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So you’ve been out of the gym for a while. Maybe you’ve been out with an injury or maybe you had to dial back your fitness regimen due to personal reasons. Whatever the reason, it’s time to get back in there, and that means your body will need to go through a period of adjustment. What better way to give it a hand in this than by providing it with supplements that will assist in recovery? Here are a few examples.
BCAAs (or Branch Chain Amino Acids) are among the most common supplements for those who require some help pre- or post-workout during the recovery phase. They contain three amino acids that are typically found in everyday protein structures: L-Valine, L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine. What BCAAs do is increase the rate at which your body can absorb available amino acids. They also help considerably with the prevention of muscle catabolism (or breakdown), which is incredibly useful during any recovery period. Better yet, the popularity of specialty fitness retailers like Fitness Market means supplements like these are easy to find.
2. Waxy Maize Starch
Popularised in the 1940s, Waxy Maize Starch (or WMS) is a more natural alternative to your standard carbohydrate powder. It also bears a few unique qualities of its own, particularly with the way your body absorbs it. Typically, your body will send carbs to your intestines, where they’re broken down into sugars. What WMS does is actually pass through your gastric lining directly into your system. This means it gets to work for you faster and more efficiently, helping to rebuild and repair damaged muscles earlier.
Want to talk a little body chemistry? Of course you do. What Beta-Alanine does is combine with L-Histidine to create a di-peptide called Carnosine. Carnosine reduces hydrogen ions that form in your blood and this typically results in a lowering of your blood’s pH level (or level of acidity). Carnosine provides your body’s pH level something of a buffer, keeping you from getting tired quickly. Keeping your pH level balanced and stable, especially during a recovery period, puts a lower amount of stress on the body and will avert any potential for damage to muscle or tissue.
4. Citrulline Malate
The chemistry lesson continues! Citrulline Malate is particularly useful to those who are into weight lifting or cardio-centric exercises, but there are a lot of athletes who either overlook its benefits or grossly under-dose when taking it. When you exercise, your body starts to produce a lot of ammonia. Gross, right? What’s worse, the ammonia in your system will start to impair your ability to exercise reliably. Citrulline keeps the level of ammonia your body produces during exercise to a minimum, but during recovery it’s also great for restoring the body’s reserves of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate to help you heal up and retain your energy levels.
These are just a handful of ideas for recovery supplements to help you get back on your feet and into the gym. What are some of your favourites? Help out your fellow returning gym junkies in the comments.