Top Peri-Training supplements

Top Peri-Training supplements

If you have been following our twitter account @Science4Fitness for some time you are probably familiar with this concept

What is Peri-training?

It covers the period of time from one hour before the start of our training to six hours after its end. You may wonder why this is so.


This is because the food or supplements we use in the previous hour directly affect the performance we will have in this hour.


If we eat a stew an hour before training it is foreseeable that we will have a bad stomach and feel nauseous during an intense training.

The same applies if we drink a protein shake an hour before training. In 45 minutes, it will be completely digested and 30 minutes before training we will be drinking caffeine. It’s quite likely that our performance will increase compared to what we would have if we hadn’t eaten or taken any supplements.

But why up to six hours after training?

From the time we finish training until six hours later is when most of the training adaptations take place. Our ability to build muscle and recover is dramatically increased if we provide the right nutrients.


So this period of time becomes the most important time of the day to get the maximum benefit from our trainings.

In summary we should have the following objectives in each phase of the peri-training:

Performance Enhancing Supplements

In this period it is interesting to take supplements that can increase our capacities:


Caffeine is a stimulant supplement for the central nervous system. Which in doses of 5mg/Kg can produce increases of 5-8% in our ability to generate strength. We recommend that you only use it if necessary, that is, on occasions when we are tired or for specific situations. Abuse will create tolerance and we will have to increase the dose, so it is better to use it on certain occasions and not always.

If you want more information click on Benefits of Caffeine...


They are nutrients that allow our brain to create more neurotransmitters so it can function more effectively. Among them are ALCAR, Alpha GPC or L-Tyrosine. Doses of 1-3g of ALCAR, 900mg of Alpha GPC and 1000mg of L-Tyrosine are effective.

Citrulline Malate

It has also been shown to increase performance and reduce muscle soreness (DOMS). In doses of 6 to 8gpre-workout is effective. I personally take 10g with the intra-training because 30 minutes after starting I have taken almost all of the intra-training.

Citrulline improves sports performance


Beta-Alanine can give us up to a 2.5% improvement in our performance but especially in exercises lasting more than 45 seconds approximately. Therefore, its use would be recommended only if you train series of more than 45 seconds.


We might also consider adding trimethylglycine to improve our ability to generate strength and tolerance to a higher volume of training. The effective dose in these aspects is 2.5g in two doses throughout the day. But we believe that this supplement, like citrulline, can be overdosed without any problem. Studies have shown that with doses of 20g per day the only drawback could be diarrhoea. We could take two 5g doses, one pre-training and one intra-training or both in the intra-training.

Where is Betaine obtained from?


One of the supplements that has recently come on the market and has been the subject of much controversy, is HMB-FA. It is a supplement with anti-catabolic activity (via FOXOA3) that can reduce muscle damage from training by half. So we could increase the volume of training or maintain it to recover completely from it. The dose of the main study is 1g spread over 3 doses throughout the day. I personally prefer 1,5-3g pre training as it is the most catabolic time of the day.

Get to know HMB in depth...

Phosphatidic acid

This supplement is the only one with anabolic capacity, that is, just by taking it activates the creation of muscle. Although if we do not accompany it with exercise this effect will be very light. For phosphatidic acid, doses of at least 750mg are recommended. The theory is that we could take a dose every four hours. But except for the doses that we would take in the Pre and Post training, they would not produce great adaptations.

Sergio Espinar has already written an article about what for him is the best supplement on the market, Phosphatidic Acid


Creatine is one of the most studied supplements, but there are not many studies on so-called “non-responders”. Such people, either because of stomach problems or absorption problems, do not get any benefit from the most common creatine, creatine monohydrate. Although there is no evidence for what I am about to say, I do know people who have not benefited from creatine monohydrate.

Although they do experience effects with Creatine HCL. Creatine HCL is more water-soluble and may be better absorbed by such people than creatine monohydrate. Jim Stoppani recommends the use of creatine HCL.

In #S4F we believe that a pre-workout dose to enhance its effect on cell volumisation and a post-workout dose are the best way to obtain benefits from it. In the case of creatine monohydrate 5g pre and 5g post training would be good. If it is creatine HCL, 2g pre and 2gr post training.

Click below for the Benefits of Combining Creatine and Beta-Alanine...

How to take Peri-training Supplements

Except for HMB-FA which should be taken 30 minutes before training with caffeine and/or nootropics, all other supplements should ideally be taken 60-45 minutes before training. I’ll now prioritise the supplements:

  1. Protein
  2. HBCD
  3. Phosphatidic acid
  4. HMB-FA
  5. Creatine
  6. Citrulline Maleate
  7. Trimethylglycine
  8. Beta Alanine
  9. Caffeine
  10. ALCAR
  11. Alpha GPC
  12. L-tyrosine


  1. Muscle protein synthesis, degradation and the effect of mTORC1, after resistance exercise (1163.7)Daniel West2, Leslie Baehr2, Baubak Shamim1, Aldrin Gomes1,2, Sue Bodine2,1 and Keith Baar1,2
  2. Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. Michael J. Ormsbee, Christopher W. Bach, and Daniel A. Baur
  3. Carbohydrate feedings 1 h before exercise improves cycling performance.W M Sherman, M C Peden, and D A Wright
  4. Effects of carbohydrate ingestion before and during exercise on glucose kinetics and performance .Mark A. Febbraio , Alison Chiu , Damien J. Angus , Melissa J. Arkinstall , John A. Hawley
  5. Carbohydrate ingestion before exercise: comparison of glucose, fructose, and sweet placebo. V. A. Koivisto , S. L. Karonen , E. A. Nikkila
  6. Essential amino acid and carbohydrate ingestion before resistance exercise does not enhance postexercise muscle protein synthesis.Fujita S1, Dreyer HC, Drummond MJ, Glynn EL, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB.
  7. Exercise Promotes BCAA Catabolism: Effects of BCAA Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle during Exercise. Yoshiharu Shimomura, Taro Murakami, Naoya Nakai, Masaru Nagasaki, and Robert A. Harris
  8. Protein coingestion stimulates muscle protein synthesis during resistance-type exercise. Milou Beelen , René Koopman , Annemie P. Gijsen , Hanne Vandereyt , Arie K. Kies , Harm Kuipers , Wim H. M. Saris , Luc J. C. van Loon
  9. Effect of two doses of caffeine on muscular function during isokinetic exercise. Astorino TA, Terzi MN, Roberson DW, Burnett TR.
  10. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials.Sima AA, Calvani M, Mehra M, Amato A.
  11. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves cognitive functions in severe hepatic encephalopathy: a randomized and controlled clinical trial.Malaguarnera M, Vacante M, Motta M, Giordano M, Malaguarnera G, Bella R, Nunnari G, Rampello L, Pennisi G.
  12. Dietary supplementation with a combination of alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, glycerophosphocoline, docosahexaenoic acid, and phosphatidylserine reduces oxidative damage to murine brain and improves cognitive performance.Suchy J, Chan A, Shea TB.
  13. Choline alphoscerate (alpha-glyceryl-phosphoryl-choline) an old choline- containing phospholipid with a still interesting profile as cognition enhancing agent.Traini E, Bramanti V, Amenta F.
  14. Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course.Deijen JB, Wientjes CJ, Vullinghs HF, Cloin PA, Langefeld JJ.
  15. Oral tyrosine supplementation improves exercise capacity in the heat.Tumilty L, Davison G, Beckmann M, Thatcher R.
  16. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM.
  17. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis.Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C.
  18. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM.
  19. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. Jason M Cholewa, Monika Wyszczelska-Rokiel, Rafal Glowacki, Hieronim Jakubowski, Tracey Matthews, Richard Wood, Stuart AS Craig and Vincent Paolone
  20. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Jacob M. Wilson, Ryan P. Lowery, Jordan M. Joy, J. C. Andersen, Stephanie M. C.
  21. Phosphatidic acid supplementation increases skeletal muscle hypertrophy and strengthJordan M Joy, Ryan P Lowery, Joshua E Dudeck…
  22. Efficacy of phosphatidic acid ingestion on lean body mass, muscle thickness and strength gains in resistance-trained menJay R Hoffman, Jeffrey R Stout, David R Williams…
  23. Miller, D. Oral bioavailability of creatine supplements: Is there room for improvement? Annual Meeting of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2009.

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About Alfredo Valdés
Alfredo Valdés
He is a specialist in metabolic physiopathology training and in the biomolecular effects of food and physical exercise.
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