Greetings, ya’ll! We are going to start a new weekly “thing” over here on the blog. Each Tuesday, I”ll share a tip with you a nutrition tip which I have learned and feel could be beneficial. Some weeks may be more in depth than others while other weeks, like today’s, will be short and to the point! (ohhhh, for those who know me well…hehe) So, let’s get started; shall we?
Today, we shall be discussing the illustrious “Branch Chain Amino Acids” BCAAs for short. There are about 22 amino acids which are considered biologically important–9 of which are classified as “essential amino acids.” These amino acids are traditionally found in large amounts within protein sources. Proteins are classified into two main groups: simple proteins–only consist of amino acids, and conjugated proteins–these will have additional non-protein molecules as a part of their structure.
When the body has used all of the energy it has stored from carbohydrates (glycogen) OR fats if you’re following a strictly high fat/keto based diet, the body will release amino acids from your muscle tissue to be used for energy. Wait, what?! From the lean muscle tissue you’re striving so hard to maintain and/or build??? Why yes, yes those precious muscles. Additionally, if you’re engaging in really intense and grueling exercise (be that via workouts or your job is physically demanding) your body will be depleted of amino acid stores regardless of diet. Leucine being the amino acid which is depleted the most frequently.
So, I know what you’re thinking?? Erin, how can I ensure I safeguard my precious muscle tissue and I am replenishing my amino acids??? Obviously, my first suggestion would be to get as many of your essential amino acids from food sources. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, soy, quinoa and buckwheat are all classified as a “complete protein” source–meaning they have all 9 essential amino acids. However, IF you’re unable to replenish the tank via food sources this is where supplements would be appropriate. Supplements are great ways to fill in the gaps (**Not replace real food sources**) where your nutrition may be lacking. Most brick and mortar and online supplement distributors will carry BCCAs in a variety of flavors and brands. Make note that not all brands are created equal–so, please read your labels. (**SHAMELESS PLUG** If you reside in the Omaha/Metro Nebraska area, please go see Nate Hanson at any of his family owned and operated GNC locations: Twin Creek, Village Point, and Lincoln. He and his knowledgeable staff take exceptional care of their customers and will never sell you supplements you do not need–go see him. IG: @gnc.twincreek @n8hanson_ne ).
Below you’ll find a great option on how to make a BCCA Slushy–get excited!
- 1c The Good Ice–if you’re unfamiliar with “the good ice” it is the ice Sonic, Chick-fil-A, and Zaxby’s all use; so get ya some of the good ice
- 1 scoop your preferred BCAAs
- blender of choice
- preferred level of water
- put all of your ingredients into the blender
- blend (make sure your lid is on tightly as that would be quite a mess to clean up)
- drink out of blender cup or pour into a fresh glass with one of those fancy umbrellas in it
Hopefully you’ve learned a bit of something and enjoyed our first “Nutrition Tip Tuesday.”
Until next time…