Whether you’re an athlete or not, pretty much everyone has tried Gatorade at one point or another. For those involved in sports, this tangy drink is a ubiquitous sight on sidelines, in dugouts, and even at concession stands; in fact, Gatorade has become so synonymous with sports that it’s actually dumped out to celebrate some victories. Before you start downing this radiation-colored beverage in lieu of other fitness supplements, however, it’s important to know where Gatorade shines and where its advantages end. Because it’s refreshing, Gatorade is often used after a run or the gym as part of a post-workout routine, but it’s not really enough to nourish you on its own. To find out more about why your body needs more than Gatorade post-workout, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® – makers of BCAA supplements for athletes – shed some light on the subject.
What Are the Benefits of a Post-Workout Gatorade?
When you work out, your body undergoes certain changes, which have both positive and negative effects. Ideally, the fitness supplements or sports drinks you choose will be effective at boosting the positive effects and hampering the negative ones, but how does Gatorade stack up in these roles? Let’s take a look.
Gatorade’s biggest claim to fame is as a sports drink based around restoring hydration. Look at the label on a Gatorade bottle, and you’ll see that the word “electrolytes” is featured prominently; this term refers to minerals used by the body to carry out a number of functions, one of which is to balance hydration. Because salt is a part of sweat, you lose significant amounts of this mineral as you exercise, and since sodium is also an electrolyte, you need to replenish this important mineral post-workout. Gatorade can be a good way to do so, as it’s high in both sodium and potassium.
Ask most fitness-minded individuals what their number one rule for dieting is, and “avoiding carbs” is a likely answer. This macronutrient is vilified on dieting blogs and fitness websites because it can contribute to the formation of body fat, but right after exercising, carbs are exactly what your body needs. That’s because working out uses up a special form of glucose – called glycogen – that’s stored in the muscles and used as the to-go source of energy during exercise.
The body’s supply of glycogen is relatively small, however, so most people burn through their reserves when they work out. To restore your glycogen supply and get your body ready for the next round of exercise, the best thing you can do is consume some simple carbs post-workout, as this is the time window in which your body is most eager to make glycogen – provided you give it the resources to do so.
What Else Does Your Body Need Post-Workout?
While carbs, electrolytes, and water are all important in the wake of a tough workout, so too is another key nutrient not found in Gatorade: protein (or, more specifically, the amino acids that protein contains). Most gym-goers know how crucial protein is for optimal post-workout recovery and long-term gains, a role it can play because of the body’s need for amino acids after exercise.
When you work out, the process inflicts significant damage on your muscle tissue, even if you’re not lifting huge weights or running a half-marathon. This damage comes from two sources: the physical force of the workout and the chemical processes called catabolism, in which the body breaks down some of your muscle tissue to use as a fuel source. Amino acids – the building blocks of protein – are the resources your body needs to counteract the damage, especially that caused by catabolism, but they can’t get these compounds from a standard bottle of Gatorade.
Not only do amino acids – namely, the three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine – help to protect the muscles from the damaging effects of exercise, but they also get the body started making new muscle fibers through the process of muscle protein synthesis, a necessary step to rebuild and reinforce the tissue worn out through exercise. Leucine is chiefly responsible for this, so when your body is trying to recover post-workout, leucine and its two siblings are who you want on your side.
Is There a Better Post-Workout Than Gatorade?
There is. If the main components of an effective post-workout are electrolytes and carbs (which Gatorade has) along with amino acids (which Gatorade doesn’t contain), a sports supplement that combines all three would be ideal, right? That’s where the post-workout BCAA supplements from aminoVITAL® come in.
Our Rapid Recovery mix, in particular, is excellent at spurring the after-workout repair process, since it contains four electrolytes – sodium, and potassium, calcium, and phosphorus – along with 12 grams of carbs to replenish glycogen stores and a blend of amino acids, including all three BCAAs. Just mix our Rapid Recovery powder with a bottle of water and enjoy its hydrating, muscle-building, energy-restoring effects as you head home for some well-deserved rest.
Get Comprehensive Post-Workout Support with a BCAA Supplement from aminoVITAL®
Although Gatorade deserves its reputation as a great thirst-quencher, there’s no denying that it lacks one of the main ingredients for optimal post-workout recovery: amino acids. To get plenty of these critical compounds, along with everything else your body needs in the aftermath of a long exercise routine, try an aminoVITAL® supplement and experience the difference firsthand. To learn more about all our products and how they can help you push toward your fitness goals, visit aminoVITAL® online or call (888) 264-6673 today.