The vegan athlete and amino acid supplementation

It was a rough start at first when I started working out  in December of 2011. I’ve always been the bookish type, and like many women, I’ve always struggled with poor body image. When we started training, I was twenty-four, 5’4’’ tall, and 124 pounds. I had spent the previous year unsuccessfully fighting to lose the five pounds I had mysteriously gained upon turning twenty-two, so I was skeptical, burnt-out, and not at all enthusiastic about trying again.

When we first began lifting weights and running, I was frequently feeling weak and fatigued, but I was not deficient in iron or B12. I was getting sufficient sleep, and meeting all my RDAs for protein and carbohydrates. So, I asked my best friend, a pharmacologist, what she thought might be the problem. She suggested I supplement with amino acids, since it can be tricky to get all the essential aminos in vegan and vegetarian diets. I decided to give it a try, and purchased a vegetarian-derived amino acid complex.

Within a month or two, I was feeling worlds better. When I ramped up the intensity of our training sessions, he suggested I try branched chain amino acids with L-glutamine, a nutrient known to prevent post-work out soreness. I can honestly say I never feel weak or fatigued like I did before. I’ve gained a considerable amount of muscle mass and lost ten pounds. Plus, I feel energetic, stress levels have improved, and strangest of all, I absolutely love going to the gym.

I’ve come so far– when we started, I could barely suffer through ten minutes of cardio, but now, I’m doing thirty minutes straight after we weight train, plus 45-60 minutes on our “off” days. I’m increasing monthly in the amount of weight I can lift, and I am definitely seeing results.

Aminos are noted to increase performance, help with weight management, and develop muscle mass, and they definitely provided all of those results for me.

These are the brands I use:
Max Amino Caps (I take 2-3 each day with meals.)
BCAAs plus L-Glutamine (I take 1 scoop each day, post-work out.)

Here are some great resources on how amino acids work, and what benefits they provide:
What are the benefits of amino acids?
Are amino acid supplements necessary?
The many benefits of BCAAs
The importance of amino acids

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