Branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) consist of three amino acids, Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine. The body uses these amino acids to promote healing of injured tissues, speed recovery and protect against catabolism (muscle tissue breakdown). BCAA’s account for one third of all the protein in muscle tissue, this makes them highly important in helping to build muscle and provide energy to in muscle cells.
What are the benefits of Branch Chain Amino Acids?
Important for protein synthesis.
Preventing muscle loss
Isoleucine is needed in the formation of hemoglobin
Leucine is necessary for wound recovery in skin and bones, helps protect muscle tissue.
Valine aids in balancing nitrogen content in our bodies.
When should BCAA’s be taken and how much?
BCAA’s should be taken 30mins before exercise on an empty stomach to prevent muscle breakdown and another dosage before sleep or after exercise to promote recovery. The typical dosage is between 5-10g.
Are BCAA’s right for you?
If you are an athlete or avid weight trainer looking for extra recovery and better gains in lean muscle, BCAA’s are right for you.
What Supplements contain Branch Chain Amino Acids?
BCAA’s come on their own in a specific ratio of Isoleucine, Leucine & Valine which is often found in pill and powder form. Any protein source chicken, whey, fish, eggs, ect… will contain a certain amount of each amino acid. And here is a list of certain products which have BCAA’s added directly to their products:
VPX – N.O. Shotgun
VPX – N.O. Synthesize
Universal – M-Stak
Dymatize – Xpand
Gaspari – Super Pump 250
What I think about BCAA’s
Supplementing with BCAA’s can be beneficial during a cutting or a building phase in anyone’s fitness routine. I find them much more convenient to take when already added to a product; this avoids measuring and mixing single aminos which can be a hassle. Starting out with a good pill form BCAA before and after exercise will help any athlete obtain better recovery and is an excellent stack along with glutamine and creatine. Just remember supplements are something we add to our diets, make sure you are putting the right fuel in your body to accomplish your goals!! Keep eating keep lifting!