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BCAA and Glutamine Powder

Ashley Hobar

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I have successfully finished the first week of Whole30 and I am getting back into a workout routine. I am breaking myself of the habit of taking a pre workout drink and a post workout protein powder. I usually workout not long after breakfast, and then I eat some sort of protein source after. Today I had egg whites. However, I have read on some of the forums that BCAA and Glutamine are good to supplement. I just bought some and tried it today and I have to say, it tastes disgusting! It is unflavored, and I had to choke it down. I am wondering if anyone has any tips? Obviously I know that I can't sweeten it or add it to juice. But has anyone tried anything else? Thanks!

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imo, most people can get all of their protein requirements from real food, without resorting to protein powders.

BCAA's are totally fine during the W30, (and a good option if you want that extra supp)...but like you said...unflavored...they are _disgusting_. So there's a nice cost/benefit exercise for you! :)

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You know..... Over the years I have tried,used,experimented with every form of preWO And postWO drink/powder/sublingual on the market..... And to think of the money I've flushed down the toilet!!!! Compared to eating healthy whole natural foods....all the rest is junk!!!!

I'm 50 and still train at a competitive level, I have been eating Paleo / whole30 for the last 7-8 months and I have made the absolute best gains in my entire life!!!! My energy is thru the roof,my endurance will make a 20 year old sob for his mommy,my strength is amazing,my sleep and recovery are great..... I'm a big guy. 6'2" and haven't weighed in a while but around 220-225, my body fat is now non existent but the biggest test is my performance :

I could always do the powerlifting/ Olympic lifting stuff with ease..... Burpees hung me up, now I can knock out 200-300 with ease ( ok not ease). And my biggest gain was in box jumps.... I was forever stuck at 24" boxes. Just this week after completing 5 sets of heavy dead lifts and 5 sets of heavy cleans, I successfully completed ....... Drum roll please.... 25 reps with out rest of 30" jump boxes!!!!!

I don't know that many 225lb 50 year olds that can pull that off....

Just eat plenty of healthy foods.... You'll make the best gains of your life!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I want to second what Fenderbender says here. Whole Foods are far better for post workout recovery/fueling.

There's a great book I recommend on the general topic by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel - "The Paleo Diet for Athletes". There's a very practical and detailed section on what types of food to eat for different stages of your workout related nutrition.

  • Stage 1 - Eating Before Exercise
  • Stage 2 - Eating During Exercise
  • Stage 3 - Eating 0-30 minutes Post-Exercise
  • Stage 4 - Eating 60-90 minutes Post-Exercise
  • Stage 5 - Eating during Recovery (Long-term Post-Exercise)

There are different needs for each of these sections, but the headline is Whole Foods are always best. The hardest time to consume Whole Foods is Stage 2, but even then, they are the best option from a total nutritional perspective. All of the recommendations in the Paleo Diet for Athletes can be implemented in a Whole 30 compatible manner.

On the specific topic of post workout, Stage 3 is what most people think about. The following is a summary of what PDfA and the leading research seems to suggest:

  1. Replace expended carbohydrate stores
  2. Rehydrate
  3. Provide amino acids to re-synthesize protein that may have been damaged/lost
  4. Replace electrolytes
  5. Reduce Acidity

They suggest eating a quick post-workout meal that contains a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein. Also goals 4&5 actually dovetail nicely together because alkaline foods which reduce acidity also tend to be high in electrolytes. You can achieve all these goals by consuming a healthy portion of: fresh fruits, and LEAN meat or Eggs. PDfA suggests making a post workout "drink" although that's not a W30 compatible way of doing this. But why not make yourself a "beto box" of fresh fruit and quality whole food protein sources. My favorite is something like:

  • Raisins, Bananas, stone fruits (Apricots, Cherries), Pineapple, Pears, Apples, Melons - great source of CHO, Electrolytes, and highly alkaline
  • Cold water fish (Herring, Sardines) - Excellent source of protein, Bump up your Omega-3s, slightly acidic, but least acidic choice of meat choices.
  • Hard Boiled Egg - great source of protein, slightly more acidic than cold water fish, but less acidic than other meat choices.

Things to try to avoid... Fats... fatty meats, nuts, etc. Fats actually surpress the insuline response from ingesting carbohydrates, and the one time you actually really want a "stronger" insuline response is immediately post-workout. Why? Well, like it says in "It Starts with Food", insulines main job is to tell the body "to store nutrients"... that's exactly the signal you want to send out throughout your body immediately following a workout.

p.s. I'm have no formal training in nutrition, exercise physiology or medicine. I am not a doctor, and I don't play one on the web. Your mileage and macronutrients may vary.

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why can't you take a pre?

When not on Whole30, you can have any Pre WO drink you please ( I've done enough of them) doubt you can find any that are compliant.... Ever look at the long list of chemicals that are in them.... Yes caffeine gives you a nice boost and some training benefits, Arginine....vasodilator, OK.... BCAA.... Fine. I just found I was spending an awful amount of ???? On stuff that really didn't net any real results for me... For me eating real food and getting plenty of sleep has given me the best training results of my life.....

@ Brad.... Awesome book !!!!!

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