Fitness supplements come in a wide variety of forms, from the traditional protein-based shakes and powders that enjoy widespread popularity to the amino acid supplements that offer precision support before, during, and immediately after your workout. For those unfamiliar with these products, it can be tough to figure out what kind of supplement works for you or how to use the supplement you just bought; a quick Internet search will reveal as many theories about proper fitness supplementation as there are products to choose from. One of the more common questions about using amino acid supplements is whether they have a place in your diet on your days off. Do you take BCAAs on rest days, and if so, when should you take them? To find out, keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL® provide some answers.
Effects and Benefits of BCAA Supplements
Amino acid supplements may be relatively new additions to the fitness supplement market, but these potent compounds have already garnered a following – not to mention the backing of sound scientific evidence. Because they don’t need to be digested, free-form amino acids like those from aminoVITAL® can be absorbed into the bloodstream almost instantly, allowing them to take effect up to three times faster than protein-based supplements.
Amino acid-based products also tend to be much leaner than protein shakes and powders; for example, the mid-workout Action supplement from aminoVITAL® contains only 15 calories and one gram of carbs, plus exactly zero grams of sugar. This minimalist approach to fitness supplementation helps consumers support muscle growth and recovery without adding excessive amounts of calories or sugars to their diet, safeguarding their health and fitness goals in the process.
Though our bodies use 20 different amino acids, there are three in particular that are renowned for their positive effects on athletic performance, both in the short term and over time: the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, known as leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
- The most well-known BCAA, leucine is the amino acid responsible for telling the body to build new muscle – a function that makes it an integral part of any post-workout supplement regimen.
- Isoleucine may get less attention, but it’s just as important as leucine. This amino acid promotes the flow of energy – in the form of glucose – to the muscles during exercise, and it helps streamline the body’s healing process for a faster recovery after each workout.
- It may have a more limited impact than the other BCAAs, but valine is still a helpful ally for the fitness-minded. This amino acid works to protect muscles from excess damage during exercise, preserving muscle mass while also helping to regulate the immune system and other important processes within the body.
Do BCAAs Help on Rest Days?
They may be most commonly used right before or after a workout – and sometimes in the middle of one – but amino acid supplements can help with your rest day recovery as well. On the days in between trips to the gym or runs around your neighborhood, it is important to provide your body with the resources it needs to repair the damage done during your previous workout and prepare for the next day’s exertion. Conventional wisdom recommends eating well-rounded meals on your off days, with plenty of protein to help muscles rebuild, carbs to replenish glycogen stores, and fats to reduce inflammation and provide energy.
You can address these needs in many different ways, including through the consumption of whole foods that offer a variety of nutrients, but amino acids can serve a purpose as well. Just as they do immediately after exercise, amino acids taken on rest days can promote recovery by encouraging the body to create new muscle tissue, take more glucose into the muscles in the form of glycogen, and guard muscle cells against the catabolic agents that tend to accumulate after intense stress is placed on the body.
One suitable strategy might be to use amino acids between meals to ensure a consistent flow of nutrients to damaged tissues throughout the day; if you have a long gap between lunch and dinner, for example, amino acids can be a useful resource for boosting your recovery. Some of the amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL® also contain secondary nutrients – in addition to our proprietary amino acid blend – that can prove helpful, such as the 12 grams of carbs offered by our Rapid Recovery mix.
Keep in mind, however, that an amino acid supplement is no substitute for a well-rounded meal, especially when you’re trying to recover from strenuous physical activity. The most effective way to ensure a balanced, healthful recuperation is to eat a variety of foods and stay hydrated so you’re prepared for the next day’s exercise. That said, adding a dose of amino acids to your next bottle of water can be a quick and convenient way to add some critical nutrients to your rest day diet.
Effective, Efficient Amino Acid Supplements Available from aminoVITAL®
If you’ve been using them for any length of time, you probably already know that not all fitness supplements are created equal. Take protein, for instance; this popular type of supplement provides many useful nutrients, but whole proteins take time to kick in, and they often add unwanted calories to an otherwise lean diet. Instead, try an amino acid supplement provided by aminoVITAL®. Every mixture we sell is carefully formulated to provide only those essential ingredients your body needs to work harder and bounce back faster. To learn more about amino acid supplements and how they can help you reach your fitness goals, visit aminoVITAL® online or call (888) 264-6673 today.