BCAA’s: How they can help you reach your fitness goals.
To put it simply, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are essential for the growth and repair of muscles. Without amino acids, protein in the body breaks down, and will eventually result in muscle loss.
The branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) that are essential to building and repairing muscle in your body are called: valine, leucine and isoleucine. BCAA’s can be used in powder form and mixed with water to take before, during or after a workout to help improve physical performance and endurance during a workout. They are also loved for aiding in muscle recovery! That means that you can actually start refueling and rebuilding your muscles AS you are working out! This is such a great thing because it can result in less fatigue and a better overall gym sesh, which will then result in faster results!
OK- but how does it actually work? Any why not just eat some egg whites before a workout??
BCAA’s bypass the typical break down system that food proteins go through and they go directly to the muscles, which is why they are great to take when working out- they will immediately help your body do what it is doing better, whether that is endurance for strength training! Where as those egg whites we talked about have to be broken down by the liver first before going to your muscles to help build and fuel them.
Of course, nothing is better than natural healthy proteins in food form for building sexy lean muscle, but this supplement can help in ways that food protein sometimes can’t. I mean- would you want to stop mid workout to eat a chicken breast? Probs not.
I have been using BCAA’s for years and I have not experienced anything but positives….and from my research there aren’t any known negatives, unless you don’t like supplements and prefer to go au-naturale all the way (do your thing!)
I drink my BCAA’s during a workout, especially one that is particularly strenuous or weights-oriented. That being said, I will also drink them during spin and pilates! I notice that I am able to push a little harder and my body fatigues a little slower, which enables me to give it my all for the entire workout. I noticed this especially during marathon training runs- my legs wouldn’t cramp up or tighten as quickly and my muscles felt like they were less stiff the day after, which is a big deal!!
Also, they taste pretty damn good and mix easily in water- you don’t even need a fancy shaker bottle for them! Although, if you don’t already have one, I highly recommend one, its sort of a life changer!
The current BCAA powder that I use is Scivation Xtend, which you can buy below. I like it in the mango and lemon flavors best. There are other great ones out there too, so do a little browsing!
Of course, with any supplement, always consult your doctor before trying something new. Something that works for me or someone else, may not be the right thing for you- so always use your own good judgement and discretion!!