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Workout Fitness Blend
Daily physical activity can improve your health, energy, and mood. Get the most out of your fitness program with this functional pre-mix that can allow you to optimize your exercise by improving strength, balance, endurance, and focus.
Servings: 15 Price Per Serving: $0.50
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When people exercise, they sweat and lose electrolytes which are responsible for many essential bodily functions such as energy metabolism, maintaining protein integrity, and regulating cell membrane potentials. Potassium acts like a gatekeeper in the body’s cells, controlling how much fluid flows in and out. However, when you exercise, potassium tends to be pumped out of the cell, upsetting intracellular water content, resulting in muscle cramping, headache, fatigue, and bloating. The main role magnesium plays in proper exercise function is in the synthesis of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the energy “currency” of cells. Creating ATP requires magnesium dependent enzymes called ATPases. Therefore, a deficiency in magnesium reduces metabolic efficiency, increasing the oxygen consumption and heart rate required to perform work, a state no fitness enthusiast desires.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are essential amino acids, meaning the body cannot produce them, thus they must come from the diet or supplementation. The BCAAs are especially important to those who workout due to their role in muscle synthesis. They are unique in that, compared to most of the amino acids which are first processed in the liver, BCAAs are sent directly to the muscles via the bloodstream. Not only are these amino acids building blocks for the proteins that make up muscle, but they also function to regulate said synthesis and produce other exercise benefits in the body.
As a group, the BCAAs affect levels of certain hormones that control muscle building. Italian researchers found that athletes taking BCAAs for one month had higher levels of growth hormone(GH) after workouts.(1) GH is significant for those seeking to improve their strength and power because higher GH levels post workout lead to greater the increases in muscle size and strength. In research conducted by the College of Charleston, BCAAs were also found to decrease levels of cortisol during exercise.(2) Blunting of cortisol levels works to increase muscle growth because cortisol is a catabolic hormone that interferes with the anabolic hormone, testosterone, and encourages muscle breakdown.
BCAAs also function to fight mental fatigue. They compete with another amino acid, tryptophan, for entry into the brain. Tryptophan produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that signals to the brain that the body is fatigued. Since BCAAs block tryptophan, they inhibit serotonin.(3) If valine reduces an athlete’s perception of fatigue they may be able to work out longer and harder.
Of the three BCAAs, leucine is unique in that it initiates protein synthesis. It directly stimulates a protein called mTOR, which acts like a molecular switch that turns on the machinery that manufactures muscle proteins.(4) It also boosts insulin levels, and insulin allows uptake of amino acids by cells, contributing to an anabolic state of protein and thus muscle building.
- De Palo, E. F., Gatti, R., Cappellin, E., Schiraldi, C., De Palo, C. B., & Spinella, P. (2001). Plasma lactate, GH and GH-binding protein levels in exercise following BCAA supplementation in athletes. Amino Acids,20(1), 1-11.
- Sharp, C. P., & Pearson, D. R. (2010). Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 24(4), 1125-1130.
- Blomstrand, E. (2006). A role for branched-chain amino acids in reducing central fatigue. The Journal of Nutrition, 136(2), 544S-547S.
- Norton, L. E., & Layman, D. K. (2006). Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. The Journal of Nutrition, 136(2), 533S-537S.