I used to think the term BCAA(branch chain amino acids) was synonymous to an intra workout drink. Yes the same heavily marketed BCAA’s which have amazing flavors and are pushed by supplement stores.
But my ACSM certification in nutrition has helped me understand what to look for in an Ideal Intra Workout Drink.
Firstly , I am not against using BCAA’s but most people treat them as purely an intra workout drink without understanding what they are made of and meant for. This lack of knowledge has many implications in the long run.
The Scientific Breakdown of BCAA
Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are the building blocks of protein. These are essential for muscle growth and recovery, and can be consumed throughout the day. Having them together with a high protein diet leads to excessive uric acid which is detrimental to bone health.
Treating BCAA as an intra workout drink(if managed well with the protein you take daily) is not wrong, but during a workout your body needs some other elements to enhance performance and prevent dehydration.
Here is what your body requires during a workout.
Components of an Ideal Intra Workout Drink
During a workout your body needs instant energy as it has to undergo excessive stress. For this a high glycemic carbohydrate is ideal. (something which immediately provides energy, without much need to be broken down). The simplest and fastest dissolving form of Carbohydrate is glucose. Thus glucose should be one of the components of an ideal intra workout drink.
The body looses water in the form of perspiration(sweating) during a workout. Along with sweat, the body also loses essential salts, which need to be replaced. Here are some of them and their functions..
3. Tonicity- Water enters and exits body cells by the process of osmosis. Wherein it travels from its higher concentration to its lower concentration through the semi permeable cell wall. In simple words water moves from a solution where it is present in abundance to the solution where it is lesser. This is maintained by the electrolytes mentioned above.
Based upon the tonicity drinks can be classified in to :
Isotonic sport drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body.
Hypertonic sport drinks contain a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.
Hypotonic sport drinks contain a lower concentration of salt and sugar than the human body.
The best suited among these for your intra workout drink is an isotonic drink.
Why Drinking Water is Not enough?
Pure water is not an ideal intra workout drink as it might help you quench thirst but it will not ensure proper hydration. Water provides no sodium, which helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood.
What do I recommend?
There are a number of ways in which you can make an isotonic drink at home. But I choose to use Enerzal . As it has all the essential elements of an ideal intra workout drink.
Do give it a try and no they dint pay me for saying this, yet.
Some people think I’m bonkers, But I just think I’m free
Man, I’m just livin’ my life, There’s nothin’ crazy about me
Some people pay for thrills,But I get mine for free
Man, I’m just livin’ my life,There’s nothin’ crazy about me.
Be inspired never imitate.
We are living in a world where it is easier to become famous and difficult to be original. Don’t be blinded in your rush for fame and appreciation, try doing that by seeking inspiration from those around you rather than by imitating others. Be yourself, cause you are the best you.
Don’t compromise your true potential as simply copying is a limitation,
Be inspired and create your own magic, refrain from cheap imitation.
Chasing stability you destabilize different facets of your life. You don’t even realize your ignorance till you are jolted with an impending consequence. Strokes, cancer, obesity, undernourishment, weakness, stress, depression don’t just happen overnight. They are the result of years and years of ignorance.
Though the medical domain is well equipped to provide immediate solutions but these short term remedies are mere eye and pocket washes. The problem lies in your mindset, and if you are not willing to alter it you are bound to have a relapse.
Man chooses to forsake his most important responsibilities, taking care of himself, partly because the society promotes a blind chase for security and partly because he thinks these things will take care of themselves.
The viscous circle ends when all of his collected wealth and resources amount to nothing in front of the medical bill and even when he has the wealth he is not left with the health of body and mind to enjoy it.
I was introduced to this cycle very early in life, the hospital became a second home because of the deteriorating health of my parents. Years of genuine hard work, wasted on medicines, travel, fees and most of all the stress which cant be valued in money. Even after insurance covers the amounts you give away to chronic illnesses in cash and kind are more than the biggest fortunes.
So instead of living a stressful life to earn superfluous money which you will eventually spend to remove this piled up stress, and take more stress in the process, why not be a little mindful in undertaking everyday tasks. Why not live each day to the fullest, spend time maintaining a balanced lifestyle, taking care of the little things along with the larger ones, giving time to your health and happiness?
In lieu with this here are 6 healthy things you can do each day to ensure a balanced life:
1. Treat a bottle of water like your smart phone
What do you look at when you get up or just before sleeping? What is the one thing you never want to lose sight of? Well your smart phone offers you temporary distraction from reality but water offers your permanent solutions to ailments. You don’t have to use google to find out the benefits of water, for the ones with trust issues, you can go ahead, what you will see is that water is utilized in almost all of the bodies functions.
Water forms 60% of your body, if you take a sip of water every other minute you will be able to increase your water intake to up to 4.5 litres, which is much more than the requirement for the entire day.
20 ml sip * 15 times in an hour * 15 waking hours in day= 4.5 litres of water
Add this to the water you drink in the morning and night and that makes it much more than the required amount.
When life gives you lemons squeeze one into your glass of water in the morning and the other 2 into your bottle of water
Other than helping in digestion and developing immunityby providing vitamin C lemons help maintain your body pH. This means that they help control the damage that eating food does to your body. Lemons have a very mild citric acid which balances the Hcl in the body, reducing the acidity. There are many Benefits of a balanced body pH.
3. Sameness is lameness
Enjoy nuts and oats as much as you enjoy eating fish and goats, Your kitchen is much more than just mutton and chicken.
Variety is the spice of life. Most working people seldom have a choice of eating what they like, the ones who do are too hurried to care about what they eat. Modern day food is usually outsourced, but in all cases it has little to no variation to the previous day.
Do yourself a favor and try to include a variety in your meals, meat eaters understand the relevance of roughage and carbohydrates, give fruits, oats and green veggies a chance. Vegetarians try to find sources of proteins like, sprouts, tofu, cheese. Ensure that you eat a well rounded diet comprising of fats, carbs and proteins throughout so that you don’t have to make reservations later.
4. Timing is everything
Everyone has a unique schedule in their lives, most of which is controlled by how and where they work. The 3 meal a day pattern offers no flexibility and leads to starvation and over eating at different times of the day. You should be more flexible with your eating schedule. Try to eat as many small meals during the day. This will not only lead to better digestion, but prevent you from over eating in the later half of the day.
Your breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, divide the rest of your day as per your schedule to take around 4-5 more meals. Ensure that your dinner is the lightest so that you don’t sleep feeling heavy.
Following heavily marketed dieting plans and eating super foods is a waste of time. They are too expensive to sustain for too long and people tend to think that they can temporary quit their fast paced lifestyle to detox. False, detoxification wont be require if you watch you eat from the start and time it properly.
5. Angels and demons
Here is a list of things you can avoid, the demons, they wont kill you immediately but regular and uncontrolled intake of these things will lead to ailments in the future. The demons you need to control include sugar, salt, simple carbohydrates, most saturated and unsaturated oils, spirits, smokes among others. The angels will keep you healthy and add to your health, honey, mono saturated oils( olive oil, canola oil), nuts ( Walnut, almonds), oats, complex carbohydrates(Oat meal), lean meat, lemon, fruits and green vegetables. This along with reading and researching to find out things by yourself so as to make your exclusive health plan form the angels.
6. Meditate, condition yourself to care
Mankind has reached a stage of evolution where he needs to re-learn the art of caring for himself. Your brains are so consumed with thinking that you seldom get a break to reassess your lives. So rather than waiting for the bomb to drop, spend at least 5 minutes every morning to shut your eyes and empty your mind. Once your mind is free from worldly worries you would find that you will start caring about the finer things in life like loving yourself and spreading happiness by adding to the lives of others.
Although it is very easy to make a list of things and very hard to follow it, these simple things can be easily followed. Prevention for sure as hell is better than cure. So please give yourself a chance to make a pit stop in this rar race to understand that even if you win the race you will remain a rat.
Often we find ourselves in a state of deprived inspiration and start believing that motivation lies outside. In another person, a book, caffeine, an article. We chain ourselves to these muses and give them control of deciding when we feel what we do.
The muse is a mystifying manifestation of thought, compelling us to believe in its existence, enslaving our minds to the extent of utter dependency. Dependency that you try to resist but cant do anything about. It raps around your mind like a Boa constrictor and governs your highs and lows.
It makes you feel vulnerable, making you realize your inability to orchestrate your own lives. It might be like an injection of inspiration but then it teases you at times, when you think you need it the most.
In spite of paragons from diverse fields emphasizing the relevance of a muse, I believe it to be more of an obstacle to your progress and a fracture to your wills.
Rather than waiting to be inspired, we are better of acting and later inspiring people from the consequence of our actions.