For many people throughout the world, a ketogenic diet – more commonly known as a “keto” diet – is a gateway to improved health and fitness, though the diet can be complicated to maintain. Because observing a keto diet depends on maintaining a delicate balance in the body and continuing the metabolic state known as ketosis, it’s easy for someone on this kind of diet to inadvertently eat or drink something that could derail their efforts. Despite the risks, those on a keto diet still need to meet their bodies’ nutritional requirements – an especially important consideration for those who work out regularly. However, it can be tough to find fitness supplements that can support an active lifestyle without interfering with a keto diet. For example, do BCAAs kick you out of ketosis? To find out, keep reading as the BCAA supplement specialists at aminoVITAL® provides some answers.
How Does Ketosis Work?
When you take a close look at the effects of ketosis, it’s easy to see the attraction, even with the difficulty of maintaining this metabolic state. Under normal circumstances – as in, for someone not following a keto diet – the body relies heavily on glucose derived from carbohydrates for energy. When you cut back significantly on the amount of carbs you consume, however, your body must turn to other sources of fuel to keep your systems going.
Because the best alternate source of energy in the body is fat, limiting your carb intake for several days will force your body to start breaking down the fat you have stored, releasing the triglycerides that fat contains and using them as energy instead. This process also releases a type of acid called a ketone, which is another source of energy and the reason why this state is known as ketosis.
It’s important to note that, even when you’ve been maintaining ketosis for a while, your body still prefers to use carbs as energy, which means that eating too many carbs at any point can stop ketosis and cause your system to revert back to start relying on carbs once again. To prevent this, someone on a keto diet must eat a high-fat diet while studiously avoiding carbs as much as possible.
Do BCAAs Stop Ketosis?
Because carbs are the main concern when talking about ketosis, you might assume that amino acids like BCAAs aren’t an issue and can be consumed at will. While this is mostly true, there is one potential issue to consider when taking BCAAs during a keto diet.
When the body is lacking glucose, as is the case during ketosis, it will try to form more out of whatever materials are handy. One of the ways it does this is through a process called gluconeogenesis, in which the body makes glucose out of amino acids (among other things). For those using BCAA supplements, this means that taking too much could potentially lead to the formation of glucose, a development that may kick you out of ketosis. In addition, it’s important to take those amino acids around the time that you work out, as this is the window in which your muscles are most inclined to absorb them, removing them from the bloodstream and preventing gluconeogenesis from occurring.
However, there is some good news: As long as you don’t overdo it with the BCAAs, these supplements should be perfectly fine to use on a keto diet. For most people, this means sticking to just one dose of BCAAs during ketosis. And since BCAA supplements contain very few carbs, you won’t have to worry about them, either.
Benefits of BCAAs During Ketosis
There are a number of advantages to using BCAAs before, during, or after a workout, and they apply to those in ketosis as much as anyone. In fact, because the body’s stores of glycogen (a form of glucose stored in the muscles and used as energy during exercise) are often depleted on a keto diet, BCAAs may be an extra helpful source of mid-workout energy that won’t kick you out of ketosis.
In addition to their roles as a potential fuel source, the three BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – each impart their own unique fitness-boosting benefits. These include the following:
The most well-known of the BCAAs, leucine, is the amino acid that triggers muscle protein synthesis, the process by which the body makes new muscle tissue to repair and reinforce the body after exercise. As an added bonus, HMB – a metabolite of leucine – can help guard the muscles against damage.
The second BCAA, isoleucine, helps with endurance by promoting the flow of energy to the muscles. This amino acid is also believed to streamline the post-workout recovery process.
The third and final BCAA, valine, is important because it helps protect the muscles from excessive damage during a workout. This preserves existing muscle mass while reducing the amount of healing that must be done after exercise.
Try a BCAA Supplement from aminoVITAL® for Fitness Support During Ketosis
Whether you’re on a keto diet or not, anyone looking to boost their gains after the gym or improve their performance on the field can benefit from a well-timed BCAA supplement. Try aminoVITAL®’s Action mix for intra-workout energy and electrolytes during ketosis, or add our Rapid Recovery post-workout mix to your routine for a faster and less painful recovery. To learn more about all the products available from aminoVITAL®, visit us online or call (888) 264-6673 today.