Jul 4, 2017

Advertiser Content – Fuel your recovery

‘You don’t grow in the gym’ ‘a one hour workout is only 4% of your day, it’s what you do with the other 96% that counts’.

Whether you are new to health and fitness or have been training for years, at some point in your fitness journey you would have heard some variation of these quite clichéd quotes synonymous with gym goers around the globe. Whilst the overarching message of these ring true; progression and succession is based around continual good habits both in and outside of the gym. Although there is a lot you can do both in and around that 1 hour workout that will see you reap the rewards faster.

A couple of strong shots of coffee or a pre-workout supplement might give you that extra buzz to push harder at the gym, but often forgotten during this period of intense work is the aspect of recovery. Regardless of your goal, be it to gain size, lose weight or just tone up, the process is the same. A workout puts your body under stress, your heart rate increases, you start to sweat, muscle fibres undergo trauma and start to breakdown. When you finish your workout, they start to repair and adapt; fitter, faster, stronger, leaner all dependant on your style of training and what is fuelling your recovery.

What is often not asked, is ‘when can I start recovering?’ and the answer is, RIGHT NOW. From the moment you step foot into the gym you can set yourself up for successful recovery in the hours and days following your workouts. BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acid supplements are considered amongst the most efficaciously studied and proven sports nutrition supplements for repair and recovery.

What are BCAAs? BCAAs are made up of three essential amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. The term ‘essential’ meaning that your body cannot synthesise these naturally and they need to be consumed from diet or supplementation. Practicality would dictate that it is neither effective nor efficient to get an adequate BCAA intake from food whilst at the gym, not to mention the looks you might get from other gym goers whilst sitting down to a steak on the first available bench press. This is where supplementation is advantageous.

What do they do? BCAAs are responsible in main, for turning on a process called ‘protein synthesis’. A progression by which individual amino acids are connected to each other in a specific order inside a cell to produce new proteins. During times of exercise and muscular stress, these new proteins formed from the ingestion of BCAA supplementation and the subsequent protein synthesis that follows are used primarily to repair, regrow and recover the stressed muscle tissue. Allowing your body to adapt and evolve to your training stimulus faster, and hence produce quicker and more nominal results.

How much do I take and when? Intense training, forces your body to make physiological changes increasing your need for essential nutrients. Whilst nutrient timing doesn’t necessarily play a vital role in food consumption. BCAA supplementation has the advantageous ability to be digested straight away and start the repair and recovery process. A number of clinical studies have focused results around BCAA consumption from 10-20g total either before, during and or straight after exercise. Test subjects in comparison to carbohydrate, protein and placebo groups had favourable results in both body composition, muscle gain & fat loss.

So if you’re looking to get the most from your training and diet, the inclusion of a BCAA supplement in and around your training could help fast track your results in all the right directions.


Lucas Stewart

Collective Nutrition & Registered Dietitian

BHlthSC (Dietetics, Hons)

BEAero (electrical)








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