Whether you enjoy trips to the gym or laps around your neighborhood, you’ve probably felt the pain of the muscle recovery process. Although rigorous workouts are undoubtedly good for us, they come with a price later on – sore muscles, shaky limbs, and a temporary loss of strength. For those with a regular exercise schedule, promoting muscle recovery is an important part of getting ready for the next day’s routine, but what’s the best way to go about improving the recovery process? For many people, the answer is amino acid supplements, which come in so many varieties that it can be tough to pick the best one for your particular fitness goals. To help you find the supplement that’s right for you, the experts at aminoVITAL® will dive into which compounds are the best amino acids for muscle recovery; keep reading to learn more.

Choosing the Best Amino Acids to Help with Muscle Recovery

Regardless of whether you use amino acids or any other kind of fitness supplement, your body’s ability to recover from exercise will involve the use of amino acids, since they’re an essential part of the process. To speed up the muscle recovery process and get the most out of your workouts, it’s helpful to supplement with those amino acids that your body needs to create new muscle tissue or guard what’s already there, most notable the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – as well as glutamine, another popular amino acid for muscle recovery.

Taking Leucine for Muscle Recovery

The most widely known of the BCAAs is leucine, which today is found in a huge number of fitness supplements, especially those designed to help with muscle recovery. That’s because, at its core, the muscle recovery process is simply the body making new muscle cells to replace and reinforce those damaged by exercise; as the amino acid most directly involved in the process of muscle protein synthesis1, leucine is a powerful tool for muscle recovery and growth after exercise.

Isoleucine for Recovering Muscles

Isoleucine doesn’t get as much attention as leucine, but it also helps promote muscle protein synthesis after a tough workout. Isoleucine is more helpful, however, as a way to limit the amount of recovery you need to undergo in the first place. That’s because isoleucine has the ability to improve the flow of glucose – fuel, in other words – to your muscles, ensuring that they’re well-fed during exercise and preventing the breakdown of muscles for fuel instead. This limits damage to the muscles and reduces your muscle recovery requirements after a workout.

Using Valine to Help Muscle Recovery

Valine plays a wide array of roles throughout the body, including in the central nervous and immune systems, but its muscle recovery benefits are similar to isoleucine. However, whereas isoleucine promotes the movement of fuel to the muscles, valine can serve as fuel itself; in fact, all three BCAAs can provide energy to the muscles through the process of oxidation. As mentioned above, more fuel means less breakdown of muscle tissue, so there’s less damage to repair later on.

Benefits of Glutamine for Muscle Recovery

In general, it’s the BCAAs that steal the limelight among amino acid supplements, but glutamine has begun garnering attention as its muscle recovery benefits become better understood. Studies2 have shown that taking a glutamine supplement after exercise not only helped to reduce soreness but also caused the subjects to recover their strength more quickly. This combination of effects makes glutamine a strong contender for the title of “best amino acid for muscle recovery.”

When to Take Amino Acids for Muscle Recovery

If you have experience with fitness supplements, you may already know that timing can make a world of difference. Downing a post-workout muscle recovery supplement hours before or after your trip to the gym won’t cause the kinds of results you want, largely because it’s right after a workout that your body is most in need of nutritional support. It’s this period in which amino acids for muscle recovery are most potent, because it’s when the muscle recovery process is in high gear; by supplying the amino acids your body needs to make new muscle cells, you can more effectively heal and grow your muscle tissue.

For this reason, try to take your amino acids as either a mid-workout supplement or right after finishing your routine. Even taking amino acid supplements as a pre-workout can be effective because the amino acids listed above can stop much of the damage done to the muscles when you work out – provided you use them at the proper time, of course. For pre-workout applications, take your amino acids about half an hour before exercising, while a post-workout amino acid supplement should be used within half an hour of finishing. Remember, you want to give your body time to digest the amino acids and absorb them into your bloodstream, which takes a little time (generally about 30 minutes or so); only once they’ve made it to your muscles can they help the recovery process there.

Try a Powerful Amino Acid Supplement for Muscle Recovery from aminoVITAL®

With so many options out there, it can be tough to find the exact amino acid supplement that meets your needs, but aminoVITAL® supplements should definitely make your short list. Each supplement includes a blend of five amino acids – including all four discussed above – plus electrolytes for improved hydration and a small dose of carbs for glycogen recovery. Learn more about all our products by visiting aminoVITAL® online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21775557/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25811544/

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