Disclaimer: I received Now Foods BCAA Big 6 - Grape and Watermelon flavor sports supplement and a NOW Sports shaker bottle to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
If you read the disclaimer above, you’ll know that I received Now Foods BCAA Big 6 grape and watermelon flavored sports supplements at no cost to try out and review. As a newer BibRave Pro, I’m still feeling out what opportunities and responsibilities come along with it. Although I’m not a regular user of almost any sports supplements, when this opportunity presented itself it seemed like a perfect time to incorporate the use of a sports supplement into my workout routine with no financial risk. Prior to this trial, the only sports supplement I’ve ever used regularly is a whey protein powder which I typically use in a recovery shake after running maybe 2-3 times a week. So that may beg the question of why should anyone listen to what someone who doesn’t use sports supplements have to say about their first time trial using a sports supplement. And I would answer that because I am not a sports supplement user I can report on how using Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement during training compared to my training and racing without the use of any sports supplements. Because I am a sample size of one, whatever I report will not prove or disprove anything. This is simply a report of my experience using Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement.
So what are BCAAs? Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) are essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein, which helps to fuel your muscles during a workout and can also help support muscle recovery post-workout. They’re called essential because the body doesn’t make them on its own, so you need to supplement or get them from your diet. Since I have never supplemented with BCAAs in the past, I can only assume that I’ve been getting all the BCAAs required to fuel my training runs from my diet.
I began incorporating Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement in hopes that my training runs would improve or that I would at a minimum feel like recovery time was reduced. Up until writing this post I had not done any extensive research, but the information I had seen about the benefits of using BCAA supplements for endurance sports was not extremely convincing. Mittleman et al. (1998) reported prolonged exercise performance in test subjects receiving a BCAA supplement when subjected to heat compared to subjects receiving a placebo treatment. The cycle time to exhaustion increased for both men and women test subjects that received the BCAA treatment. Bloomstrand et al. (1991) reported improved mental acuity after a 30 km race of test subjects receiving a BCAA treatment during the run compared to test subjects receiving a placebo treatment during the race. The same study also examined the effect of BCAA treatment on marathon times. Sub 3:05 marathon runners showed no significant effect with BCAA treatments. However, marathon performance was improved with the use of BCAA supplement for 3:05-3:30 marathon runners. Since I fall outside of the range of marathon runners included in the study, I hope the trend of improved performance continues for 3:30-4:00 marathon runners like myself.
With the few studies I looked at reporting improved running performance and/or endurance with the use of BCAA supplements, it raised my hopes for improved results with my own trials. I began using Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement in mid September and continued its use for a little over a month until the last week of October. During this period I trained for and ran two races: The Squatchung Surprise 6 Hour and The Mines of Spain 100 miler. For those two races I finished first overall and second overall respectively. I’m not crediting the use of Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement for my performance at those two events, but it certainly didn’t hinder my performance either given the results. Having less than two months of experience using Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement, it is hard to come to any substantial conclusions. I performed well and felt good while using the supplements, but it’s impossible to say that I wouldn’t have felt and done just as well without the use of the supplements. Even without any definitive results to show, I plan to use Now Foods BCAA Big 6 sports supplement early next year when I’m training for and hoping to achieve a PR at the Novo Nordisk NJ Marathon.
|A photo from the six hour event.|
Why NOW® Sports? Well, I felt safe using their products. It’s a clean, highly-tested brand. They conduct more than 16,000 tests each month for identity, purity, strength and composition to ensure that what’s on the label is in the bottle. AND, now they’re third-party certified via Informed-Sport for added product purity assurance. The Informed-Sport program certifies that their products have been tested for more than 200 banned substances by their world-class sports anti-doping lab.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Bloomstrand, E., P. Hassmén, B. Ekblom, and E.A. Newsholme. 1991. Administration of branched chain amino acids during sustained exercise — effects on performance and on plasma concentration of some amino acids. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 63(2): 83–88.
Mittleman, K.D., M.R. Ricci, and S.P. Bailey. 1998. Branched-chain amino acids prolong exercise during heat stress in men and women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 30(1): 83-91.
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Is your body making the most of all the protein you’re consuming?ReplyDelete
Let’s face it: No protein, no growth.
And we’ve all been bombarded with the latest trends in protein powders, weight gainers, lean gainers, combined protein, plant protein, whey, and egg etc……and the list goes on and on.
But one of the harsh realities I’ve learned from peak performance expert Wade Lightheart is this:
Most of the protein individuals consume ends up in one of two places.
One is your toilet bowl.
And the second place is in a nice layer of sludge somewhere in your digestive tract.
And that all adds up to one GIANT-SIZED WASTE OF MONEY AND EFFORT from all the food you’re eating — especially if you’re taking protein supplements.
You’re absorbing and using only a tiny fraction of the nutrients you’re taking in.
Enzymes digest your food, stimulate your brain, provide cellular energy, and repair all the cells, tissues and organs of your body.
Enzymes are the sparks that make everything happen.
AND HERE’S THE BAD NEWS: Our bodies have a LIMITED enzyme-producing capacity, which naturally declines as we age. (In fact, most individuals have only 30 percent of their enzyme potential by the time they are 40 years old!).
Your body naturally produces over 3,000 different types of enzymes, yet our ONLY external source of enzymes comes from THE FOOD WE EAT.
Digestive enzymes are found naturally in ALL food, whether it’s fruits, vegetables, or meats.
However, most of the food we consume in our modern diets is completely devoid of enzymes, because of how we grow, prepare and transport it.
And research demonstrates that ANY FOOD HEATED ABOVE 114 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT LOSES ALL OF ITS ENZYMES.
In other words, all cooked food is deficient in digestive enzymes, leaving very little to break down your food.
This means most of us are UNABLE to effectively digest the protein we eat.
And that’s pretty shocking and scary when you think about it.
But don’t be too alarmed, because some very bright scientist brains have thankfully figured out a solution:
SUPPLEMENT YOUR DIET WITH HIGH QUALITY DIGESTIVE ENZYMES.
You see, it turns out that enzymes are perhaps the most overlooked component of digestive health.
Not only are digestive enzymes required for the breakdown and digestion of food. But their benefits extend well beyond that too…
World-renowned colon expert Dr. Hiromi Shinya suggests in his book “The Enzyme Factor”, that undigested protein — particularly from milk products, fast food and red meat — can become ‘food’ for “bad” bacteria.
And these bad bacteria create all kinds of toxins that leak into the blood stream.
Meanwhile Dr. Edward Howell, author of “Enzyme Nutrition”, has demonstrated conclusively that using digestive enzymes can improve digestion, regulate weight, and ease the symptoms of a variety of health conditions.
BUT QUALITY IS KEY.
If you take a look around, you’ll find a whole bunch of enzyme formulations being sold in the market. But they’re certainly not all created equal — especially when it comes to the enzyme that digests protein: PROTEASE.
And there’s a big reason of this…
Protease is the most expensive of the enzymes to make.
And there are several kinds of protease enzymes.
And while most formulations have high levels of amylase (digests carbohydrates), or lipase (digests fats), the protease (digests protein) tends to be LOW QUALITY and in low amounts with most formulations.
And it’s called MASSZYMES: Masszymes digestive enzymes
P.S. Did you know that taking a protease supplement can actually help reduce strength loss, and boost short-term strength recovery too when you train?
And here’s where to go again to get your hands on Masszymes:
==> Wade’s digestive enzymes formula
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