Have you ever felt that "energy slump" a few hours after your workout?
Don’t get us wrong, if you’re going to be tired from anything, it's best to be from exercise. The problem is that most of us don’t have time for low-energy. This "slump" happens because the glycogen stores in your body have been depleted. Plainly said, you’ve used your immediate fuel sources.
More often than not we reach for caffeine for assistance. The problem is that caffeine can further dehydrate and stiffen our already tight muscles. We're definitely not against caffeine, but a la carte it offers little to no recovery help when our bodies need it the most.
Consuming protein post-workout can help ease this slump and help expedite your recovery period. You may have also heard of amino acids and even BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) in that same conversation.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:
makes up ~20% of the body
plays a crucial role in almost anything the body does, including recovery and cell growth
The body breaks proteins down into hundreds of amino acids
These amino acids join together in varying amounts and sequences to create each unique protein.
Amino acids have influence over the individual function of our organs, muscles, tendons, arteries, and waste system, among other things
Essential Amino Acids
The 9 amino acids that your body needs daily to function properly
They must be directly consumed in your diet because your body cannot make them naturally
Branch Chain Amino Acids
Arguably the 3 most important amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which hold a branched molecular structure
Protect muscles during extended bouts of exercise
Assist in protein synthesis to expedite recovery
Stimulate muscle development, even during extreme dieting
To use an analogy:
If protein is the sports team,
amino acids are the individual players,
BCAAs are the star players.
Not utilizing them is like benching Jordan during the finals.
Have you ever wondered why your muscles have not grown or your muscle tone has not changed? It may be due to a lack of nutrients. Protein and BCAA supplementation before and/or after your workouts could be that (easy) catalyst to break your plateau.
Worst-case scenario, it will aid in easing soreness, improve protein absorption and usage, and preventing over-training. Depending on your appetite BCAA's can be taken during your workout or immediately after, for optimal results.
Looking for a great brand? We’ve finally found a recipe that provides the necessary nutrients, without the additives. Mention this article and try a FREE sample before or after your workout, next time you are in the studio.