Powering through a workout can be plenty tough from a physical standpoint, but the mental toll can be just as significant. Although it can be easy to think of exercise as a purely physical endeavor, the truth is that the more rigorous the activity, the more focus it probably requires. At the end of a long routine, however, mustering the mental fortitude to handle another set of deadlifts or take another lap is often easier said than done. Some pre-workout and mid-workout supplements, such as amino acids, claim to help maintain focus and concentration during exercise, but how effective are these products? Keep reading from our amino acid muscle recovery supplement experts to find out.
How Exercise and Energy Relates to Focus and Concentration
In the long term, getting plenty of regular exercise is a great way to give your overall energy level a boost and improve things like memory and concentration. Staying active can facilitate the creation of new brain cells, and the increase in blood flow and oxygenation doesn’t hurt either. So why does it feel like working out can leave your brain feeling drained as soon as you finish your routine?
Many of us are familiar with the full-body exhaustion that so often follows a good day at the gym. When your muscles are sore and your energy is depleted, chances are your mind is just as tired, especially if your workout followed a full day at your job. Much of this scenario we simply take for granted – it makes sense that we feel sluggish if we’ve just been working out – but have you ever stopped to consider why your brain is so affected by your body’s exertion? After all, we’re not lifting weights or pumping pedals with our minds.
The reason behind the brain’s response to exercise lies in the muscles and the way amino acids move through our bodies. A number of amino acids move from the bloodstream to the brain through what’s known as the “blood-brain barrier,” or BBB. This barrier is very selective; it only lets very specific compounds through, and only in limited amounts. Most of the time, the amino acids that relate most directly to exercise – branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs – compete with other amino acids, such as tryptophan, in a contest to get through the BBB; when you exercise, however, the balance between these compounds shifts.
As you begin to work your muscles, they start to use up a number of resources in the body, including glucose (energy) and amino acids (BCAAs). As your muscle tissues begin soaking up BCAAs during exercise, the levels of BCAAs in the blood decrease. This change means that the tryptophan in your bloodstream has less competition for getting through the BBB, so the levels of that particular amino acid increase as you continue to be physically active.
The final piece of the puzzle is this: In the brain, tryptophan is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to sleep, fatigue, and a general lack of motivation. In a nutshell, the longer you work out, the more tryptophan can get into your brain, producing greater levels of serotonin and causing fatigue as the exercise continues.
BCAAs and Concentration During Exercise
Though it’s undoubtedly complicated, the process outlined above essentially boils down to the fact that a lack of BCAAs in the body leads to increased fatigue. The solution, then, is fairly simple: Give your body more BCAAs. That’s where amino acid supplements come in handy.
Traditionally, weightlifters and fitness fanatics would replenish their amino acids by drinking a protein shake. Protein is made of amino acids, after all, and consuming more of it – either in the form of a drink or in solid food – will certainly give you a much-needed dose of these compounds. However, the process is hindered by the fact that your body must first digest the proteins, essentially stripping them for parts and putting their constituent amino acids to use wherever they’re needed. This makes for a slow refueling process, one greatly improved by simply substituting whole proteins for free-form amino acids.
When you take an amino acid supplement like those from aminoVITAL, your system can more or less skip the digestive process entirely. The amino acids in our products are already in an easy-to-use form, meaning that they can be put to use right away. The faster these compounds can enter your bloodstream, the faster they can get to work limiting the movement of tryptophan through the BBB and the more effective they are at fighting fatigue. Plus, the BCAAs in aminoVITAL products are great for boosting muscle gains, maintaining energy levels, improving post-workout recovery times, and protecting muscles from excessive damage during exercise. Try a lean, fast-acting amino acid supplement from aminoVITAL today and see the difference for yourself.
Improve Focus and Concentration with a Supplement from aminoVITAL
If you work out regularly or are in the process of training for a big event, you’re probably quite familiar with the fatigue that can settle in as exercise wears on. Stimulants and protein shakes can offer some limited relief, but the former can lead to jitters and a big crash, while the latter only works after a delay. Amino acid supplements, on the other hand, take effect almost immediately, providing steady, consistent energy throughout your routine and keeping your mind sharp and focused. To learn more about amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.