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What Are BCAA Supplements and When To Use BCAAs?

What Are BCAA Supplements and When To Use BCAAs?

(Last Updated On: 01/02/2017)

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) are a select group of essential amino acids; leucine, isoleucine and valine. The body cannot synthesize them, they must be provided in the diet in abundance. In recent years the BCAA supplements have received an incredible amount of attention from sports scientists, and this attention appears to be well deserved.

BCAA supplements are ideal for those who train on daily basis and want to preserve lean muscle while preventing catabolism. Even the pros are sometimes left wondering why they need more amino acids when they  already get many amino acids in all the protein they consume. Fact is  amino acids can influence muscle growth and one group in particular called branched chain amino acids. BCAAs are absorbed directly into the muscle tissues and are metabolized quickly. Because of this, BCAAs commonly support: Strength and Power,Quick Recovery After Workouts,Muscle Building Potential,Energy Levels.

By reading this guide you will learn:

>What BCAAs are, and how they impact performance and muscle building?
>Why leucine, isoleucine, and valine are so essential?
>How BCAAs improve performance?
>How BCAAs effect testosterone levels when taken pre-workout.
>The benefits of BCAAs during fat loss.
>The recommended daily BCAAs dosage.

Types of BCAAs

There are three types of  BCAAs: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. If muscle growth is your goal these three BCAAs are a must include. BCAAs are in  the category of essential amino acids, whic  the body cannot make on its own, so it’s ideal to get these through your diet. With 20 aminos that muscles use, BCAAs are about a third of that amount within the tissue.
Taking BCAAs before and after the workout session is crucial for supporting optimum results. This is when the muscle tissues require amino acids the most, You can also add them to your diet, which can be beneficial if you’re on a strict fat-loss plan. Best way to intake BCAAs is through pills, but there’s liquid and powder forms as well, if pills aren’t your thing.

Leucine-is unique in its ability to stimulate skeletal muscle protein synthesis. In fact, leucine has a several fold greater impact on protein synthesis than any other amino acid. Leucine activates a major complex in the anabolic (muscle-building) pathway called mTOR. Adding leucine to a protein-rich meal further increases the rate of skeletal muscle protein synthesis.

Isoleucine-together with the other two branched-chain-amino-acids promote muscle recovery after physical exercise and on its own it is needed for the formation of hemoglobin as well as assisting with regulation of blood sugar levels as well as energy levels. It is also involved in blood-clot formation. Deficiency of isoleucine is only found in people deficient in dietary protein but symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion as well as irritability.

Valine-has a stimulating effect and is needed for muscle metabolism, repair and growth of tissue and maintaining the nitrogen balance in the body. It is a branched-chain amino acid, it can be used as an energy source in the muscles, and in doing so preserves the use of glucose.
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BCAA Effect on Metabolism

Metabolism of BCAAs is very different from other amino acids, because  BCAAs are metabolized mainly in the muscle as opposed to the liver with many other aminos.  Leucine is accomplished  through fat pathways. Valine through carbohydrate pathways, and Isoleucine uses both pathaways. This allows them to be used as energy by the muscle cells to ATP. Which is the main source of energy that muscles use.  BCAA metabolism increases during training  because your body needs more energy. Their uniqueness allows them to effect all forms of training, which is why BCAAs are crucial to be take around training time.

BCAAs Effect on Performance

No matter what your training  goals are, BCAAs have  proven to enhance your performance. Their unique metabolism makes them a great energy source as we said before, as well as  enhancement of fat oxidation to allow you to train harder for longer without burning out.
BCAAs enhance your performance by sparing  glycogen throughout your workout. Glycogen is found in muscle tissue and the liver, and aids in exercise, and allows you to training harder and longer. Another big plus in effecting performance is in the recovery department,which is the most important thing after all, you want to be ready for a full power training session every single time.

Do BCAAs Have Effect on Fat Loss?

BCAAs work best whe you are  already on a weight diet, by sparing glycogen and therefor speeding up your results because you can train harder and longer.But don’t go eating junk food and chasing it with BCAAs hoping to lose weight, implement bcaas into what you’re already doing. BCAAs should also be used as a supplement during any fat loss plan because of the muscle preserving effects. When you’re on a calorie restricted diet, muscle tissue can be in trouble, which is where BCAAs come in as a preserver.

Are BCAAs Signaling Molecules?

Amino Acids act as substrate for muscle tissue, they take the amino acids from  protein you just ate to build muscle tissue and other proteins. This is where the name building blocks came from. BCAAs are much more than simple building blocks, in recent years it has been discovered that BCAAs send signals to the body telling  it to build muscle.
Best results during protein synthesis are seen when a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine was taken. Leucine  taken alone can lower concentrations of the other two amino acids. Just in case youre you’re thinking why take the other two branch chain aminos. And make sure you take plenty of protein, so your muscles grow.

So How Much BCAAs Should I Take?

Important time to ingest BCAA’s is before, during, and after training. Here are the most effective and safe dosages for intake around training:
150 lbs. or less- 3 grams before, during, and after training.
151 lbs. or more- 5 grams before, during, and after training.
BCAA’s can also be taken throughout the day in addition to the BCAA’s taken around training time. This will further increase protein synthesis and reduce muscle tissue breakdown. This dosage should be split up throughout the day and taken at breakfast, between meals, and before bed.
150 lbs. or less- 10 grams before, during, and after training.
151 lbs. or more- 15 grams before, during, and after training.

There are not many supplements in existence that have the ability to affect growth and performance through as many different pathways as BCAAs. While BCAAs have proven benefits as a building block of muscle tissue, their benefits as signaling molecules are truly just being understood. In time BCAAs may just prove to be the most valuable supplement at our disposal. GOOD LUCK! If you have questions ask us any time.

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