Although most people tend to think of the skill it takes to put the ball in the hoop, playing basketball requires much more than that; it also requires focus, strength, and the endurance to keep running up and down the court, quarter after quarter. For even the most well-trained athlete, this constant effort takes a significant toll on the body, forcing players to think about the best way to recuperate and prepare for the next game, practice, or workout – not to mention how to get the most out of their efforts. Whether you play the sport often or only occasionally, you’ve probably wondered how to recover quickly after basketball games. To find out, keep reading as the team at aminoVITAL®, makers of amino acid supplements for athletes, provide some insight on the subject.
What Your Body Needs to Recover Quickly After Basketball Games
Like any complex machine, our bodies must withstand a certain level of wear and tear every day, the rate of which increases greatly when we exercise. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, the damage done to the muscles when you work out or play basketball is essential to strengthening those tissues. However, successfully building up that strength requires resources, such as the amino acids that your body uses to synthesize new muscle cells. Here, we’ll look at some of the most important components needed to recover quickly after basketball games and how each one helps you do so.
As mentioned above, amino acids play a major role in helping your body make a quick recovery after a basketball game – by serving as the raw materials for the muscle-building process. However, these compounds – many of which can be found in some pre-, mid-, and post-workout supplements, as well as dietary protein – offer a number of other benefits as well, many of which can make a big difference in the post-game recovery process.
One of the most effective ways they do this is by limiting the amount of damage done to the body in the first place, which in turn reduces the amount of time needed to recover. To create this effect, amino acids simply act as an alternative energy source for the body to use once it runs out of fuel; because the body still has something to use as fuel, it doesn’t have to break down muscle proteins for that purpose, so your muscles are spared some of the damage that would have otherwise been done to them (and receive a boost of energy in the process).
At this point, pretty much every athlete has heard of electrolytes, either from a trainer or on the label of some sports drink. These minerals are an essential part of many of the body’s processes, from the conduction of electrical signals in the nerves to the maintenance of pH levels in the blood, and they’re needed to balance hydration throughout the body, too. Since any basketball game is bound to make you sweat – releasing water and salt, an electrolyte, in the process – you’ll need to restore the levels of these minerals with food, drinks, or hydration supplements if you want to recover quickly.
If you’ve read anything about carbs recently, it’s probably that they’re the devil’s nutrient and should be avoided at all costs, but the truth is that this type of macronutrient plays an essential role in the body’s recovery and energy production processes. In fact, the main type of fuel used by the muscles when playing basketball – glycogen, a form of glucose – is made from carbs, so if your aim is to recover quickly after basketball games, you should try to get some simple carbs right away. By doing so, you can help your system restore its supply of glycogen, essentially topping off your tank and getting your muscles ready for the next practice, game, or trip to the gym.
How Supplements Can Help You Recover Quickly After a Basketball Game
As almost any nutritionist will tell you, the best way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs is typically through foods and drinks, rather than supplements. Generally, the various parts of your diet can offer a broad nutritional profile, and they’re handled well by your digestive system; however, there are times when the diet is insufficient to provide all the nutritional support a person needs, which is often the case for those who are especially active.
An athlete’s body simply needs more help than that of a sedentary person, since its resources are constantly being used up and need to be replaced. This is where supplements shine: The make it easy to get the nutrients you want without forcing you to eat more food every day. Take the Rapid Recovery mix from aminoVITAL®, for instance. By providing a blend of five amino acids – the three BCAAs, plus glutamine and arginine – along with 12 grams of carbs, this post-workout supplement can help anyone recover quickly after basketball games, and it only contains 60 calories – far fewer than what’s in most traditional protein supplements.