Anyone who takes part in sprinting or power running knows how grueling these sports can be. Even the most hardened athletes face obstacles when training as a sprinter or power runner, including the many ways our bodies can get run down or worn out after intense physical activity. That’s where fitness supplements come in: These products have long been used by athletes to improve the results of their training and support the healthy, effective functioning of muscle tissue. Though you may not be familiar with them yet, amino acids represent the next step in fitness supplementation. Already, these products have begun replacing traditional protein-based products in many a supplement regimen, but there are still some questions left to be answered. For instance, do power runners or sprinters need amino acid supplements? To find out, keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL® explain.
What’s in an Amino Acid Supplement?
There are a number of amino acids that our bodies need to stay healthy, 20 of which are known as the “proteinogenic” amino acids. These critical compounds are what our bodies use to make everything from hormones and enzymes to neurotransmitters and cell structures, so they’re essential for a wide range of functions. However, amino acid supplements only contain a few of these substances.
The 20 fundamental amino acids are split into two groups: the “essential” amino acids, which cannot be produced internally and must come from outside sources, and the “nonessential” amino acids, which our bodies can make on their own. A third group – the “conditionally essential” amino acids – also exists; these compounds typically belong to the nonessential classification, since our bodies produce them, but they can require supplementation in times of stress or illness.
The amino acids used in fitness supplements generally belong to a subset of essential amino acids called the “branched-chain” amino acids, also called BCAAs. This group consists of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, three compounds that have received a lot of attention from scientists in recent years due to their effects on athletic performance. Some amino acid supplements, including those from aminoVITAL®, also contain the amino acids glutamine and arginine, which offer some additional benefits to physically active users; learn more about these benefits below.
Benefits of Amino Acids for Sprinters and Power Runners
The beneficial effects of amino acid supplements can be sorted into two categories: those offered by each individual amino acid and those offered by a combination of these compounds. Here, we’ll start with the former; read on to find out how each amino acid in a supplement can help with sprinting or power running.
The Advantages of BCAAs
Though the term “branched-chain amino acid” is a reference to the unique shape of these compounds, their real claim to fame is the advantages they offer to those who exercise. Descriptions of each of these benefits follow:
- Leucine – The most popular of the branched-chain amino acids is leucine, the compounds with arguably the most potent effects among the BCAAs. This amino acid signals to the body that it needs to create new skeletal muscle, making it an important part of building bigger, stronger arms and legs.
- Isoleucine – Similar names aside, the functions of isoleucine have little in common with those of leucine. This amino acid helps to promote the flow of glucose (the body’s main fuel source) to the muscles, helping those engaged in exercise stay energized and work harder for longer. Isoleucine has also been shown to streamline the post-workout recovery process.
- Valine – The last of the BCAAs, valine, aids those who are physically active by working to protect muscles from some of the damage wrought by exercise. Often, the proteins in muscle tissue are broken down for fuel once the body’s regular stores of energy are exhausted; valine helps prevent this breakdown, preserving muscle mass and reducing recovery requirements after exercise.
The Benefits of Glutamine and Arginine
Aside from the ever-important BCAAs, aminoVITAL® includes two additional amino acids in the proprietary blend that goes into each supplement: glutamine and arginine.
- Glutamine – This amino acid helps support a healthy immune system and has been shown to improve recovery times and reduce soreness after exercise1.
- Arginine – By boosting circulation and helping the body rid itself of toxic ammonia, this amino acid proves it is a key addition to any amino acid fitness supplement.
General Advantages of Amino Acid Supplements
Supplements featuring whole proteins may offer some of the same benefits as amino acids, but they’re slower to kick in and could even undermine a person’s health and fitness goals. That’s because whole proteins require significantly more digestion than free-form amino acids, which is why an amino acid supplement can take effect up to three times faster than whey.
Amino acid-based supplements also tend to be much leaner; while a protein shake or powder may come with lots of excess calories and sugars, a supplement from aminoVITAL® has very few calories – there are only 15 in our Action mid-workout mix, for example – and virtually no sugar. This makes amino acids an excellent choice for building lean muscle.
Try Lean, Efficient Amino Acid Supplements for Sprinters and Power Runners Today
Gone are the days when supplements took hours to kick in or came with unnecessary sugar; amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL® are fast-acting and feature lean, efficient formulas that won’t sabotage your weight or fitness goals. To learn more about these potent fitness supplements, visit aminoVITAL® online or call (888) 264-6673 today.