What BCAAs & Amino Acids Do
BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids play key roles in promoting muscle protein synthesis and preventing muscle protein breakdown. The BCAAs consist of the three amino acids: leucine, isoluecine, and valine.
- Leucine: stimulates muscle protein synthesis
- Isoleucine: plays a role in glucose metabolism
- Valine: plays a role in tissue repair
When shopping for BCAAs, aim for products that contain BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. This ratio of BCAAs is the ratio that has been commonly used in clinical studies on BCAA supplementation.
BCAAs can be used before, during, and after a workout. Or at any time of the day. In one meta-analysis on BCAA supplementation and DOMS, the researchers recommended supplementing with 200 mg per kg of bodyweight daily of BCAAs. In two other clinical studies on BCAAs, the researchers found 14 g daily of BCAAs to have a positive effect on body composition when combined with a resistance training program and diet.
Proven Benefits of BCAAs & Aminos
BCAAs have been researched for their effects on body composition, exercise endurance, and exercise recovery. Specifically, research has shown that BCAAs can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, prevent muscle protein breakdown, and mostly bypass the liver to be used directly as a fuel source for the muscles. Some benefits of BCAAs include:
- Reduce muscle soreness
- Muscular Endurance
- Reduce muscle fatigue
- Great-tasting, hydrating flavors
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to take BCAA / Amino Drinks?
BCAAs and Amino Acid supplements are commonly used around the workout window (before, during, and after). BCAA and Amino Acid supplements can also be used at other times of the day to boost your intake of amino acids.
Should you take BCAAs on non-training days?
Yes, BCAA supplementation on non-training days can promote muscle repair and recovery. When BCAAs are supplemented at appropriate dosages on a consistent basis they can positively impact muscle recovery.
Difference between BCAA Powder and Electrolytes?
BCAAs are comprised of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. While the major electrolytes consist of sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. BCAAs play a role in muscle protein synthesis. Electrolytes play a role in maintaining fluid volume and pH in the body.
Difference between Amino Acids and BCAAs?
BCAAs are amino acids but not all amino acids are BCAAs. There are 20 common amino acids that our bodies use for a variety of functions including to build and maintain our muscles. Of these 20 amino acids, 9 are deemed essential amino acids, they’re considered essential because our bodies can’t make them on their own, so we need to consume them through food or supplements. The BCAAs make up 3 of these 9 essential amino acids, they’re called Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) because their chemical structure resembles tree branches.
Can you mix Creatine with BCAA?
BCAAs and creatine can form a powerful stack to support your muscle building goals. BCAAs can help prevent muscle protein breakdown and recovery after workouts. While creatine can support an increase in muscle mass.