Branched-chain amino acids supplements, commonly referred to as BCAA's, are very popular with athletes these days, who are searching for ways to increase lean mass and performance. The branched chain amino acids are Valine, Leucine, and Iso-leucine. BCAA's are also rapidly depleted from the muscle when training. Taking BCAA's before and/or during a workout will increase performance and delay fatigue. Taking BCAA's immediately after or with a post work out meal will lower cortisol (destroys muscle) levels and replace BCAA levels in the muscles faster.

Some benefits of consuming BCAAs are:

BCAAs increase the rate of protein synthesis

  • BCAAs (such as leucine) stimulate protein synthesis more than regular dietary protein because they have already been broken down into the necessary amino acids that your body requires to carry out the reaction.
  • Therefore the rate of protein synthesis increases, in addition to the amount of protein synthesis any one particular cell can carry out. This is a prominent explanation for how BCAAs can help maximise muscle recovery.

BCAAs reduce the amount of protein breakdown

  • This occurs by reducing the number of bases that are released which signal to break down protein.
  • If you consider this in addition to our previous point, and the general formula for building muscle, it is easier to understand how BCAAs increase protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown, which, in turn, leads to more muscle being built.

BCAA supplements can help to reduce tiredness

  • This can significantly boost your workout. This is one of the key reasons which they are recommended to take before your workout – and the main reason it is included in pre-workouts such as MYPRE.
  • They do this by inhibiting the production of serotonin, which often rises during exercise.
  • Serotonin increases the ‘perception of fatigue’ which means you will tire more during your workouts. If you haven’t already worked it out, BCAAs will prevent this from occurring, giving you more energy.
  • Therefore you can work out for longer, push harder and lift even more weight thus reducing muscle soreness , meaning you can push even harder the days following intense exercise.
  • As a result, when utilised correctly, BCAAs are an extremely powerful supplement.
  • They will help increase your muscle mass by increasing the rate of protein synthesis, in addition to preventing muscle loss when cutting.
  • They deliver a good source of energy intra-workout, and are great to take beforehand, especially when training fasted!