We all love a hard workout that leaves us sweaty, exhausted, and sore the next day. It means you got the most out of your workout - right? Yes - but that isn't the entire story.
To get the most out of your workout, you have to fully recover. I know, recovery is basically a 4 letter word. It is the part very few people want to focus on regarding your health and fitness plan.
Showing up to the gym or going for that workout is hard enough. Now you want me to eat healthy, sleep 8 hours per night, and manage my stress!?
Here is a high level overview of what is going on in your body when you workout. Your workout burns calories, damages muscle tissue, and creates a hormonal response in your body to want to adapt to this new exertion level. Said differently - you worked your body to its limit, and it wants to adapt to get stronger so you can do more the next time! All good things!
But your body can only make these changes if you allow your body the ability to recover. And to do this, you need to:
feed your body with proper nutrition - whole foods
This article is all about eating nutrient dense whole foods that are minimally processed, and will help keep you full longer so you aren't hungry all the time!
get adequate sleep - around 8 hours
This article shares all the benefits of getting a restful night of sleep and simple actions to take to start sleeping better.
manage your stress - think self care
This article shares what stress does to your body and health, signs you are stressed, and natural ways to cope with stress and eliminate it.
supplement where necessary - proteins, aminos, and necessary vitamins & minerals
This article covers many of the most popular supplements and the best place to consider starting with adding supplements to your diet. We cover the proteins and how they provide the nine essential amino acids, pre workouts, aminos, and more.
This article walks through the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies for active people and how you can make sure you have appropriate levels so you can feel your best.
You can learn more about each of these important topics by clicking the links in the list above, but for this article we will focus on amino acid supplements benefits to aid in workout recovery.
But first, here is some much needed information on proteins and amino acids.
What Protein and Amino Acids Do in the Body
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. When you consume food containing proteins your body breaks down proteins into amino acids. Those amino acid molecules then pass through your intestinal passages into your blood vessels through the intestine. Once in the blood stream, the amino acids circulate and make there way to your cells where they are absorbed. Once the amino acids are in the cell, they can be used to make proteins that help them perform their functions. It is possible to make many different proteins and they have varying functions.
What Are Amino Acids and How Do They Work?
Protein is built from amino acids in the body. There are 20 amino acids that work synergistically to create the proteins your body needs to function and be healthy. Of the 20 amino acids, your body can create 11 of them on its own. These are called non-essential amino acids because these amino acids do not need to come from dietary sources. The remaining 9 amino acids are called essential amino acids because your body cannot make them on its own. You must get these 9 essential amino acids from the food you eat. These dietary sources of amino acids can be animal based or plant based - your body does not care. But it needs to be understood that animal proteins, and amino acids, are more bioavailable than plant based sources. This just means that you need to make sure you are consuming enough plant based proteins and amino acids to account for the low absorption rate.
How Much Protein Do Humans Need?
According to a new study, protein is recommended for consumption at least once per day in normal adulthood. Normal adulthood is a vague term, and consuming protein only once per day is the minimum, and is not optimized for health. On the low end of protein consumption recommendations, multiply your body weight (in kilograms) by 0.5. This is the minimum amount of protein a person should consume each day based upon the recommended daily intake. Generally older persons require high amounts of protein, as do athletes and active people. To optimize health and longevity, various studies suggest that the recommended protein intake ranges between 1.1 and 1.2 g/kg in a normal age group and 1.1 –1.5 mg/kilos for elderly individuals with malnutrition are appropriate. If kilograms isn't your thing, then a simple rule of thumb for protein consumption is to aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for active individuals.
Vegan Sources of Amino Acids
Unlike animals, protein from plants contains a wide array of different amino acids. Additionally, animal proteins are complete proteins - meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Most plant based proteins are not complete protein, while some are so you need to know what you are consuming and if the amino acid profile will meets your needs. Therefore, vegans must track the amount of amino acids in each of the foods they eat contains. This takes some time to get used to and comfortable doing, but it is possible for people, and athletes, to get all of their protein and amino acids needs from plant based sources.
The easiest way to find out which type of amino acids are present in each food is to identify which ones are lacking. Having all the amino acids in a vegan diet is a challenge. However, legumes should be rich in all amino acids except tryptophan and methionine. Rice and bean when eaten together are a complete protein. Soy, pea, hemp, chia, and sacha inchi are also plant based complete proteins.
List Of Vegan Foods With All Essential Amino Acids
Before we discuss vegan amino acids we have to remember that vegan diets are very rigid. It focuses exclusively on eating plant based meals. A vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. A vegan diet strictly prohibits all animal products, such as meat, eggs, and dairy foods. Animal proteins are protein dense and highly bioavailable. This makes it easy to get all your protein needs without much thought or effort.
Plant based proteins are much less protein dense, less bioavailable, and many sources are not complete proteins. This makes is much harder to get all your protein and amino acids needs from your diet. This is why supplementing a vegan protein and vegan amino acids is so important for vegans and even vegetarians.
BENEFITS OF TAKING Amino Acid Supplements
Reduce Muscle Soreness
Improve Recovery from Workouts
Support a Leaner Body
Protect against Muscle Wasting
Increase Energy Levels (stabilizes blood sugar levels)
Increase Endurance & Delay Muscle Fatigue
This seems like a pretty awesome list, but not all amino acids are created equal. There are different types of aminos (vegan & non-vegan), premium vs economy, essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, etc...
At Propello Life, we promise to provide the best supplements to fuel your active lifestyle. Our branched chain amino acids are made with vegan amino acids so you know you are getting the cleanest most sustainable source of aminos. Plus, did you know many aminos come from bird feathers - yuck! Additionally, we source our aminos using the highest quality raw materials and the best manufacturing techniques.
What's the best way to drink our aminos?
We love them anytime, anywhere. You can drink them during your workout, after your workout, as a mid-day pick-me-up, or in place of an alcoholic beverage during happy hour if you wish. We like to drink them on ice with a good amount of water, but everyone's preference is different. Each of our three flavors is uniquely distinct and we love them all!
To learn more why Propello Life Rejuvenating Aminos are the best vegan amino acids, you can read this previous article we wrote on them or visit our web store to check out the product directly.