a little extra oomph: supplements, BCAAs, and protein powder.

I’m falling apart.  Well, not entirely, but this weekend my body took a beating.  If you’ve been reading, you know my right ankle is slowly on the mend, but it’s taking it’s sweet time getting back to normal.  So, how thrilled was I when on Friday, I jammed one of my toes on my right foot and it instantly bruised.  It was a blast.  I had a great evening hobbling around.  This was only made worse by the lovely Boo running full speed into my knee to chase a bunny the next morning.  It was so bad that I fell over and her leash wrapped around said leg and pulled pretty darn hard.  Instant knee swell, pain everywhere.

 

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A real life shot of me post fall.  It was as graceful as it sounds.

 

I took it easy at the gym Saturday and made sure to keep it low impact.  Sunday I deemed a rest day, but Monday I was back at it full force.  I’ve decided to start Lauren Gleisberg’s LG Fitcation Program because a) I love me some structured workouts b) I’ve done one of her free programs before and it had me feeling amazing at the end of the 12 weeks c) it was $12 and I’m a cheapskate.

But, I’m taking things a little differently with this plan.  I’ve decided to add some supplements into my routine to see if it makes any difference.  Supplements are anything added to your diet that is meant to “supplement” or add to your current nutrition.  They are by NO means necessary, but there is a lot of good research supporting some of them.  So let’s dive in:

 

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unphotogenic hand coming at ya with a bottle full of BCAAs

 

Multi-vitamins

I’ve taken a multi-vitamin daily since I was a kid, so it’s second nature.  Sure, they’re not necessarily required, but it’s a good fail safe in case you aren’t getting the necessary vitamins your body requires from your daily diet.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Protein Powder

I haven’t always been the biggest supporter of protein powder because I just can’t stand mixing it with water.  I’m not a shake person.  I’m a food person.  So, any protein powder that I can bake with is my jam.  Protein powders benefits are basically that they’re extra protein.  Why would you want extra protein?  Protein is used for the production of muscle tissue.  Simple as that.  If you want more muscles, you have to eat protein.  And a lot of women struggle to meet their protein goals, so Protein Powder makes a GREAT addition (or supplement ;)) to your existing diet.  Personally, I prefer PEScience Protein for baking but have tried other vegan non-whey based proteins as well.  As with everything, moderation is important.  Too much protein can actually be more detrimental than beneficial, but I have no shame in adding some protein powder into pancakes, oatmeal, and other baked goods to give me that muscle building advantage.

BCAAs

This is a newer addition to my regimen.  I’d shied away from them for quite awhile mostly because I was like…what the heck are these.  BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acid.  What do amino acids make up?  You guessed it, protein.  BCAAs taken during a workout have been found to help in aiding muscle retention and lowering cortisol levels (your body gets stressed when you workout, so this helps calm it down internally) while also helping speed up recovery and keeping that oh so great feeling of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) at bay.  If you are doing any kind of endurance exercise, this can really help you out.  Katie from Katiesfitscript.com has a great post about them here if you want a more in depth look.  I’ve only been taking them for a week now, so I’ll keep you posted on the benefits.  So far so good because I have the Inkaged Cherry Lemonade flavor and it tastes like summer and I love it (plus, can I get a holla for all natural ingredients)

Other supplements

There are PLENTY of other supplements on the market, but a lot of them I think are a bunch of bull or are just gross.  Preworkout is just caffeine yall.  Save your money and have a cup of coffee before you go.  I can’t stand the way it makes me feel.  It’s a mixture of my skin crawling and death.  I took it a total of one time and that is all I plan to ever take again.

Creatine is a little different. Yes, there have been studies that show that it’s great for you and it’ll build your muscles like woah, but I don’t care for it.  It’s wicked thick and just kind of gross. Unless you’re looking to become a serious body builder, you’ll be okay skipping this one.

Fat Burners.  Nope.  Not even once.  Want to mess with your metabolism?  Take as many fat burners as you’d like.  I’ll be over here shaking my head.  Look at your life, look at your choices.

As I mentioned before, none of these supplements are mandatory and it is COMPLETELY possible to see results without using anyone of these things.  These are just what I’ve got working in my rotation right now.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

 

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sometimes when I’m not thinking about the right side of my body attacking me, I snapchat.

 

 

-sj

 

 

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