It takes a lot of hard work to build lean muscle and tone up your physique. That puts a lot of strain on your body - especially your muscles and bones. With good reason, this concerns many weight lifters. They want to get strong and build muscle without damaging their bodies.
Do you feel the same way? What if, despite your best efforts, you experience an injury or setback. You're not alone. Many people are injured every year while exercising.
Improving your form is one essential way to prevent injuries. Another is to take rest days and allow your body to recover.
Nutrition is also critical. Without a complete set of nutrients every day, your muscles can’t recuperate. And that means they won't grow after each workout like you want them to.
What about immediately after your workout? Are you using a post workout supplement for recovery? If not, should you?
Many weightlifters and fitness enthusiasts have their own preferred recovery drinks. One of the most popular is a BCAA supplement. Why?
There are 9 essential amino acids. They’re essential because you can’t live without them. And because your body can’t produce them on its own. You have to get them from your diet.
BCAA’s - branched chain amino acids - are essential amino acids. Specifically, they are the amino acids most related to muscle growth.
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine - three BCAA’s - make up almost one third of your muscle tissue. They are critical for building lean muscle.
Getting these BCAA’s right after exercise helps promote fast recovery. Your muscles benefit from a BCAA supplement. They can repair and grow so that you are ready for your next workout.
Much research has been done into the effectiveness of BCAA supplements. Here are some of the benefits backed up by science:
Intense resistance training, such as weight lifting, damages muscles. As they repair, they grow and you see lean muscle gains.
But that damage can also lead to soreness and discomfort. BCAA’s counteract this by improving protein synthesis and decreasing muscle protein breakdown.
One double-blind study found that “BCAA administered before and following damaging resistance exercise reduces indices of muscle damage and accelerates recovery in resistance-trained males.”
Studies have also shown benefits for skeletal muscle. The way BCAA’s interact with skeletal muscle “may contribute to muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth.”
A 2006 study sought to determine “the effects of BCAA supplementation on delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle fatigue.” Specifically, researchers looked at how test subjects felt after doing squat exercises.
What were the results?
The researchers were working off reports that “BCAA supplementation before exercise attenuates the breakdown of muscle proteins during exercise.” They also knew that “leucine strongly promotes protein synthesis in skeletal muscle in humans.” So they felt confident that a BCAA supplement would reduce post-exercise muscle damage. They expected the same reduction for recovery time.
The studies referenced above are just a sample. Extensive research has shown that BCAA supplements can help you recover faster from your workouts.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can skip your rest days. Serious lifters know that rest days are important. So is cycling through muscle groups to maintain balanced strength.
If you want the greatest benefit, use the best muscle building supplements. Add a post workout BCAA supplement. Science shows that you will experience less muscle fatigue. That means you can get back to the gym sooner. And that you will get more out of every workout.