Should Runners Drink BCAAs?
Amino acids – and especially BCAAs – are rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of fitness supplement on the market. These compounds are used by everyone from professional athletes to casual fitness fans, thanks largely to the advantages they have over traditional protein-based supplements. However, as with any new product that hits the market, those looking to check out these powerful supplements might find themselves wondering how they work and who they benefit. For example, runners are often singled out as having unique nutritional needs, especially compared to those who are more concerned with building muscle than improving endurance; it’s only natural for this subset of the physically active to ask the question: Should runners drink BCAA supplements? And if so, what benefits can they expect? To find out, keep reading as the people at aminoVITAL® discuss this very topic.
What Are BCAA Supplements?
Amino acids have long been considered some of the most important compounds in the human body. These 20 substances are used to form the basis of everything from enzymes and muscle cells to hormones and neurotransmitters, so it’s no surprise that they’re important for fitness nutrition as well. Nine of these amino acids can’t be made in our bodies, however; these so-called “essential” amino acids must therefore be obtained through the things we eat and drink.
Among the nine essential amino acids, there are three that stand out as especially potent nutrients for improving athletic performance: the branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, called leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These compounds form the backbone of most fitness-related amino acid supplements because of the effects each amino acid provides:
- Leucine signals your body to start building more muscle tissue, the perfect thing for increasing strength and improving gains.
- Isoleucine works to improve endurance by facilitating the flow of energy (in the form of glucose) to the muscles and boosting the body’s post-workout recovery process.
- Valine shields muscle tissue from excessive damage during exercise, which helps preserve muscle mass and reduce soreness and fatigue.
Each of the three BCAAs is also found in whole proteins; in fact, they’re the reason protein supplements are so popular and effective. However, protein shakes and powders are no longer the gold standard for fitness supplementation. That’s because amino acid supplements are much leaner and more efficient, since they impart their benefits much more quickly while supplying fewer calories and sugars.
Advantages of BCAAs for Runners
While the aforementioned benefits of BCAA supplements can prove quite useful to all physically active individuals, runners especially will find a lot to appreciate about them. For one thing, amino acid supplements can be a fast and effective form of energy that doesn’t sit in your stomach and slow you down on a run the way a protein shake might.
Whereas whole proteins require a lengthy digestive process before the amino acids they contain can be used, the free-form amino acid mixtures offered by aminoVITAL® need almost no digestion before they’re absorbed. This lets amino acid supplements take effect up to three times faster than your average whey protein mix, making a BCAA pre-workout mix the perfect thing to throw back before your next run.
Amino acid supplements like those from aminoVITAL® only contain the ingredients essential for improving performance – namely, the various vitamins and amino acids that energize the muscles and focus the mind. At the same time, these products offer very little in the way of extraneous calories or harmful additives like sugar. The Fast Charge pre-workout mix from aminoVITAL®, for example, actually has as more varieties of vitamins and other nutrients than it does calories – only 10 per packet.
Keep in mind that amino acid supplements can be very flexible, so not all formulas are the same. Because the needs of pre-, mid-, and post-workout nutrition are different, so too are the products that seek to address those needs; take our Rapid Recovery post-workout mix, for instance. Instead of the measly 10 calories found in our Fast Charge mix, our Rapid Recovery offers 60, and instead of only one gram of carbs, Rapid Recovery has 12 grams.
That’s because, after exercise, the body needs carbohydrates to replenish its stores of glycogen – a specific form of glucose stored in the muscles and used for energy during periods of intense physical activity. Someone who runs often probably knows the importance of getting enough carbs, and you can expect aminoVITAL® supplements to meet those needs as well.
By using an amino acid supplement before or after your next run, you can provide your body with energy and electrolytes while promoting muscle growth and repair – all things that any runner will love. Our products are very easy to incorporate into your routine; just mix a packet with a bottle of water and you’re good to go, or – in the case of our Fast Charge mix – simply pour the powdered mixture on your tongue for extra-fast bioavailability.
Boost Your Running Performance with a BCAA Supplement from aminoVITAL®
Finding the perfect supplement for your routine isn’t always easy – or at least, it didn’t use to be. Thanks to advances in sports nutrition and fitness supplementation, however, the superior choice for runners and other fitness fiends is clear: amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL®. Don’t take our word for it, though; try a BCAA supplement today and see the difference for yourself. To learn more about our products and how they can help you reach your fitness goals, visit aminoVITAL® online or call (888) 264-6673 today.