If you’ve been reading anything about fitness supplements, you’ve probably heard mention of BCAAs and how they can help you with building muscle and losing weight. But you may not know why BCAAs are important, or why you should be drinking them. I’m here to give you a little info and share my experience with you.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about these links in my disclosure policy.
What Are BCAAs?
BCAAs, or branch chain amino acids, are made of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are called essential because your body is unable to create them, and they must be consumed from an outside protein source – like chicken, eggs, beef, protein shakes, etc.
While I’m all about eating protein-rich foods, some of us really don’t get enough in our diet. And when you drink BCAAs versus eating them, they bypass the liver and go straight into your bloodstream without wasting time with digestion. Let me break it down further:
Leucine helps promote lean muscle growth while assisting with fat loss. It also helps suppress hunger when following a low carb diet (or when you are a busy mom who tries to squeeze in a workout before breakfast).
Isoleucine helps with burning fat, and not in a weird fat-burning-pill kind of way.
Valine provides natural energy, aids in muscle endurance, reduces fatigue, and helps with mental sharpness and clarity.
What about the best collagen for moms? Learn all about that here!
Why Do I Need BCAAs?
Well if you’re a busy mom like me, you are probably tired, stressed, you munch on your kids’ leftovers, and you really need to put some healthy stuff in your body for a change.
In addition to the reasons listed above, BCAAs can help lower cortisol levels that are raised by stress. They also work in your brain to help regulate your hunger levels and reduce cravings.
(Admit it, a hangry mom is a dangerous creature. Nobody wants to be hangry.)
(There is much more information and research out there, but I prefer not to go into all of the science of it in this post. This is just an overview here.)
What Do I Do With Them?
There are some different schools of thought on when it’s best to take BCAAs in relation to your workout, and none seem to be very definitive.
I typically drink my preworkout before I start exercising, and I sip on my BCAAs during exercise and/or drink it right after. Drinking during exercise helps to reduce fatigue and soreness, and increase recovery time and fat usage for energy.
I will also sometimes drink it again in the afternoon if I’m craving something sweet or junky.
Contrary to what I’m doing in this picture, you do NOT chug the powder straight from the canister.
I prefer to mix one scoop of powder with plain cold water. There are also some fun recipes out there that you can try if you like.
What Brand is Best?
Again, there are a LOT of brands out there, and I have tried my fair share. I used to drink a very popular brand that I bought at a very popular supplement store, but I wasn’t really comfortable with the extra ingredients it contained.
I also followed the advice of a popular fitmom on social media, and while the ingredients didn’t seem bad… the taste was unbearable. I had to chug it every time, and even then it was still difficult to get down.
Thanks to the awesome gals at Momsanity, I was able to try their brand of BCAAs to review. I actually REALLY like the flavor of this one! The ingredients are simple and natural, and it’s designed for women. Not only that, I think the company has a business mindset that I can support.
If you want to give it a try, you can order it online HERE.
Be on the lookout for a new flavor to release soon. I can’t wait to try it out!
Get more great fitness tips (and workouts) here!