If you walk through the drugstore or into a health store, there are hundreds of different pills and nutritional supplements to choose from. So how do you know what you need? For help with the ingredients we should be looking for, we asked Jeff Thomas, the Nutrition Director for Creative Edge Nutrition. He gave us his picks for the top ingredients to look for in your workout or dietary supplements to help your body repair, recover, and rebuild faster. And more importantly, he gave us excellent explanations for why we might need or want to add these things into our diet.
1. DL-alpha-hydroxy-isocaproic acid (HICA)
DL-alpha-hydroxy-isocaproic acid (HICA) is an end product of leucine metabolism in human tissues such as muscle and connective tissue and, therefore, occurs physiologically in mammalian organisms. HICA has been suggested to provide support against muscle breakdown in several studies. According to studies done on HICA, people that supplemented with HICA experienced less DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and were suggested to have experienced growth in lean body mass (muscle tissue), compared to those who used a placebo. Supplementing with HICA may allow you to train harder, support muscle growth and muscle recovery in a shorter period of time.
2. Beta Alanine
Beta Alanine is the rate-limiting precursor of carnosine, which is to say carnosine levels are limited by the amount of available β-alanine.Supplementation with β-alanine has been shown to increase the concentration of carnosine in muscles, decrease fatigue in athletes and increase total muscular work done. Beta Alanine may increase muscular strength & power output, muscle mass, anaerobic endurance, aerobic endurance, and delay muscular fatigue.
3. Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola rosea has long been known as a potent adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural plant substances that increase the body’s non-specific resistance and normalize the functions of the body. Rhodiola rosea is a remarkable herb that has a wide and varied history of uses. It is thought to strengthen the nervous system, fight depression, enhance immunity, elevate the capacity for exercise, enhance memory, aid weight reduction, increase sexual function and improve energy levels.
4. Branch Chain Amino Acids:
Branch Chain Amino Acids: (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine) Many studies have shown that BCAA supplementation protects muscles from catabolism (muscle fiber breakdown) due to intensive strength training. Because the body doesn’t have to repair as many damaged muscle fibers, it can invest more energy in the formation of new muscle tissue.