BCAA’s and Protein Shakes are very important with your weight loss plan. Do you know why you take both of these? Also, do you know when you should take them for optimum results?
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BCAA’s are branch chain amino acids. They are the building block of protein. Although there are 9 essential amino acid’s only 3 are important for weight loss. Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are crucial for building muscle. They aid in repair damaged muscle tissue & muscle energy. Leucine is the most important BCAA for fat loss and building muscle.
You have been to the gym or worked out at home and the next day you felt super sore. If you’ve ever had a great leg day and done a million squats, then you know the next day you can’t sit down! BCAA’s actually help your muscles recover and keeps some of the soreness at bay!
Protein should be found in every meal you eat throughout your day. For the record, healthy adults should get between 45-56 grams of protein a day. Protein is also another great way to fuel muscles and aid in recovery after a workout.
There are 6 types of Protein:
Whey and Casein come from milk, but whey is the most thermogenic food source you can eat. It can burn calories for over 24 hours. All of these contain some carbs and maybe a little fat.
They come in variety of flavors. I recommend vanilla because it’s best for adding banana’s or peanut butter to shakes and help with the taste.
They can be mixed with water but that NEVER tastes good. I usually use almond milk. Soy milk, low-fat milk, or juice is also an option.
When choosing your protein, keep in mind your goals.
When you are bodybuilding you need more protein after workouts. If you are looking for endurance you need protein that contains more carbs. If your goal is losing weight your protein should have less carbs and little to no fat. Any that you choose should have no less than 50% protein.
When should you take BCAA’s and protein shakes? Well BCAA’s, to my knowledge, have always been about 30 min before a workout or during your workout. They help the most with muscle recovery.
Protein Shakes have had a reputation to be taken after your workout, but that’s not so much the case anymore.
BCAA’s don’t need to be processed by your liver, they go directly to your bloodstream to be picked up by your muscles.
Also, exercising causes breakdowns and oxidation of BCAA’s. Taking BCAA’s prior will prevent the need for your body to catabolize the working muscle itself.
Recently, studies have shown that the energy you get from protein and the endurance you gain make for a great pre-workout. Protein is also another great way to help the muscles recover so again, taking it prior to exerting the muscles will be more beneficial.
Meal replacement protein shakes are something different. I’ll do another post on those later on.
Comment below which protein shake you’re taking!
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