In the world of fitness supplements, a huge array of products promise all sorts of results to those seeking a better body. Many of the common options are well-known, even among the more casual fitness fans; whey protein is a popular product, as is creatine. However, a leaner, more efficient product has emerged in recent years to challenge the old guard and provide superior recovery from exercise: amino acid supplements. Amino acids are safe and effective supplements, but because they're so new, many people have questions about how to best utilize the newest tool in their fitness arsenal. One of the most frequent questions regarding amino acids, and BCAAs in particular, is: When should you take BCAAs? To find out, read on from amino acid energy supplement company aminoVITAL®.
Amino Acid Supplements and BCAAs
Amino acids are an important part of our bodily functions, but chances are you probably don't remember much about them. After all, they're rarely mentioned in our day-to-day lives, unless you're taking a biology class or working in a medical environment. For those who may not know, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, part of why they have much in common with traditional protein supplements. Of the 20 amino acids our bodies use, there are nine -- the "essential" amino acids -- that our bodies can't produce on their own.
Among the nine essential amino acids, there is a certain classification, "BCAA," that is often mentioned in fitness circles, but this term probably sounds like technical jargon to those unfamiliar with the concept. A BCAA is a type of amino acid called a "branched-chain amino acid" -- hence the acronym. There are three varieties of BCAA, each of which serves its own role in the body and supports one or more specific aspect of exercise.
The most prominent of the BCAAs, leucine offers a straightforward benefit for those looking to bulk up. This amino acid facilitates the synthesis of muscle tissue, increasing gains and boosting returns after all types of training, from cardio to weight lifting.
While leucine's benefits revolve around improving strength and muscle mass over time, isoleucine is more concerned with the development of endurance. Isoleucine works to increase energy levels and shorten recovery times after exercise, helping you maintain intensity and reduce soreness.
To protect your muscles from excessive damage during exercise, make sure you're getting plenty of valine in your diet. This amino acid also improves endurance, helps to regulate the immune system, and promotes healthy cognitive functions.
Should You Take BCAAs Before a Workout?
One of the biggest advantages of taking an amino acid supplement is the speed at which they take effect. In a traditional protein shake, you consume whole proteins that then have to be broken down into their amino acid components; this process works, but it takes some time for your body to fully digest the proteins.
When taking an amino acid supplement, however, you consume amino acids in a free-form state, meaning that they don't have to be broken into parts. The result of this difference is that the BCAAs you take are almost immediately available for use in your body, whether you need them to fuel your muscles or aid in recovery.
Because of the fast bioavailability of BCAA supplements, they make for an excellent pre-workout drink mix. Take your supplement right before heading to the gym or pulling on your running shoes, and you can experience steady, consistent energy throughout your exercise. Unlike stimulant-laden mixes that cause jitters and crashes, amino acids simply help you remain at your peak effectiveness for a longer period of time, without the drawbacks of caffeine.
Should You Take BCAAs After a Workout?
Anyone who has used a protein shake has probably been told that the best time to drink one of these beverages is immediately after finishing a workout. This may be true for some, but the fact that your body needs to digest whole proteins makes them less effective as a time-sensitive supplement. Amino acids, on the other hand, take effect almost as soon as you use them, making them the ideal supplement for post-workout recovery.
When you push them to their limits, your muscle fibers develop tears that are then healed, strengthening your muscles. However, as you finish working out and begin recovering, your muscles need the materials to start putting themselves back together. Amino acids -- along with carbs and electrolytes -- are just the fuel those tissues need to begin repairing and improving themselves. Take a BCAA supplement from aminoVITAL® after your workout to jump-start this process and see how fast you recover.
Try BCAA Supplements from aminoVITAL® Today
In the competition for the strongest, fastest body, every little bit helps. Every bit of speed, every ounce of power. That's what makes amino acids the ideal choice for both pre- and post-workout supplements: they work fast, and they're incredibly effective. If other supplements on the market have left you feeling bloated, shaky, or just plain disappointed, try a BCAA supplement from aminoVITAL®. Learn more by visiting us online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.