If you take amino acids before a workout, it would help your recovery process. This gives you quite an edge over those who are not taking pre-workout supplements. But let’s get one thing straight. Supplemental amino acids can never take the place of hard work during workouts or proper nutrition. The reason why they call them substitutes is they only augment workout and nutrition. They will never be able to replace them. Amino acid supplements give you an extra boost. But then, the world of amino supplements is very wide. If you check at any supplement or health food store, you’ll discover there’s a vast array of pills, powders, and bottles. These may seem somewhat intimidating. More so, some of them are hard to place; should you take them before or after workouts? Should you even be taking these supplements at all?
You may think that amino acids are some foreign substances. No, they are not. They are the derivatives of your daily meals. They make up the essential nutrient we all know as proteins. To be honest, the only value you get from proteins is that your body breaks them down to supply amino acids. These amino acids are the basic reasons for eating proteins. But it was only in recent times that proteins and aminos became popular for physical trainers. Before now, it was carbs that people ate before their workouts. But nowadays, it is almost unbelievable that anyone would go to the gym without their pre-workout amino.
What’s The Deal with Protein and Amino Acids?
Proteins are essential and amino acids are the blocks that build them up. The aminos that occur naturally are 20. 11 of them are nonessential, while the other 9 are essential.
Being nonessential means that you can internally make enough, so getting them from food is not important. Essential aminos are the opposite. You must get them from what you eat daily. You can’t create them internally.
Of the 11 non-essential aminos, 8 are conditionally essential. This implies that in times of stress or illness, they may become essential. This is because your body may not be able to create them under such conditions.
Obtaining Amino Acids Before Workout
Experts in sports nutrition tell us that our body constantly builds proteins and breaks them down. For your body to build up muscle, the rate at which it makes proteins must be more than the rate at which it breaks them down.
So then, your body must be breaking down protein more slowly or making it faster to make more muscles. If the breakdown is faster than synthesis, you will not be able to make more muscles.
Since you need aminos to build your muscles, you must not lack essential aminos to build them. If you do, you will not be able to adequately build muscles. The lack of non-essential aminos isn’t a problem. Your body can make as much as it needs.
Aside from not being able to make more muscles, there is another problem with the lack of essential aminos. If you don’t get adequate amounts of essential aminos from your meals, your body will break down your muscles to obtain them.
Remember that your muscles contain abundant essential aminos. But these same aminos are involved in biochemical processes that keep you alive. So this is the way your body works; it can do away with some muscle mass to keep you alive.
If you lack essential aminos, your body will break your muscles down, obtain the aminos, and then redistribute them elsewhere to other places.
So obtaining enough aminos has two advantages. It helps your body to create more muscle cells and to do it faster. Secondly, it prevents your muscles from breaking down further.
Now, if you can’t get enough aminos by eating, you will have to get more from supplements. More so, if you are into physical training, you may need more aminos than an average adult.
There are 2 kinds of amino supplements. They are EAAs (essential aminos) and BCAAs (branched-chain aminos). The essential aminos are 9. The 3 BCAAs are also part of the 9 EAAs. But they are very special. These 3 BCAAs are leucine, valine, and isoleucine.
The BCAAs are the most vital for muscle building. That is a settled matter. Most experts agree that you will get more gains if you take BCAAs. More so, they may be more effective if you take them before your workout.
Why not eat protein-rich food before workouts instead of supplements? Food may make you feel and, in turn, make you somewhat tired and sluggish. More so, your body requires time to digest the food. As such, supplements may be better than full meals shortly before your workouts.
Benefits of Pre-workout Amino Supplementation
The benefits you will get from taking amino supplements for your workout are linked with improved recovery. BCAAs are especially effective for improved recovery. Researchers report that these supplements are more effective if you take them before your workouts.
Aside from being effective for enhancing recovery, experts in physical fitness and sports medicine tell us that BCAA supplements have another vital benefit. They prevent muscle damage and soreness. This is especially vital for those who lift heavy weights during their workouts.
But then, BCAAs are not the only important supplements. Other essential aminos are very vital too. Experts gave EAAs to some physical trainers before they performed weightlifting workouts. After their workout, their biceps strengths were more than that of those who used nothing.
In case you forget to use your amino supplements before your workout, you still have another option. You can take it after your workout. That is better than nothing. It will help you improve your recovery time.
In 2007, nutrition experts analyzed 8 different studies on the benefits of BCAAs. They found that taking amino acids before a workout is the best. However, taking these supplements after your workout is still better for your recovery than just resting. You should consider taking pre-workout supplements if you have not been doing so.