Adding BCAAs to Your Workout Schedule

We’ve seen through the research and studies that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are effective in preventing catabolism and promoting muscle growth and energy within the cells. But where do they fit into your supplementation schedule, and how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of them?

Let’s start by examining what a product like Katalyst’s IBCAA, NUTRISHOP’s featured product of the week, does exactly. The amino acids leucine, valine and isoleucine are all considered “essential” amino acids — meaning your body does not produce them, instead relying on your own dietary intake. But when you work out, your muscles go into a catabolic state, using up the amino acids that are readily available within the muscle itself. This is one of the reasons your muscles get fatigued and weak as you continue to lift; you’re purposely tearing them down and your body is doing what it needs to in order to stop that process.

Having a surplus of amino acids stops this, since they are metabolized in the muscles and not in the liver. Once your system absorbs them, they go straight to the muscles in demand and begin to work. Exercise Prescription online points out that “amino acids will be used for protein synthesis, which is optimal for advanced human performance.” It continues to state that “BCAAs are of essential importance to athletes due to their ability to alleviate any deficiencies the body alone cannot produce.”

So, knowing all that, here’s the take-home: Take a serving of IBCAA before your workout, allowing time for it to absorb in the digestive system before it immediately goes to your muscles. By the time you start working, so will the BCAAs (remember, they’re instantized in Katalyst’s formula)! If you plan on an intense workout nearing the two-hour mark, IBCAA mixes deliciously into your shaker bottle and you can drink it during your workout for sustained recovery and energy.

Testimonial — Heather Young

Heather Young
Chico, Calif.

Heather is finding that success breeds more success, and she has been able to credit much of it to NUTRISHOP’s assistance. Though she’s been involved with weight training for years, she only recently started supplementing with the guidance of NUTRISHOP’s certified staff, and she’s seen the results she was looking for.

“Once I started trying a few things out, taking their recommendations to heart, I found I was cutting quite a bit and I got excited about it,” Heather says. “People at my gym were asking me what I was doing, and if I was training for anything in particular.”
She wasn’t, but decided to start aiming for May’s Chico bodybuilding competition. Since she became a NUTRISHOP customer, she’s gone from 170 pounds to the 132 she’s currently at, and has found that NUTRISHOP has been able to guide her through the process.

“It’s been great. Every time I go in, I get good info and the right things I’m looking for,” she says. “Once I started putting my mind to it, I’d keep going back an they’d just keep helping me every time I went in, with a diet plan, or a new workout or advice. They always want to talk about how things are going with me.”

Heather has gone through a wide range of products and benefited in some form with all of them, she says, but the store’s own line of protein products has particularly helped her out. She enjoys finding new ways to incorporate them into her daily diet plan and even has several recipe ideas depending on which flavor she’s using. That small change — simply adding more protein — has been a major boost to achieving her goals, and she thanks NUTRISHOP for the guidance with it.

“They can answer any question I go in with, that’s what I really like about them,” Heather says. “They’re always really willing to help you and they’re really laid-back and friendly. It’s just a good feeling when guys with tons of experience are willing to give a piece of it to you.”

Fight Muscle Breakdown with BCAAs

Here’s some bad news: Your muscles want to literally eat themselves.

When you train them, whether it’s for bodybuilding or weight training or even just running, they are breaking down microscopically as you go. And that’s good — breaking them down and replenishing them, as we’ve seen, is the way to build them.

In that period of breakdown, though, there is an extreme demand within the muscles for certain chemicals to be replaced, and when they’re not floating around in your system, the body will turn to its most available source. Unfortunately, that happens to be the very muscle you’ve been working so hard to add. This process is called catabolism, where the building blocks of muscle-construction are instead used as energy. It’s obviously not what you want.

Provide your muscles with necessary energy and kick-start protein synthesis with Katalyst's IBCAA.

The way to fight it is by providing your system with enough of those needed nutrients to prevent catabolism, and in this case, it’s the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) found in Katalyst’s IBCAA Complex. Building blocks of protein, this particular branched chain of leucine, isoleucine and valine is essential for maintaining a positive protein balance within the muscle, putting it in an anabolic (muscle-building) state instead of that dreaded catabolism.

Studies have shown that BCAAs have had positive effects, especially in addressing catabolism. A 2000 entry in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Vol. 15, No. 7), BCAAs are shown to “serve as both an important energy substrate during exercise and periods of stress, and as a precursor for the synthesis of other amino acids and proteins.” The same study indicates that BCAAs directly affect the release of insulin, a hormone “recognized as an important anabolic agent in the human body.” An insulin spike during your workout, with the necessary protein elements already in your blood, could mean faster delivery of the nutrients to your muscles without catabolism.

Newer studies show even more convincing results. In 2009, a presentation at the Sixth International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference and Expo, focusing on BCAAs, performed a randomized double-blind study over an eight-week time span. The findings: The subjects who supplemented with BCAAs saw increases in lean mass, drops in body fat percentage, and gains in 10-rep max strength for both bench press and squats.

Don’t forget the “I” part of Katalyst’s IBCAA, either — for many, it could be the most important part. It means this complex is instantized, meant to dissolve in liquid instantly. This isn’t so with lesser BCAA products, which can be clumpy or grainy in water and definitely be a turn-off when it comes to sipping it before, after or throughout a workout. IBCAA also tastes great without being overbearingly sweet — after all, nobody enjoys being sick to their stomach when they’re reaching for their lifting goals.

IBCAA has zero sugar, carbs, fillers, stimulants or artificial colors, and its patented 2:1:1 Adjipure BCAA chain is a maximum strength complex that comes in two flavors.

To find out more about this incredible supplement or figure out how to work it into your workout regimen, come by NUTRISHOP and ask any of its qualified staff.

Benefits of N’Rage in Recovery

You had a week full of good workouts, boosting them with CellShock’s N’Rage, and saw the benefits it can provide. Now, you get a well-deserved day off to recover and grow. No need to take a nitric oxide supplement today, right?

Not quite. In fact, improving your body’s blood flow on an off day can be a hugely beneficial strategy to boost your recovery and improve cellular energy levels.

If you’re using a day away from training properly, you know that it’s the part of your week your body has the chance to grow and rebuild. The natural thought might be, “I’m not working out, so I don’t need to waste my pre-workout supplements.” But keep in mind what N’Rage does: It helps your body expand its blood cells, improving oxygen and nutrient transport. Both of those are critical in the muscle rebuilding process. It actually is more of a waste to miss an N’Rage dose on a rest day.

It’s also worth noting that the GlycoCarn in N’Rage is another compound designed to improve circulation as well, meaning that when you supplement with N’Rage on your rest days, you’re enhancing your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from the food you’re taking in. And that, of course, is the key to recovering properly: Give your muscles the materials they need to rebuild, as well as a boost to their ability to do it.

Stacking with N’Rage for Better Results

You want to increase your efficiency in the gym — who doesn’t? Whether it’s shaping your workout program to get in more work in less time, timing your meals correctly to maximize their effect on your body or putting together a well-planned supplementation program, the main idea is to put yourself in the best position possible to make gains.

On the same note, you can maximize the effectiveness of the very supplements you’re taking to get the most out of them. Nutrishop’s featured product of the week, CellShock’s N’Rage, stands alone as a great way to increase the nitric oxide production in your body and improve its blood flow, leading to significant strength gains, workout performance and muscle fullness.
But with properly timed use of other supplements designed to boost N’Rage’s effectiveness, it becomes that much more powerful, giving you more bang for your buck.


The use of two or more supplements in this way, called “stacking,” is a popular way to accelerate the gains you’re after if it’s done correctly. With N’Rage, we already know it enhances blood flow to provide oxygen and crucial nutrients faster. This makes for an optimal time to stack with a buffered creatine product like N’Fuze LEAN MUSCLE HYPERTROPHIC COMPOUND, half an hour before your workout and immediately after, since this is when your body can most readily shuttle the creatine to your muscles and use it.

Since N’Rage’s effects are more sustained over time, you can set up these stacks in intervals to maximize their benefits. You don’t want to waste your supplements by timing them incorrectly. An hour to an hour and a half before you work out, take N’Rage, then once it’s had enough time to have start having its effect — about 30 minutes — you can begin your pre-workout stack of N’Fuze, as well as a stimulant-based pre-workout product like Fuzion. Every product in this stack is designed to complement the other ones.

Remember: It’s important to hydrate, especially when using supplements. As a general guideline, drink at least 8 ounces of water for every one you take, and 20 ounces (the size of most shaker bottles) before your workout — you’ll be sweating a lot of it out if you’re doing your work right, and your body’s cells need the water to function their best.

Testimonial — Ronelle Knouse

Ronelle Knouse, Chico, Calif.

Since Ronelle started training for bench press competitions two years ago, NUTRISHOP Chico has been at her side when it comes to proper supplementation, and now she says she can’t imagine having gone someplace else.
“I’m a NUTRISHOP addict right now,” Ronelle says. “There’s been people at my gym that have gone to other places before, but pretty much everybody through word of mouth at the gym all favor NUTRISHOP now. We’ll get stuff for each other or make trips together.”

A Glenn County sheriff, Ronelle’s gone through three surgeries in two years — two shoulder operations and a knee surgery — but hasn’t let it slow her down. With NUTRISHOP’s expert athletic nutrition advice, she has been able to work back from those setbacks and continue to train.
“I’ll go in and say ‘I need more strength,’ or ‘I need more energy,’ and they always put out a plan for me,” Ronelle says. “They really outline what I need specifically. That’s what I like about them — they take people’s personal goals and issues, and then they make suggestions based on that.”

Ronelle especially has found success with products she wouldn’t have otherwise considered if not for NUTRISHOP’s advice and samples of key products, plus the low-price guarantee offers her the comfort of knowing she’s not wasting her money.
But while saving is an important part of the NUTRISHOP experience for her, she’s mostly concerned with the effectiveness of what she takes home with her, and she says it’s the one place she can go and feel like the people there have her goals in mind.

“I’ve gone into other places, and you go in there and they just want to sell you something,” Ronelle says. “They don’t want to stop and listen to what you need or what your goals are. Every time I’ve gone into NUTRISHOP, they take the time and ask what I’m looking for. Toby and his people are so knowledgeable and the main thing is that I trust them. It makes you feel good.”

The benefits of nitric oxide — CellShock’s N’Rage

Anyone with any amount of weight lifting experience can relate to knowing the difference between a “good” or “bad” workout — getting in a great workout leaves you feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride at the hard work you’ve just put in, your muscles exhausted and ready to grow, and that feeling often can last all day.
The question is: Why would you ever settle for a lesser workout?

Studies have shown nitric oxide products like N’Rage to significantly increase muscle strength and size.

Practical reasons often include simple fatigue, or stress that can lead to lack of focus. The results can often impact your time in the weight room — how much, how long or how intense you can lift.
CellShock Research has decided those answers aren’t good enough to hinder your gym performance, and its response is N’Rage, a next-generation nitric oxide compound designed to increase muscle size, strength, vascularity and endurance mainly by increasing the blood flow and oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscle cells.

Think back to your good workouts — when you’re effectively targeting a muscle area, blood rushes to that area and you experience the “pump” effect. The main ingredients in N’Rage include L-Arginine AKG (2:1), also known as AAKG, which is an enhanced precursor of nitric oxide. N’Rage works with your body to create the production of nitric oxide in your system, thus enhancing blood flow.
“Exercise Prescription (ExRx)” online pointed out that AAKG has been under research since 1989, and the main takeaways from its studies were significant gains in strength over short periods of time, as well as an increase in lean muscle mass, when combined with intense exercise. Since nitric oxide production is keyed by N’Rage’s main ingredient, arginine, it’s important to note the bottom-line thought on it. From a 1997 study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition: “It can safely be theorized that arginine may have an anabolic effect on the human body by increasing levels of nitric oxide and growth hormone.”

So why not just pick any nitric oxide or AAKG supplement? The main reason is that everything you can benefit from in this compound is in N’Rage already, and in more potent and effective amounts. The 2:1 version of AAKG in N’Rage is twice the strength of the AAKG found in most pre-workout products available.

N’Rage also contains beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid shown to increase muscular strength, mass and endurance, meaning your workouts can be longer and more intense. Citrulline malate, another compound vital in the process of creating and regulating nitric oxide in the body, is another amino acid featured in N’Rage. It helps to eliminate the burn associated with lactic acid build-up and waste product within the muscle, on top of boosting the rate of muscle ATP (the cell’s major energy source). This is what is responsible for such significant strength gains, and citrulline malate is another chief ingredient when it comes to the pumps and nutrient delivery most lifters seek.

The effect is maximized with the inclusion of GlycoCarn, a powerful nitric oxide booster itself that works to improve blood flow and circulation — you will have little trouble achieving full, powerful muscles if you combine N’Rage with your workout program.