What Are They?
BCAAs, Brach Chain Amino Acids are building blocks of protein. Amino acids are necessary for the growth and repair of muscles and tissues. Without them, protein in the body breaks down, resulting in muscle loss. There are 20 total amino acids the body needs. About half are non-essential, meaning they’re made by the body; the other half are essential, meaning they must be obtained from food or supplements.
Enhances Protein Synthesis & Repairs
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), named according to their molecular structure, include the essential amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine, and can be taken in supplement form before, during or after a workout to help improve exercise performance and endurance in addition to potentially aiding in muscle recovery.
Amino acids from food travel first to the liver, where they’re broken down for use as fuel or assigned to muscle repair. BCAAs bypass the liver and go directly to the muscles for fueling, building and repairing. Thus, they can be used during a workout for endurance and after for muscle-building.
During exercise, increased levels of serotonin, the hormone that regulates mood, can cause fatigue. As a neurotransmitter, serotonin signals the brain that the body is tired as the amino acid tryptophan travels to the brain. Several studies have proven that BCAAs, specifically valine, can potentially help reduce serotonin levels and help prevent tryptophan from entering the brain as a means of bypassing exercise fatigue.
Muscle Soreness, Muscle Recovery & Muscle Growth
BCAAs can also potentially help with muscle soreness. BCAAs can be used to help prevent post-exercise muscle soreness by impeding exercise-induced muscle damage and helping stimulate growth and repair. In particular, the amino acid leucine directly stimulates muscle growth in two ways. First, it triggers muscle protein synthesis, the stringing together of amino acids to build stronger protein. It can also potentially increase insulin levels to help create a protein-synthesizing anabolic environment -- the right balance of nutrition, hormones and metabolic activities needed for muscle growth.
Balance Healthy Hormone Levels
BCAAs can potentially help enhance muscle growth by boosting growth-hormone levels and lowering cortisol levels. The more growth hormone present after a workout, the more benefits may occur. Protein synthesis with BCAAs is optimal up to 24 hours post-exercise, typically 5-10 grams.
Supports Healthy Insulin Levels
Studies have also shown BCAA to help support healthy insulin levels and improve insulin resistance. *If you are diabetic, consult your doctor prior to taking a supplement regimen.
Supports Fat Loss
BCAAs have been shown in clinical studies not only to increase muscle but to stimulate fat loss by stimulating fat oxidation and increasing energy expenditure.
- Supports Lean Muscle Growth*
- Helps Prevent Muscle Catabolysis*
- Increases Protein Synthesis*
- Promotes Hydration and Fluid Balance*
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