Staying competitive in an endurance sport requires dedication, not only to practicing and exercising but also to providing the body with everything it needs to stay in peak condition. To this end, many endurance athletes turn to post-workout recovery supplements to help repair and refuel their bodies after a long run, ride, or swim. Naturally, everyone has their preference, and the supplement market carries so many different recovery supplements that it can be tough to pick out the one that’s ideal for your body and exercise routine. Still, recovery is a key part of maintaining an edge in endurance sports, so let’s examine the question, “What is the best recovery supplement for endurance athletes?” To find out, keep reading as the fitness supplement experts at aminoVITAL® share their insight on the matter.
What to Look for in Recovery Supplements for Endurance Athletes
As anyone who’s ever run a marathon or biked long distances can tell you, what comes after an event can sometimes be just as difficult as what comes before it. Endurance athletes often have to contend with screaming muscles, extreme mental fatigue, and complete physical exhaustion, and that’s in the best of circumstances. Getting the right nutrients, however, can make a big difference in how well a person can recover after a race, and supplements offer a powerful and efficient way to do so. If you’re in the market for a recovery supplement for endurance athletes, keep an eye out for the following nutrients.
Carbs get a bad rap in a lot of circles, but the truth is that they represent perhaps the most efficient fuel source the body can use. From simple carbs that provide a quick boost of glucose to complex carbs that provide energy for hours, knowing how to use your carbs can help endurance athletes in both the short and long term. The benefits of carbs are especially important for recovery supplements, in particular, because they help to restore the body’s reserves of glycogen, a form of glucose kept in the muscles and used during long periods of physical activity.
Most athletes are familiar with the benefits of protein supplements, but what’s less well-known is the fact that it’s the amino acids in protein that your body is after, especially a particular group called the essential amino acids. These compounds can’t be produced in the body, which is part of what makes recovery supplements so important.
Not all amino acids are used to recover from endurance exercise, however; it’s the three known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are most useful for post-workout recovery. The first of the BCAAs, leucine, is known for its ability to stimulate muscle growth; the second, isoleucine, promotes endurance by increasing the flow of glucose to the muscles; and the third, valine, helps to protect the muscles against damage, among other uses.
One of the most-discussed groups of nutrients for endurance athletes is electrolytes, minerals that help to conduct electrical signals and balance hydration in the body. As most people know, the body loses electrolytes as it sweats – something that tends to happen in endurance sports – so it’s crucial to restore the levels of this nutrient when recovering.
Popular Recovery Supplements for Endurance Athletes
Even knowing what to look for, the sheer volume of recovery supplements for endurance athletes available in today’s market can make it nearly impossible to find the one that’s right for you. To help, check out the following types of products, which are among the best recovery supplements for endurance athletes.
The most popular amino acid supplements for endurance athletes are those made with BCAAs. Although these supplements are hardly reserved for those in endurance sports, they offer some attractive benefits for runners, swimmers, bikers, and others like them. BCAA supplements tend to be much lower in sugar, fats, carbs, and calories overall, which makes them perfect for anyone looking to build strength and endurance while staying lean.
As a source of both carbs and electrolytes, sports drinks have much to offer the endurance athlete, but they lack those components – namely, amino acids or protein – necessary to help the muscles quickly recover after a long race. Still, they can be a helpful part of any recovery routine.
Although not a BCAA, this amino acid has some excellent recovery powers for endurance athletes. In particular, glutamine has been shown to help reduce soreness after exercising, which can make it easier to jump back into your routine the next day.
One of the biggest pains for endurance athletes (literally) is inflammation, which can leave you with sore muscles, swollen ankles, and other unpleasant issues after a long event or training session. Taken over a period of weeks or months, fish oil can help provide your body with the resources to fight inflammation and speed up your recovery in the long run.
Choosing the Best Recovery Supplement for Endurance Sports
The factors that influence an athlete’s choice of supplement are myriad, from the sport they compete in to their genes and habits, but the majority of endurance athletes are sure to benefit from amino acid supplements. Simply add a packet of aminoVITAL® Rapid Recovery mix to a bottle of water to improve gains and speed your recovery, or try our Action mix for improved energy and focus when you need it most. Learn more about how amino acids work by visiting aminoVITAL® online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.