The big game is just a few short days away in the Bold North, our home state of Minnesota, and we can’t help but think about the boost all those athletes will need before heading into it (while truly wishing our team was taking the field!). But why limit the the concept of boosting our performance to athletes only when almost everyone can benefit from adding one supplement into their routine?
The supplement we speak of is amino acids. If you’ve been paying attention, the use of amino acids has heightened extensively over the last decade. Growing evidence suggests that pairing non-synthetic amino acids with a balanced diet of high quality and sufficient quantity of nutrients is essential and can assist in achieving optimal nutrition.
We hear amino acids being affectionately described as the building blocks of proteins and an amazing way to up any athlete’s game. They come in sports gel, capsules, powders or fizzy drinks. We also hear the words BCAA’s and glutamine tossed around so to clarify, BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) are a specific combo of three essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine; and glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body.
BCAA’s comprise around 35% of your body’s muscle protein and make up more than one-third of the body’s skeletal muscle. They’re essential because your body doesn’t make them on its own—you have to get them from food and workout supplements. They are metabolized in your muscle, rather than in the liver. This means that BCAA’s don’t require much digestion, making them readily available as an energy source during exercise while also preventing premature muscle breakdown. Glutamine has several muscle recovery benefits and extends the benefit of BCAA’s. It also supports a healthy immune function. In summary, having a combo of BCAA’s and glutamine present in the supplement you take is key for effectiveness.
To break it down for you, here are five reasons to consider adding BCAA’s and glutamine to your daily supplementation, especially if you’re exercising regularly.
Builds Immune System Support
Pushing yourself through a rigorous workout, especially burst training or even weight lifting, puts a lot of stress on your body. If you over stress your body, you will see a decline in results and the possibility of being more susceptible to illness. BCAA’s and glutamine will help you properly refuel your body.
BCAA’s have been found to help with red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and lower fasting blood glucose levels. This means less inflammation, improved red blood cell formation and improved carbohydrate storage. For anyone that truly cares about their physical performance and going to the next level, reducing inflammation is key to overall health.
Promotes Fat Loss
Amino acids are critical for fuel provision and aid in growth, development, recovery and immune response. When taken prior to an exercise session, BCAA’s increase fat oxidation and thus assist with fat loss.
Promotes Muscle Growth and Rebuilds Muscle Fibers
During and following your workouts, your muscles breakdown. Consuming BCAA’s in the period surrounding your workout helps to ensure that the rate of synthesis is higher than the rate of breakdown, thus resulting in muscular GAINS!
Helps with Depression and Anxiety
The use of BCAA’s during the winter season can also assist with depression and anxiety as BCAA’s help boost levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood and sleep.
Choosing An Amino Acid Supplement
When it came to choosing an amino acid supplement for us, we based our decision on quality and affordability. There are many branched-chain amino acids on the market, but buyer beware because not all amino acid supplements are created the same. At the low end of the spectrum some branched-chain amino acids are utilized by only 1% of the body, with the other 99% resulting in waste that your body must then process and eliminate. Also beware of amino acid supplements that don’t come in the recommended ratios because there is a balance and science to the ratios that are important for your body.
Our top recommendation is Amino Boost. It comes in a lemon-lime flavor powder from our favorite online wellness store and it’s half of the cost of most BCAA’s on the market of similar quality. It’s easy to scoop into your water or blender bottle to take with you and to have handy during workouts plus it tastes great while boasting zero calories. And rest assured, it has the necessary 4:1:1 ratio of amino acids that helps us gather the most optimal muscle recovery support. The ratio refers to the amounts of leucine, isoleucine, and valine; the three branched-chain amino acids. For example, Amino Boost was formulated to provide a higher ratio of leucine (4:1:1) vs. the standard 2:1:1 used in most products.
When to Take Your Amino Acid Supplement
When you take your amino acid supplement it a bit of a personal preference. Some use it during a workout and others within 30 minutes of completing their workout. If you’re looking to stay hydrated, take it during a workout. If you’re looking to recover post-workout without the calories from protein, take it after your workout. Even if you’re not working out, you can use it to curb food cravings or to help you body repair injuries or fight off illness. A few scoops daily of Amino Boost will give your body extra protein without creating digestive strain or inflammation.
Find Out More
If you’re part of the population starting to pay attention to the buzz words surrounding amino acids, you aren’t alone. As awareness of how crucial these nutrients are rises, we are happy to provide some education around this topic. We swear by them for enhancing mental focus during a workout, decreasing post workout muscle soreness, preventing muscle loss of course keeping anxiety at bay. Studies have shown that those who used BCAA’s had better exercise efficiency than those that didn’t. If you want to learn more, reach out to us here. Our community is here to help provide the support, tools and accountability along the journey. Give yourself a boost to super charge your body and amp up your wellness game today!