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Sparta Nutrition Keto BCAA: A Workout Drink for Keto Dieters

Sparta Nutrition Keto BCAA

Sparta Nutrition has released a ketogenic amino acid supplement titled Keto BCAA to help improve endurance and exercise recovery.

Sparta Nutrition has been blowing out the keto scene, releasing a bevy of BHB-laden supplements to enhance everything from fat burning (Keto Shred) to brain function (CogniKeto). But, the young, forward-thinking brand isn’t quite done with the keto crowd just yet.

They’ve also created a duo of products to help out the hard-training athletes that might be looking to maximize performance while still keeping the carbs next to zero. The first performance-boosting product we’ll feature today is their intra workout — Keto BCAA.

A “double-rocket-fuel” supplement?

This is going to be an interesting one, and we’ll have to see how it performs. Keto BCAA has BHB salts providing beta hydroxybutyrate, the primary energy source for keto dieters. But, it also has some glutamine and of course the BCAA valine, which may elevate blood sugar levels.

Normally, too much of those (especially glutamine) could be a risky thing if we were just sitting around. But when we’re training, more ketones and a dash more glucose means two sources of energy to train on! So how will it perform? We’ll have to find out.

More info can be found below, but before we get there, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for PricePlow alerts:

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Mike’s Sparta Keto BCAA Review

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This one worked out quite well. So now you should check out the label:

Keto BCAA Ingredients

Keto BCAA is the keto athlete’s solution for better endurance, fat utilization, and recovery when foregoing carbs, the traditional fuel of slow-twitch and fast-twitch trainees.

  • BHB Salts (6g)

    Sparta Nutrition Keto BCAA Ingredients

    Sparta’s Keto BCAA looks to improve athletic endurance through its combination of BHB salts and BCAAs.

    As we’ve seen in the other Sparta Nutrition Keto Series products, they include a trio of BHB salts to help fuel performance:

    • Calcium BHB (2.5g)
    • Sodium BHB (2g)
    • Magnesium BHB (1.5g)

BHB salts are a form of exogenous ketones that can be supplemented when shifting from carb to keto living, and help sustain performance during physical activity, which are usually fueled by carbs.[1,2] Studies show that BHB salts are beneficial for the endurance athlete, but may not necessarily be the best for the interval based training and other high-intensity activities.[3,4,5]

  • BCAAs 2:1:1 (5g)

    The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are well known in and out of the keto world as the three main amino acids that drive muscle protein synthesis via stimulation of the mTORC1 pathway. Comprised of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, the three BCAAs bypass the typical digestion in liver and are directed straight to your muscles, where they are used as a source of immediate energy during training.

    Sparta Nutrition Keto BCAA Back

    Expect better performance and less soreness with Keto BCAA.

    BCAAs help reduce catabolism and aid recovery.[6,7] They’re also beneficial for fasted training due to providing energy to the muscles. They’re also great for keto-training since they won’t spike insulin like carbs will.

    KetoBCAA uses a 5g dose of 2:1:1 BCAAs, which provides 2.5g Leucine, and 1.25g each Isoleucine and Valine.

    Remember, even if there’s no calories listed on the label, BCAAs do contribute protein calories. Keto dieters don’t need too much protein (but also not too little!) so it’s wise to add these 5g / 20 calories into your tracker.

    But don’t BCAAs spike blood sugar?

    Maybe a touch, but from Mike’s personal testing, not all that much. You can watch the entire testing video below, where he discusses how leucine increased ketones (this makes sense since it’s ketogenic), but the other two BCAAs don’t negatively affect things too much:

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    For the reasons shown above, we’d rather stick with a bit more of the ketogenic amino acid – leucine – and normally prefer something like a 4:1:1 leucine:isoleucine:valine ratio in these supplements instead. However, the point is that 2:1:1 is fine for nearly everyone but the most insane keto dieters, and we take the pros (increased endurance and some protein synthesis) over the cons (minor blood glucose increase).

    The bigger concern for a keto dieter is the next ingredient:

  • L-Glutamine (2g)

    As you can see, glutamine isn’t really all that beneficial to your muscles since it never gets there.[8]

    Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, and plays a key role in gut health and immune system function. While it was once billed as a must have ingredient for muscle-building and recovery, that’s mostly been debunked in recent years, as very little orally supplemented glutamine makes its way to skeletal muscle tissue and is mostly taken up by the stomach.[8]

    The other issue here is that glutamine is glucogenic, meaning your body uses it to produce glucose, not exactly what you when when trying to remain (or get into) ketosis.[8]

    Personally, we’d prefer they dumped the free-form glutamine in a future version of this product. It has practically no use in a keto dieter’s life, as too high of doses can drop ketone levels because your body needs to switch to working on the glucose that’s generated via gluconeogenesis.

    DOUBLE FUEL alongside the BHB?

    On the other hand, there’s more than enough BHB here in Sparta’s Keto BCAA to keep most peoples’ ketones up. In fact, glutamine may actually give you the “double-rocket-fuel” due to having both ketones (from the BHB and your own ketosis) and some blood sugar spike from the glutamine! That’s two sources of energy to train on – so get going in the gym and you’re rock solid!

    The good news is that this is a workout supplement, so you’ll burn through that glucose in no time at all if you’re training even halfway hard – and the BHB will keep your ketone levels from falling (unlike our experiences when taking 5g glutamine raw).

    Fat-Adapted + Sugars = The future of endurance training?

    This method is actually how many endurance athletes have been breaking records. They stay fat-adapted and train with lots of fats… but when they need a bit of extra “sprint” energy, they spike blood sugar levels too! Of course 2g glutamine isn’t enough to do that too heavily, but it’s a fun application you will be hearing about more often, at least in the endurance world.

  • PeakO2 (2g)

    PeakO2

    PeakO2 is a supreme performance-enhancing extract of several mushroom varieties what will significantly boost endurance.

    Now, this is a fantastic idea for keto dieters looking to increase endurance!

    PeakO2™ is a trademarked, proprietary mix of mushrooms, developed by Compound Solutions, comprised of Reishi, King Trumpet, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, and the well-known Cordyceps militaris.

    PeakO2 has been one of the hottest non-stim, ergogenic ingredients lately due to the landmark UNC study showing when dosed at 4g/day PeakO2 increased VO2 Max, peak power output, and time to exhaustion.[9]

    Word on the street is that the newest PeakO2 study will be released within the next month or so showing that you can get these same benefits from lower doses too. So, stay tuned!

On the Formula

”Keto BCAA has two goals in mind: muscle recovery and endurance enhancement. Endurance enhancement was a big focus for us since exogenous ketones can help increase endurance by providing an efficient fuel source for the body. Coupling ketones with PeakO2 was a pretty unique 1-2 punch for this goal in our opinion and we’re stoked to be the first to market with it.”

— Sparta HQ

Flavors Available

Upon debut, KetoBCAA will come in one flavor — Lemon Lime. Other BHB salt products we’ve tried have a distinctive salty flavor to them (due to the BHB salts), so it’ll be interesting to see if Sparta can cover up that salty taste and deliver a tasty refreshing treat.

Train for fat-adapted performance with Keto BCAA

Sparta Nutrition

Head over to our Sparta Nutrition page and sign up for alerts, because there’s about to be a bunch of other Keto Supplements from them!

Keto BCAA is an intra workout option suited to consumers looking for something to drink that doesn’t have too not many carbs, and is low on glucogenic aminos – although for hardcore dieting we’d still prefer they tossed the glutamine aside in favor of more leucine in future versions, but for endurance, you may actually perform better with it… and that’s why it will probably stay. (Note that if you don’t want glucogenic amino acids at all, then Keto Shred hits it on the head).

The addition of PeakO2 at a solid 2g dose makes it stand apart from the droves of other BHB only supplements on the market, as a supplement that not only powers performance, but can enhance it to.

Keto dieters are getting more supplement options, and Sparta Nutrition is definitely leading the way this year!

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References

  1. Kesl SL, Poff AM, Ward NP, et al. Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride, and lipoprotein levels in Sprague–Dawley rats. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2016;13:9. doi:10.1186/s12986-016-0069-y. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743170/
  2. Stubbs BJ, Cox PJ, Evans RD, et al. On the Metabolism of Exogenous Ketones in Humans. Frontiers in Physiology. 2017;8:848. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00848.
  3. Clarke K, Cox P. Ketone bodies and ketone body esters for maintaining or improving muscle power output. United States Patent Application. June 18, 2015; 20150164855 A1.
  4. O’Malley T, Myette-Cote E, Durrer C, Little JP. Nutritional ketone salts increase fat oxidation but impair high-intensity exercise performance in healthy adult males. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab = Physiol Appl Nutr  Metab. 2017;42(10):1031-1035. doi:10.1139/apnm-2016-0641. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28750585
  5. Cox PJ, Clarke K. Acute nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism. Extreme Physiology & Medicine. 2014;3:17. doi:10.1186/2046-7648-3-17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212585/
  6. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008;48(3):347-351. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18974721
  7. Matsumoto K, Koba T, Hamada K, Sakurai M, Higuchi T, Miyata H. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation attenuates muscle soreness, muscle damage and inflammation during an intensive training program. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009;49(4):424-431. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20087302
  8. Stumvoll M, Perriello G, Meyer C, Gerich J. Role of glutamine in human carbohydrate metabolism in kidney and other tissues. Kidney Int. 1999;55(3):778-792. doi:https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1755.1999.055003778.x. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815460260
  9. Hirsch KR, Mock MG, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE. Chronic supplementation of a mushroom blend on oxygen kinetics, peak power, and time to exhaustion. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12(Suppl 1):P45. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P45; Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594151/
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