A fairly common question I get is about what workout supplements I use. In that sense, I felt like this was an important and needed post, but this one is going to be short and sweet. Because you know why? I only use one supplement! Yep, I don’t even drink protein shakes #guilty
Now, this isn’t me saying that other supplements aren’t beneficial; I’ve just either never tried them, or tried them and didn’t feel the need to continue using them. The one supplement I do use though, is (Women’s Best) BCAAs (in the free form; not in whey). BCCAs stand for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, and I personally feel that they have made a difference in my workouts. And, in comparison to all supplements, research has proven them to be the most effective.
So what are BCAAs? In short, they help with muscle soreness, recovery, and preventing muscle breakdown. Bodybuilding.com does a really great job of explaining all the benefits of BCAAs, especially if you happen to be dieting/cutting. Muscle mass= protein synthesis – rate of protein breakdown. So, in order to gain muscle, your protein synthesis has to be greater than your protein breakdown. If synthesis is equal to breakdown you just maintain muscle, but if breakdown is greater than synthesis you lose muscle. Hence, why BCCAs are important, they help combat this breakdown of protein. Now, I’m not a certified personal trainer or anything, so I won’t try to get into all the technicalities but I’ll go ahead and sum up some other key points about BCAAs that they highlight.
-Dieting is catabolic, meaning it can cause protein breakdown. BCAAs help stimulate protein synthesis, so in turn it helps fight against this muscle breakdown that people can experience when dieting/cutting.
-BCAAs increase your cell’s rate and capacity for protein synthesis, which overall sets up your body for better muscle growth potential.
-BCAAs can also improve the intensity of your workout. The amino acid tryptophan enters the brain and is converted into serotonin, which can lead to the perception of feeling fatigued (resulting in a less intense workout). BCCAs however, compete with tryptophan for entry into the brain, causing less serotonin to be produced.
-BCAAs can either be consumed in a supplement (aka free form) or in whey (I use free form). While either is fine, when in free form your body is able to use them instantaneously. When consumed in whey, it takes several hours for the body to digest and utilize them.
Hope this helps cover some basics on BCAAs and why I drink them during every workout. My favorite Women’s Best flavors are the iced peach tea, strawberry kiwi, and green apple! I should also mention, that while I drink them during my workout they can also be consumed 30 minutes before or after instead. Do you guys take any supplements that you cant live without? Let me know! xx
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