Amino Acids for Better Sports Performance
If used the right way, amino acids can increase endurance, make us recover faster from fatigue, reduce muscle soreness, and avert metabolic syndrome.
Amino acids, the ideal nutrients for sports and exercise, are absorbed in the body in just 30 minutes!
Most professional athletes already know about the benefits of amino acids for sports. The many functions and benefits are now becoming widely known among recreational athletes as well, and they are using amino acid nutrition more and more. Proteins are the main component of muscle, and proteins are made of amino acids. When we do sports or exercise, our bodies need more amino acids to function well. Amino acids can be absorbed in the body in just 30 minutes. This means we can consume amino acids right away when our bodies need them, making them the ideal nutrients for sports and training.
The main benefits of taking amino acids are improved endurance, faster recovery from fatigue, and reduced muscle soreness. Amino acids are also effective against metabolic syndrome.
Using BCAAs to enhance performance
The three essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine are called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Roughly 40% of the essential amino acids that make up muscle are BCAAs. During hard or extended exercise our bodies run out of energy sources and begin to break down muscle proteins to use BCAAs for energy. This reduces our muscle and causes muscle damage.
Supplementing with BCAAs at the right time, such as before or during exercise, gives the body energy to move and reduces muscle breakdown and damage. This helps us exercise longer. BCAAs are thought to reduce running times in endurance activities such as marathons. BCAAs also improve performance in team sports.
Not only performance—BCAAs also boost stamina and recovery!
When we push ourselves hard during sports our bodies break down muscle proteins to use BCAAs for energy.
If we supplement with BCAAs before physical activity our bodies have extra BCAAs available to use for energy. So our bodies break down less of our muscle for energy. This reduces muscle fatigue during exercise, and muscle damage in the medium- and long-term. Supplementing with BCAAs right after exercising or before bed helps damaged muscles recover faster and lessens damage like muscle soreness.
Benefits of other amino acids for sports and exercise
In addition to BCAAs, the amino acids arginine and glutamine are also beneficial for sports. Arginine helps repair the body. Arginine stops the production of ammonia and promotes the secretion of growth hormone (GH). Ammonia is said to cause fatigue whereas GH improves blood circulation during exercise.
There are large amounts of the amino acid glutamine in muscle. Like BCAAs, glutamine has been shown to promote the making of muscle proteins and reduce their breakdown. Although there is usually enough glutamine in our bodies, many of our organs need more glutamine during hard exercise so our glutamine gets used up. That’s why it’s important to supplement with glutamine when exercising or doing sports.
Using BCAAs to address metabolic syndrome
There are growing concerns over metabolic syndrome. When muscle mass shrinks, our metabolism and energy consumption declines. On the other hand, if we build our muscle mass the basal metabolism will naturally increase and as a result we can expect a reduction in body fat. Regular and appropriate exercise is key to increasing our muscle mass and reducing body fat. Taking essential amino acids, including BCAAs, at the right time and in combination with exercise, helps to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. So you can train longer.