Life can be stressful—work, relationships, people tailgating you on the freeway. Workouts can help you relieve some of that, but workouts themselves are stressful and raise cortisol, a stress hormone that can eat muscle. Training brutally hard is a double-edged sword. To make sure you stay on the good edge, there are a couple of anticatabolic supplements you should consider.
Phosphatidylserine. PS is a soy lipid that studies have proven reduces cortisol by 30 percent in hard-training athletes. It’s especially beneficial to high-strung, type A personality types who tend to overproduce cortisol. The premier PS supplement is Cort-Bloc, and the recommended dose is three to four capsules (600 to 800 milligrams) prior to your workouts. You can also take a few capsules before bed, as cortisol spikes in the later hours of sleep.
Glutamine. New research has brought this conditionally essential amino acid back in favor. The new studies show that glutamine aids in the development of heat-shock proteins, which are essential for systemic recovery and muscle growth. Researchers found that glutamine can block cortisol’s anti-anabolic actions. Taking a few grams with your postworkout drink is a good way to tip the scales toward muscle growth rather than catabolism.