Many people hear the term amino acids thrown around, but what exactly are the “branched chained amino acids”? The branched chained amino acids consist of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three together form what is commonly regarded as BCAA’s and are crucial for muscular development. In fact, the BCAA’s are your most important amino acids when it comes to muscle building due to their crucial role in protein synthesis, a crucial muscle building function.
BCAA’s are the crucial amino acids your body needs when it comes to muscle endurance and recovering from your intense workouts as well. Branched chained amino acids are the fastest absorbed amino acids in the human body. They are also highly concentrated in your muscles. According to the book Anabolic Primer, “It is believed that upward of 70 percent of amino acids processed by the liver and released into the bloodstream are BCAA’s.” As you probably know, protein is crucial for muscle growth. This is because of protein’s abundance of muscle growing amino acids. When you eat a big steak or chicken breast filled with protein, within hours anywhere between 50 and 90 percent of the amino acids taken in by the muscle tissue are your BCAA’s. BCAA supplementation can be done before, during, and after a workout. This is why BCAA supplements are so popular among workout enthusiasts and those looking to pack on lean muscle mass.
BCAA’s and Muscle Gain
BCAA’s play a major role in your muscle’s energy production. During your intense weight training sessions, the BCAA’s are broken down and used as an energy system for your working muscles. This is why many workout enthusiasts will supplement with BCAA’s during their workout. Taking BCAA’s during your workout will increase your muscles energy systems as more and more BCAA’s are broken down and used as energy. I have been supplementing with BCAA’s for the last year during my very intense workouts and have noticed a dramatic difference in my workout intensity and muscle endurance. BCAA supplementation can also help prevent overtraining and muscle wasting. If your body does not have its proper amount of BCAA’s available, it could cause muscle wasting and atrophy. Fueling your body with a steady supply of BCAA’s ensures that your muscles will not go into atrophy. This is a common result of overtraining or not feeding your muscles the proper amount of nutrition. Atrophy is a weight lifters worst nightmare! It literally means your muscles are getting smaller – and all of your hard work is going down the drain. This reason alone should make BCAA a necessary insurance policy for anyone who is training regularly.
Branched chained amino acids also play a crucial role in the muscle building process because they help stimulate protein synthesis, which is the initial stage of muscle building. By supplementing with protein and BCAA’s following an intense resistance training session, you set the stage for optimal muscle building and proper recovery. So what is the optimal way to supplement with BCAA? According to bodybuilding.com, 4-8 grams both before and after exercise will stimulate protein synthesis and give you the optimal amount of BCAA’s in your bloodstream to set the stage for explosive lean muscle growth. Along with Whey protein and L-glutamine, BCAA’s are one of the most important supplements for workout enthusiasts because your body demands extra BCAA supplementation both before and after an intense resistance-training workout.