Wondering what the best supplements for recovery are? These supplements apply to every type of athlete, CrossFitter, and otherwise. This little article should leave you well informed and ready to improve your recovery game in a big way.
Branch Chain Amino Acids are an ESSENTIAL form of supplementation for recovery. L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine are the three BCAA’s that are present in regular structures of protein. However, in this construction, they are found to be unconnected.
Since the BCAA’s are unbound in this form, they are readily available for absorption into blood plasma. The breakdown of muscle (catabolism) is prevented easier, especially with an excess of intense exercise.
BCAA’s increase the rate of protein synthesis AND increase the cell’s protein synthesis capacity. As if that isn’t great enough, BCAA’s also reduce the rate of protein breakdown. If you’re a crossfitter, powerlifter, play any types of sports, or body build. You need BCAA’s
Waxy Maize Starch and Other Good Carbs
A relatively new, yet effective supplement for recovery is Waxy Maize Starch, which is a carbohydrate. It was first commercially produced in the 1940’s and is nearly 100% amylopectin. This product is more texturally stable, considering it has roughly no amylose. Most carbohydrates are transported through the intestinal tract where they are broken down into simple sugars for easy absorption. However, WMS goes straight through the gastric lining, making it a very effective supplement for recovery. Here’s why.
After you’re done working out is the time to take in simple carbs because it starts the bodies recovery process as well as imitating new muscle growth. The science is pretty simple: after a hard workout or WOD, the human body is left severely depleted of glucose and glycogen because while we are leaving our blood, sweat and tears in the gym our hard working muscles are also going through some major trauma and changes. In a nutshell muscles use glucose (immediate energy) and glycogen (the body’s stored energy) for energy during exercise. Eventually the immediate and stored energy reserves are burned through and get so low that intense exercise is hard to continue.
Here comes the “bad” part. They body sees this energy depletion as “stress” and releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is not our friend in this situation and tells our body to eat muscle tissue for energy now that the other energy stores are gone AKA “gluconeogenesis.” The bottom line is a loss of muscle tissue.
The post-workout shake with a carbohydrate blend that includes Waxy Maize, Maltodextrin, and Dextrose helps to prevents this. A carb spike post workout also releases insulin which some of you may know is one of the most anabolic hormones in the body. So the use of Waxy Maize and other good carbs post workout enhances recovery in several ways that are CRITICAL! Most research to date has found that a ratio of about 45 grams of protein/ 45 grams of a carbs is the optimal formula.
This supplement partners up with the other amino acid, L-Histidine, and forms Carnosine. Carnosine helps the body with endurance by reducing hydrogen ions which, in turn, helps stabilize the pH levels in your body. With that comes an increased reduction in fatigue allowing you to complete your strenuous workout. In recovery, a reduced pH level helps prevent tissue and muscle damage. With BA you get better muscular endurance and more energy for explosive movements like Oly lifting. Beta Alanine has been found safe for both men and women.
A great benefit of citrulline malate is that it helps reduce ammonia in the body. Although this supplement is widely overlooked, it is arguably one of the best for both cardio and weight training. If people are taking citrulline malate, they are often not providing themselves with the correct dosage. Commonly, 1-2 grams are embedded in products to be taken daily, but an optimal dosage could be 5 grams or more.
Since the body produces ammonia with all exercise, Citrulline Malate can be highly beneficial. Ammonia is a toxin that is quite harmful to the body and can impair performance throughout your workout.
While recovering, Citrulline helps bring back strong levels of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP). Not only does Citrulline decrease ammonia levels caused by exercise and restore ATP, other amazing qualities of this supplement include buffering of lactic acid, Malic Acid promoting Krebs Cycle, NO production, and L-Arginine conversion. The short story is that Cit Mal promotes endurance while battling muscle fatigue. It also helps ATP production which can help intensity. All of these are a CrossFitter’s/Athletes dream.