Currently the sports supplement industry is booming, as business has literally never been better than right now. The supplement industry is vastly competitive, it is pretty gruelling, yet if done correctly, it can be hugely lucrative and rewarding. The great thing about the sports supplement market, is that it is so incredibly diverse. Think about it – there are a number of different sports and activities out there, which one being very different to the last. Every person is unique and we all have different goals, targets, likes, and preferences in mind, and as a result we all prefer different sports and physical activities. When we think of supplements, we often tend to picture huge bodybuilders chugging down protein shakes but in reality pretty much every single sport you can think of will be catered for. Running for example, is very popular and very physically demanding, as well as being mentally taxing in the process. To help runners get the most out of their workouts, there are now a number of specially designed supplements out there, with amino acids in particular, proving especially beneficial. If you’re a runner, or are thinking of taking up running, here’s a look at 4 of the top amino acid supplements for runners and what it is that makes them so effective.
Taurine is an amino acid that is a key ingredient found in most energy drinks and pre-workout supplements. This naturally occurring amino acid is predominantly found within our skeletal muscles, our white blood cells, our heart muscles, and our central nervous systems. It has been proven on numerous occasions to help provide stimulating effects so that it helps to promote increases in energy, as well as mental health and brain function in the process. Studies have found that taurine can help runners in a variety of different ways. To begin with, after being consumed, within 20 minutes the energy boosting effects become noticeable, and what’s more it stays active within our systems for a number of hours. This means that not only do sprinters and short distance runners benefit, but so too do endurance athletes such as marathon runners. It helps to fight fatigue, improve mental focus and concentration, it boosts stamina, and it can even help to prevent lactic acid build ups as well.
Tyrosine is another effective amino acid supplement which has looked extremely impressive in regards to running and endurance sports and events. This amino acid helps to regulate and control neurotransmitters which are responsible for mental focus and alertness. Endurance athletes in particular, can benefit from Tyrosine supplementation as the human body is unable to generate adequate amounts of tyrosine during prolonged and intense physical exercise and exertion. It is mainly for cognitive function benefits that tyrosine is important, as it can help athletes break through the “wall” as we call it, allowing them to dig deep and push through the main and discomfort. It is also ideal for helping to establish a strong mind-muscle connection, which numerous athletes have found to be very useful when training. For athletes looking to increase their focus and concentration levels Tyrosine is a must.
Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid which is currently one of the most researched and most popular amino acid supplements on the face of the earth. Studies have revealed that beta alanine supplementation can help to greatly enhance the production of a compound in the muscles known as carnosine, which helps to work as a buffer for lactic acid. Ask any runner, either short distance or endurance, what a runner’s worst enemy is, and they’ll tell you that it is lactic acid. Lactic acid is a by-product created as a result of aerobic activity and it is responsible for muscle cramps and fatigue. Beta alanine is therefore hugely beneficial for runners, because it can help to not only slow down lactic acid production within the human body, but it also helps to reduce the amounts of lactic acid generated by the body itself. Not only that, but there is also evidence which suggests that it greatly enhances athletic performance, even when supplemented alone, rather than as part of a stack.
This non-essential amino acid is often used either alone, or in conjunction with other supplements, to actually help enhance the uptake of various other compounds. Glycine has been proven to not only help increase lean muscle mass, but to also prevent muscle wastage and breakdown and to enhance muscle productivity. Studies have revealed that glycine supplements not only help strengthen the muscles, but that they also help increase the amount of fast-twitch muscle fibres in the muscles. These fast-twitch muscle fibres are so relevant because they are responsible for explosive movements, such as sprinting as they help to generate explosive power. On top of this however, what has experts especially excited about Glycine, is the fact that it can also help to filter harmful toxins from the body, including the dreaded lactic acid. Even more exciting however, is that glycine also helps to promote an enhanced glucose uptake within the muscles, which is ideal for anybody who happens to be carb-loading before a big event as this will help enhance glycogen absorption within the muscles, which in basic terms means that your muscles will be able to absorb more fuel and energy and will therefore be able to work harder and for longer before they begin to fatigue and become affected by rising lactic acid levels.