Did you know that cashews and almonds are high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)? These essential amino acids are very healthy for you! They help prevent muscle loss when you’re dieting. Not only that, they boost your recovery time by over 20 percent.
When you’re exercising, your muscles prefer to burn amino acids than carbs. Your muscles have 60 percent of the special enzymes your body uses to burn amino acids. They especially prefer burning the BCAA leucine and demand 25 times more leucine than any other part of your body. And, the longer and harder you work out, the more your muscles need BCAAs for the high energy demand.
BCAAs also stop your brain from taking in tryptophan, which keeps fatigue away and boosts your endurance. When you’re working out for an extended period, your brain uses tryptophan to make serotonin, which acts as a reset mechanism to make you tired. If your brain’s tryptophan supply is shortened, your brain won’t make as much fatigue-causing serotonin.
How can you get your BCAAs? Drinking a glass of cashew or almond milk does the trick! An ounce of almonds gives you 4 grams of leucine. One-fourth cup (1.41 ounces) of cashews gives you 1.23 grams of BCAAs. One serving of almond or cashew milk has over 5 ounces of these BCAA-rich nuts! Choosing almond or cashew milk lets you enjoy a smooth, tasty drink to get a lot of BCAAs before your workout instead of stuffing and crunching loads and loads of nuts into your mouth.