Hi Guys! I owe you a bit on an apology! On Tuesday when I discussed intermittent fasting and some ways I navigate it, I referred to BCAAs. I received several emails and messages from you asking what the heck those are. I apologize for using jargon! I'm going to explain exactly what those are in today's blog post, in addition to information about the supplements I take and why.
After reading up on some of the supplements I'm taking, you are welcome to take advantage of the HUGE sale on the bundle below. It contains my favorite protein powder, BCAAs, preworkout, vitamin and veggie powder, and omega-3s. You can purchase each item separately or in a bundle at 25% off the retail price. Just mention my name. And while you're at it, grab a free workout shirt, shaker cup, and hop on the Inbody Scale too! Visit a local 5 Star Nutrition or give them a call for more info!
Branch chain amino acids are the building blocks of protein. "When your glycogen stores run low, your body relies on the three types of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) for fuel, explains Lauren Simmons, R.D., C.S.C.S., of Core Dynamics. The catch: Your body can't produce BCAAs on its own, so you'll need to get them from your diet.
And here's why it's worth loading up on this nutrient: Especially when eaten around your workout, “BCAAs can help promote muscle growth and repair and reduce muscle soreness after exercise,” says Isabel Smith, R.D." (Women's Health Magazine).
The timing of when you take BCAAs is important. They are best used around or during your workout. The amino acids act as a coating for your muscles, preventing muscle loss and intense muscle soreness, so you can hit your workout just as hard the next day. I wouldn't recommend them for light workouts. Save them for heavy lifting sessions or HIIT training. I use them while working out fasted to provide some nutrients to my body without losing muscle mass, probably 3-4x per week.
I started taking a daily magnesium supplement recently after reading about how being deficient in magnesium (most of us are) can cause irritability. And I certainly don't need extra irritability in my life! Read on for more info from Dr. Axe (draxe.com)
"For many people, a magnesium deficiency causes noticeable negative symptoms – including muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Yet, magnesium deficiency is often overlooked and rarely tested. Therefore, magnesium may be one of the most underutilized but most necessary supplements there is.
Magnesium may not be the most present mineral in our body in terms of its quantity, but it’s certainly one of the most crucial to overall health. It’s actually involved in over 300 biochemical functions in the body, such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and helping neurotransmitter functions.
A magnesium deficiency can cause significant symptoms. Some of the most prominent include:
- hypertension and cardiovascular disease
- kidney and liver damage
- peroxynitrite damage that can lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease
- nutrient deficiencies including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium
- restless leg syndrome
- worsened PMS symptoms
- behavioral disorders and mood swings
- insomnia and trouble sleeping
- recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
- tooth cavities
- muscle weakness and cramps
Why is magnesium deficiency so common? A few factors are at play: soil depletion that lowers the amount of magnesium present in crops; digestive disorders that lead to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals in the gut; high rates of prescription medication and antibiotic use that damages the digestive tract to the point that magnesium cannot be absorbed and properly utilized from foods.
The body loses stores of magnesium every day from normal functions such as muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production. Although we only need small amounts of magnesium relative to other nutrients, we must regularly replenish our stores either from foods or magnesium supplements in order to prevent deficiency symptoms.
This has been a GAME CHANGER for me! It is recommended that you get between 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or more if you are a male and extremely active. I wasn't getting anywhere NEAR this amount, even though my diet was very clean and healthy. And I couldn't see force feeding myself chicken breasts just to hit my protein goals.
Adding a daily protein shake to my routine is perfect because it doesn't add carbohydrates or fats to my daily macronutrients-only protein. And since I don't have trouble getting carbs or fats in my diet, it's perfect! I simply shake it up with water and drink it post workout or for an afternoon snack.
When searching for a good protein powder, be sure to check out the sodium content, as some manufacturers hide unclean ingredients there. Head to 5 Star Nutrition and ask for help, and they will aid you in choosing the best option for your needs.
I LOVE improving my brain health (who doesn't??!) and that is my motivating factor for taking Omega-3s. Unless you are eating a diet high in fish you are likely not getting enough of this healthy fat.
Many doctors prescribe omega-3s for the following medical conditions:
- High cholesterol
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Macular degeneration
- Skin issues (eczema and psoriasis)
The supplement I got is a gel capsule and it is flavored with lemon juice so there are no nasty fishy burps later in the day (gross!!).
If you want to dive into this a bit further, I invite you to take a listen to the interview I had with 5 Star Nutrition owner Dave Olit. I love this store and their amazing customer service!