Without a doubt, if you have set foot into any commercial gym in the past decade, you would have noticed a lot of gym rats dinking colourful shakes throughout their session.
What are these drinks you may ask? These drinks are scientifically formulated recovery agents called Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's). So now that we know what they are, what do BCAA's do?
Branched Chain Amino Acids consist of 3 essential amino acids. Leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are essential because of the fact the body is unable to make these out of other amino acids, meaning they must be ingested through dietary implementation. This fact it itself stresses the importance of BCAA uptake on a daily basis.
What are BCAA's?
Now BCAAS can be found in natural whole food sources such as eggs, beef, chicken, fish etc but the advantage of free-form amino acids are that they can directly bypass the liver and enter the bloodstream, this, in turn, means much faster nutrient uptake and therefore perfect for consuming intra workout.
What can BCAA's be utilised for?
So now that we have broken down what BCAAS actually are and the origin in which they are derived from what are, let's delve into what circumstances we may utilise such a supplement for and exactly what the clinical dosages are for the desired outcome.
As much as BCAAS are effectively building blocks of protein and we all know protein is essential for building new muscle mass BCAAS have a rather unique place in ones supplement protocol. instead of looking at free form amino acid supplementation as means of promoting anabolism (muscle growth) let's look at it more for its means of preventing catabolism (breaking down muscle tissue)
Taking free form BCAAS intra-workout is the perfect solution to the prevention of putting your body at risk of being in a catabolic state. this is even more so important when being in a caloric deficient or having an extended period of time without any protein ingested.
It's not uncommon for athletes to implement BCAAS throughout the day between mealtimes when calorically restricted to preserve as much lean muscle mass as possible whilst burning fat simultaneously leading up to a show.
- Steel Supplements - BCAA
- Primeval Labs - EAA Max
- Hybrid Nutrition - Aminoade
- EHP Labs - Beyond BCAA
- Redcon1 - Breach
- Myoblox - Illa
- Killer Labz - Brute BCAA
So whether your an athlete or just getting started, if you are serious about your training and wish to optimise your performance, preserve muscle mass whilst dieting or even help prevent DOMS and potentially increase the frequency in which you train BCAAS are the perfect addition to all the hard work your putting in to make consistent improvements on yourself.
Most of you have implemented some form of BCAAS into your supplement protocol by now due to its sheer popularity and of course the fact it tastes much better over plain old water with next to zero calories, but what exactly is the purpose of a BCAA supplement and how can it aid us in our training or even day to day lifestyles for that matter?