Figuring out the “right” way to eat and exercise for your personal goals can feel daunting. The Health and Fitness Industry is kind of like a Gossip Magazine. Sweeping conclusions are publicized without legit scientific research and there’s always new trendy miracle supplements, diets, or workouts that claim to be better than the last. When searching for answers, it’s easy to get sucked into a tunnel of try this and don’t do that. How confusing! I get it. Even as a personal trainer, I too can get sucked into the latest fitness trends. This is why it’s so important to find influencers you trust! I hope to be one of them for you :).
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean there’s no sound information out there. We just got to sort through the junk!
It’s overwhelming when new information about a previous “Aha!” theory – think 90s low fat craze, 2000s low carb phase, or 2010s 30-minute insane, kick your booty workouts – proves it as less effective, fraudulent, or dangerous. There’s an influx of new information all the time proving what we used to think as “fact” as “old news.” In 2016, the latest headlines are all about weight loss and performance enhancing supplements. However, not all supplements are created equal. Ladies, I mean it when I say I’ve really tried it all – fat burners, amino acids, protein powders, diet shakes, protein bars, appetite suppressants, Dr. Phil’s miracle weight loss pills (what was I thinking?!). And you know what I found out? Most of them are pointless. But there’s also a few I’ve found helpful!
Let me help you sort through the junk.
As women we tend to have pretty similar fitness goals – tone up, lean out, lose weight, lift our butts, flatten our stomachs – you get the point. We also tend to have very similar fears of looking manly or being “bulky.” We are easily lured by packages that send weight loss messages and we tend to shun others that promote muscle building. Oy vey! Building muscle will boost our metabolism, make us look toned and taught, fight off chronic disease, and, ultimately, help us shed unwanted fat!
So is it possible to build muscle and retain it without supplementation? Of course! However, the majority of people can reach goals quicker and more effectively with them. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the time to just fool around and see what works.
Let me help you take a shortcut to the information you should know! I take a number of supplements to aid in muscle building, fat loss, and muscle recovery. Whether it’s to give me more energy in the gym, shorten the amount of time I feel sore, or help me utilize fat stores efficiently, I take them because they work for me. (Remember, every body is different and what works for me may not suit you.) I currently take l-carnitine and CLA for fat loss, l-glutamine for muscle recovery and digestion, fish oil for inflammation and recovery, all-natural vegan protein powder for taste (eating lean protein from whole food sources will do the trick too), and BCAA.
For any of you who are new to working out, you’ve probably never heard of BCAA, short for Branch Chain Amino Acids. The science behind taking a BCAA supplement is a little tricky, so let me break it down for you. BCAA are the building blocks of protein. The amount of muscle we can build during a workout relies heavily on our l-leucine levels, one of the amino acids you should see on your BCAA label. When we workout, our body uses our amino acid stores as energy. By taking a BCAA before or even during a workout, we add to our surplus which minimizes muscle loss, regulates insulin levels, and increases endurance or energy during a workout.
There are tons of BCAA on the market. And who has the time to research them all? My friends over at Fit Clarity put together this awesome article explaining the importance of taking BCAA and also giving a list of BCAA recommendations!
Do you take any supplements to aid in your fitness goals? What has been your experience with them? Tell me in the comment box below!
Health and happiness,
*Discalimer: This post is sponsored by Fit Clarity. However, all opinions are my own.