The F45 Challenge has become one of the biggest fitness competitions the industry has seen. Part of what we do here at Natural Weapon Nutrition is demystify supplements and educate you on how to get the most out of them. Common questions from our customers doing the F45 Challenge are:
Can you please explain the supplements recommended for the F45 Challenge?
What’s the best protein powder for the F45 Challenge?
What are the best products for the F45 Challenge?
For your convenience we have collected all the products recommended for the F45 Challenge and stacked them together in our F45 Challenge Pack! The F45 Challenge Pack has been designed to provide you all the recommended supplements with enough serves to get you through the entire challenge. It also gives you a 10% discount for buying in bulk and should you bundle together more than $150 worth of products, qualifies you for free shipping Australia wide!
If you would like to learn more about each kind of recommended supplement continue reading our breakdown of how each product works and why it is useful. Each has its place in ensuring you can lose the maximum amount of fat and retain/gain the most muscle possible and when used in conjunction they provide you a powerful recovery boost.
F45 Challenge Protein Powder, What is the Best One?
F45 Challenge participants find that protein powder is one of their most highly utilised supplements. Protein is so highly recommended that some find themselves having shakes twice a day during the challenge, or even 3 times if they get hungry and have a shake as a snack. It also makes up a key ingredient in protein balls and other snacks you’ll make as part of the recipes.
Protein intake itself is how you repair and rebuild muscle. The Challenge stipulates you should locate a good natural protein powder, we stock True Protein WPI, ATP Science NO-WAY, Muscle Nation 100% Protein and Macro Mike Plant Protein.
Want to know just how much protein you need each day? Check out our article here for more info.
Macro Mike – Plant Based Protein+$69.95 inc GST — or
$69.95inc GST / month
or only 4 payments of $17.49 with AfterpaySelect options
ATP Science – NOWAY Collagen Protein – 1KG$69.00 inc GST — or
$69.00inc GST / month
or only 4 payments of $17.25 with AfterpaySelect options
True Protein – Whey Protein Isolate – WPI 90$65.00 inc GST — or
$65.00inc GST / month
or only 4 payments of $16.25 with AfterpaySelect options
What Does Protein Powder Do?
When you do the F45 Challenge you’re in what we call a Caloric Deficit. That means you’re consuming less energy than you require on a daily basis. This leads the body to utilise other sources of energy, such as body fat for energy. Should you not consume enough protein you’ll actually cause the body to look at muscle as a more viable energy source because it’s easier to break down than converting fat stores to energy.
You also need it to repair muscle and cell damage that occurs on a daily basis. When you work out, you cause additional damage to the muscles and they must be repaired as well. All debts must be paid in this department or your after scan will show you lost lean body mass which is counter productive to your results.
Protein, not just from shakes, but from the food you eat goes towards the repair of the muscles. The addition of protein shakes into the diet boosts the overall protein intake for you and means that there are more resources available for that repair to occur and is a lower calorie (and much easier to get in) option when compared to chowing down on extra chicken breasts.
Collagen Protein such as the NO-WAY by ATP Science actually goes a step further and assists in the rebuild of other areas of the body as well as it can be utilised beyond just muscle repair. Interesting stuff if you want to read into it.
When to have protein powder
Take it as directed throughout the challenge and I suggest taking it after your workouts to aid in recovery.
It’s also suggested as a snack, but in my opinion it’s a bit useless having it as a snack if you get hungry throughout the day – most shakes are about 120 calories and because its mostly liquid anyway won’t satisfy your hunger or cravings. You’re better off snacking on the recommended vegetable options as 120 calories of vegetables will take more space in your stomach than a protein shake, effectively satisfying your hunger more.
Enhance F45 Challenge Recovery with Zinc & Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral which is recommended when you do the F45 Challenge. An “Essential” mineral means you must obtain it from your diet as you can’t produce it yourself. Magnesium is responsible for a phenomenal amount of chemical interactions within the human body, including muscle relaxation. We lose trace minerals like Magnesium and Zinc, when we sweat. Due to the intense workouts and lower volume of food you take in when doing the F45 Challenge you deplete more of these nutrients. This is purely because you’re working out more, sweating more and consuming less food. In conditions like this it becomes more important to supplement with Zinc and Magnesium.
What Does Zinc & Magnesium Do?
In the context of the F45 Challenge Magnesium assists greatly in the recovery process by allowing your body to effectively “switch off” and allows the body to relax when needed and get a good nights sleep. Magnesium also plays a major role in the energy conversion process that takes place in the muscle while training, so if you become deficient you’ll notice degraded performance in your classes.
Commonly magnesium is paired with Zinc and sold as ZMA. This combination is even more potent for recovery and replenishment of both these essential minerals after a workout.
Zinc is essential for healthy gut and thyroid function. The thyroid controls hormonal signaling throughout the body that effect some major functions such as:
- Heart Rate
- Body Temperature
- Central Nervous System
- Peripheral Nervous System
- Menstrual Cycle
Becoming deficient in Zinc causes problems with the signaling of hormones from the thyroid. This can manifest itself in many ways, the most common of which is decreased energy levels and a lower metabolic rate which hinders fat loss.
We stock True ZMA, ATP Science Z-MAG or Switch Nutrition’s Adrenal Switch as our chosen sources of Zinc and Magnesium. These products have the benefits of an appropriate dose of Magnesium and Zinc, however the Z-MAG can be taken throughout the day. Adrenal Switch can be taken straight after workouts as well to boost recovery which is also handy.
When To Take Zinc & Magnesium
Most zinc and magnesium products are best taken before bed. Generally 30 minutes prior is appropriate. It has also been found that dairy can hinder the absorption of zinc but this is also not going to stop you completely from absorbing it.
- Absorption of Magnesium is proportional to the levels of Magnesium present in your body
- If deficient in magnesium the rate of absorption is higher
- If not deficient in magnesium the absorption is lower
- If you notice watery or loose stools you have enough Magnesium present. Magnesium draws water to the intestine when there is too much or can’t be absorbed. If you notice this occurring not long after you take a magnesium supplement you should reduce your dose. Some people experience watery or loose stools when losing weight – this is part of the fat burning process.
F45 Challenge Muscle Protection With Amino Acids
F45 Challenge participants often find the subject of Amino Acids quite confusing. Why do you need to sip on something other than water? Is water not good enough alone to do the job?
Amino Acids are the simplest form of protein and are commonly associated with products such as BCAA’s and EAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids & Essential Amino Acids) which are quite commonly seen in the gym as those coloured drinks people sip on during workouts or in Hydration Breaks. With so many fruity flavours out there packed with sugar it’s easy to pick one that’s going to do the opposite of what you want (add calories where you weren’t expecting them).
BCAA’s are group of three Amino Acid’s that assist in muscle growth, repair, help prevent muscle breakdown and fight fatigue. BCAA’s are also part of a larger group of amino acids known as Essential Amino Acids. EAA’s are a group of 9 amino acids which you must take in as part of your diet because you can’t convert them from something else in your body nor can you synthesise it from something else you eat.
Simply put though, you need to take in Amino Acids as part of your diet, supplementing with them offers some advantages over just getting them as part of your daily food intake in the protein you eat.
What Do Amino Acids Do?
Amino Acid supplements are a combined approach to achieving a couple of things which are essential for success when undertaking the F45 Challenge.
- They help in repairing muscles after workouts by stimulating protein and glucose uptake to aid in the repair process. The faster you can repair, the better position you’ll be in to get back to the next training session and give it 100% again.
- During periods of caloric deficit (using more energy in a day than you consume) such as undertaking the F45 Challenge, Amino Acid supplements can help to prevent muscle loss by acting as an immediate fuel source for you while you work out. This is important when undertaking the F45 Challenge because you want to maximise the amount of muscle you have and lose body fat. Preventing the break down of muscle is they key to better scan results in the end.
- During periods of caloric restriction you may not be consuming as many animal products as you would normally and everyone’s requirement for overall protein intake is different. This means you may not have the resources in your system to commit to recovery and repair. Introducing an Amino Acid supplement during this period is an easy way to ensure you have the resources available to continue losing fat and maintaining muscle during the duration of the F45 Challenge.
We stock Switch Nutrition Amino Switch range as our recommended Amino Acid supplement for the F45 Challenge. Amino Switch is sugar free, naturally sweetened, ethically sourced and synthesised using a process which mimics the way we absorb them in our gut which makes them much more absorbable than others on the market. They are currently the best on the market and contain a great amount of Essential Amino Acid’s which will help you feed, repair and lose fat during the F45 Challenge.
When To Have Amino Acid’s
Sip on your Amino’s during your class or Hydration Breaks. Some people have also been known to sip on them throughout the day to add flavour to water which helps hit water targets and further assist in recovery.
F45 Challenge & Fat Burners
Fat Burners aren’t generally recommended for the F45 Challenge, however everyone wants to burn more fat through the day. If you could drink something which helped boost energy in a clean way, up-regulate metabolism and assist in suppressing appetite then you’d be silly not to entertain the thought.
There are a few key ingredients that have a proven effect which can be applied well in the context of the F45 Challenge which we have listed below:
- Caffeine – it’s a proven way to increase energy output and has been shown to reduce the effects of fatigue. Everyone who does the F45 Challenge experiences a lull in energy while their body tries to adapt to the new calorie intake unless you don’t follow the meal plan and are doing your own thing.
- L-Carnitine – A fatty acid transporter which helps in the process of using the dietary fat to fuel your body
- Green Coffee Bean – Contains high levels of Chlorogenic Acid, polyphenol antioxidant which helps promote fat loss by reducing the absorption of fat and glucose in the gut
- Synephrine – assists in increasing energy expenditure while decreasing appetite
Few products have them all, as it bumps the price point up, however, Muscle Nation Destiny & Switch Nutrition Thermal Switch are prime examples of what we would refer to as a “clean” fat burner which addresses all the relevant points discussed above.
What Do Fat Burners Do?
Contrary to the name, they don’t actually burn fat. It’s an oversimplification of the desired output. No product is going to put the extra work in for you and control what goes in to your mouth, but there are smart ways to compliment your diet and lifestyle through supplementing with a Fat Burner.
Fat Burners assist in the suppression of appetite whilst increasing your metabolic rate. This helps to fight cravings, improve your mood and use more energy through the day. Fat Burners almost always include caffeine and at least one other stimulant. Stimulants help to increase your energy production and output which supports your training intensity.
How To Use Fat Burners
During the F45 Challenge, generally a Fat Burner will be best utilised in the morning before training to get the most out of the increased energy and appetite suppression they offer. This is perfect if you’re a morning session person however, if you are an evening trainer you may feel a bit lethargic by the end of the day. Caffeine may also keep you awake at night as it generally takes around 7 hours to leave your system. The latest we suggest using a Fat Burner is before you have lunch.
Another approach for the morning trainer is to have a black coffee, such as Before You Speak as they include other ingredients which help with energy production, especially in a fasted state and save the Fat Burner for a more convenient time like a mid-morning pick me up. Feel free to experiment with it, something may work better for you in your daily schedule.
You can also use L-Carnitine by itself. True Carnitine can be used up to 3 times daily, and is completely flavourless which makes it a great addition to smoothies or protein shakes. If you feel sick, nauseous or when you sweat you have a fishy smell about you then you’re having too much and you should decrease your dose. More is not always better.
Please note: All of the products are what we refer to as “Challenge Approved”. This means they either follow the guidelines or sentiments of The F45 Challenge, not that the specific products mentioned are endorsed by F45 Training.
F45 Training may advise you to consume certain supplements differently to how we have outlined in this article. It is up to you to determine the method of consumption based on the information available to you.