BCAA’s are Branched Chain Amino Acids consisting 3 essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are considered essential amino acids because human beings cannot survive unless these amino acids are present in the diet.
They are called BCAA’s because they structurally branch off another chain of atoms instead of forming a line. Together they comprise approx. 1/3 of human muscle tissue. The BCAA’s consist of 3 essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Studies have shown that BCAA’s help to stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit its breakdown, so BCAA’s have powerful anabolic and anti-catabolic effects on the body.
How Do BCAA’S Work?
During intense weight training the body is normally in a highly catabolic condition. At this time glycogen stores are being rapidly depleted and the liver in turn must synthesize glucose by a conversion of L-Alanine. Alanine makes up over half of the amino acid content released from muscles during exercise.
The release of BCAA’s is generally recognized as the signal to the body to stop protein syntheses in the muscles, especially during times of stress. Providing the Branch Chain Amino Acids, especially during those times of stress may profoundly affect this signal and allow protein synthesis to continue onward.
How Much and When Should You Take Amino Acids?
With BCAA’s 4-8 grams before a work out and 4-8 grams after is optimal. Lesser amounts are effective but if increased performance and recovery are needed a higher dosage is more effective. Taking BCAA’s immediately before or during a strenuous workout or cardio session improves results.
Taking them after with a post work out meal or recovery drink will help speed the replacement of BCAA’s in the muscles, speeding muscle recovery and preventing overtraining. For optimum results in supplement form, it is desirable to take your BCAA’s separately from the other amino acid groupings for the fact that they totally dominate the race for entry into the bodies’ systems.
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