What are BCAAs? BCAAs can be taken as a fitness supplement or be consumed through a balanced diet. Although supplements aren’t necessary in order to see results, they can be a great way to give you a sense of motivation during your workouts.
What Are BCAAs?
When your body’s glycogen store is running low (i.e. when you’ve just finished a really tough workout at the gym), your body relies on the three types of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) for extra fuel. BCAAs can help to promote muscle growth and reduce muscle pain the next day, which means you don’t have to skip a workout as a result of your DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It has also been said that BCAAs can help to burn fat and stabilize blood levels, which is good news if weight loss is your goal, as you won’t feel the need to desperately snack.
Why have BCAAs?
They definitely aren’t necessary for every workout! They also probably won’t be essential for you if most of what you’re doing is cardio at the gym. However, if you do train or lift heavy, they might be a good option for you to consider taking occasionally in order to fight through muscle pain the next day and encourage you to go back to the gym. During intense exercise, like HIIT or weightlifting, our muscles tear slightly and then take some time to repair, growing stronger in the process—and that’s when you need BCAAs.
How can I take BCAAs?
Our bodies don’t naturally produce BCAAs so they do have to be consumed, should you decide to consider them for your next workout. BCAAs naturally can be found in the following foods:
- Chicken breast
- Lean beef
- Flank steak
- Canned tuna
- Wild salmon
- Turkey breast
There are also a number of supplements that has been designed especially for women that train hard. For example, Protein World sells BCAA capsules as well as IBCAA powder that can be mixed with water. Their capsules are perfect for supporting your muscles and for fasted cardio first thing in the morning when you don’t have time (or energy) to make yourself something to eat until after your workout.
According to Protein World, “fasted cardio is a popular and effective form of exercise for fat loss. The science suggests that when you wake from your nightly slumber, you have depleted stored energy & carbohydrate levels. So when you hit the gym first thing you are directly targeting your fat stores!” You should take the their BCAA Capsules 20-30 minutes before your workout to boost the benefits.