Will BCAA's Make Me Look Like a Man?
22 years ago, my daughter was born. All I thought about was "I want abs!"
I was a competitive runner, triathlete, personal trainer, aerobic instructor, and gym owner. All that, and my abs were soft!
I never really had abs. I ate to my heart's content - I was fueling my workouts. I hated supplements, I never took them correctly and my stomach always hurt. I just wanted to eat and exercise. I loved my life. But, when Sami was born, I decided it was time to take a closer look at why my abs were not as defined as I desired.
I have an issue with Blood Sugar sensitivity. Always have, never knew what the heck was making me tired, sluggish and "hangry." On this "Journey to abs" I uncovered many of my own personal health issues and realized many of my clients were experiencing similar.
I loved veggies and fruit, but never thought to add enough protein in. When I begin adding protein to every meal, I noticed my blood sugar stabilized (so did my moods) and I felt satiated longer. No blood sugar drops, no energy lows (unless I didn't plan well enough).
"Muscle Milk" became my "go to." All the athletes were drinking it! It had to be good. My body started changing. I didn't recognize it. My abs and arms (most noticeable) started to show amazing definition. Of course, I needed more! Chocolate milk (or so it seemed) and abs - what more could I want? Soon, I was eating Rotisserie Chicken and drinking Muscle Milk BUT, that was all I was eating, I stopped eating fruit and had no time for veggies. My breath started to smell, my cholesterol began to creep up, and soon my body was in a constant state of "inflammatory response." (Muscle Milk is high in Cholesterol)
What am I missing? My friend and co worker, Henry answered that question by asking another, "why are you drinking Muscle Milk? It has no BCAA's?" Whaaaaat??? Why do I need BCAA's???
This question prompted my personal research - I didn't want to go into a "Muscle Nutrition Shop" where the man behind the counter had biceps bigger than my waistline, I wanted to research the science specific to women - here is what I found: ENJOY! Feel free to email me with questions!
What is a BCAA? Branch Chain Amino Acid's are Essential Amino Acids that contain multiple chains in their chemical and structural composition. The three amino acids classified as BCAA's are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. They are among the 20 Amino Acids needed by the body and constitute a large potion of lean body mass.
Are BCAA's ok for Women? YES! They provide the following benefits:
- increased weight loss
- reduce hunger
- build muscle
- balance hormones
- support pregnancy
Weight loss - BCAA's assist with weight loss by reducing fat. BCAA's increase metabolism and help the body to burn more calories when exercising. The metabolic increase enhances the breakdown of fat in the body.
Reduces Hunger - due to the level of Leucine Amino Acid. Leucine reduces hunger by activating an enzyme responsible for cell growth. This enzyme notifies the brain that nutrition requirements are met. The brain then activates enzymes to reduce hunger.
Increase in Lean Body Mass - One of the most important benefits for active Women, is increased muscle mass. BCAA's prevent muscle mass from being broken down during activity. It also increases performance of muscles and increases recovery (sore muscles).
Improves Hormonal Imbalances - Women with low testosterone levels tend to have low metabolism and gain weight easier. This also discourages lean muscle growth.
BCAA's also affect Cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and a high level can increase blood sugar levels. This will effect mood, energy, and appetite. High levels of sugar suppress the progesterone and other female hormones.
Support pregnancy: Provides mother and fetus with adequate nutrition and helps to build feus organs skin and other tissues.