When it comes to sports nutrition, many nutrients can make all the difference between feeling good the next day or feeling like you could curl up in bed and binge on your favourite Netflix series for hours at a time. Whether you’re an elite athlete or more of a weekend warrior, essential amino acids are a key nutrient that can benefit you and your recovery after training.
Amino acids work similarly to the way that protein does in the body. It helps to support muscle growth and recovery. This is why you will often hear your gym enthusiast buddies discuss the perfect timing of when to take your protein shake post-workout – stay tuned. More to come!
Although they can often get confused with each other, protein and amino acids are not the same thing. Protein powders boost your total protein and contribute to your diet, both supporting muscles and filling calorie gaps in your diet. Amino acids, on the other hand, target diverse yet specific areas of your metabolism. So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and explore amino acids and, more importantly, how they can help you reach your fitness goals, whether that be to bulk up, lean down or even just maintain your current physique.
It’s no secret that protein is one of the major building blocks of muscles. However, did you know that amino acids are the building blocks of protein? So, let’s look a little further at Amino Acids.
A little-known fun fact about amino’s is there are only 20 amino acids that make up proteins. However, the actual number of combinations in which these can be arranged is never-ending. Of these, 20 amino acids, eight are essential, meaning that they cannot be made by the body and must be provided by a food source. These amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
So how do EAA'S fit into your pre-workout picture?
If you think of your body as a car, it needs proper fuel in order to run. Amino acids can be that pre-fuel to help your body firstly have the stamina to last the entire workout as well as recover post workout. Remember those essential amino acids that you needed to source. Well three of them benefit you directly both during and especially in the post-workout phase: leucine, isoleucine and valine or as they are often termed BCAA’S (branched-chain amino acids). The benefits of amino acids include decreased muscle soreness (yes, reducing that DOMS feeling!), preventing muscle wastage, and increasing muscle growth.
Instead of heading to your liver to be metabolised, these three amigos take a direct route via the bloodstream and go straight to work, helping your muscles post-workout. The role of these BCAA’s is to assist with protein synthesis and also prevent deterioration of your muscles. So, no matter if you’re looking to gain or maintain your muscle mass, BCAA’s are important.
So, when’s the ideal time to take BCAA’s? During a workout is when you want to be fuelling your muscles with BCAA’S this is so you can have the energy to make it through your workout.
However, you can also take them pre and post-workout to both fuels and help your muscle repair and recover.
Here at Athletic Sport, we have a tasty range of Amino’s EAA and BCAA energy in a delicious blue raspberry, pineapple strawberry and strawberry kiwi.
If you are after something with a little more kick, our creatine may be the solution for you! Creatine is often touted as the number one supplement to improve your gym performance. Creatine can be consumed either as part of a pre-workout blend or on its own. The effects of creatine include enhanced muscle definition and growth, enhanced strength and improve overall athletic performance. Interestingly enough, many scientific studies do back creatine for its ability to improve athletic performance. This is because creatine is indeed a naturally occurring substance in the body being produced from the amino acids arginine and glycine.