There’s no disputing that exercise is hard work, but as tough as it is to push through the pain, the process can be even harder on your muscles. The soreness and discomfort that you feel after exercise often indicates damage to the tissues in those areas, but don’t panic: That damage is a perfectly normal part of building up your muscles. In fact, the healing process after exercising is how you get stronger, but it can take some time to see results. One type of product that is supposed to help your muscles heal faster is amino acid supplements, but how well do they work? Keep reading to find out.
What Happens to Your Muscles During or After a Workout?
Though it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about exercise, you actually damage your muscles every time you strain them. Pushing your muscles close to their limits can cause tiny tears to form, and it is the repair of this damage that makes your muscles stronger. Unfortunately, this can cause discomfort that lasts for as much as several days, a condition called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.
Another possible source of muscle damage is the body’s own energy production process. If your muscles run out of glucose – the energy source derived from carbs and other foods you consume – and glycogen – a form of glucose stored in the muscles – then it must get its fuel elsewhere. Often, that means breaking down fat and muscle tissue in a process that can continue for hours after the exercise has stopped. This breakdown can further damage the muscles if the proper steps aren’t taken.
On its own, this damage will mend itself over time, and the soreness that accompanied it will fade. However, the faster the recovery, the sooner you can comfortably resume working out and the faster you can meet your fitness goals. Speeding up this recovery time may sound difficult, but it really just requires the application of the proper compounds at the right time.
Amino Acid Supplements for Exercise Recovery
The key to helping your muscles heal themselves more quickly is to provide them with the resources they need to create new muscle tissue. Traditionally, this has meant drinking a protein shake after working out, a time-honored ritual followed by everyone from professional bodybuilders to the most casual gym members. The purpose of this shake is to supply protein (the basis of muscle tissue) to your body and jump-start the healing process. There is a better way to achieve those results, however.
When you consume whole proteins like those in a shake, your body must first break down those protein molecules into their various components, called amino acids. When you take an amino acid supplement, this digestion process isn’t necessary because the free-form amino acids in the mixture don’t need to be broken up; they can be put to use by your body right away, an advantage that makes a big difference in the overall result
The most important window for replenishing glycogen stores and building new muscles is immediately after your workout has ended. Even if you drink a protein shake as soon as you finish, though, it will still take some time before your body can process that protein and use it to help your muscles. An amino acid supplement can avoid that delay and provide optimal recovery times after even the most strenuous of exercises.
The Type of Amino Acid to Look For
Our bodies use 20 different amino acids, many of which serve roles entirely unrelated to post-workout recovery. This can make it tough to know what you should be looking for in an amino acid supplement, but there are a few particular compounds you should focus on. These are the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, and there are three of them:
Leucine is the amino acid responsible for facilitating the creation of new muscle tissue. It is arguably the most potent of the BCAAs and is widely recognized for its effectiveness at promoting the growth of muscles after physical activity.
Isoleucine is great to have in post-workout recovery drink mixes for those worried about their muscles recovering because it helps your wounds heal – a key part of strengthening your muscles, remember – and can keep you feeling energized even after working hard.
Valine can help to prevent some of the damage to your muscles before it happens by limiting the amount of muscle-damaging enzymes that appear during and after exercise. The less damage your muscles take, the faster they tend to recover.
Though popular protein powders may provide some support for recovering after a workout, amino acid supplements perform the same functions much more quickly and without the added sugars or calories. Try an amino acid supplement today and see the difference for yourself.
Recover from Your Workouts Fast with an Amino Acid Supplement
Amino acid supplements might be new to much of the general public, but athletes around the world have been using these products for decades. That’s because amino acids have proven effective at supporting all aspects of an active lifestyle, from helping you perform at peak efficiency through the toughest workouts to speeding up your path to recovery. Learn more about how supplements from aminoVITAL can help you reach your fitness goals by visiting us online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.