There are many in the athletic world talking about branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are nine of the ten essential amino acids. Since the body cannot produce essential amino acids, they have to be ingested either through the foods you eat or through supplements.
The presence of BCAAs has been suggested to help with muscle growth and the slowdown of muscle deterioration after workouts. This is in addition to the assistance provided with preventing diabetes by improving glucose tolerance and the ability to assist with minimizing fat gain. Best of all, BCAAs do not stop working just because you are not working out. They provide assistance to the body even when taken during periods of rest in between training periods.
How to Use BCAAs
Now that you know what BCAAs are, it you need to know how and when you can use them. There is a split on whether you should take these supplements before, during or after exercise. The majority of people will use BCAAs before and after each workout to enjoy the full benefits of taking the supplements. According to the study published in The Journal of Nutrition, the best way to do this is through 20 g before and after every workout. In addition, the study gave 12 g/day and studied the results. The overall results were positive as to suggest that when ingesting at least 5 g of BCAAs before exercise can have an effect for days after the exercise. Lower reports of muscle fatigue and DOMS have been reported as a result.
Many Intra training supplements that are available have add BCAA in them and can also be consumed during your session. Personally I like the theory of having BCAA with my intra product. It makes sense to provide them through out the period you and doing to most amount of muscle damage and creating the need for BCAA supplementation.
The Connection between BCAAs and Muscle Growth
Currently, the connection between muscle growth and BCAAs is unknown. It is believed that due to the ability that BCAAs have on muscle synthesis, this is what makes the creation of muscles possible. The best BCAAs for maintaining higher muscle mass levels is through any supplements that contain higher levels of leucine.
Another suggestion of the link between the two is the fact that BCAAs can assist with an improved testosterone to cortisol ratio. This is due in large part to the fact that BCAAs help to increase levels of testosterone while decreasing the levels of cortisol. The leucine is, again responsible for helping to create this ratio.
Lastly, because muscle fatigue is not as much of a factor, it is possible to workout longer and get better results from the exercises you are engaged in. Additionally, since your muscles are not sore from one workout to the next, you are more likely to exercise again.