Author: James O’Sullivan • Fact checked by: Gainful Registered Dietitians • April 6, 2022
The more you know, the further you’ll go.
That principle applies to just about everything, including our fitness. When you deepen your knowledge about your body, your muscle mass, and the best ways to get your muscles operating at their best, you empower yourself with the ability to transform your fitness and get the most out of your workout.
Working out isn’t just doing the reps at the gym or laps around the track. Exercise is only part of your overall fitness practice — quality exercise is driven by a disciplined mind. And a disciplined mindset doesn’t start and stop depending on whether you’re in the gym or not.
Taking the time to optimize your pre-workout routine will pay dividends when you get your sweat on. As you give your body the right stuff to capitalize on every effort you make, you expand the scope of your discipline beyond the doors of the gym and power up your ability to reach the level of fitness you’re striving for.
So, how do you make the most out of your pre-workout, and how can BCAAs help? Read on as Gainful explores the benefits BCAAs can offer.
When you think about it, pre-workout makes up the majority of your fitness lifestyle. Your pre-workout is how you prepare yourself for your exercise sessions, and that can include a wide variety of areas in your life.
Chief among them is your diet.
Following a diet that boosts your ability to build muscle or achieve weight loss is a decisive factor in reaching your fitness goals.
You can put all the effort you like into your workout, but you just won’t see the same results if you’re not giving your body the nutrients and energy it needs to seize on the fruits of your exercise and promote optimal muscle protein synthesis.
Building an effective diet for your workout can be an added difficulty on top of the hard work that comes with a committed exercise regimen.
Again, pre-workout is most of your fitness life. And when it comes to building a diet that delivers optimal fat loss and muscle growth, you have to do the research, write a grocery list, go to the store, buy the food, and cook and eat it.
Supplemental nutrients like branch-chain amino acids can make it easy for you to jam-pack the right stuff into your pre-workout diet, all while saving you on the hours and hours it takes you to build a meal plan for the same results.
Branch-chain amino acids, or BCAAs for short, don’t exactly have the most welcoming or immediately understandable name.
Don’t let the clinical ring of their name turn you off — BCAAs are about as natural as can be. In fact, they’re maybe more important to your body than any nutrient you can think of.
BCAAs are, as their name suggests, a type of amino acid. Specifically, BCAAs are made up of three different amino acids: valine, isoleucine, and leucine.
What are amino acids? They’re the basic molecular building blocks that make up your body’s protein, so they are very important, especially in a fitness context.
The importance of our body’s amino acids can’t be overstated.
Overall, there are 20 different amino acids in the body. Nine of those are essential amino acids, meaning that the body cannot produce these particular amino acids. Instead, we need to get them for our diet, making them ‘essential’ as we need to get them from sources outside the body.
Valine, isoleucine, and leucine are essential amino acids, so it’s important that we include them in our diet.
Branched-chain amino acids are essential to our body, but what exactly do they do? And why are they so important to have in a pre-workout context?
The effects of BCAA are broad. Looking at how these amino acids affect our bodies reveals just how helpful they can be for making the most of our workouts.
Of the three BCAAs, valine’s effects are the mildest but still crucial to a fruitful workout.
You need an energy source to exercise. One of the benefits of valine is that it can be transformed into glucose, a sugar that provides your body energy.
Valine may serve as a sort of stand-by energy resource, so when your body needs that extra push to go the extra mile or do that extra rep, valine may play an essential role in pushing you over the edge in your athletic performance.
Another benefit of valine is its association with tissue repair after muscle damage. A lot of the work we do with our muscles involves tearing them, leading to delayed onset muscle soreness. This is all part of gaining muscle because as we make these tears in our muscle tissue, those muscles grow back even bigger during muscle recovery.
Valine's roles in glucose conversion and tissue repair can help us get through our workout and recover faster from it, making it a critical pre-workout benefit.
Isoleucine does quite a bit for your exercise performance.
It has been shown to provide your muscle cells with more glucose. It’s also closely associated with the body’s growth, protein metabolism, and immune system.
Getting energy to your muscles' cells is vital to their function and growth, giving them the energy they need to do their job. Isoleucine plays a very supportive role for our muscles in this way, combined with its role in protein metabolism, processing protein for usage in the body.
And as far as support goes, isoleucine’s role in our immune system demonstrates a beneficial role in recovery, keeping our body in quality shape so it can focus on building on the gains made during our exercise sessions.
When it comes to seizing your workout gains, leucine is the BCAA that might be of most interest to you.
Leucine has been shown to play a significant role in creating muscle. At a molecular level, leucine activates the tissues in our muscles that lead to protein synthesis, helping our muscles grow.
Leucine doesn’t just support muscle growth; it’s also been shown to curb muscle loss as well. It interacts with the pancreas to create insulin, which can help protect your muscles from getting weaker.
Your muscles are getting the best of both worlds when you get a healthy dose of leucine, getting what they need to grow, and protection from degeneration. It’s the full package, making this BCAA an integral part of your pre-workout routine.
Branch-chain amino acids are foundational parts of our body and building blocks of protein, particularly when it comes to our proteins and, by extension, our muscles.
Valine, isoleucine, and leucine’s close associations with muscle growth, repair, and protection speak to the effectiveness BCAAs have in a fitness context, whether you are performing body weight exercises, resistance training, or another prolonged exercise.
You can make the most out of every rep when you include BCAAs into your pre-workout, as you're giving your muscles the amino acids they need to grow stronger.
And it’s more than helping them grow, but keeping them strong, as these BCAAs like leucine help maintain the integrity of your musculature, preventing them from degenerating.
BCAAs are easy to incorporate into your pre-workout for maximum health benefits.
As mentioned before, BCAAs are essential amino acids, so you need to ensure that you’re getting them from your diet. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation, like Gainful’s Pre-Workout, gives you complete assurance that you’re reaching your goals.
You don’t need to build a meal plan tailored to getting these amino acids when getting your fill of them is as simple as mixing our blend in water. The effects are powerful and easy to access.
The chores that go into creating a productive pre-workout dissipate with blends like ours. Now, you have more time to focus on hitting the gym, strapping on your running shoes, or whatever physical activity suits you on your journey towards your fitness goals.
Our mission at Gainful is the empowerment of people committed to their fitness. No matter what level you prefer to exercise at, your hard work should yield the biggest returns you can manage.
Everyone approaches fitness differently, but what unites us is the desire to improve ourselves and reach our goals. That’s why our in-house Registered Dietitians recommned personalized supplement formulas tailored to your personal needs, like Gainful Personalized Pre-Workout, Personalized Hydration and Personalized Protein.
We understand just how meaningful it can be to have that helping hand to give you that final push you needed to lift off with your fitness goals. Gainful is here to get you the most out of your gains, from beginners just starting their journey to those well on their way.
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