There are plenty of reasons to love basketball – one of the few American sports to gain popularity around the world – including the almost rhythmic back-and-forth between teams in a game. While this constant movement makes for an exciting spectacle for fans, it also demands a lot of those who play the game, since they have to run more or less non-stop for quarter after quarter. Not only does this exertion require a high level of physical fitness, but it can also wreak havoc on the muscles, leaving players sore and worn-out after a game, sometimes even a day or two later. To combat these effects and improve the results of their training, basketball players often incorporate one or more supplements into their routine, but what supplements should basketball players take? To find out, keep reading as the team at aminoVITAL®, makers of BCAA supplements for athletes, answers this question.
The Benefits of Supplements for Basketball Players
Like any rigorous sport, basketball can take a lot out of you, both physically and mentally. Supplements are designed to help counteract these demands, and they can provide a number of additional benefits as well. For instance, making long shots and maintaining strict control of the ball requires significant strength in your arms and shoulders, which you can get by working out; certain supplements can work to improve these gains, allowing you to build more strength than you would otherwise. Other benefits include:
- Reducing soreness after playing basketball
- Boosting energy levels during a game
- Limiting the damage done to muscle tissue
- Fighting fatigue as you play
- Helping you maintain focus and concentration
If you’ve ever played basketball and wanted to gain these advantages, supplements may be the answer. Keep in mind, however, that not all supplements for basketball players are created equal; in fact, the fitness supplement market is flooded with products that make outlandish claims without any scientific basis, so it’s important that you do your research and choose only those supplements backed by sound evidence. In the next section, we’ll look at some of the supplements basketball players should take based on solid findings from the scientific community.
Top Supplements Basketball Players Should Take
Maintaining a competitive edge over other basketball players requires taking advantage of every tool at your disposal, provided they’re safe and effective. Below are some of the best supplements to help basketball players reach peak performance on the court and at the gym.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
The first item on our list is one of the best: branched-chain amino acids, better known as BCAAs. These three compounds – which are called leucine, isoleucine, and valine – are renowned for their ability to protect existing muscle tissue while helping to create new muscle proteins to repair and reinforce those damaged during strenuous physical activities, such as playing basketball. The first BCAA, leucine, has been studied1 extensively; it’s the amino acid that triggers the production of new muscle tissue, and it can help protect muscles from damage when used as a pre- or mid-workout supplement – as can valine. Isoleucine, the last BCAA, is more about endurance; it helps keep energy (in the form of glucose) flowing to the muscles, so basketball players won’t run out of steam in the middle of a game.
There are many kinds of protein supplements out there, from casein and pea to soy and hemp, but whey is the most popular and, according to many, the most effective. That’s because whey is easily digested, so more of its protein content goes toward muscle-building activities. A single scoop of whey protein powder can have as much as 30 or 40 grams of protein in it – not to mention 100+ calories – so this may not be the best option for a basketball player looking to get lean; it could, however, benefit those looking to bulk up instead.
Like the two supplements described above, creatine has been the subject of a significant amount of research. This substance is an essential part of the body’s energy-producing functions, so it’s believed to help keep people going by giving them more fuel, and its effects are believed to include improving the results of strength-building exercises, such as increasing power and lean muscle mass. Creatine is also probably the supplement that has undergone the most testing, so its safety for basketball players and other athletes is well-established.
Though not a branched-chain amino acid, glutamine is nonetheless an amino acid that has gained widespread recognition for its ability to aid those who work out frequently. The list of supposed benefits of glutamine is long, from helping to bolster the immune system to reducing fatigue in the muscles, but one of its (arguably) best and most well-established2 benefits is its ability to reduce post-exercise soreness, and it has been shown to help athletes return to peak strength sooner after a tough workout, too.
Lean, Effective Amino Acid Supplements for Basketball Players Available from aminoVITAL®
There are a lot of factors basketball players should weigh when deciding what supplements are right for them, including calorie counts, evidence, and their own personal fitness goals. If you decide that lean, fast-acting supplements for building muscles and improving recovery times are what you want, consider the options available from aminoVITAL®. Our products include all three BCAAs, plus glutamine and arginine, and they come with few calories or grams of sugar; our Action mid-workout mix, for instance, is only 15 calories, with no sugar at all. To learn more about how pre-, mid-, and post-workout supplements form aminoVITAL® can improve your game, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.