WHAT ARE BCAAs?
Branch Chain Amino acids from protein are what your body uses to repair and build skeletal muscle tissue after your workout is complete. Because branched-chain amino acids are metabolized right in the muscle, they can be used for building new proteins, but also for instant energy. BCAA supplementation can help provide your body with vital elements for protein synthesis from a high-quality source.*
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMINO ACIDS, ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS, AND BCAAS?
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up protein. There are 22 different kinds. When you eat protein, it's broken down into its component amino acids. Your body then uses these for protein synthesis. This is the process of making new protein, and is required for muscle growth. Essential amino acids are a type of amino acid. These are aminos the body can't make itself, that have to be consumed through your diet or supplementation. There are nine essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, valine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, and lysine. Branched-chain amino acids are a type of essential amino acids. These include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They're different because they're metabolized in the muscle instead of the liver like other amino acids. Because of this, they play an important role in skeletal muscle development.* Leucine is especially important, but valine and isoleucine are needed, too. It's ideal to have all three of these amino acids combined.
WHAT DO BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS DO IN THE BODY?
BCAAs are absorbed directly into the muscle tissues and are metabolized quickly. Because of this, they help with:
- Strength and power
- Quick recovery from muscle soreness
- Anabolic (muscle building) potential
- Energy levels*
ANABOLISM AND CATABOLISM
Branched-chain amino acids can go a long way toward helping prevent catabolism, or muscle loss. When your body runs low on fuel from food (like when you're working out in a fasted state), it can dip into your fat stores, leading to weight loss. But, it can also break down your muscle and scavenge the protein. The body can also use BCAAs as fuel. This makes them a great anti-catabolic supplement. When you take them between meals, your body burns them for energy instead of your muscle mass. Adding some branched-chain goodness to your supplementation plan is a no-brainer.
Another benefit of BCAA supplements is that they taste delicious. This helps you stay hydrated because it's easier to drink more water when it's mixed with BCAA powder that tastes like your favorite cocktail. Plus, drinking your aminos feels like a treat, so it's easier to stick to your diet.
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Bodybuilding.com. 2020. “BCAA SUPPLEMENTS.” Retrieved 7/2020. (https://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bcaas.html)