoff, keep carbohydrate intake to about 1g per kilogram
of body weight.

3. Take 5g of creatine and 5g BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) up to three times per day.

4. Take an omega-3 fish oil supplement daily.

5. Take 1.5-3g of HMB with a protein shake twice per day for a daily total of 3-6g of HMB.

Why HMB?

A recent study found that HMB could help to prevent muscle loss. HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine, which has been proven to prevent muscle breakdown and improve growth. Researchers from the University of Arkansas reported in the journal Clinical Nutrition that healthy subjects undergoing 10 days of complete bed rest lost no muscle mass when taking two 1.5g doses of HMB per day. Participants that took a placebo lost around 2.5kg muscle mass in the same 10 day period.

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