Don’t Let Cravings Derail Your Workout Goals
In 2019, fitness has massively infiltrated our lives. Social media platforms are tools for friends, family, and influencers to post progress pictures to inspire themselves and others. "Athleisure" is a style of clothing that many people take very seriously, both inside and outside of the gym. Coworkers are trying out keto and love to talk about it to anyone who will listen. Even politicians are sharing their favorite workout routines as a way to relate to their voter bases.
The benefits of fitness are endless, and you may find yourself becoming similarly obsessed with your progress. You'll notice the positive changes in your energy level, mental health, and body image that committing to a weightlifting program can affect. You will find yourself getting excited to throw on your workout clothes and start sweating.
When you step up your workouts to gain muscle mass and improve your stamina, you will find yourself getting hungrier throughout the day. When we exercise, we burn up our body's glycogen stores and put our appetites into overdrive. You'll also find yourself making a beeline for the fridge if you don't drink enough water before, during, and after your workout. Your satiety hormones may also decrease after exercising, which can make it more difficult for you to feel full.
Our workouts are essential to us. They give us confidence in our bodies and flood our brains with serotonin, a natural mood lifter. However, cravings can seriously derail even the most well-intention, putting our progress in jeopardy.
Read on for a deep dive into the benefits of proper pre and post-workout nutrition and hydration and how supplements, such as those that contain BCAA, are perfect craving blockers and fat burners.
Timing is Everything
Proper nutrition not only keeps us healthy and energetic in our daily lives, but it also helps fuel our workouts. The right post-workout fuel allows us to reap the maximum benefits from our workouts. For best results, you'll want to eat a pre-workout meal that contains carbohydrates, fats, and protein two to three hours before your workout. If you find yourself unable to make this happen, you can still boost your energy and performance with a quick snack before you start sweating. Be sure that your snack contains basic sources of carbohydrates and protein so as not to upset your stomach during your training. Branch-chain amino acids, or BCAA, supplements are an excellent source of protein for your pre-workout snack.
BCAA Supplements to Curb Cravings
Branch-chain amino acids are the building blocks of muscle proteins. During endurance training, our bodies rapidly burn these amino acids. Most of us don't replenish lost BCAAs effectively. Lack of BCAA replenishment means decreased muscle growth, muscle soreness, post-workout fatigue, and, you guessed it, increased cravings.
Of the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair, three are most vital:
Leucine works to stimulate protein synthesis directly. It is also crucial to your body's ability to release gluconeogenic precursors from your muscles. Consumption of leucine before and during endurance exercise will keep your mental and physical performance high.
Isoleucine is widely recognized as the BCAA that increases endurance, boosts energy levels, and regulates blood sugar both during and after a strenuous workout. Managing your blood sugar is crucial to battling cravings that will sneak up on you when you least expect it.
Along with leucine and isoleucine, valine improves muscle tissue recovery and increases stamina and endurance. However, valine also serves the vital role of working as an appetite suppressant, which can help you keep your post-workout cravings at bay.
These three BCAAs cannot be produced naturally by the body. Adding in supplements that are BCAA-based will allow you to reap the benefits of improved muscle growth, decreased muscle pain and fatigue, and reduced cravings.
BCAA supplements are a quick and easy way to ensure that each replacement BCAA enters your bloodstream quickly and begins the essential work of muscle repair. They also work to block your cravings, especially for carbohydrates, which will help you reach your goals that much more quickly.
Here at Supplement Superstore, we have a wide variety of BCAA supplements and fat burners for the serious gym rat! Check the list below for our favorites:
- Mutant BCAA 9.7 will help you up your game with just one scoop of this hyper-concentrated BCAA Mix it up in your water bottle for handy hydration right after you've finished your last set. The Key Lime Cherry flavor packs the kind of sweetness you might crave with none of the bad stuff!
- ANS Performance Quench BCAA is our response your muscles need for replenishment after a tough endurance workout. Each scoop packs the punch of over 10g of amino acids to help you train harder and recover faster. Since higher BCAA intake results in better overall body composition, you'll see positive changes with these fat burners. You'll also experience better hormonal balance, which can take your cravings down a notch.
The Benefits of BCAA During Your Workout
So far, we've given you the rundown of how adding BCAA supplements to your post-workout routine helps your body replace its missing BCAA. Adding BCAA after you exercise helps to repair your muscles. But what about during your workout? Is it beneficial to take in BCAA supplements as you get your sweat on? The answer is yes!
BCAA supplements are perfect for those moments in between reps while you're at the gym. They will increase your energy and focus while you workout, helping you to push through even the most strenuous exercises.
Best of all, they taste like candy, so you'll find them super easy to drink and enjoy. Next time you're at the gym, mix up some Tangerine Jelly Bean Beyond Yourself Amino IQ. This supplement allows you to enjoy the increased cognitive function and enhanced motor performance that comes along with it. And say goodbye to your cravings for sugary snacks - this mixed drink has you and your post-workout sweet tooth covered.
Whey Protein for Perfect Post-Workout Fuel
Post-workout nutrition timing is just as crucial as pre-workout fueling. Once you've finished your workout, your priority is to get your body back in tip-top shape and start repairing torn muscles. Right after we finish working out, our bodies are completely depleted of all of our stored fuels and are desperate to replace energy. Cravings will hit when we aren't correctly refueling our body with carbohydrates and protein post-workout.
The 30 minutes after a workout ends is the critical time to refuel your body. This time frame, known as the anabolic window, is the ideal time for nutrients to reenter your body to help your body repair itself. During the anabolic window, you will want to fill your body with protein and carbohydrates, but not in the form of bagels or pizza.
Protein is key to recovering from workouts and increasing muscle mass. Protein exists in a variety of different foods, from lean meats to yogurt to nuts. Take your pick of your preferred way to introduce more protein into your diet. But for those looking for serious results following tough workouts, the timing of protein intake means everything. Adding whey protein supplements to your routine can help you increase muscle mass during this timeframe.
Without proper protein intake, you can fall victim to dreaded post-workout cravings. These persistent hankerings for sweet or salty snack foods are not in line with most nutrition plans. Giving in to these cravings will affect your fitness goals. If you haven't replenished your body's fat and protein stores, you will find it challenging to say no to an ice cream sundae or a gooey slice of pizza.
Step away from the ice cream and choose a more effective snack! For a quick, sweet whey fix, try Quest Protein Bars. Quest bars allow you to indulge in those post-workout cravings without sacrificing your progress or nutrition goals. These bars pack in up to 21 grams of protein each, are gluten and soy-free and contain no added sugar. Their texture and taste will remind you of your favorite candy bar, thus curbing your sugar and fat cravings effectively. With flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Pumpkin Pie, and Chocolate Sprinkle Donut, you'll look forward to these just as you would any other dessert!
Supplements as Fat Burners
For many of us, the motivation behind stepping into the gym to work out more consistently is to burn fat. While we would all love to take a magic pill and end up in our perfect body, changing your body composition requires a commitment to proper nutrition and exercise. What many people don't realize is that supplements can act as fat burners. They assist your body in turning stored fat into energy and reshaping your form. They harness your body's fat-burning process and help to speed it up. These fat burners make the fat-burning process inside your muscles that much more efficient. When combined with proper diet and exercise, you will see real results when you take your next set of progress photos.
For fat burners that work on a cellular level, torching stored fat while you sweat, try ANS Performance Diablo powders. These fat burners target both subcutaneous and visceral fat with ingredients that will transform this stubborn fat into energy through thermogenesis. The Diablo powders will also provide you an energy boost, improve your mood, and give you the motivation you need to say no to post-workout cravings.
Our Perfect Sports Burn Cycle powders are chock-full of weight loss ingredients and fat burners perfect for a quick boost of energy before you hit the gym. This supplement works best for those who enjoy fasted cardio as their exercise of choice. The powders feature highly-effective ingredients like L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT), Caffeine, Taurine, Olive extract, Achyranthes Aspera, and Synephrine. These ingredients help to reduce your appetite, improve focus, and increase metabolism.
Supplement Superstore is committed to providing our customers with the most effective fat burners on the market, and we stand by our products 100%. However, you can't gain definition in your abdominal muscles using supplements alone. It takes true dedication to proper nutrition to see real changes to your body composition.
Practicing proper nutrition does not mean giving in to every craving you experience - far from it! While you should always eat when you are hungry, the type of food you choose to eat matters. Discipline around food choices is required to see gains in your strength and endurance.
Before you alter your eating habits in a significant way, talk to your doctor to be sure your nutrition and fitness plans are safe options. We encourage you to avoid processed foods in favor of filling your plate with "Functional Foods." Functional foods provide your body with essential protein for muscle repair and growth.
Once you are committed to eating an equal amount of lean protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, consider adding in one of the many fat burners we offer. Our favorite is the Allmax L-Carnitine Tartrate, which not only targets existing fat but also prevents your cells from storing any new, excess fat. Between proper nutrition, consistent workouts, and effective supplements, you'll be on your way to a stronger body in no time!
You've Got This!
Though beginning a new nutrition and fitness regimen can be intimidating, there is nothing you can't accomplish with the right motivation and focus on your goals. Building a sustainable nutrition and workout plan for yourself also means allowing yourself to indulge once in a while, especially for special occasions. Life is no fun if you don't get to enjoy cake on your birthday or buttered popcorn at the movies! If you're too strict with what you eat, you risk falling off the nutrition wagon completely and bingeing your way through multiple bags of salty chips and peanut butter cups. Find a healthy balance but keep in mind, you don't need to give in to every single craving!
For additional support and information about new fat burners, BCAA supplements or diet plans that may work for you, check out Supplement Superstore's blog!