You know that you need amino acids for recovery. But understanding the actual mechanics of why that is, and what you need to replenish is important as you weigh whether to buy an amino supplement like Hammer's Endurance Amino. The first thing to understand about amino acids is that they're used by your body to help convert both protein and carbs into fuel, but aminos also serve an important role as antioxidants. The latter function is just as valuable because if you think of oxygen as fuel, an athlete needs more of it to operate effectively. But the more oxygen you "digest," the more oxidation occurs, which means you'll be exposing your body to more harmful agents that can cause you to get sick -- and nothing is worse than going down with a lingering cold right as you're starting to surge toward peak fitness.Further, because your body has a limited supply of amino acids, if you work out for two hours or longer, you'll grow increasingly less efficient at converting food into fuel, because your amino stores can be depleted as you ride. So for longer workouts, you have to put back the used up aminos, just as you add in carbs and protein. Yes, we all get amino acids from foods, but rarely can you eat your way to an optimal level, especially during exercise, not to mention just before or just after an event.Hammer Endurance Amino contains a set of important branched chain amino acids that can target the losses you're going to create during a long ride, or have just induced during a ride. These include l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine, and they work in concert (meaning taking any single one won't offer the same benefits) to stave off muscle fatigue. L-alanine is another amino in the mix, because it's particularly good at helping the body synthesize carbs.To get the most from Hammer Endurance Amino, consume a total of 2-4 capsules before and after exercise, depending on body weight, work load, and ride time. If you're working out with particular intensity and especially for more than two hours, try a capsule each hour. Important: Never experiment with a supplement on race day. You're much better off learning how quickly your body metabolizes food and supplements by trying them out on hard training days to simulate the same work load. One bottle contains 120 capsules.
Strengths: :Helps in both short workouts and in endurance events.
Weaknesses: none that I've experienced
Two specific supplements in the Hammer Nutrition lineup are especially important to me during cycling workouts and races: Endurance Amino and Anti-Fatigue. I take 2 of each prior to a workout/race and during the event, I take 1 of each every hour...sometimes every 30 minutes if it's a really hot day. During a recent hard, hilly, hot criterium, I felt a calf cramp coming on about mid-way through the 60-minute race. Thankfully, I had an Endurance Amino and an Anti-Fatigue in my jersey pocket. After taking them, I had no cramping concerns the rest of the race. They not only worked...but they worked fast. I have been a user of numerous Hammer Nutrition products for 10+ years now and I have nothing praise for the benefits they all provide to me before, during and after workouts and races. Hats off to the Hammer folks!