Runners, bodybuilders, and other kinds of athletes are always looking for ways to push their boundaries and achieve ever-greater levels of strength, speed, and endurance. To accomplish this goal, many active individuals incorporate fitness supplements into their diets, most commonly in the form of protein shakes and powders. However, these common supplements are quickly being replaced in many a fitness diet by a newer, more advanced product: amino acid supplements, especially those containing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Amino acid-based supplements offer many of the same advantages that come with traditional protein supplements, except that they tend to be much leaner and take effect much faster than protein-based products. Still, because these supplements are fairly recent additions to the market, it’s common to hear questions regarding the effects of BCAA supplements, including whether BCAAs increase stamina during exercise. To find out, keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL® provide some answers.
The Benefits of BCAA Supplements for Exercise
Of the 20 basic amino acids our bodies need, three come in a unique form characterized by a branch of carbon atoms not found in other amino acids; these are the branched-chain amino acids, more commonly called BCAAs. These compounds are examples of “essential” amino acids, meaning that they can’t be produced within the body and instead have to be taken from foods or supplements; read more about the basics of the BCAAs below:
- The most popular of the BCAAs is leucine, the amino acid responsible for triggering the synthesis of new muscle tissue. The effects of leucine on exercise and athletic performance are well-documented, and it generally makes up the greatest portion of any BCAA blend.
- The amino acid that most directly affects stamina is isoleucine; despite the obvious similarities in their names, isoleucine has little in common with leucine. Instead of focusing on muscle synthesis, this amino acid works to promote the flow of glucose (the body’s main form of energy) into the muscles. This helps keep the body energized during periods of physical activity and promotes greater endurance. Isoleucine can also streamline the post-workout recovery process.
- Though it serves a number of roles in the body, valine – the third and final BCAA – mainly improves athletic performance by protecting the muscles from damage during exercise. This brings a few long-term benefits, largely by preserving muscle mass and reducing soreness after exercise.
Though this list covers the basic functions of the three BCAAs, they offer a number of additional perks that help increase stamina, whether you’re on a long run or pushing out set after set at the gym. We’ll cover these advantages in the next section.
How BCAAs Increase Stamina
The effects listed above may give you plenty of reasons to try amino acid supplements, but these products have even more to offer. To learn how BCAAs can boost your stamina and endurance when exercising, read on.
BCAAs Reduce Fatigue
One of the top advantages of BCAA supplements for stamina is that they reduce fatigue by limiting the production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter linked to fatigue – in the brain. Under normal circumstances, BCAAs in the blood compete with tryptophan (the precursor of serotonin) for access to the brain. When you work out, however, the BCAAs in your blood are absorbed into the muscles for use as fuel, which gives tryptophan free rein to enter the brain in greater numbers, where they are turned into serotonin. By supplementing with BCAAs during exercise, you can restore the balance of amino acids in the blood and keep that uptick in serotonin levels from happening in the first place.
BCAAs Limit Muscle Damage
Though it’s mentioned briefly in the previous section, this is worth saying again: BCAAs help protect your muscles from some of the damage caused by exercise. When a person strains their muscles – whether by lifting heavy weights or using those muscles continuously on a run – they cause the formation of tiny tears in the tissue. These tears are healed in the recovery process, but adding BCAAs to your routine can prevent some of this damage and preserve your muscle tissues. For long periods of exercise, this reduction in damage can ward off soreness and help your muscles stay stronger for longer.
BCAAs Keep You Energized
There are no stimulants in aminoVITAL® BCAA supplements, but these products can help you get moving anyway. Amino acid supplements have been shown to provide a source of fuel for muscles; while the benefits of more energy speak for themselves, there are some hidden advantages as well, such as the fact that this energy saves the body from needing to break down muscle proteins for fuel, which helps keep muscle mass intact and limit soreness. BCAA supplements may also increase fat burn, which provides yet another source of fuel during endurance exercise.
Boost Your Stamina and Improve Your Gains with BCAAs from aminoVITAL®
Finding the perfect fitness supplement for your routine and personal goals can be hard, but BCAA supplements from aminoVITAL® might be able to simplify things. Each amino acid supplement from aminoVITAL® contains far fewer calories and sugars than most popular protein-based products out there, plus they require much less digestion, so you’ll feel their effects as much as three times faster than whey protein. Because of these differences, we can confidently say that amino acid supplements offer a leaner, more efficient alternative to protein for pre-, mid-, and post-workout support. Try a BCAA supplement from aminoVITAL® today and see the difference for yourself. Learn more about how BCAAs can increase stamina and improve your gains by visiting the aminoVITAL® website or calling (888) 264-6673 today.