When it comes to building and preserving lean muscle mass, the go-to for years has been BCAAs. Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike swarm to their favorite online shops or brick and mortar locations to grab powdered BCAAs. The downside to a strict BCAA product for intra-workout is that you’re forgetting about a limiting factor that could cut your training short – electrolytes.
If you combine both BCAAs and electrolytes, you have a very powerful formula that can help catapult your training to the next level – allowing you to push harder and longer than before combining these powerhouses.
Want to know all the details? Check out how BCAAs combined with electrolytes can help you from the information below.
BCAAs Are A Great Start
It’s no secret that a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, valine) is the best for intra-workout. Tons of people have been supplementing with BCAAs and it’s been considered a staple for most. Consumers grab their favorite brand’s flavor, dump a scoop or two into a shaker bottle full of water, and off they go to the gym to train. Some individuals even mega-dose BCAAs (which I’m a fan of) and mix several servings in a gallon jug of water and sip it throughout the day (including when they train). Something to watch here would be how many grams of sugar are present in the product – check the serving size.
BCAAs are great for helping to decrease the likelihood of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) as well as reducing muscle fatigue during exercise. By reducing muscle fatigue, you can train longer and harder in the gym which can be advantageous to helping you achieve the goals you have set for yourself and your physique. Rather than hitting the wall after a given number of sets, you may find you're able to add a few extra sets to your workout or rather than tapping out at 10 repetitions, you may be able to squeeze out a couple of extra reps. In the end, it's all about progressive overload to work the muscles harder than previous workouts and supplementing with BCAAs can help you do just that.
DOMS, on the other hand, is a completely different beast. Generally, 12-24 hours after a workout, you're going to feel the effects of DOMS and the effects can last up to 72 hours. You’re going to be sore. Your muscles are going to hurt. And you’re going to feel the (good) damage you have done to your muscle fibers in an attempt to have them grow back bigger and stronger. If you’ve ever done a heavy leg day (never skip legs), you know the feeling a day or two later. The stairs feel like they’re going to cripple you and something as simple as sitting down on a chair has the people around you thinking you’re 94 years old.
Another advantage of supplementing with BCAAs is to help prevent muscle wasting. When you exercise, you’re essentially breaking down your muscle fibers. Following workouts, it’s important to take in adequate protein to help rebuild the fibers that were torn down. Using BCAAs can be vital to help prevent your muscles from breaking down and being wasted.
Electrolytes – Taking Things One Step Further
How many of you actually think about your sweat? I know, it sounds so dirty, but you actually should be. The amount of sweat you produce should be of concern. When you perspire, you’re losing key minerals needed for your workouts to be maximized. After all, you don’t want to go to the gym and “half-ass” it, right? If you’re going to spend the time making an effort to go to the gym, you want to see the best results from your time and effort. That’s where electrolytes come into play.
Now, I’m not telling you to carry around a bottle of Gatorade in the gym, as most of those beverages are just (expensive) sugar water. But what if you could combine your BCAAs with electrolytes? Now, we’re talkin’!
Many people think of electrolytes as something you need if you get dehydrated outside in the heat or while they are playing sport and need to replenish what they lost. So, why would people think anything different when you’re dripping sweat from a brutal workout? They shouldn’t! Every cell in our body needs water and when it isn't present, cells can become damaged or can even burst, causing health issues. Hydration is extremely important as performance can also suffer when you aren’t replenishing what was lost. And in an extreme case, dehydration can become so severe that it can be fatal if not managed.
Electrolytes are 100% necessary to help your muscles function properly. There needs to be an electrical current flowing that causes your muscles to physically contract and relax. For that process to take place, you need electrolytes – specifically calcium and magnesium. Calcium is an electrolyte that helps with muscular contraction while magnesium does the complete opposite and helps the muscle relax. When your electrolytes are thrown off, your ability to contract the muscle fibers completely can become compromised. Or worse, you can suffer from muscle cramps when the muscle isn’t able to relax.
Circling back to the “electrical current” I mentioned in the previous paragraph, electrolytes help create that current. When it comes to our nervous system, any deviation from balanced electrolytes can completely throw things off. Every single function and movement we make comes from the communication of the nervous system. A major player in this communication is sodium. Sodium helps create the electrical signal where nerve impulses can take place and communicate with the body – including the muscles. If sufficient electrolytes are not present, it can cause a decline in athletic performance as well as cause your workout to suffer.
If you’re looking for a product that combines BCAAs and electrolytes, check out NutriFitt's BCAA'S with PeakO2 and Electrolytes. Not only can NutriFitt Amino Fitt supply you with adequate doses of both BCAAs and electrolytes, but it also contains many other helpful ingredients such as taurine, acetyl-l-carnitine, l-tyrosine, DMAE, coconut water concentrate, panax ginseng extract, and the patented ingredient PeakO2™, that's proven to increase power and endurance in only 7 days! PeakO2™ contains high levels of Beta Glucans and L-Ergothioineine, a "master" antioxidant that fights damage from oxidative stress in the body, helping athletes train longer, recover faster, and feel better throughout the process.
PeakO2™ is an organic-certified combination of six Ayurvedic mushroom strains grown and harvested right here in the U.S. these mushrooms are powerful adaptogens, which allow athletes to "adapt" to and overcome physical and mental stress, giving you the extra edge you want to take your training to the next level! NutriFitt BCAA's can help you increase athletic performance, enhance endurance, improve energy levels, heighten focus, speed up muscle recovery, and help rehydrate the body – making it the perfect intra-workout supplement.
Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured in nearly 100 fitness magazines, 5,000+ websites, as well as having published numerous books and audiobooks. Matt is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. You can contact Matt via www.weikfitness.com or on social media @weikfitness.