Nutrition

BCAAs For Women? More Like BCA-YAYS!

Most women I know are all too familiar with that feeling of utter and complete exhaustion. 

We can thank any number of factors for contributing, but the usual culprits include family, kids, jobs, volunteer opportunities (here’s looking at you, PTA), and pretty much everything and anything else.

You add in exercise and fitness to this mix and it’s no wonder our bodies often feel WORKED!

tamara with son

When exhaustion and muscle fatigue set in, there are few things other then rest and more rest that can help relieve those pesky and painful symptoms once they’re there. However, you can help minimize and even prevent those things from happening, and the secret to that starts with some tiny power packed proteins called amino acids.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein, which means that you need them to build and repair muscle and tissue. Your daily activities and any additional exercise begins to break these proteins down, which puts you at risk for muscle loss, fatigue, and additional soreness too.

Sore muscles can sure put a damper on your day, and the thought of losing hard earned muscle mass should be enough to make any active person cringe. You worked hard for that muscle and most definitely want to keep what you’ve got working in prime form, allowing you to burn off extra fat and have the strength and endurance to achieve your fitness goals!  

The Essentials

tamara working out-bcaa fitness

There are about 20 amino acids that your body needs. About half of these are “non-essential”, which means that your body makes enough on its own, the other half are deemed “essential” and can only be delivered through diet or supplements.

Don’t let the science talk scare you off!  Understanding a little bit about the biological processes our bodies perform on a daily basis is cool and should hopefully help you gain a better appreciation for how awesome your body really is.

While most amino acids consumed through food travel first to your liver where the body either breaks them down for fuel or assigns them to muscle repair, a specific group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine collectively known as Branch Chain Amino Acids (or BCAAs) operate a little differently.

Breaking Down The Branch Chain

Let’s talk some BCAA specifics:

Leucine plays an especially important role in stimulating muscle growth and is arguably the workhorse of this amino acid trio. Leucine initiates protein synthesis, where amino acids string together to create stronger protein. Leucine also helps to create the most optimal balance of nutrition, hormones, and metabolic activity needed to build lean muscle mass.

Isoleucine also plays an important role in protein synthesis, preserves muscle glycogen, maintains nitrogen balance, and is actually broken down inside the muscle tissue and used up for energy.

Valine helps regulate the central nervous system and also helps supply muscles with extra glucose for increased energy during exercise or intense physical activities.

Individually these three essential amino acids play a valuable role, but together they’re an absolute force to be reckoned with when it comes to keeping our muscles in top form.

Why Women Should Supplement

tamara working out-bcaa recovery

Because of their unique molecular structure, BCAAs are oxidized (put to work) directly in muscle tissue instead of routing through the liver first, allowing them to start repairing, rebuilding and fueling your muscles immediately. Awesome, right?

Research indicates that exercise increases the oxidization of BCAA’s, which basically means that your body uses up those important acids more quickly when you exercise. This is a huge part of the reason why supplementing your BCAAs during and after exercise and physical activity can be so beneficial!

Supplementing with BCAAs can actually help diminish the damage done to your muscles through exercise, which improves recovery time and allows you to train as hard as you like and as much as you want.

BCAA supplementation can not only improve your ability to fight off muscle fatigue, but can also help preserve muscle glycogen (or energy) which allows for the body to burn off fat stores for energy instead. What’s not to love about that?!

Did you know that on top of cutting down recovery time and muscle fatigue, BCAAs can also help boost your immune system? It’s true!  

“A 2000 study published in the “Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness” found that BCAA supplementation can cut down on muscle damage related to endurance exercise. Another 2008 paper published in the same journal noted that BCAA supplementation could promote muscle recovery while helping regulate the immune system. This may be particularly helpful in avoiding illness, as immune function can be weakened after intense or prolonged exercise.” Live Strong

Makes sense right? When your body is broken down and struggling to recover, your immune system is understandably weakened as well. BCAAs can help keep that the immune system regulated and ready for the fight. Back off germs!

The Benefits Are Clear

idealfit trainers

Strengthening your immune system, building muscle, repairing damage, preventing or minimizing muscle soreness…there are so many perks that come from adding a BCAA supplement into your daily workout and nutrition routine. But, like any other supplement, it definitely pays to be picky about which one you choose to take, which is why I always choose IdealLean.

Like every other IdealLean product, IdealLean BCAAs are formulated specifically for women and manufactured without any of the extra fillers and junk commonly found in other supplements on the market.

That’s right, IdealLean BCAAs are absolutely free from sugars, calories, AND carbs. With coconut water powder to keep you hydrated and an added fat burning blend to keep that metabolism primed for fat burning, not to mention flavors that tingle the tastebuds as well…you can’t go wrong!

Here are are some of our top BCAA flavors:

  • Raspberry Lemonade
  • Iced Mocha Latte
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Peach Lemonade (NEW!)

As far as intake goes, most trainers and health experts recommend at least one serving of BCAAs per day during or after your workouts. A little more can’t hurt if you’re trying to curb a sweet craving (one of my favorite tricks), or if you want to really make sure you’re giving your body all the superpowers it needs to fight off soreness and aid in muscle growth and repair.

Think of Ideal Lean BCAAs as your own private army, going to war on behalf of your body and working hard to make sure your muscles stay strong and ready for action. No woman I know has extra time to be tired and sore…

A strong body is a happy body and IdealLean BCAAs are here to help!

 



Tamara Andrade

Tamara Andrade

Trainer & Bikini Competitor

Trainer Tamara is an ISSA Personal Trainer and Pn1 Certified Nutrition Coach. She is also a Nationally Qualified NPC Bikini Competitor.


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