Amino VITAL offers a system of amino acid performance supplements – which one is right for you? The answer to this question depends, in part, on your diet and training schedule. Here’s a good general guide that you can adapt to meet your specific activity needs:
Amino VITAL Fast Charge – Pre-Workout, Training, Practice and Competition
Fast Charge is the ideal, take-with-you-anywhere formulation. It provides that ‘Right Now’ energy you want with no caffeine or sugar. You don’t need to mix it in water because it dissolves in your mouth and is absorbed immediately. Fast Charge contains arginine – an amino acid that can expand blood vessels to accommodate greater blood flow. Arginine requires oxygen to work and therefore it is best for athletes working at low to moderate intensities vs. very fast-paced sports where an athlete is sucking wind. Fast Charge also contains the BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) to up-regulate muscle building and repair, and glutamine to support immune system functioning and gut health.
Amino VITAL Focus Zone OR Pro-E -During Training, Practice and Competition
In the heat and dehydration of training and competition, athletes need ‘nutritional hydration.’ Unlike thirst-quenchers or other sports drinks loaded with sugar, Focus Zone and Pro-E are formulated to provide the optimum amino acid blend for consistent energy, focus, and stamina with no caffeine and no sugar. Both are well suited for athletic activity, so you really can’t go wrong choosing either. But here are the subtle differences:
Focus Zone comes in pre-measured stick packs nicely suited for 1-2 hours of activity. Focus Zone contains the same blend of amino acids as Fast Charge with more sodium. As an athlete you need sodium to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat and help you stay hydrated. Commonly, athletes use Focus Zone during Golf, Baseball, Tennis, Gym Workouts, etc. Plus, many people like to mix up a bottle for work, chores around the house, or anytime some healthy hydration makes good sense. However, with only 15 calories per serving you may need additional calories from carbohydrate for energy.
PRO-E provides more complex carbohydrate then Focus Zone, making it the perfect drink to help you stay hydrated and energized during high intensity training and competition. Choose PRO-E if your physical or mental energy starts to drop while playing. If you feel like your ability to concentrate and make good decisions starts to suffer or if you don’t feel the same power at the end of your workout or sport, you’ll benefit from the fast sources of carbohydrate in PRO-E. PRO-E is specifically formulated to provide energy to your working muscles and brain quickly so you will feel the effects right away. In addition, PRO-E contains the same high quality amino acids you should expect from Amino VITAL products, in addition to electrolytes – compounds that are essential for helping you stay hydrated and keeping your muscles functioning properly. Pro-E is formulated for longer periods of activity and more intense physical work. Commonly, athletes use Pro-E during Distance Running, Cycling, Triathlon, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Hockey, and Swimming.
Amino VITAL Pro-R After Training, Practice and Competition
Pro-R is the ideal post-workout or post-game drink. The BCAAs will start the muscle building and repair process immediately to support quicker recovery, while small amounts of sodium and potassium are added to help replace lost electrolytes. PRO-R is useful to take after any sporting event, post-workout, or even after a long day of general physical/strenuous activity to support faster muscle recovery to reduce soreness and so you feel your best tomorrow.
Create Your Own Combination
There is no incorrect way to use the family of Amino VITAL products. Once you discover how good these formulations help you feel and perform, you will naturally create your own program to #StayVITAL!
Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD
Sports Nutritionist, Atlanta Hawks
Co-Editor: NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition