Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs include the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

These are the most important aminos for the manufacture, maintenance, and repair of muscle tissue.

Leucine is the key to the stimulation of protein synthesis which simply means building muscle protein.

You may be thinking, "why not just take leucine?" Well as with lots of supplements it seems that is a the team is greater than the individuals effect. The three work better together.

The cool thing about BCAAs is that they are either used directly to build muscle or to provide energy. The liver doesn't decide to send them to other functions in the body.

BCAAs have also been shown to blunt the catabolic hormone Cortisol. Lower cortisol means higher testosterone.

BCAAs also enhance recovery decreasing delayed-onset muscle soreness.

The typical recommendation is to take 5-10g with a whey shake in the morning, pre-workout, and post-workout. Although some like to drink them all day. Others drink a BCAA drink intra-workout to keep their energy levels high while training.

Previous posts on Leucine: