To start BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids. They are one of the most overlooked and most effective supplements for anyone looking to build muscle and increase performance. Most people don’t know how BCAA’s affect their body, when they should be used, or what they even are.
To give a little background, amino acids are the building blocks of protein and muscle growth. When you eat protein you body converts the protein into its basic amino acids so you can absorb and use them. The amino acids you get from protein sources are called Essential Amino Acids (EAA). The reason they are called essential amino acids is because our bodies do not produce them naturally and they must be obtained from outside sources such as complete proteins. There are nine essential amino acids and they are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine. The BCAA’s you normally see in GNC, Vitamin World and other supplement stores only have three amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine.These are simple amino acids that are used to form muscle tissue.
BCAA’s make up 35% of our muscles and have to be present in the body for muscle growth. When you are training with heavy weights or doing extended periods of cardio, having a surplus of branch chain amino acids can benefit you greatly.
When you work out your body quickly depletes your glycogen storage and starts sending a signal to stop protein synthesis. This makes your body become catabolic and eat away at your hard earned muscle.When you have a surplus of BCAA’s in your body you can reverse this effect and allow your body to continue its protein synthesis. This can lead to muscle gains and faster recovery.
Everything I read about supplementing branch chain amino acids showed that you should have around 4-8 grams three times a day. My suggestion to you is once with breakfast, again 30 minutes before training and before bed.
When training clients for contests such as Men’s physique or Women’s Bikini I always recommend taking BCAA’S right before there cardio session. This will prevent any unwanted muscle lose during aerobic exercise and provide extra energy to finish. By ingesting BCAA’s prior to cardio you will not hurt your fat burning process but use fat storages and help prevent muscle breakdown.
Overall branch chain amino acids are one of the most beneficial supplements you can add to your workout or sports training. They are very well researched and have been proven for a long time. If you already have a whey protein, multivitamin, and creatine supplement, this is a great choice to boost your gains to the next level.
We recommend Muscle Pharm BCAA
Image from bodybuilding.com