What Role Do Amino Acids Play in Athletic Training?
Those who prioritize their health and fitness often look for ways to boost the results of their athletic training beyond their bodies’ natural boundaries. The majority of people do so through fitness supplements that are quite safe and effective; most of these products supply one or more compounds naturally found in our bodies and diets, and by simply increasing the supply of these resources in the body, a person can significantly improve the gains they see from each workout. There are a few ways this can happen, depending on what supplements you use and how you decide to use them. One of the more popular types of fitness supplement in recent years is amino acid supplements, but because they’re relatively new, there are still people with questions about these potent products. So, what role do amino acids play in athletic training? To find out, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® explain.
What Are Amino Acid Supplements?
While the strain placed on the muscles during a workout is obviously a key part of any athletic training regimen, so too is supporting the performance and recovery of those muscles by providing your body with the resources it needs. For decades, protein supplements have served this purpose for everyone from casual gym-goers to the most experienced athletes, but advances in our understanding of amino acids have shown these supplements to be arguably superior in a number of ways. Before we cover the advantages of using amino acids for athletic training, let’s start with the basics.
There are 20 different amino acids our bodies need to make proteins; 11 of these compounds can be made inside the body, but nine – the “essential” amino acids” – must come from outside sources, such as supplements or foods. Among these nine, there are three called the “branched-chain amino acids,” or BCAAs, which stand out for the benefits they bring to any athletic training plan. These amino acids are known as leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Most amino acid supplements revolve around the BCAAs, though some go a bit farther. The proprietary amino acid blend used in aminoVITAL® products, for example, contains two other amino acids in addition to the BCAAs – the compounds glutamine and arginine – as well as vitamins and minerals designed to provide energy and balance hydration.
Because BCAAs require very little volume, they’re easy to combine with other nutrients, making them flexible enough to serve as the backbone of many different kinds of supplements; whether you need a pre-workout formula like aminoVITAL®’s Fast Charge mix or a post-workout recovery drink mix like our Rapid Recovery blend (which also contains the carbs needed to replenish glycogen stores), amino acid supplements can give your body exactly what it needs.
How Do Amino Acid Supplements Help with Athletic Training?
There are a few different mechanisms through which amino acids can help with athletic training; below, we’ll examine what each BCAA does and the unique ways in which amino acids work fast, build lean muscle, and fight fatigue.
The Role of BCAAs in Athletic Training
Leucine, the first of the BCAAs, is also the most widely known. This compound is critical for an effective athletic training regimen because it serves an important fitness-related purpose: Leucine is the amino acid that triggers the synthesis of new skeletal muscle, leading to bigger biceps and stronger quads.
Isoleucine, the second BCAA, is more concerned with endurance. This amino acid helps keep you energized during a workout by promoting the flow of glucose (the body’s main form of energy) into muscle cells and facilitating its use there. This compound is also an important resource for recovery because it helps speed the repair of muscle tissue after exercise.
The last of the BCAAs, valine, may be the most well-rounded. Valine’s primary role in amino acid supplements is to protect muscle tissue from excessive damage during a workout, but it also believed to boost energy levels, help regulate blood sugar, and support the central nervous system.
How Amino Acids Fight Fatigue During Athletic Training
When your body is resting, BCAAs in the bloodstream compete with tryptophan, another amino acid, for access to the brain via the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, when you exercise, your muscles soak up these BCAAs, which allows tryptophan to enter the brain in greater amounts; once there, it is turned into serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to exercise-related fatigue.
By downing a dose of BCAAs during exercise, you can restore the balance of amino acids in the bloodstream and prevent tryptophan levels (and by extension, serotonin levels) from rising in the brain, effectively limiting the buildup of a fatigue-causing neurotransmitter and allowing you to push yourself harder and longer while training.
Why Amino Acid Supplements Are Fast-Acting
Because of the extensive digestion required to break down whole proteins like those in popular protein-based supplements, the effects of these products are often not felt until more than an hour after they are consumed. That’s because the amino acids contained in those proteins are linked by peptide bonds, which must be broken before the compounds can be absorbed into the bloodstream. By comparison, the free-form amino acids found in aminoVITAL® supplements can take effect up to three times faster than whey protein because they’re not joined together, meaning that they require far less digestion and can be absorbed much more quickly.
Try a Fast, Effective Amino Acid Supplement for Athletic Training Today
By offering many of the same benefits as traditional protein supplements in a form that’s optimized for fast bioavailability and effective muscle growth, amino acid supplements serve as a superior option for athletic training. If you’re serious about improving strength and endurance with a comprehensive training regimen, consider adding amino acids to your routine. To learn more about these powerful, efficient products, visit the aminoVITAL® website or call (888) 264-6673 today.