Intense heavy lifting uses glucose for energy to fuel muscle work. I think a pure BCAA (branched chain amino acid) drink is unnecessary, not to mention usually bitter. Instead, a pre-workout powder that contains simple carbohydrates, full protein or longer peptides and creatine might be helpful depending on your current physical status and goals. The protein and long peptide chains will serve as building blocks for muscle, while creatine helps you form more ATP for muscle contractions. Simple carbohydrates serve to fuel the work.
What your previous meal consists of and its timing, pre workout that is, will dictate whether you also need complex carbohydrates or fat. If you eat a balanced, nutrient-rich, meal 3 or so hours prior to your workout you can skip the fat, usually in the form of MCT (medium chain triglycerides) as this might add to the cost.
Don’t overlook your recovery snack! Eating some easily digestible protein plus carbohydrates within 30 minutes after your workout will promote muscle repair and growth. Half a chicken or turkey breast sandwich is ideal and costs less than specialty recovery nutrition products.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?