With a huge number of recovery and lean muscle growth supplements out there it's hard to know which ones are the best. In this article I will break it down into what ingredients to look for and why, and then I will do a product comparison between our two best selling recovery - intra-workout - muscle growth type supplements.
BCAA's (branched chain amino acids)
Bcaa's are classified as essential amino acids meaning that the body can not synthesize them and therefore must be sourced from outside the body, either through the diet or with supplementation. Bcaa's make up approximately 30% of skeletal muscle and as such are very important for those of us who are looking to build muscle or recover from hard training.
L-Glutamine (the heavy hitter)
L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino in the body making up approximately 62% of skeletal muscle. It is classed as a non-essential amino acid as the body can synthesize it from various other aminos in an emergency. Don't let the the 'non essential' tag fool you though, l-glutamine is absolutely crucial to the body for building muscle, recovery from strenuous activity, maintaining a strong immune system and many other functions in the body. In the eyes of most serious trainers l-glutamine is the most essential amino of them all.
HMB (hydroxy methyl butrate)
Hmb is the most powerful anticatabolic muscle tissue synthesizer ever to be released on the supplement market. Hmb is a very powerful metabolite of L-leucine (one of the bcaa's) that can virtually stop muscle tissue breakdown in it's tracks. A very small amount of leucine is metabolized into HMB meaning you would need to ingest a huge amount of leucine to get a tiny amount of hmb. With a relatively small dose of HMB, say 1-3 grams, hard trainers notice a big difference in muscle soreness, strength and much faster recovery times. HMB is a must for any serious athlete. Oh yeah, it doesn't taste the greatest.
Taurine is essential for cardiovascular function, and development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system. Taurine is great at helping other nutrients into the cells therefore amplifying the effects of anything it is consumed with.
Check out the table below for an easy comparison between the two.