When starting a new exercise routine, it’s important to power your body with the right nutrients to fuel each workout. Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand when your main goal is to get lean and sculpted. There are many tips to maximize your results, and one of those is supplementing your workout with BCAAs.

BCAAs — or branched-chain amino acids — are essential organic compounds that our bodies can’t make on their own. The easiest way to get this v. essential fuel is by eating the right foods. When you exercise, your body utilizes glycogen — stored carbohydrates in your cells — for energy. But after this supply is exhausted, your bod turns to amino acids.

Enter the crucial BCAAs. Adding amino acids to your pre- and post-workout meal routine holds *beaucoup* benefits. Here are a few reasons that super-fit people choose to supplement their diets with BCAAs.

They Reduce Muscle Breakdown

When you’re running on empty, your body breaks down muscles in order to use stored amino acids for fuel. This means that you’re literally depleting the hard-earned ab muscles you’ve worked so hard to strengthen. This can be easily avoided by adding amino acids to your system and making them readily available. BCAAs can end up being a major lifesaver because they allow you to derive energy from an added nutritional source, rather than depleting your muscles.

They Give You More Energy

When the rate of muscle breakdown is lowered by supplementing with BCAAs, you may find that you experience considerable less fatigue during your workouts. And this is a huge bonus if you’re trying to get ultra-toned. You might also find that you feel less fatigued post-workout too, so you’ll still feel plenty of energy to make yourself a healthy and restorative meal.

How to Supplement With BCAAs

Supplementing with BCAA’s doesn’t mean you have to take vitamins. They can be conveniently found in animal proteins like chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, and eggs. If you’re only a casual exerciser — and not going for the super cut-up look — just be sure to eat a meal containing these proteins an hour before your workout. After you’re done getting your sweat on, aim to have another helping of BCAAs within 30 minutes.

Conversely, if you’re supes serious about working out, you may want to invest in an actual supplement. Because real food requires digestion and a BCAA supplement doesn’t, you can actually avoid the extra energy expenditure by sending food through the digestive process. Sipping on a no-calorie, straight-up BCAA supplement during your workout can also keep your muscles replenished as you go, giving you some helpful protein-based energy and reducing your rate of muscle breakdown.

What are some of your favorite ways to stay energized during your workout? Tweet us @BritandCo!

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