What's the Hype with BCAAs??

What's the Hype with BCAAs??

Are you feeling stuck in your fitness gains and/or lost on your weight loss goal? You'd probably be with most people and then you'd start reading about all the things you could do in training, and in diets, and you'd eventually find yourself in the supplement game. Where every few weeks the "New Miracle Supplement" is discovered or created. It makes it hard to sort between Bull***t and bulletproofing yourself with supplements. Thats why we wanted to break down some supplements for you to sort through 'em. 

If you've got your finger on the pulse in the fitness world, you may have heard quite a buzz about BCAA's at some point. Maybe you've tried 'em, maybe you like 'em, maybe you're confused by 'em, whatever the case may be we're here to help break it down for you. 

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) make up 3 of the 9 Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) in humans: valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Essential, meaning our body cannot produce them on its own - they have to be taken in through food or supplements to reach our minimum requirements. If your diet includes eggs, nuts, beef, greek yogurt, chicken, salmon and/or legumes to name a few, you're naturally consuming BCAAs! 

You'll also find BCAAs in a wide variety of supplement forms, from powders to capsules, they can be taken on their own or you may find them in combination with other vitamins/minerals/forms of protein and, occasionally some questionable ingredients. Like with anything else, not all supplements are created equal - but more on that later. 

So if they're already available from our diet, why take them? What's the hype?! 

When it comes to BCAAs and exercise, there a few good studies out there - like this one and this one - that suggest supplementing with BCAAs before or after a workout can help with muscle recovery and soreness as well as reduce fatigue during exercise, essentially allowing people to workout for longer and return to their next workout sooner.

If you're the type that tends to prefer working out on an empty stomach, like first thing in the morning or after a period of fasting - BCAAs might be a great option for you. Especially for women, a fully fasted high intensity workout can be tough on the body and spike cortisol (think stress hormone) and insulin. BCAAs give you a little something to fuel your workout without having to chew/digest/breakdown a large amount while you're trying to get your move on. 

If at this point you're feeling like you want to give it a whirl, keep in mind it is always a great idea to look for supplements that have been third-party tested and utilize quality ingredients. We also suggest finding a BCAA blend that includes the other 6 EAAs to help round out protein synthesis and muscle anabolism (think maximizing, fully-absorbing, and sending everything where it needs to go in the body). It is also a great idea to consider how you might be able to increase your BCAA intake through your diet. Animal protein sources or the appropriate combination of plant-based protein sources will give you all of the amino acids your body requires. When you're taking in adequate and complete protein on a regular basis, your body will be better equipped to carry-out the wonderful processes throughout the day and night, not just in the gym. Not to mention focusing on whole food sources will help get you where you need to go with the other macronutrients (we still need fat and carbohydrates!) and vitamins and minerals. 

Bottom line is this: trying to outsmart or outsupplement our habits will only get us so far. Our body works as an intelligent and intricate system - there isn't a quick fix or a magic pill - laying out the groundwork with a varied, nutrient-dense and whole food focused diet gives us the right foundation to build from. Let's not think of this as an either/or scenario! BCAA supplementation won't replace or outshine the key bio-available nutrients we get from eating the real deal. However, in addition to a balanced diet, it can be a great resource to help fuel your workouts and recovery. 

*Be sure to check with a healthcare provider before starting any supplement routine and discussing potential interactions if you're taking other medications*


If you're feeling stuck in your nutrition and fitness levels and you're tired of seeing 5 lbs come on and off every diet cycle then stop it by getting a free No Sweat Consult with one of our coaches. Finally eliminate the problem and live your best life. Just check out Ben's 8 Month Result's and then click the link below to schedule up!!!!!




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