The formal stuff:
The following statement are comprised of my opinion. 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.
Disclaimer: I received Samples of BCAA Big 6 - 1 Grape and 1 Watermelon 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!
About the product:
BCAA Big 6 is an advanced caffeine-free sports supplement formulated to support exercise endurance and recovery from intense workouts. BCAA Big 6 features branched-chained amino acids (BCAAs) to support muscle retention and recovery, and betaine to help maintain fluid balance during exercise. BCAA Big 6 also has taurine, which can further support endurance. BCAA Big 6 includes L-coralline and L-glutamine to complement this formula. Natural color variation may occur in this product. (https://www.nowfoods.com/sports-nutrition/bcaa-big-6-grape-flavor-powder)
I chose to be a part of this test because I am a firm believer in the restorative nature of food. Now, before you stop reading because this is a supplement and not ‘food’ hear me out.
In dietary science, “essential” means that your body cannot make it, and you must consume it to survive. Since these essential amino acids cannot be made by the body; they must come from food or supplements.
For those of you that know me, you know I work almost 7 days a week and about 12 hours each day. I do not have the time to measure a 13 oz porterhouse steak, grill it and eat it after a run….nor would I want to. I can meal prep and bring lunch to work, but even that only meets a segment of that I need nutritionally...Sometime you need something different. That being said; I love the versatility of the BCAA Big 6.
This is not a meal replacement but rather something I can use if i want to supplement my workout, or even something other than water. I also like to ensure I have enough protein to support immunity...read more in the nerd section below.
I have used the powder for pre, post, and during exercise and while I didn’t feel a magical boost of energy...I also DIDN’T feel the effects of negative gastro-intestinal feedback.
Being easy on the tummy is a huge win for anyone who is running or biking (or lifting…. ) and doesn't want to deal with cramping or bloating. This was refreshing and it tasted good.
My favorite application for this was to mix it with some green tea and crushed ice. Mixing the watermelon and brewed green tea, sweetened the tea without adding gobs of sugar.
To further drive home the usefulness of this product, my kids loved the taste of the grape. They typically ask if they can have what I have, and I don't have any qualms about sharing this with them.
It’s important to find a brand you can trust, because many products marketed for sports/sports nutrition may have artificial ingredients, caffeine and adulterants. So bottom line is, I trust NOW® Sports to support my active diet. Get some now and try for yourself. If you want to try BCAA Big 6, too?! You’re in luck! Use code 20NOWBCAA on Amazon.com for 20% off both varieties of BCAA Big 6 https://www.amazon.com/promocode/A1G65M39SCQHX5
For the nerd in you…the 9 essential amino acids are:
histidine lysine phenylalanine isoleucine methionine threonine leucine valine tryptophan
Of these 9, BCAA Big 6 contains L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine
As a side note; Leucine is what stimulates muscle protein synthesis (www.aminoacidsguide.com/Leu.html)
Reduce fatigue during exercise:
Higher levels of BCAAs help limit the entry of tryptophan into your brain. Your body uses tryptophan to make serotonin, which may contribute to exercise fatigue (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29069229)
Reduce muscle damage and soreness: BCAAs may relieve soreness caused by the strain and inflammation of exercise (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28934166)
Promote muscle building after exercise: BCAAs stimulate the synthesis of protein in your muscles and suppress the breakdown of muscle protein (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23343671)
Provide a source of energy during prolonged exercise: When glucose, your muscles’ main energy source, becomes low, BCAAs can serve as a source of energy (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29570613)
Support immunity: Strenuous exercise can result in reduced immunity, which may be due to a decrease in the amino acid glutamine, a fuel for immune cells. BCAAs can be converted into glutamine in muscles (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29570613)